My daughter wrote movie reviews in college, but now she doesn't have any outlet other than her blog. Here are a couple in case anyone is interested:
Juno: A++ I know I posted briefly about this, but I saw it again with my dad, and it's risen even higher in my estimation. It's pretty much perfect. The cast once again is spectacular -- Ellen Page (Wilby Wonderful), Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera (Arrested Development, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons (The Closer) -- and the writing is fresh and inventive and a sort of clever that grows on you the more you think about it.
The most absorbing aspect -- (The story, in case you've been in a box or something, is of 16-year-old Juno who accidentally gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption to the Lorings (of the Pennysaver Lorings)...) -- is the way Juno realizes she doesn't have the whole situation well in hand. When her baby's adoptive father turns out to be less than pure of heart, she's totally out of her depth, and everything about her, from body language to facial expressions, communicates that. George Michael Cera is as always beautifully shy and awkward.
There's just something so captivating...and odd...about this teenage girl and the mildly disfunctional world she lives in. The language, as I said before, is fresh and inventive (Honest to blog?!) .... If I had to categorize it, I'd put it on the shelf between "Ghost World" and "Napoleon Dynamite." So you should see it, basically.
* * * * * *
Enchanted: A It was a last minute Christmas-Eve selection, and I'm pleased to say that it hit every one of my romantic-disney-fairytale-squeal buttons. It opens in what first seems to be an alarmingly unironic animated land, where Giselle (Amy Adams) inhabits an animal-inundated treehouse and her prince, Edward (James Marsden, of lunch at PJ Clarke's fame http://mkp-hearts-nyc.livejournal.com/77949.html
) fights ogres and dodges his stepmother (Susan Sarandon) and his mother's minion, Peter Pettigrew Timothy Spall.
A little bit of through-the-looking-glass and out-of-the-Times-Square-sewer and all four eventually find themselves in real-world New York (I'm proud to say I recognized every single Central Park location...). Giselle stumbles into the path of Patrick Dempsey (who, seriously, is indecently handsome. He's like a Paler Editorion of George Clooney. Yum), a single father and divorce attorney who's lost faith in love yet is about to get engaged to his girlfriend of five years, Rent/Wicked's Idina Menzel... And that's about as thick as the plot gets.
Which is totally ok. The visuals are lush, and all the self-referencing is done with a much lighter touch than the hammer-heavy Shrek franchise even attempted. Any girl with a disneyfied childhood will recognize the shape of Sleeping Beauty's animated gown, Cinderella's soap bubbles, the island rhythms of the Little Mermaid (music by Alan Menken) or...all of Snow White's plot points....
Essentially you've got a picture-perfect princess-to-be stuck in a jaded city, and a bunch of city residents who don't quite know what to do with her....And it's hilarious. My favorite moments were when Giselle songfully summons an army of roaches and pigeons and rats to clean up Dempsey's apartment, and the way she harvests his curtains and bedsheets to handsew herself some sweet peasant girl ensembles each morning. Love it.