I watched four movies this weekend (a winter tradition), three in the theater and one at home, and they couldn’t have been more different from each other. I’m not sure if the four movies are in four separate quadrants, but they certainly wouldn’t feature on any double bill.
I already dealt with the Coens’ A Serious Man at length in an earlier post here. Here are the rest:
The Princess and the Frog
If hand-drawn Disney musicals were a significant part of your past, then this will make you optimistic for the next generation. It’s not in the same league ’90s Disney, but evokes a simpler time– like setting Cinderella in jazz age New Orleans.
One observation: this movie could have been made in any decade. It’s not like Shrek or Kung Fu Panda, where the style of the movie and currency of the jokes date it.
Up In the Air
Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) is now 3 for 3 in my book. Each of his movies is one of my favorites for the year in which they came out. Up In the Air is in the spirit of Juno— a caustic insight in to human nature. And in the spirit of Thank You for Smoking— a caustic insight in to what human beings will justify in the name of their corporation. And what corporations will justify, period. This movie rides on the back of great writing and direction and three strong performances– Clooney as the frequent flier Ryan Bingham, Vera Farmiga as a female version of Bingham and Anna Kendrick as an aspiring Bingham.
I also saw Wild Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman, but I need some time to chew on that one before I write.