Brief comments on film by Amy.
Some old, some new. Domestic films and foreign too.
Sunshine Cleaning — I was expecting a bit more having been a big fan of Amy Adams since the days of Junebug (though I must confess to having a special place in my heart for her in Enchanted; I even have “Happy Working Song” on my iPod). This story of two sisters starting their own biohazard removal and crime scene cleaning business is definitely entertaining, and I appreciated its strong sense of family so perhaps I shouldn’t punish it for not meeting my high expectations. It reminds me of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (also starring Amy Adams; maybe I am not as big a fan as I thought). It’s a good story but leaves you feeling a bit hollow. Have you ever gone on a date, and at the end of the evening you had a good time, but you are quite sure you will never call the person again? This was my evening with Sunshine Cleaning. Nice knowing you. Moving on.
The Counterfeiters — I must ask the insensitive question: Do we really need another film informing us that the holocaust was a terrible event, not a pleasant holiday from sanity? Though thoughtfully crafted and very well acted, there was some heart missing from this film that I can’t quite put my finger on. Based on true events, the movie tells the story of concentration camp prisoners who were forced to further the Nazi cause by producing counterfeit currency. The main characters fall into three basic categories: (1) the squirrelly conservative capitalists who don’t protest being forced to aid the Germans in their scheme to destroy the British and American economic systems but are outraged at the thought of working with criminals and political radicals; (2) the cynic who claims to be only out to survive but proves himself a greater humanitarian than those who look down on him (some of the Nazi officers fall into this category as well, just with a little more cynicism and a little less humanity); and of course, no film is complete without (3) the devoted communist who is willing to stand by his principles no matter what the cost. It is enough to make one wonder, if all communist are so swell, why doesn’t Marxism play out a tad better in the long run? Must be all those capitalist middle classers, darn ‘em! Despite its faults, this movie is interesting from a historical perspective and probably worth the rental.
The Long Way Round (and Down) — I never thought I would love (and I do mean love in the addicted, can’t get enough, when-are-the-kids-going-to-bed-already sense) a film about two guys riding motorcycles all over the planet. But if you like travel and/or motorcycles, you will love The Long Way Round and its sequel. Just beware of the potty mouths of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.
Mentions, Honorable and Otherwise: I Love You, Man — Raunchy but somehow surprisingly wholesome in a strange, manly sort of way. Julie and Julia — Amazing performance by Meryl Streep (which almost seems redundant), and Amy Adams is great (again). Poorly edited, in that it is too long but still a good flick. Note to the makers and editors of this film: we the public truly and thoroughly understand that you, the film making industry truly and thoroughly despise all conservatives and in particular John McCarthy. C’mon, it’s a movie about food. Do we really need to politicize it? Leave out the blacklisting business and you have a much better film. Inglourious Basterds — More to come on this one, but let me just say this: if you haven’t seen this film, stop reading and run to the theater. Now!