The Quiet

Mom always loathed you bestAmerican Thanksgiving brings a strange calm to the Canadian movie release calendar; my next screening isn’t until Wednesday morning, and that’s for a film that won’t open until January.

I’m using the break to rest up before the year-end crush that starts up in the first week of December; don’t worry, though, there’s still plenty to talk about. Like, say, today’s new releases.

Margot at the Wedding“: Noah Baumbach follows “The Squid and the Whale” with another horribly funny movie about dysfunctional families; as the title character, Nicole Kidman makes Jeff Daniels’ “Squid” dad look like a paragon of compassion and self-control. But I could not look away.

The Mist“: The first two hours of Frank Darabont’s latest Stephen King adaptation are gut-twisting and brilliantly orchestrated — probably the best translation of King’s material to the screen that I’ve ever seen. And then Darabont goes and wrecks it with an ending that essentially rapes the soul of the story. I’ll have more to say about this over the weekend. I guarantee it.

This Christmas“: Look at any cinematic trend, go back two or three years, and you’ll find the movie that started it. This one is on Tyler Perry. I am afraid of what will happen if it’s a hit; Preston A. Whitmore II is the last director I want to see indulged.

And if you’re in Vancouver, check out Jia Zhang-Ke’s “Still Life”. Metro didn’t post my review online — they don’t seem to bother with stuff that doesn’t make the Toronto edition — but it’s in the paper. Bottom line? It’s quite strange and wonderful in that way that only Jia’s movies are.

Catch you later …