"Rachel Getting Married" is one of the most pointless movies I have ever seen. It follows Anne Hathaway as a recovering drug addict through a three day furlough during which her sister Rachel get married. Most of the film is shot with a hand held camera; most of the music has an on screen source. It feels a great deal like the best candid all event wedding video ever shot, which is to say that it captures every last bit of the weirdness and nastiness that goes on at most weddings, with the added bonus of a couple of Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and a car crash. The performances are good, but really: Who thought that this was a story that needed to be told?
"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" is beautifully shot, acted, scripted, edited... It is also depressing as hell, and says nothing worth while to pay the freight on that. It shows us the Nazi pogroms through the eyes of an eight year old boy whose father runs one of the camps. The interesting thing is that in doing so, it calls on the audience to identify with the non-Jewish German civilians of the story. Presumably the millions of Jews who died were considered a write-off at the beginning, and the story focuses on the horror and loss of the observers who survived on the periphery as their awareness of what is happening goes from ignorance and vague distaste to knowledge and helpless horror. Personally, I felt the movie pulling that way, and refused to be sucked in, but I know that the film worked in exactly that way on the audience around me, because I heard them discuss it at some length as they left the theater. (I shared the theater with a rather large group of mobility impaired seniors and their handlers, and it took a LONG time for them to clear the theater, so I heard a LOT of this conversation.)
After that, a dose of lame humor, gross out jokes, and T&A seemed appropriate...