Are You Watching Closely?

This is more than you need to know.Interesting situation at the megaplex today. We’ve got one of the year’s most anticipated movies — which also happens to be one of the year’s best movies — and a bunch of other stuff arriving as counterprogramming, swimming around it like pilot fish.

If you see “Inception”, and I hope that you do, you might not want to see anything else for a while, letting the images and undercurrents rustle around in your brain. But if you’re craving a second hit of cinema, here’s what’s opening this weekend.

“I am Love”: The idea of seeing Tilda Swinton performing en Italiano (and also Russian and English) certainly intrigued me when Luca Guadagnino ‘s familial drama played TIFF last year, but I was never able to catch up to it — and conflicts prevented me from seeing the recent press screening. Glenn was really high on it (Jason, a little less so), so hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze it in before this year’s TIFF starts up in earnest.

Inception“:I know, I put it up in yesterday’s post, but dammit, Christopher Nolan’s fractal heist picture is good enough to mention twice. Go see it. In IMAX. Preferably now.

Mr. Nobody“: It’s funny — Jaco Van Dormael’s appalling digital wankfest is the anti-“Inception”, foregoing character development and intellectual engagement for the empty CG spectacle which Nolan’s film will surely be accused of wielding by people unwilling to consider its structure. Worst of all, it wastes what seems to be a very considered performance by Sarah Polley; I couldn’t even bring myself to ask her about it during our “Splice” interview, though in fairness I was also sure this thing would never be released.

Restrepo“: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington chronicle the experiences of an American platoon in a remote part of Afghanistan over the course of one year in this alternately amusing and horrific documentary. It’s like “Jarhead”, without Sam Mendes trying to fetishize everything. (That’s a positive.)

“Sweetgrass”: Sheep. Fields of sheep, rolling like wet snow over the Montana mountaintops. Sometimes you see a border collie in there, steering; sometimes, a guy on a horse rides past. That’s the totality of Ilisa Barbach and Lucia Castaing-Taylor’s documentary, which entranced Jason; Susan, not so much.

I would suggest maybe following “Inception” with “Sweetgrass”, if you get all double-billy. Sheep are just soothing, you know?