Friday, May 18, 2007

Movies opening this week

Away From Her (Gordon Pinsent, Julie Christie, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Murphy, dir. Sarah Polley)
Polley's clearly learned a lot from Atom Egoyan, who directed her in the makes-you-want-to-slit-your-wrists classic The Sweet Hereafter and is an executive producer of this film. Like Egoyan's work, it's a little precious and overly composed at times, but quite emotionally affecting at others. Pinsent and Christie are both excellent as a believable older couple who are still in love (and still make love), and that makes their separation all the more heartbreaking. Playing an Alzheimer's patient has got to be one of the top licenses for overacting (along with playing mentally ill or alcoholic), but Christie keeps it restrained and real. As with her acting career, sometimes it seems like Polley ought to learn to crack a smile, but when she does somber this well, it's hard to complain. Opened limited May 4; in Las Vegas this week

Shrek the Third (Voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Justin Timberlake, dir. Chris Miller)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
That list of voices doesn't even represent half of the characters cluttering up this movie, which exists solely for marketing purposes and could not be more painfully obvious about it. The filmmakers clearly have no idea what to do with the characters, and the plot is confused and only vaguely related to what the original movie was about in the first place. Not that it was some bastion of originality and integrity or something, but at least it was funny. Wide release

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