And Speaking of Oscar Bait

Remember back in the days? When we did the things?“The Reader” wasn’t last year’s only expensive, exacting and utterly hollow awards-season title; Sam Mendes’ “Reservation Road” is equally guilty of that weird combination of prestigiously buffed shell and needy, grabby interior.

It’s got top-flight actors — Kate, Leo and Kathy, together again! It’s based on a key American novel of the 1950s! No expense was spared in re-creating the prefab suburbia in which their characters are inescapably trapped! It’s no more incisive or moving than a weak episode of “Mad Men”, but — damn, check out the period detail on the appliances!

Over at Slate (which is putting out some of this year’s best Oscar coverage, if anyone’s keeping score), Willing Davidson explores the disconnect between great novels and their unworthy big-screen adaptations. Bottom line: Books can be about emotions; movies are usually about plot.

Truer words, baby. Truer words.