Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Uno, Dos, Tres...Movies!

I'll go long lengths of time without hitting the theaters, but this last week I saw three movies! Let me tell you what I think...

My mom came for a visit and as she's a Jake Gyllenhaal fan (think he looks like her husband!) we had to see "Brothers." Tobey Maguire (nominated as best actor for a Golden Globe) is Sam, the "good" brother and a Marine officer about to be dispatched to Afghanistan. Before he leaves, he retrieves brother Tommy (Jake's character), who has done time for a robbery, from prison. The brothers obviously care for each other, but bad boy Tommy feels out of step with his brother's family, including two daughters and wife Grace (Natalie Portman). When tragedy strikes, the family dynamic changes. Forever?

I thought the actors did a great job in this movie but it is violent and the premise is tragic. I had my hands over my eyes several times and my heart broke for the characters involved. This is not a feel-good movie, but one that is powerful and poignant. You'll need hot chocolate and cookies after seeing this.

I went with a group of girlfriends to see "The Blind Side." I felt guilty going to see this movie (mid-day, hurray!) without the guys in my life. Except, really, it's a woman's movie. A mom's movie, in particular, though I think all of us with the XX will get Leigh Anne Tuohy's (as played by Sandra Bullock, nominated for a Golden Globe for best actress) determination to help the quiet, gentle giant, Michael Oher, who comes into her life through her childrens' school. Tears started early from my row while watching this one. This is feel-good, feel-powerful, feel-for-others in the very best way. It's not a sports movie in any elemental sense, and they went over the football aspects of it slowly, and with small words, which worked for me. Great way to spend some holiday time.

George! What's the delightful secret George Clooney knows that has him grinning that delightful grin? Certainly not the job he has in "Up in the Air" (nominated as best picture for the Golden Globes, George for best actor) as the character Ryan Bingham who flies around the country firing people. We see how disconnected he is from others and we also see real film of real people losing their jobs. Their reactions tug at your hearts and gut as well as the fictional predicament of Ryan. He's self-deprecating and self-aware, which makes him all the more charming...and sad. I enjoyed this movie, but not sure I recommend as holiday fare. I like a more...um, satisfying ending, and if you want to know how I rewrote it, email me and I'll give you the Christie edition!

Now I'm eager to see "Nine," the musical with everyone from Fergie to Sophia Loren. What about you? Is a movie on your holiday list?

14 comments:

Cindy Gerard said...

Nice reviews, Christie.
I've seen The Blind Side and like you, I loved it.
Wanted to see Up in the Air but was looking for the 'feel good' vibe so i might pass on that one. I could tell from the trailers that Brothers would be brutal but will eventually see it,
Has anyone seen Precious? Would love to hear about that one.

Christie Ridgway said...

I was supposed to see Precious before Thanksgiving and haven't made it yet. "Up in the Air" isn't tough to watch like "Brothers," but maybe wait until after Christmas?

Kathleen Eagle said...

Christie, I haven't had a change to get to a movie in ages. Elizabeth gave me an AMC gift card for my birthday in Nov--a strong him that I need to get out more--and I still haven't used it. Some of the movies I've wanted to see are the kind that come and go from the theaters in the blink of an eye.

The 3 you mention are on my list, and I think "Up In the Air" is still at the top.

My one question about "Blind Side"--is it one of those well-heeled-white family-saves-minority-kid flicks? I love a good up-by-the-bootstraps story, but that whole "noblesse oblige" thing can get old.

Top on my list was "The Road," but I don't think it made it out of "limited release." Anyone see it? How about "Pirate Radio"? I love Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Christie Ridgway said...

Kathleen: I think what redeems it from white-family-saves-minority kid is that the Sandra Bullock character questions that very thing. She wonders about her own motivations.

I want to see "Pirate Radio!" I think it was here and gone. "The Road" is around but I just looked into it and though I adore Viggo, not sure I want to see a post-apocalyptic movie, especially this time of year.

Lori said...

I loved The Blind SIde! Thought it was absolutely perfect. And the fact that the actor who played Michael had never acted before? He totally nailed it.

Brothers is high on my list for next week (I have the week off - yay!)

Kathleen Eagle said...

Christie, I hear you on the timing of "The Road." Hardly feel-good in theme, although it sounds like it's a terrific father-son story. And it sounds Biblical, but more OT (Job-ish?) than New. And Viggo is feel-good any time of year. Complete package--great looking, intelligent and talented. What a Renaissance man, huh?

Christie Ridgway said...

Lori: Come back and tell us what you think about "Brothers" after you see it.

Kathleen: Okay, maybe I'll have to see "The Road," just for the Viggo-factor!

Helen Brenna said...

I'm sure I'll see all three of these movies, but not sure when it'll get done. This seems like a busier than normal holiday season. Or is it just me?

Christie Ridgway said...

Helen: I feel v. busy. I had T-giving at my house, then my mom visited, then I a gave a big baby shower. Tonight is my book group meeting here, Son1 has his birthday on the 22nd, and we're going to Hawaii over Christmas.

And I still have some actual writing to do!

Debra Dixon said...

In Blind Side, the boy's primary tutor - Sue Michell - was a good friend of my mother's for years. We were at her house; she at ours.

She was a fabulous teacher and cared very much about her kids.

Mom got married and she and Sue drifted a part but it was a real charge when we found out this movie was coming out. It's obviously a big deal around these parts.

Emmanuelle said...

Ilove your movie selection Christie !
I watched the preview for It's Complicated on my computer and literally Loughed Out Loud. I said DH I have to go see that with my mom (you know because it really is a girl flick and all). Guess what he told me ? He asked me if It was ok to go and watch a movie that prones adultery... what could I say ??? (I'm sure gonna see it though... killjoy)

Christie Ridgway said...

Emmanuelle: It's Complicated looks so funny. I think we can handle the adultery because she's getting "her" husband back. I'm hoping the movie makes me not to think too hard about that part!

Emmanuelle said...

Exactly ;-)

Kathleen O said...

I want to see so many good movies that are out or coming out soon.. I am looking forward to Blindside, as well as Up in the Air.. And two that are coming out Young Victoria, with Emily Blunt.. and It's Complicated.. This one I think is going to be a really great chic flick to see.. I also want to see Nine.
I hope I can get to all these movies. My schedule is going to be pretty tight over the next few months, and getting to the movies might have to be low on the list..