Somewhat Preoccupied

The week after American Thanksgiving is always a little on the calm side, since the studios want to give their big releases another weekend to play out. Which gives smaller films a chance to get noticed, so it’s fine by me.

“Everything & Everyone”:  In which life lessons are learned by a struggling Vancouver actor and his friends. It’s your basic ensemble dramedy, and the structure is actually pretty decent, but either director Tracy D. Smith can’t find a consistent tone, or her actors can’t. Might be both, actually.

“My Perestroika”:  Robin Hessman’s documentary profiles five contemporary Russians who grew up in the age of glasnost. Susan really likes it.

“Shame”:  Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender reunite for a follow-up to “Hunger” that doesn’t quite measure up as art or drama, but makes some interesting points of its own. And everything you’ve heard about Fassbender’s performance? Yeah, it’s pretty much true.

“Surviving Progress”:  Is everything we do as a species ultimately a good thing? That’s the thesis behind  Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks’ doc, which received mixed reviews at TIFF and continues to receive them now. Like Andy’s, for instance.

“Tomboy”: A pre-teen girl (Zoe Heran) who self-identifies as a boy befriends another girl (Jeanne Disson), leading to entirely understandable complications in Celine Sciamma’s subtle French drama. Susan takes issue with the title, but otherwise endorses it.

And that’s everything. I’m off to Los Angeles for a couple of days — work stuff — so I’ll check in from the coast tomorrow.

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