Red in Tooth and Claw

Another Friday, another wave of movies — though the holiday week is forcing studios to stagger their openings across several days. Read on to find out what’s new now …

Carnage“: Roman Polanski turns Yasmina Reza’s stage play about two Brooklyn couples in mortal ideological combat into a barbed farce and an unnerving exercise in spatial dynamics. Jodie Foster and Christoph Waltz are formidable and delightful, respectively, and Kate Winslet is pretty damn good, too. Just don’t eat the cobbler.

“Pina”: I managed to miss Wim Wenders’ 3D salute to the late dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch at TIFF earlier this fall, so I’m looking forward to catching up with it at the Lightbox. Glenn was certainly high on it at the festival.

“We Bought a Zoo”:  I’m beginning to believe Matt Damon may be the finest and least showy actor of his generation. Seriously, Crowe gives him a near-impossible moment towards the end of this sentimental claptrap, and he just nails it. Doesn’t make the movie any better, as Rad explains; I’d add that the changes Crowe makes to Benjamin Mee’s actual story are almost entirely designed to make the plot as formulaic and mechanical as possible. And Crowe still can’t stop yammering about his record collection, summed up here in a Neil Young “Greendale” mug that neither the real nor fictional Mee would ever, ever own.

There, that’s everything for today. Try to stay out of the malls; it’s safer for everyone.

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