Since this is my last winter break as a grad student, I took full advantage of the time off to decompress (don’t worry, I’ve had my productive moments as well). This translates to seeing a few movies. Especially since there are always good movies in theaters during December. In light of the Golden Globes last night, here’s what I saw over the past few weeks:
The Silver Linings Playbook
I enjoyed this quite a bit. First of all, I like Bradley Cooper a lot, and I thought he was good in this. He plays a man trying to recover from an extremely violent bi-polar incident, and turn his life around. I found it funny and uplifting because he’s constantly looking for “silver lining developments.” His love interest, Jennifer Lawrence, has similar goals to make personal improvements, and they end up making a cute pair. I liked that is was set in Philly because I recognized some of the scenery. It has story lines that go along with football and dance competitions. Something for everybody!
This was a tricky one to track down. I thought it would open in more theaters but it was kind of spotty. I finally saw it several weeks after it came out. It was a lot more artsy than I was expecting. The film constantly made visual references to a stage, making the analogy that all of the characters were either pandering to or subject to a constant audience. I enjoyed the story (I haven’t read the book) because it illuminated some significant double standards for men and women in relationships. I’m hit and miss with Keira Knightley films because sometimes I find her annoying, but I think she does pretty well with older period pieces like this one.
I saw this one on Christmas Day with everyone else in New Jersey I think. The theater was Packed with a capital P. But prepare to get mad at me. It wasn’t my favorite. I knew going in that I’m not a Les Mis person. I’ve seen it live on Broadway, and it didn’t do much for me. I’ve seen about 40 musicals live on Broadway, and I can’t say Les Mis is in my top 20. Anyway, back to the movie. I’m not so into three hours of the talking/singing thing. I prefer having normal talking with intermittent songs. That being said, I thought Anne Hathaway was fine, and Hugh Jackman was, as well. I loved Eddie Redmayne, who played Marius. I’ve actually seen him in the show Red on Broadway a couple years ago (he won a Tony for it). He is cute and fantastic. I would say Russell Crowe was underwhelming, but frankly, I’m not sure why they cast him in the first place so I wasn’t expecting much from him. I think at the end of the day the musical is too overwhelming for me. I find that the musical themes lack cohesion, and there are too many going on at once. There are several instances when too many melodies are happening simultaneously and I can’t follow any of them. I could talk about this for a long time, so I’m going to stop.
The Guilt Trip
I’m not going to lie, I saw this one by myself. I knew that I probably couldn’t talk any of my family or friends into seeing it, so I went on a quite weeknight when I was looking for some entertainment. But, you know what, it was cute. First of all, who doesn’t love Barbara Streisand. She’s looking good. And Seth Rogan played a cute, kind of bashful character in the movie. It’s a cute mother- son bonding story, and it has a good balance of some real moments, plus positive developments and a happy ending. It’s not something to run out and see at your earliest convenience, but it had a few good laughs and some cute moments.