Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Button, Doubt, Reader

One movie on Sunday with Dementia in personality-free Gurnee, followed by a Monday solo trip to Lincolnshire for two more depressing limited release films.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is MUCH better than it deserves to be, given that it is based on a story by the grossly over-rated and even more over-exposed F. Scott Fitzgerald. Of course, Brad Pitt's perennial likability and the addition of a love interest played by Cate Blanchett would explain most of the difference. It's a pleasant movie that doesn't allow its pretension to profundity to trump its entertainment value.

"Doubt" is a depressing, unpleasant showcase for the acting talents of Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The acting is amazing, but that doesn't make the film watchable. Streep's character is a paranoid compulsive ascetic who disapproves of sweetener in tea and ball point pens in addition to more traditional sins. The film makes a point of never resolving the central accusation, but there is really only one explanation that fits the facts as stated. (Which I will state in a comment if anyone asks.)

"The Reader" is oddly paced, lacks focus, and is kind of baffling on several levels. This doesn't mean I regret watching it, but it is NOT a film for everyone. Kate Winslet's Hannah Schmidt comes across as morally broken in odd ways. She is neither sociopathic nor unsympathetic, but she is... strange, willing to endure life in prison rather than admit to illiteracy (among other things). The film seems like it has something to say, but I am not at all sure what that would be (and, having checked Wikipedia on that point, find I don't really care).

Uncle Hyena
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