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May 2011 Archives

May 15, 2011

3 films - two hits and a miss

1. Jane Eyre Keep the basic plot Jettison Charlotte Bronte's excessive romantic mysticism Find a brilliant young actress (Mia Wasikowska)to embody Jane Use brief suggestions in the book to fill out and enrich the back story Deepen the relationships Cut poor mad Mrs. Rochester's part to a bare minimum... And you end up with a re-imagining of the too familiar classic that is fresh and immensely satisfying. Not to miss.

2. The Lincoln Lawyer Taut, snappy dialog, neat plot work, fine performances from William H. Macy, Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillipe, Lawrence Mason and Frances Fisher, all lift this irreverent tale of a shyster lawyer and the gang of drug dealing Hell's Angels who aid and abet him out of the run-of-the-mill into a very entertaining ride in that eponymous Lincoln. An excessively wealthy mother defending her spoiled grown son also keeps things crackling. Great fun.

3. Queen to Play Can chess liberate a woman from an oppressive marriage and a job of drudgery? Not even in France. Kevin Kline works hard at making it happen and when he's on screen it seems a worthy enterprise. Unfortunately that is less than 50% of the running time. Sandrine Bonnaire's super-serious would-be "Queen" never locates the levity implicit in the plot--not even Kline telling her she's beautiful when she smiles gets her to do so. A disappointing effort, too flat to lift the spirits as it is obviously intended to.

Rich Yurman

About May 2011

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