My duties as TFCA veep require me to spend most of the next 24 hours neck-deep in ballots, so let’s go straight to the week’s openings:
“Collapse”: Chris Smith’s second release this year — after the fine drama “The Pool” — is essentially a monologue on the perils facing humanity delivered by a fellow named Michael Ruppert, who’s either a total paranoid or the most perceptive man on the planet. Either way, he’s dealing in some pretty compelling material, and Jason and Susan were hooked.
“Invictus“: Morgan Freeman makes a fine Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s otherwise insignificant drama about the early days of post-apartheid South Africa, when a struggling rugby team brought the convulsing nation together. Or something. Frankly, it’s awfully hard to tell what we’re supposed to be caring about from one scene to the next.
“Me and Orson Welles“: Richard Linklater phones one in with this flat comedy about a starstruck New York teenager (blank slate Zac Efron) who falls into a friendship of sorts with a certain theatrical maverick back in the days before anyone knew Charles Foster Kane from Adam. Christian McKay makes a fine Welles, but he’ll be just as impressive on the DVD.
“The Princess and the Frog“: Walt Disney Pictures returns to old-school 2D animation for this intermittently charming but very, very minor comedy about a New Orleans waitress who kisses the wrong enchanted prince, and ends up kinda froggy herself. Yes, it’s “The Emperor’s New Groove” meets “Beauty and the Beast” … but neither of those had Cajun fireflies, now, did they?
“A Single Man”: A crisply despairing Colin Firth stars as a middle-aged gay man devastated by the recent death of his lover in fashion designer Tom Ford’s immaculately composed adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s novel … which is just a hair too on-the-nose about everything to fully blossom. This is not to say anything against Firth, who is really quite excellent; it’s just that the movie around him is so artificial that it hurts. Glenn feels much the same.
Right, that’s everything. Back to counting …