May 18, 2009

Instant Movie Reviews

The Soloist:
The first five minutes of this movie, I thought I was not going to endure the cheesy self-importance and the abominable clichés about a newsroom and newspaper people. But despite the fact that this is a very conventional, obvious Hollywood movie, it gains an edgy quality, totally contrarian to its own slickness, thanks to the flinty performance of Robert Downey Junior, overacting like a hamhock to play reporter Steve Lopez, and the amazing, totally believable performance of Jamie Foxx as Nathaniel Ayers, the real life schizophrenic bum and Julliard dropout that inspired this film. I predict Oscar nomination for Foxx at the very least.
Downey, a man I will not refuse should he ever ask, is fascinating. He totally overacts most of the time, but in the scenes that require the most tectonic reactions, he goes all quiet and does gorgeously minimal work. It is very effective, although I have to say this is the first time he ever gets on my nerve.

A super cool German remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice. Is this a great story or what? And this movie tells it really well, with little artifice and lots of suspense.

Every Little Step:
I confess: I know the entire score of A Chorus Line by heart. I saw it around 1974 on Broadway and it blew me away. So I had to see this workmanlike documentary about the casting process for the recent revival. It was fun while it lasted, but now I think, meh. For true inspiration, nothing beats Anvil! The Story of Anvil, a movie I will champion to anyone who will listen.

I strongly recommend Il Divo, by Paolo Sorrentini. A strange, hypnotic film about the life and times of Giulio Andreotti.

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