Monday, December 28, 2009

Me and Orson Welles

There is a type of movie where there is a lot talking and not a lot of plot, where the pursuit of art is valued above all else, and earnest youths try to find their purpose – usually by talking it about it . . . a lot. This type of movie could be called a Richard Linklater movie. Typical Linklater movies are Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Slackers, (less typical, but another one of his is School of Rock)
Linklater’s latest version of the talky, plotless movie is Me and Orson Welles. Beautiful young lad Zac Effron’s character Richard uses his wit and tenaciousness to get him a small part in a Orson Welles’ play Caesar. We view Orson Welles and the production of the play through his eyes. The cast of the play is filled with interesting and quirky characters. The 1930s theater life is another reason to see this movie. Also, it is fascinating to learn about Orson Welles; Christian McKay who played him did a great job. This type of talky movie is not for everyone, but I enjoyed spending an afternoon with these smart, passionate people. (I love Before Sunrise and Before Sunset) When you get a hankering for one of these type of movies, check out a Richard Linklater movie.

PS. Claire Danes is in this movie too! Bonus.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Up in the Air

George Clooney stars in this character-driven movie based on a book of the same name by Walter Kirn. He plays an emotionally stunted man who basically lives on an airplane and in airports flying to different parts of the United States firing people for a job. A crack opens in his armor when he meets a fellow traveler Alex played by the beautiful Vera Farmiga. Her presence in his life seems to open him up to other humans like a career driven newbie he mentors and to his two sisters, one who is getting married. Before he meets Alex, he’s not a mean man, he just happily exists in his bubble air world existing on superficial relationships with airline employees and drinking in hotel bars. I liked this movie a lot, yet didn’t love this movie as I thought I would. Maybe I was expecting too much. Before I went to the movie I read fantastic reviews and heard a really compelling interview with the writer Kirn and the director, Jason Reitman, on Fresh Air with Terry Gross which made the movie all the more interesting. (Reitman also directed Thank You for Smoking, and Juno) Don’t get me wrong, I liked Up in the Air a lot and George Clooney and Vera Farmiga were great. I just thought I was going to be more wowed.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December Movies I want to see

I haven't been going to any movies of late, but I want to! Below are a few movies that I keep looking for at my local theater. I may have to travel south to see them. All of these movies are getting good reviews while Up in the Air is getting great reviews. I predict best picture of the year at the Oscars and a best actor Oscar for George Clooney – his first, I think.

Up in the Air: George Clooney and Vera Farmiga spend a lot of time in airports.

The Messenger: Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster are two army officers whose job it is to deliver the news to families about the death of their soldier.

Broken Embraces: Another movie from the great Spanish director Pedro Almodovar with the beautiful Penelope Cruz

Me and Orson Welles: One of my favorite actresses, Claire Danes is part of this ensemble piece that is set during the 30s and directed by Richard Linklater. A period piece/character-driven movie. Now that’s right up my alley.