Tag Archive: Stanley Tucci


My 2010 New Year’s resolution is “More leisure!” and I followed my own advice on Friday, stopped working early, and headed out for a girls’ afternoon/evening of fun.  First stop, a movie, followed by some barbecue and drinks.  What a treat!

We saw The Lovely Bones, the story of a 14-year-old girl who is murdered and then watches her family – and her murderer – as she floats in the “in between” until she can move on to heaven.  It was a bit intense for this group, all of whom (except me) are mothers of young children or teens and felt the fear, anxiety, and horror of the film’s premise as only a mother can.  An interesting discussion ensued over drinks later, including talk of mixed feelings about having adolescents see this film.  On the one hand, it portrays the need to be careful and follow one’s instincts about whom to trust in a visceral way that kids would take to heart; on the other hand, it could easily produce a pervasive fear of and permanent “skeevies” about all strangers, especially solitary neighbors.

Like all of director Peter Jackson’s work, this movie is worth seeing. It tells the story (from the novel of the same name by Alice Sebold) faithfully and poignantly, with only the minimum amount of sap needed to convey the feelings of a 14-year-old girl. The acting is excellent, especially from 15-year-old Saoirse Ronan (who played Briony in Atonement) as Susie Salmon; Susie’s siblings Lindsey (Rose McIver) and little Buckley (Christian Thomas Ashdale) are adorable and real; Susan Sarandon is a force of nature as the chain-smoking, alcoholic grandmother; Micheal Imperioli is realistic yet empathetic as the cop who tries to find Susie; and Stanley Tucci is just utterly creepy – I don’t think I’ve been this disturbed by a portrayal of a serial killer since Ted Levine’s morbidly marvelous performance in Silence of the Lambs!   Continue reading

The Xmas Vaca Movie-Watching Post

Over the holidays, I did some movie watching (gee, what a surprise) with the other movie freak in my family, my mom, and went to see a flick at the theater with her and also one with my brother.  It was a banner movie-watching holiday!  Here are some observations about these movies, old and new.

It’s Complicated Is Simply Funny

This is a silly film that could have been a throw-away in lesser hands. But the loads of talent involved in It’s Complicated makes it hilarious and very worth watching. Who would have thought that an older-set romance could be so much fun?  My favorite moment was probably when Meryl Streep, all giggly from realizing she’s having an affair with her ex-husband and even lying to her grown kids about it, catches herself and suddenly realizes how goofy she’s being — priceless facial expressions.  John Krasinski is adorable as the secret-keeping Harley.  B+

The Blind Side Is an After-School Special

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad film. But after all the hype I had heard, frankly I expected more. The Blind Side follows in the tradition of movies based on sports-connected true stories like Rudy and We Are Marshall but fails to inspire in the way that these films did. Why is that? One reason may be the lack of loquacity of its main character. Big Mike doesn’t talk much. It’s part of his character and makes sense, but it also makes it difficult for an audience to connect with him. The lack of connection is aggravated by other characters talking about and to him in simple terms. The after-school special feel of the film comes from its simplistic treatment of complex issues. It surely could not have been quite so easy for Leigh Anne Tuohy to get her family on board and to keep her household in order. Were there really no fights, no ill effects, no resistance? One small glitch is hinted at when Leigh Anne tells Michael he’s ruining the expensive couch he’s sleeping on, so she’ll clean out the guest bedroom for him. Perhaps it would have helped to see this damage and other understandable domestic complications, making the story more realistic at a visceral level. She’s also able to quiet friends and relatives with a “Shame on you” when they worry about “a large black boy” in the house with her young daughter. I don’t know many good friends or real family who wouldn’t storm over to see just how this situation was shaping up. Despite Oscar buzz, I see this as a rental.  C-  Continue reading

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