Hide Away (Eyre, 2011)

Josh Lucas (unnamed in the film – except for “Young Mariner”) stars in his first dramatic lead in this rather stunning, overly metaphorical and imperfect film.  His performance is hugely successful.  Hide Away (originally titled A Year in Mooring) is a tale of redemption and the film does not survive the clichés of the genre, but barely so.  The mysterious supporting characters speak primarily in metaphor and poem referring to the grand Traverse (the film is beautifully shot on the waters of Traverse City in Northern Michigan), Hesperus (Lucas’ boat) and with rather direct hints at Buddhism. Young Mariner has … Continue reading Hide Away (Eyre, 2011)

We Bought A Zoo (Cameron Crowe, 2011)

I really like Matt Damon.  Along with Leo DeCaprio he is among our current living throwbacks to beloved 50’s Hollywood actors (Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart) and I know second hand that the guy is a true gentleman.  I saw this as a good afternoon film for my kids without knowing Cameron Crowe was the director.  Say Anything (1989) and Almost Famous (2000) are really good films where the director’s Kapraesque vision works;  however, when lost to his own devices Crowe deteriorates into empty and sometimes offensive sentiment. Based loosely (?) on a true story of a man (Benjamin Mee, Damon) … Continue reading We Bought A Zoo (Cameron Crowe, 2011)

Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)

Spoilers ahead.  Not in a very long time have I such anticipated a film’s opening, in this case from the greatest living director (his words), bad boy Dutchman Lars von Trier’s Melancholia.  This was set to be the best apocalyptic film yet made.  Fresh off his depressing and drab Antichrist (2009), he grabbed me with his stunning trailers and imagery promising us a visual masterpiece.  What follows is prelude as climax, eight to ten minutes of epic slow motion beauty:  Kierstin Dunst (a great perf and Best Actress at this year’s Cannes Film Festival) running through the woods in her … Continue reading Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)