Youth and Young Manhood

Face of an angel, I tells yaThe teenager with the birthmark and the glasses is getting all the attention this week, but other people’s children figure quite prominently in a few other releases. See if you can spot the pattern:

The Boss of It All“: Lars Von Trier says he’s retiring from cinema, so we have to appreciate his going out on a high note with this quietly insane comedy of workplace manners rather than making us suffer through the final chapter of the “Dogville” trilogy.

Introducing the Dwights“: In which Brenda Blethyn plays yet another insufferable, smothering mother, and does it so well she rolls right over everything else in Cherie Nowlan’s confused little dramedy, including a tender love story between Khan Chittenden, as her fragile son, and new girlfriend Emma Booth. Dammit.

Joshua“: There are very few overt scares in George Ratliff’s exquisite little yuppie horror movie, and not much in the way of violence, but boy does it get under your skin. It’s also one of the most intriguing meditations on parenthood I’ve seen in a while. And we also get the spectacle of Sam Rockwell and Vera Farmiga’s duelling actor hair, which is worth the price of admission on its own.

Vitus“: Another precocious child, another fracturing family. This one doesn’t end nearly as badly, however, and for that we must be grateful. Oh, and for Bruno Ganz returning to warm-n-fuzzy after his nightmarish interpretation of Adolph Hitler in “Downfall”. Nice Bruno is much easier on the soul than Nasty Bruno.

“Captivity” awaits. Whee.