Ah, the Friday release rundown. It’s good to be home. So what have we got? One of the year’s best movies, and a lot of other stuff.
“I’ve Loved You So Long“: Kristin Scott Thomas is astonishingly good as a woman returning to her family after a decade and a half in prison; the movie around her, maybe not so much. But the performance is so strong that I recommend seeing the film anyway, just so you can be ahead of the curve on the whole dark-horse Oscar nomination.
“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”: Because the first film left so many questions unanswered, obviously. The only question on my mind? “How much did Sacha Baron Cohen get to come back as the wacky lemur, and to which charity did he donate it?”
“Real Time”: Small-time loser Jay Baruchel and cranky mentor Randy Quaid drive around Hamilton for an hour and ten minutes, at the end of which Quaid will shoot Baruchel in the head. I was rooting for him to do it at the fifteen-minute mark, just so I could get out of Randall Cole’s miserable dramatic thriller. Rad suffered right along with me.
“Role Models”: Paul Rudd and Stifler as immature jerks who end up playing Big Brother to a pair of troubled kids? Sign me up — especially when virtually everyone says it’s better than it has any right to be.
“Synecdoche, New York“: Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut is the logical next step from the screenwriter of “Being John Malkovich”, “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, which is to say it’s a conceptual labyrinth of the highest order. And strangely moving. Just generally fantastic, really.
“Triage: Dr. James Orbinski’s Humanitarian Dilemma“: One of the stronger films I saw at Hot Docs, Patrick Reed’s simple, verite documentary revisits the twin nightmares of Somalia and Rwanda through the eyes of a man who was there, and tried to stop the bleeding. Literally.
“The World Unseen”: Unseen by me, anyway; it screened while I was out of town. But Lisa Ray is in it, and everyone loves her, even if they’re obliged to admit — as Kieran is — that she’s deserving of better projects.
… oh, and there’s this documentary thing called “Dirty Country” opening at the Bloor on Sunday. Best recommended to die-hard Larry Pierce fans.
Who’s Larry Pierce, you ask? Exactly.