Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Invictus was released in Canada on December 11, 2009. The names of mention in the cast are Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, and the film is directed by Clint Eastwood.

Needless to say, any plot that revolves around the life of Nelson Mandela is an inspirational one. In Invictus, Eastwood and his screenplay writers zone in on a brief period of Mandela's life, following his release from prison and election as President of South Africa. It is the year or so leading up to the 1995 World Cup of Rugby, hosted by South Africa. It reveals how Mandela inspired reconciliation between the races by encouraging the whole nation to get behind the Springboks, the national rugby team that was previously hated by black South Africans. Some have criticized the plot, alleging that following the World Cup the nation went back to its racist ways. However, Mandela's support of the Springboks has been widely accepted as a major step in racial reconciliation in South Africa. To minimize the impact based on incomplete resolution of such a deeply complex issue is profoundly provincial thinking, at best.

In addition to its entertainment value, this film must get some attention from the Academy. This is typical Eastwood directorship, the screenplay is great, and both Freeman and Damon are wonderful. It has been said that Mandela has requested that if a movie were ever produced about his life he would cast Morgan Freeman to play himself. He will not be disappointed by Freeman's portrayal. As for Damon, this may be his best acting performance since Good Will Hunting.

Invictus will appeal to a very broad audience. The film can be described as inspirational, political, historical documentary, and a sports movie. Those who may be disappointed or critical may need to lighten up their expectations of the big screen.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Nine was released in Canada on December 25, 2009. The cast in this film carries a lot of Oscar weight and includes Daniel Day-Lewis (2 wins and 2 nominations), Marion Cotillard (1 win), Penelope Cruz (1 win and 1 nomination), Nicole Kidman (1 win and 1 nomination), Judi Dench (1 win and 5 nominations), Kate Hudson (1 nomination) and Sophia Loren (1 win, 1 nomination and an honorary Oscar). Holy Hardware!! Add to this impressiveness a Director who has been previously nominated, in Rob Marshall, and a group of writers that have Oscar wins and nominations to their credit, and this baby is a recipe for a little gold statue.

The plot of Nine revolves around a narcissistic film director who is desperately seeking meaning in his personal life, and doing so in the midst of attempting to write a screenplay for his latest film. That does not exactly sound genius, and at times the storyline is tedious. But make no mistake, there will be a screenplay nomination.

In addition to a screenplay nod, look for this one to have multiple Oscar nominations. Day-Lewis is fabulous, if not as brilliant as we have seen him, and will get a Best Actor nomination. The Best Supporting Actress category could be filled from this movie alone, and still be a more potent category than it was last year. Look for Judi Dench and Marion Cotillard to get nominations. Cruz, Lauren, and Kidman were also good, but we have seen all three outperform what they gave us in Nine. Cruz did kick some serious butt in her song, and showed some as well, but overall was not as good as we expect from her. Hudson was mediocre, and it is highly debatable whether she really has a place outside of the romantic comedy. Those are just the acting categories. There will likely be nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, art, costumes, music, make up and cinematography.

Nine is an entertaining film, but not one all viewers will enjoy. It is Broadway musical meets silver screen. But The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be licking their lips for all of the elements it brings together in one flick. This is not a film a serious buff should miss.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Complicated

It's Complicated was released in Canada on December 25, 2009. The cast in this baby is stellar. The marvelous Meryl Streep is the lead, accompanied by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, as well as John Krasinski from The Office. Nancy Meyers is the writer and director, and we know her from a long list of romantic comedies.

The plot of this one is not especially complicated really. Streep and Baldwin are divorced parents of three adult children, who meet up at their son's college graduation. Baldwin left the marriage 10 years ago for a much younger woman, but has since learned that not all that glitters is gold. An affair follows, while at the same time Streep develops a relationship with her architect, covered by Martin. The film is about mature adults coming to understand themselves, finding love and passion, and learning to do so in a mature fashion.

So what's the big deal about It's Complicated? Well, essentially Meryl showed up. While the Globes nominated it for Screenplay, Actress and Best Picture (Comedy or Musical), it's unlikely Oscar favour will be as forthcoming. The screenplay was good, but I wouldn't say brilliant. In fact, this may be an example of how casting can make or break an average film. Streep was potent as usual, delivering a fully convincing performance as mother, divorcee, conflicted mistress, business woman, and aging sexual being. Some of her lines were nailed with such finesse that an otherwise unnoted screenplay became more emphatic about its place in a nomination pool. I usually can't stand Alec Baldwin, but he was great in this, and it was refreshing to see Steve Martin perform after a few less than memorable efforts (see Pink Panther). It was worth the $10.99 to see Martin stoned and Streep dancing. These three make aging hot!

Definitely go see It's Complicated. Even if you are not part of the Meryl Streep cult (I secretly want to be her when I grow up), you will enjoy how this one is delivered. It's fun, it's sweet, and not without its thought-provoking moments. And whenever Meryl is around, Oscar is as nearby as an obsessed stalker.

500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer was released in Canada on July 17, 2009. The lead roles are filled by a couple of unknowns in Joseph Gordon-Levitt, for whom this is the first real role, and Zooey Deschanel, who we may or may not remember from Yes Man. Ironically, a couple of the supporting roles are more recognizable with Matthew Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds and Geoffrey Arend, whose face we recognize from a collection of bit parts.

The plot of 500 Days is not exactly brand new material. A couple of young adults develop a relationship. He is an idealist romantic, and she apparently does not believe in true love or defined relationships. Needless to say, their hopes for the relationship are conflictual and make for an entertaining, if not uplifting, 95 minutes or so. The characters are quirky, and feel like you might know them from somewhere. You won't sit enthralled, waiting for the next turn in this one. But it is a pleasant enough tale, laced with enough honesty to make it realistic.

This flick was pegged to be another summer romantic comedy... and it was that. But somewhere along the way, it started to get some Oscar attention. It may have been that Gordon-Levitt kicked some butt in his role. Or maybe it was the sharp screenplay. The directorship was impressive, even if this is not likely Best Picture material and therefore, almost certainly, not Best Director material. But even this is debatable with a wider field of Best Picture nominees this year. I also loved the music in this flick, and thought it was a case of mood really being impacted by musical choices.

500 Days of Summer is a bit of a surprise, and no one will be so struck by this movie as to talk about it a couple of years from now. But it is well done, and entertaining for the casual viewer... and by now it is even available to rent. Worth the watch.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Broken Embraces

Broken Embraces was released in Canada on September 10, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It's a foreign film, originally titled Los Abrazos Rotos. The cast is an ocean of Spanish actors, including the gorgeous Penelope Cruz. It is directed by Pedro Almodovar, who we remember from Volver and Matador.

In this story, the lead is played beautifully by Lluis Homar. He is a blind director turned screenplay writer who, upon learning of the death of a wealthy man from his past, unfolds the story of how he lost his sight. This story inevitably includes a love affair with Cruz. The film transitions beautifully from present to past, and unfolds a gripping story with delicious character development.

Broken Embraces will minimally be nominated for Best Foreign Film. But judging from what I have seen so far, it will get attention elsewhere. The directing is very good, and both Cruz and Homar were just wonderful. Cruz just gets better with each film. It's debatable whether they will give her a statue in consecutive years, but a nomination is not a big reach. Homar is an unknown to North America, but is very established in Spanish films, and may have made his mark in the English world with this one.

This was a very entertaining movie. The serious buff will not be distracted by the subtitles, and the story is more gripping than most English films I have seen this year. You will have to shop around for a theatre that's showing it, but it will be worth your search.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Up in the Air

Up in the Air was released in Canada on September 12, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The face to mention in this one is, of course, George Clooney. It is also co-written and directed by Jason Reitman, best recognized as the mind behind Juno.

Clooney plays an attachment disordered guy whose job requires he is constantly on the road, which really works for him, enabling him not to become loaded down with interpersonal relationships. His job is to fire people, which he has become quite masterful at doing, but not in a cold and calculated fashion that you may have forecasted when watching the trailers. Two women enter his life; one is a young keener looking to shift the business to internet, and the other is his female counterpart, with whom he becomes involved. The plot that unfolds is not as predictable as one might assume.

Up in the Air will get some Oscar attention. Clooney is beautifully brilliant. Of course, he is beautiful enough that no one really cares if he is brilliant. But nonetheless, he really pulls off a good part in this one. He has not won since 2006. He was nominated for Michael Clayton in 2008, and received writing and directing nominations for Good Night and Good Luck in 2006. His work in Burn After Reading was completely ignored by the Academy last year. He may have paid his dues for another Oscar nod. And no joke... the man is aging very well. But enough about Clooney. The two women in his life were not shabby either. Both Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick pulled off performances that would not shame the Best Supporting category. The competition will be fierce for them, but the roles were well handled. The other category that is notable is screenplay. My guess is that it is unlikely that Reitman will get a directing nod for this movie, but he may get recognition for the writing. Overall, this movie should make some noise on nomination day.

I just loved Up in the Air and it is the kind of movie the average movie-goer will not hate the Academy for loving. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours of your Christmas vacation.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Road

The Road was released in Canada on September 13, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The cast is pretty small, and the name to drop in this one is Viggo Mortensen. Robert Duvall and Clarlize Theron also drop in for brief periods throughout the film.

The film is adapted from Cormac McCarthy novel. You will remember his work in 2007 in No Country for Old Men. However, No Country was either a profoundly better written book, or the Coen brothers were much more skilled in adapting the screenplay. That said, it was not without merit. The plot revolves around a father and son pair, who have survived some unidentified apocalyptic event. Most of the survivors of the catastrope have apparently committed suicide, and those who remain have devolved to rape, murder and cannabalism. It is a story about survival, determination, hopefulness, and morality in the midst of madness. It is also a story that brings no pleasure whatsoever in the watching.

This film has been identified by some to get some Oscar attention. The Golden Globes, which generally are as comparable to the Oscars as the WWF is to the Olympic Games, have nominated The Road for exactly nothing. In this case, I hope the Academy concurs. Mortensen was good, but not great. Kodi Smit-McPhee, the youngest performer, was very good. But there is no Oscar category for young actors, and his performance does not warrant a nomination in any of the mainstream categories. If the screenplay makes the top five in the adapted category this year I will be shocked... and depressed about what else is out there. All of that said, the cinematography and makeup were both very good, and nominations may be forthcoming in these categories.

The Road
is not a movie you will regret having missed.

Friday, December 11, 2009

State of Play

State of Play was released in Canada on April 17, 2009. The cast is actually not too shabby with Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman and Jeff Daniels. Particularly with Crowe and Mirren lurking around, Oscar attention is not unexpected. Unfortunately, neither were given roles that will merit a second glance from the Academy. The story just doesn't have it.

The plot is not really a new one. Crowe and McAdams are journalists for a paper Mirren is running. Affleck is a politician whose mistress is murdered. Conspiracies and cover-ups run amuck in this remake of a dozen other flicks. It has some good moments, and State of Play is an entertaining couple of hours, but the screenplay in this baby just does not come through in any extraordinary way.

In its early days, this movie drew some attention for Oscar potential, mostly based on the cast. Crowe and Mirren are generally fairly safe, but both need material. Neither is the type of actor who can take a mediocre role and turn it into something wonderful (see Meryl Streep). They got mediocre roles in this one, and performed relatively well, but the end product was still mediocre. Oscar is making a list and checking it twice, and no one from this flick is on it.

State of Play is a great rental, but don't expect to hear much of it come February.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Brothers was released in Canada on December 4, 2009. Jim Sheridan directs this cast of young talent in Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire.

The film is adapted from a Dutch film, and is the story of a young man who goes to fight in Afghanistan just about the time his trouble-making brother is released from prison. Presumed dead, the poor soul is actually being tortured by Al -Qaeda. In the meanwhile, his brother is bonding with his wife and kids. When the captain is rescued, the return to his old life is not exactly seamless. This is not an original plot, and you won't find yourself shocked with any major twists, but it is a well told story.

This film may get some significant Oscar attention. As I said, the screenplay is good but not awesome. The acting, however, is very good. This is my favorite Gyllenhaal performance to date. This is also a big role for Portman, and she delivers very well. Maguire was great as well, but it felt a little like he was overacting. Of course, in my mind I only see him as Spiderman. The weaving of the tale made for some decent directing, but I don't see Best Picture or Best Director nods forthcoming here.

is a movie you will enjoy whether you have Oscar fever or not.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Informant

The Informant was released in Canada on September 11, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The star power is in the Director, Steven Soderbergh, and the lead role performed by Matt Damon.

The film is a cross between a white-collar crime drama and slapstick humor. The reason is that the would be whistleblower is as smart as a tractor. Matt Damon is the in-house spy for the FBI, trying to make a case for price fixing. But the FBI had not accounted for the fact that their spy was as crazy as a bag of hammers, and no information vault to boot. But what really spikes the humor in The Informant is Damon's narration.

This film will get some glances from the Academy, but it's not a shoe in. There are several categories worth consideration. The screenplay is great, based on having turned what should have been a drama into what can only be described as a situation comedy, and especially based on the content of the narration. Damon's acting was great in this, and we have come to expect that from him. I'm not sure it was good enough to be in this year's top five. I also felt the directing was sharp, but a nomination in this category is pretty much dependent on being nominated for Best Picture, and I don't think that will happen.

The Informant was quite good. I laughed out loud a dozen times. The irony factor is strong, and Damon is worth watching. Not a film you'll regret.

A Serious Man

A Serious Man was released in Canada on September 12, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, it stars exactly no one... and that is the beauty of this film.

The storyline is of a common Joe... or in this case, Larry... who is a bit of a modern-day Job. Problems at work, marriage falling apart, and a diagnosis that hangs over the viewer's head for the entire movie. It is classic Coen satire, a genre all its own these days. In this case, it was sometimes hard to keep up with what was being satired, if you will. Let's see... There were plenty of pokes at the sterotyped provincial Jewish culture. There was a jab or two at religion. Watching racism with a satirical twist was a riot. The humdrum of married and family life were parodied non-stop. I should not leave out the satirical setting. It was deliberately plunked in a more traditional and delayed gratification era to give us another smack up the back of the head about what we have become. I'm pretty sure I've missed a few, since I saw it five weeks ago.

As for Oscars, any time these guys tap out a story, it's good for a screenplay nod. The gross snub of Burn After Reading last year may actually increase their chances of parity this time around. The actors were chosen at the local bagel shop, it appears. They performed well, but there was nothing terribly remarkable. That was precisely the point... scream ordinary from the rooftops.

A Serious Man was not their best work, and the average goy may not be slapping her knee with the localized humor. But the Coen brothers are always entertaining... and they are always a risk to take home some hardware in February. For that reason, it's definitely worth the watch.


Amelia was released in Canada on October 23, 2009. Directed by Mira Nair, the film features Hilary Swank as Amelia, Richard Gere as Mr. Amelia Earhart, and Ewan McGregor as her extracurricular lover.

The plot is no surprise. This is the story of Amelia Earhart, America's famous Aviatrix, the first woman to make a trans-Atlantic flight, and the woman who disappeared on an attempt to make a flight around the world. Her story is such that one assumes this will be an easy hit. That was not actually the case with this flick. The viewer keeps waiting for a climax, some emotion somewhere, something to raise your eyebrow at... but it never really comes.

This film as pegged to draw lots of Oscar attention, but my sense is that it will likely miss that mark considerably. It's a period piece, set in the early 1900s and the costumes are indeed very well done. This may be the film's best shot at an Oscar. Hilary Swank was decent, but came nowhere close to her Oscar-winning ways in Million Dollar Baby or Boys Don't Cry. Richard Gere is always easy to look at. How is it this man gets more handsome with age? Like Swank, we have seen Gere perform far beyond anything he does in Amelia. McGregor is always competent, but never really blows your mind. There will be no acting awards in this one. This is disappointing, but the reason is likely tied to a poor screenplay.

Amelia was alright. That's the best I can do. You won't kick yourself for going, but your impressed factor will also be pretty small.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Away We Go

Away We Go was released in Canada on June 26, 2009. The director is the accomplished Sam Mendes, and he is the most notable name associated with this flick. If you are a fan of The Office, you will recognize John Krasinski in the lead role. No one else to mention in this baby.

So the scoop is thus. Bert and Verona are having a baby. They have not exactly been the responsible pair who has built the perfect scene for a child to enter. So they start visiting old friends and relatives, looking for the perfect place to have their child. Their encounters along the way are just priceless. I still snicker at the stroller scene. Interspersed with absolute hilarity are some really poignant life insights that bring sweetness to your amused smile.

This is not likely significant Oscar material. Some have criticized the screenplay, but I thought it was just brilliant. If it gets a nod anywhere, it may be in that category. The Directing was sharp, but not contention worthy.

Away We Go was great. No one will be talking about it in 20 years, but it will be 90 enjoyable minutes for you.

Inglourius Basterds

Inglourius Basterds was released in Canada on August 21, 2009. The two names of mention in this film are itsDirector, Quentin Tarantino, and the lead role manhandled by Brad Pitt.

The scene of the story is France during the Second World War, where the Nazis are occupying and a group of Americans known as the Basterds, led by Pitt, are unleashed to scalp and kill Nazis. Concurrent with their plot to take down Hitler, a young Jewish woman whose family was brutally murdered by Nazis years before, and who now runs a movie theatre in France, is cooking up her own scheme to bring down Hitler's regime. The narrative is classically Tarantino. Translation. Great story. Lots of blood and gore. Long enough to feed his ego, and too long for everyone else's comfort. That said, it is nicely woven together, funny, and feeds the yearning of anyone who wishes something other than suicide had taken out Hitler. It might also attempt, but ultimately fail, to relieve some of the guilt of the nations who waited a little too long to get him under control.

This is the kind of flick that inevitably gets the attention of the Academy. Despite Tarantino's narcissism that forced this thing onward far too long, it was a good film. Both the film and its director will get a nod this year. Honestly, I've always found Pitt's acting to be unremarkable. He glides by in great roles, but never really nails them. However, this may be his best performance to date. For me, the nomination that is a no brainer is for Christoph Waltz as Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of Colonel Hans Landa was simply brilliant, and he should be rewarded for his efforts. The thing that may detract from Oscar contention is the early release date. While a relief from the usual summer drivel, it may be dimmer in the minds of the Academy as a result.

Inglourius Basterds was a very entertaining film, and definitely a must see for any Oscar buff.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire was released in Canada on September 13, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The star power in this one is mediocre. The lead is played by Gabourey Sidibe in her debut. The BET favorite, Mo'Nique is the horror of a mother. Mariah Carey stops by as the relatively homely social worker, and Lenny Kravitz has a minor role. The Director is Lee Daniels, best known for producing Monster's Ball. Of course, one should not neglect the marketing efforts of Oprah Winfrey.

The story is just potent. As a social worker, I confess I had little desire to see another movie that was looking just a little too much like work. Honestly, anyone with a few years in my field has met more than one Precious. I also tend to be a touch skeptical about Oprah's pet projects. That said, I was completely enthralled through the entire 109 minutes, and was a little sorry to see it end. The protagonist is an obese 16 year old victim of every abuse imaginable. She is pregnant with a second child for her father when we meet her. Despite the hell that is her life there is something hopeful, and both passive and determined within her. For the viewer who has not yet met a Precious, the story is shocking, and even if you have, it still has the potential to bring you tears before all is said and done. It is also laced with humor, and of course, challenges one's own worldview. This fictional biography is very well told, and true enough to life to be given an address closer to your own.

This film has Oscar written allllllll over it. First of all, the fact that the movie title references the book from which it originated is practically an application for adapted screenplay. A nomination in this category is likely. Directorship may also get some consideration based on the quality offered at a very low cost. Of course, the acting is brilliant. Sidibe deserves a nomination for a simply wonderful performance. Her inexperience makes this showing even more impressive. Mo'Nique was also very good, and a nod for supporting is also in order. It may have had a shot for Best Picture in a category of five, but with the extension to ten, it will be surprising if this movie is not at least rewarded with a nomination. This may also open the door for a Best Director nomination for Daniels.

Precious is a very pleasant surprise. Good call on this one O.

The Men Who Stare At Goats

The Men Who Stare at Goats was released in Canada on September 11, 2009 at the Toronto International Film Festival. With a full cast of household names, and a title to grab the attention of any expectations were high. Names of note were George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey. All four lads ably demonstrated their skill in portraying the complete goofball.

The story... now what does one say about this story? McGregor is a reporter, recently dumped by his wife and having a point to prove, and looking for the big story in Iraq. He meets Clooney and gradually the others, who are all part of a special unit in the US Army specializing in the paranormal. The rest is mirky, and not really essential for you to know. The phrase that comes to mind is "Coen Brothers Wannabe." It has its moments, and at times I laughed out loud at the "almost there" satire, but mostly it is a little too contrived.

Initially I had imagined this moving having screenplay potential. I will be surprised if the pool is weak enough to get a nomination in this category. The acting is good. Clooney, in particular, nails it. Though his role may be a little too reminiscent of Burn After Reading, a Coen flick that makes Goats look like a college assignment. A lot of movies remain to be seen, but I'll be surprised if this performance warrants a nod. Not much else to mention about this one.

The Men Who Stare at Goats was definitely not all I hoped for, but still worth the watch.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Soloist

The Soloist, released in Canada on April 24, 2009, is a Joe Wright project featuring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.

The plot is thus. RDJ is an uninspired newspaper columnist brainstorming for material when he encounters the gifted Juilliard dropout, portrayed by Foxx, who is mentally ill and homeless. The predictability factor is over the top. Yes, Foxx's character is talented and likeable and misunderstood and tragic. And yes, the writer is apathetic, then intrigued, then determined to rescue, and battling his own demons along the way. Are you seated? Yes, they each learn from the other and the connection is tear-jerking. Except it isn't. Beyond predictable, the plot is contrived, the emotional efforts require a little too much effort, the dialogue is blah, and the overall impact is disappointing.

As for Oscar potential, the movie, screenplay and directorship leave no impression. Downey Jr. delivered an entirely forgettable performance. However, based on last year's nomination for the beyond ridiculous Tropic Thunder, the Academy may be high enough on him to surprise us with another nod. Now let's talk about Jamie Foxx. We know the lad can act following the Ray execution. But watching him in this role was tedious. In fairness, the poor performances may be a direct result of shabby screenplay.

The Soloist is a rental, at best.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Julie & Julia

Julie and Julia was released in Canada on August 7, 2009. Amy Adams was Julie Powell, and of course, Julia Child was mastered by my gal, Meryl Streep.

The movie is the crafty intermingling of two entirely charming stories. Nora Ephron weaves the tale of Julia Child's development as a chef and author, with the story of Julie Powell, as articulated in her personal blog, cooking her way through Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." It's a fun watch. Politics and class-consciousness aplenty... culture... humor... beurre... and romance, if contemplating Julia Child as a sexual being is not too disturbing. Meryl does make it easier.

It's early for Oscar buzz, and this film has made minimal noise so far. The early release date is no doubt a factor. But let's be honest. A pre-schooler using a cheap cell phone could record Meryl Streep napping in an airport and it would be worth at least a nod. As usual, she was just brilliant. I saw the film on opening day, and the first time Streep opened her mouth as Julia Child the theatre fell apart with affectionate laughter. Streep's problem is that she is eternally competing against herself. She has another flick due for release on Christmas Day, but beyond that, the standards to which we hold her are beyond the marker for any other competitor. That said, a nomination is not a long shot here. Adams was mediocre, Chris Messina was adequate as usual, and Stanley Tucci was great. In fact, depending on the competition, his performance as Paul Child may get him consideration for Best Supporting. Screenplay may be an option. I would not have given this one Best Picture thoughts, but with the Academy proposing a pool of ten this year, who knows?

Julie and Julie was just wonderful. Don't see it hungry.

Oscar Season 2010

So 'tis the season!

For the Christmas fanatic, it's time to obsess about wish lists, last minute sales, airline bookings, Canada Post deadlines, party plans and Christmas concerts. I'm doing a little bit of that myself, being both a fan of the festivities, and a member of an enormous family.

But it's also a perfect time of year to begin a movie review blog. After several months of film drivel, we can begin to look forward to some real reels. Already, a few contenders have crept through theaters, whetting the appetites of those who cannot abide the mindless money makers and simply crave a good story with some authentic acting.

So for the next three months or so, until the Academy Awards are presented, I will see as many potential contenders as possible and review them here. I have learned that few things assist better in surviving the annual Seasonal Affective Disorder than frequent escapes to a popcorn-fragranced, darkened room in the company of other stranger-lovers, sharing a passion for plot and climax and role-immersion.

Please feel completely liberated to respond to my ramblings with your own... as long as you can handle a feisty comeback.

Let the reels begin!