After I wrote my comments, I realized I watch a lot of movies that aren't that great, but I suppose that is a hazard of the job. There are many, many movies out there, but as with everything else in life, everything can't be wonderful.
And now for this week's selections:
Another Year is a sweet little dramedy that looks at a year in the life of a happily married couple, Tom and Gerri. Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen star as the married couple in this movie, as does Lesley Manville, as Gerri’s work friend named Mary. As stable as Tom and Gerri’s life together is, Mary’s life is not. She puts on a cheery façade, but she is literally drowning her sorrows in wine. It is definitely a character study, and I really liked it.
Rango is the new animated film starring the voices of Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Ned Beatty, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina and many others. Rango is a pet chameleon who finds himself on the side of a desert road. He comes upon the town of Dirt and leads the inhabitants to believe that he is a gunslinger with hero-like capabilities. It was cute, but I think the humor was geared more to adults.
Greenberg, starring Ben Stiller in the title role, is a character study about a man, having recently undergone a nervous breakdown, who finds himself still struggling at age forty. He is house-sitting for his brother’s family while they are out of the country for several weeks on business. He starts a non-relationship with the family’s assistant, played by Greta Gerwig. Greenberg is not an easy person to like, and I found myself not liking him throughout most of the film. In the end, I just kind of felt sorry for him. Eh.
The Rape of Europa is a documentary about the horrific plundering of Europe’s art museums and private collections by the Nazis in WWII. It talked about how some of the collections were safeguarded from being destroyed as collateral damage during air strikes and fighting, while others were not so lucky. A group of American and Allied forces had the job of recovering and returning items that were taken. It was a very good film.
The Girl from Monaco, in French with English subtitles, stars Fabrici Luchini – one of my favorite character actors – as Bertrand Beauvais, a successful attorney hired to represent a woman charged with murdering a younger lover who has ties to the Russian mafia. Her son hires, Chritsophe, a bodyguard (played by Roschdy Zem) to protect Bertrand from any mafia retaliation. Bertrand meets Audrey, a sexy and much younger woman, who is nothing but trouble. It was alright.
Holy Rollers, starring Jesse Eisenberg, is based on a true story. Eisenberg plays Sam, a Hasidic Jew in his late teens who has aspirations of becoming a rabbi, but is frustrated when his father’s poor financial decisions spoil his future with the girl of his dreams. His path takes a wrong turn when he starts smuggling ecstasy into the country for some extra money. It was only a matter of time before the game was called for rain. It was nothing special.