You know, this week’s films should be stronger than they are. It does get better from here — “A Serious Man” is just two weeks away! — but as far as Oscar baiting goes, it ain’t looking good.
“Capitalism: A Love Story“: In which Michael Moore rages against the money machine because, like, there has to be something better out there, man! But that’s not exactly the best thesis upon which to build a two-hour movie.
“The Invention of Lying“: In which Ricky Gervais takes a frankly brilliant notion and breaks its back to fit it into a feeble romantic comedy. Dammit, man! Engage with the material! Engage with it!
“Unmistaken Child”: Nati Baratz’ documentary follows a Buddhist monk on his quest to find the reincarnation of his deceased master; Susan says it’s the week’s one good movie, and naturally it’s playing on one screen at the Cumberland with no chance of competing against the big studio pictures.
“Whip It”: In which Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut, and everybody (including Susan) says a lot of supportive things, but there’s a general shrug to the coverage that kept me from rushing out to catch the TIFF screenings.
“Zombieland“: In which Jesse Eisenberg dithers at length, Woody Harrelson swaggers around appealingly, and audiences are expected to pretend my beloved “Shaun of the Dead” never existed. Can you blame me for being a little unenthused?