There Will Be Bodices

Acting!February 29th only comes once every four years … and [Groucho eyebrow waggle] with movies like these, I’m not surprised.

City of Men“: Not a sequel to Fernando Meirelles’ brilliant “City of God”, but a follow-up to the Brazilian television show developed from Meirelles’ film. And pretty disappointing, in any event.

“Continental: A Film without Guns:” Quite a few of my colleagues are swooning over Stephane LaFleur’s po-faced study of interwoven characters at a remote Quebec motel; me, I thought it was never anything more than a plodding knock-off of Roy Andersson’s brilliant tableaux pictures “Songs from the Second Floor” and “You the Living”. Only without the demented inspiration or the magic realism. Andrew is equally unimpressed.

The Counterfeiters“: As a moral drama and a slow-burning thriller, Stefan Ruzowitzky’s study of concentration-camp inmates forced to forge British and American currency to feed the Nazi war machine is easily the best thing opening this week. Finally, an Oscar-winning foreign-language Holocaust film that’s worth sitting down and watching!

The Other Boleyn Girl“: Eric Bana scowls! Natalie Portman schemes! Scarlett Johansson … well, mostly she makes the face you see at right. But there are lots of wolfhounds around, which gives us something to look while they royals squabble in the foreground.

“Penelope”: I missed this when it played the Toronto film festival, so all I know is that it’s the movie where Christina Ricci has a pig nose. And Catherine O’Hara seems very shouty in the trailer. Adam was unimpressed.

Semi-Pro“: In which the law of diminishing returns catches up to Will Ferrell sports comedies. But if you’re curious to see Ferrell try to paste his Ron Burgundy swagger into a basketball movie, here it is. And why can’t Andre Benjamin find a project worthy of his boundless appeal?

“Viva”: I haven’t seen Anna Biller’s loving simulation of a swinging Radley Metzger skin flick, but that’s okay; I can barely tolerate Metzger’s work as it is, and at two hours, this sounds like it packs a little more winking meta-eroticism than I’m comfortable sitting through. Andrew agrees.

A Winter Tale“: Imagine a low-budget production of “Boyz N the Hood”, shot in Parkdale, and you pretty much get the picture. NOW hasn’t put my review online, but I’ll get a link up as soon as it’s available. UPDATE: Took a while, but it’s up now.
Oh, and that latest phone? Still a little buggy, but I think I might be on the verge of a fix …