Sunday, January 22, 2012

Celluloid #140

In Theaters

Pariah (2011) Rees - Alike is a teenager who gets straight As and wants her parents to be proud of her, but she's also a lesbian - something they are in denial about. Alike feels out of place everywhere. At home she is supposed to be a good Christian girly-girl. At the lesbian club, she isn't hard enough. She befriends a girl from church and the two strike up a connection. At every turn, we see someone hurting Alike emotionally, and sometimes physically. My only complaint is that the music and poetry are too cheesy. 4/5

In Home

Fay Grim (2006) Hartley - This is a sequel of sorts to Henry Fool. I hate that this movie is shot at a diagonal. In order to get her brother out of jail, Fay strikes up a deal with the FBI to go on a spy mission. Along the way she also finds out that her husband isn't really dead. This is a slow thriller, artsy beyond belief, and includes Hartley's signature stilted dialogue. I have loved some of his other movies, but this one didn't do it for me. 3/5

the Good Son (1993) Ruben - Mark's mom dies and his father sends him to live with an uncle and cousins for a while. Henry is basically Mark's age and initially the two seem to have a good time roughhousing and breaking windows, but over time, Henry's hijinks seem increasingly sinister. The worst part is that no one believes Mark. Henry skillfully turn the adults against Mark under the guise that he is grieving. Except for the very last two minutes of the movie, this had the best ending ever! 4/5

HappyThankYouMorePlease (2011) Radnor - This is essentially a hipster ensemble romantic comedy. Sam is cute but immature. On the way to talk to his publisher, he gets tangled up with a young black boy escaping his foster home. His friend Annie is bald, falls for the wrong guys, and has a fan in Buster Bluth.   Mary Catherine is Sam's childhood friend and she doesn't want her boyfriend Charlie to move to LA. In between Sam's adventures in babysitting, he also pursues a relationship with a local girl at a bar. He cute-schemes to get her to stay over for three days. Overall, he seems pretty annoying for dating purposes. The movie often comments on the cliches, but I can't decide if the self-reflexivity makes things better or worse. 2.5/5

the Red Shoes (1948) Powell & Pressburger - Victoria Page wants to become a famous ballet dancer. She gets picked up by a famous director, as does a young composer. Victoria gets notice for her role in the ballet called "The Red Shoes." That dance sequence is really interesting - beautiful and cool old-school special effects. Victoria also falls in love with the composer, much to the distaste of the director. He manages to separate them, but she chooses love over fame, at least initially. Tragedy ensues. 4/5