Holiday Movies.

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12/11/2008 3:45 PM |

I am prouder of doing this picture on Photoshop than I am of graduating from an expensive east coast college, probably.

A hell of a lot of movies are opening this weekend, and we couldn’t possibly cover them all in our pocket-sized magazine. But with the internet, all things are possible, so here are the L’s critics on this clusterfucked awards-season weekend…

To start with, some stuff I’ll be giving an extra push to before the
week is out, and with which you ought to familiarize yourself: the
lovely miniature Wendy and Lucy, now playing, and the gorgeous, sly weeklong Anthology run In
the City of Sylvia
. I’ll also be talking up next week’s revival of Paul Schrader’s Mishima — reviewed by
the L in concert with Schrader’s nutty latest, Adam
, which opens today. Other underdogs include the mindfucker Timecrimes and the
Indian panoramic Herbert.

Steven Soderbergh’s two-part Che plays in a special roadshow version
for one week only, at the Ziegfeld, which is really the only place to
see an old-style roadshow epic (especially since Che’s more successful
second half subverts the form as reestablished in the first). Nicolas
Rapold talked to Soderbergh

Gran Torino
: “There are apparently few greater pleasures than watching
Clint Eastwood as a get-off-my-lawn Detroit retiree growl dated racial
slurs to one and all in his sunny suburb.”

Doubt: “Taking on the job of adapting his Pulitzer-Prize-winning play,
Shanley barrels on through the production’s variety of themes—including
the evaluation of religion, morality, sexuality and certainty—with
stern, stone-cold sobriety.”

The Reader
: “Wagging a tasty piece of celluloid in the face of Academy
members, The Reader is scrupulously spoon-fed to you by the guys who
shoved The Hours down your throat.”

The Day the Earth Stood Still
: “Though it stringently avoids any
ecological specifics, The Day the Earth Stood Still manages to seem
hypocritical. "You’re going to have to change your profligate,
polluting lifestyle!" the film blandly scolds, all the while
representing the kind of costly, energy-devouring excess we as a
species could easily do without.”

Dark Streets
: “Dark Streets is the cinematic equivalent of a Motel 6 that thinks it’s the Plaza.”

Where God Left His Shoes
: “As miserable as the Christmas special of a Brit TV series and as bleak as a stocking full of coal…”

What Doesn’t Kill You
: “The South Boston crime story — dive bars and
triple-deckers, guns, drugs, and Boston accents — is revisited here,
and Goodman’s understated rendering, based on events in his own life,
transcends stereotype.” (Hey, this one sounds pretty good…)

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