LANDLINE

Watch enough movies and trends start to develop. One of the major ones: Love is hard; fidelity is harder. And as time wears on it becomes harder. At least for Tom (John Turturro), a middle-aged father of two daughters who has been having an affair. When his youngest, Ali (Abby Quinn), discovers his extra-curricular activities, she is more devastated to learn that it’s not simply a physical relationship, but an emotional one as well. The eldest, Dana (Jenny Slate), should be equally disturbed, but she is also stepping out on her fiancé with an old flame. Ali isn’t exactly surprised, … Continue reading LANDLINE

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS

Twenty-one years ago, Toy Story started a revolution. Not as a breakthrough in computer animation — though it was that as well — but as a breakthrough in imagination. What went on when our backs were turned? Once we left the room and shut off the lights, would inanimate objects spring to life, establish political systems, social hierarchies, develop romantic relationships and carry grudges? It’s a romantic notion to turn objects into friends with personalities, but those personalities are only as inventive as the humans who conceive of them. That is what makes Toy Story, and its subsequent sequels, so … Continue reading THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS

ZOOTOPIA

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” —Cinderella, 1950 The Walt Disney Corporation is a company built upon a foundation of wishes and dreams. Be it a wish to find Prince Charming, for adventure, for a genie’s freedom, a chance to be a real boy or to never grow up, Disney has personalized the American Dream since Snow White sang into that well back in 1937. As animator Marc Davis once pointed out, making those dreams come true, turning those wishes into reality, has been consistent ever since: be a good person and be kind to animals. Those two … Continue reading ZOOTOPIA

OBVIOUS CHILD

Obvious Child is being billed as the abortion rom-com of the year. It is a romantic comedy centering on an abortion, but that tag is far too reductive. Obvious Child plays like a rom-com in reverse, with the final scene functioning as one of the most adorable “meet cutes” I have seen in a long time. A reminder that real life does not follow the typical plot point, three-act structure we hope for. Godard once said that, “A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order.” Such is life. Donna (Jenny Slate) … Continue reading OBVIOUS CHILD

Movie Beat – 06.06.14

Borgman – It starts with a bang: Borgman (Jan Bijvoet) is on the run because a group of heavily armed priests are hunting him down. They locate his lair, force him out and he escapes just barely. He then comes to a suburban family’s house and asks them for a bath. They turn him away. He returns as a gardener and they accept him into their home and lives. Big mistake. Taking place in modern-day Netherland, this morality tale is played out with some very high stakes. Co-starring Hadewych Minis, Jeroen Perceval, Sara Hjort Ditlevsen, Eva van de Wijdeven and … Continue reading Movie Beat – 06.06.14