Monday, December 28, 2009

In Theaters: The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond

Opening on Wednesday: The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, directed by Jodie Markell

Is that supposed to be a picture of Bryce Dallas Howard? I guess we'll have to see the movie to find out... or the trailer.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Complicated

Opening this weekend: It's Complicated, directed by Nancy Meyers

Synopsis from

An aged, divorced mother becomes "the other woman" in her ex-husband's life when the pair enters into an unexpected affair during an out-of-town trip. Jane (Meryl Streep) has been divorced from Jake (Alec Baldwin) for a decade. The mother of three grown children, she owns a successful Santa Barbara bakery/restaurant and maintains a friendly relationship with Jake, who has since been remarried to the much younger Agness (Lake Bell). Jane and Jake are attending their son's college graduation when they agree to an innocent meal together. Before long a simple dinner date has erupted into an all-out affair, and when architect Adam (Steve Martin) falls for Jane, he realizes he's been drawn into a most peculiar love triangle. Is love sweeter the second time around, or should Jane and Jake just be happy with what they had, and finally move on with their lives?

The movie's website is here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

In theaters now: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, directed by Betty Thomas

Probably the less said about this one, the better. Trailer, please!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Under the Eightball

Opening in New York this weekend: Under the Eightball, directed by Breanne Russell and Timothy Grey

From the synopsis on the movie's website:

In 1951 at Fort Detrick, Maryland,  construction crews built a hollow metal sphere four stories high. Inside germ weapons were to be exploded, creating mists of infectious aerosols for testing on animals... and people. Employees called it the eight ball.     

In the summer of 2006 my sister Lori was afflicted with an illness that, ten months later, has yet to be definitively diagnosed. Less than one year ago she had full function of her body, regularly riding bicycles, swimming and gardening with her son Jackson. One day, while helping Jackson onto his bicycle her leg gave way beneath her and she collapsed. Although it felt no different it just wouldn’t respond. 

She quickly sought treatment for what she thought was simply a pinched nerve. However, after seeing a specialist she was told that due to the quickly lost muscle function Guilian Barre Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease, could be the culprit. She was started on a rigorous and extremely expensive course of intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG, which boosts antibodies to help the good guys fight the bad guys. But why after a month of treatments, when improvements should be seen in a few weeks, was Lori not getting better but getting worse?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Netflix It: Walking and Talking

I'm very excited to hear Nicole Holofcener is coming out with a movie (Please Give) in 2010; her movies are always honest and thought-provoking, at the very least. Watch this space for more info...

Available from Netflix: Walking and Talking, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener

Synopsis from

A Manhattan woman struggles with loneliness in the face of her best friend's imminent marriage in this well-received independent comedy from first-time writer-director Nicole Holofcener. Amelia (Catherine Keener) feels isolated because her friend Laura (Anne Heche) has been devoting all her time to preparing for her upcoming wedding. Desperate, she resorts to the unthinkable: dating the nerdy, Fangoria-obsessed clerk at her local video store (Kevin Corrigan). This discouraging encounter, along with some awkward conversations with her former boyfriend, leave her even more depressed and jealous of Laura's good fortune. However, Laura soon reveals that she is having her own doubts about her future.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Netflix It: But I'm a Cheerleader

Available from Netflix: But I'm a Cheerleader, directed by Jamie Babbit

Synopsis from

In this satire, parents who are worried that their children might not be walking the straight and narrow path discover a rehabilitation camp designed to curb alternative lifestyles. Megan (Natasha Lyonne), a high school student and member of the cheerleading squad, seems like an ordinary enough teenage girl, but her habit of honestly expressing herself and lack of romantic enthusiasm for her boyfriend convince her very repressed parents, Peter (Bud Cort) and Nancy (Mink Stole), that Megan is becoming a lesbian. So Megan is shipped off to True Directions, a camp for gay and gay-leaning teens, where Mary Brown (Cathy Moriarty) attempts to deprogram kids with homosexual tendencies. The first step in the process is to get each teen to admit to their homosexuality, which Megan is loath to do, since she doesn't believe she's a lesbian -- or at least she didn't think so before she met her new friend Graham (Clea DuVall), who seems quite sure that she likes girls. Meanwhile, Mary's son Rock (Eddie Cibrian) may be exempt from the camp's activities, but he turns more than a few heads among True Directions' male inmates. Noted female impersonator RuPaul appears as a camp guide, and Julie Delpy has a cameo as a "lipstick lesbian."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Netflix It: Oscar and Lucinda

Available from Netflix: Oscar and Lucinda, directed by Gillian Armstrong

Synopsis from

Australian director Gillian Armstrong directed this Laura Jones adaptation of Peter Carey's 1988 Booker Prize-winning novel. In a lengthy flashback, Oscar Hopkins' great grandson (Geoffrey Rush) narrates the family history that led to his birth. On an Australian farm, Lucinda Leplastrier was tutored by her intelligent mother, a woman who took part in the early feminist movement. Oscar's lonely boyhood in rural England was under the watchful eye of his preacher father. At Oxford to train as a minister, the adult Oscar (Ralph Fiennes) feels he doesn't fit in and develops a passion for gambling, giving his winnings away to the poor. Oscar and Lucinda (Cate Blanchett) meet aboard a ship; he's off to the outback to work as a missionary, and she's returning from London after buying equipment for her glass factory. As mutual misfits, they have an instant attraction and quickly grow close, developing a romantic relationship based on trust. However, the Rev. Dennis Hasset (Ciarán Hinds) and Lucinda are friends, sharing an interest in glass. Convinced they are in love, Oscar embarks on an unusual and difficult task, building a glass church for the reverend, an ambitious project to attempt in the remote wilderness.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Article about Women Directors (or the lack thereof) in the New York Times

I would just like to point out that all the films this article mentions have been featured in this blog...

Hannah Free

Opening this weekend: Hannah Free, directed by Wendy Jo Carlton

Synopsis from the film's website:

Hannah and Rachel grew up as little girls in the same small Midwest town, where traditional gender expectations eventually challenge their deep love for one another. Hannah becomes an adventurous, unapologetic lesbian and Rachel a strong but quiet homemaker. Weaving back and forth between past and present, the film reveals how the women maintained their love affair despite a marriage, a world war, infidelities, and family denial.

Friday, December 4, 2009

In Theaters: Serious Moonlight

Opening this weekend: Serious Moonlight, directed by Cheryl Hines

Until the Light Takes Us

Opening this weekend: Until the Light Takes Us, directed by Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites

Synopsis from the film's website:

Part music scene and part cultural uprising, black metal rose to worldwide notoriety in the mid-nineties when a rash of suicides, murders, and church burnings accompanied the explosive artistic growth and output of a music scene that would forever redefine what heavy metal is and what it stands for to other musicians, artists and music fans world-wide. Until The Light Takes Us goes behind the highly sensationalized media reports of "Satanists running amok in Europe" to examine the complex and largely misunderstood principles and beliefs that led to this rebellion against both Christianity and modern culture. 

To capture this on film, directors Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell moved to Norway and lived with the musicians for several years, building relationships that allowed them to create a surprisingly intimate portrait of this violent, but ultimately misunderstood, movement. The result is a poignant, moving story that’s as much about the idea that reality is composed of whatever the most people believe, regardless of what’s actually true, as it is about a music scene that blazed a path of murder and arson across the northern sky.

Before Tomorrow

Opening this weekend: Before Tomorrow, directed by Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu

Synopsis from

Canadian history comes to poetic life on the big screen as directors Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu team to adapt Danish author Jørn Riel's novel about a mid-19th century Inuit family whose lives are forever changed with the arrival of Europeans on their native soil. It's summertime, a time when Inuit communities come together to share food and tell stories, and for the young to get married. Ningiuq (Ivalu) and her best friend, Kuutuguk (Mary Qulitalik), are elders in one such community, and when Ningiuq gets word that the Europeans are advancing she fears for the future of her people. But Ningiuq has a more immediate problem to worry about as well; Kuutuguk has fallen gravely ill, and it looks as if she won't live to see another winter. After returning from a fishing excursion with a rather bountiful catch, Ningiuq, her grandson Maniq (Paul-Dylan Ivalu), and Kuutuguk prepare to dry the fish. Alone on a remote and uninhabited island, the trio waits for someone from their tribe to arrive and guide them back home. When no one appears to do so, Ningiuq and Maniq decide to set off for home while Kuutuguk waits behind. Unfortunately Ningiuq has a foreboding feeling about the journey, and she's about to discover just how accurate her instincts truly are.

The film's website is here.