Except for a few scenes, painfully funny, most of “Frances Ha” is not a comedy, no matter how the producers try to sell it. Perhaps feminism is to blame: after all, for years, we ranted that women deserve as much of a chance to get away with being idiots and slaggards as men do.
What filmmakers have never understood is that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel is not about the parties. Their hands get all sweaty at the idea of filming those grand, balloon-filled ballrooms. The Great Gatsby is a classic because it’s not just a backdrop brought forward, not just about showering shirts down from a magnificent closet.
Immediately after a photo of an atom bomb’s mushroom cloud, the prologue of “Ginger and Rosa” moves from Hiroshima 1945 to London 1945 in a maternity ward where two women reach out to each other as they labor and where two men sit apart on benches in a dark hall.
Do not expect to find the quirky character that Tina Fey usually plays in the admissions director she plays in “Admission.” This is not a role that depends on silliness as much as it does on the pedestrian, on figuring out who you are after years of following the textbook.
Where do you turn for succor when you are lost? Alina, a young Romanian woman, returns to her love, her sister by choice, her dear friend, Voichita. Alina arrives from Germany, where she’s run from her foster family, taken in just for the work she can provide. She sees Voichita and runs to her.
The title refers to a station along the metro-rail lines of San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit system. The film, based on a true story, opens in that station with a row of screaming white police officers threatening a row of black men, forced to sit against a wall.
For years, the film industry ignored the 65- to 88-year-old demographic on the theory that we did not have discretionary money to throw at the silver screen after our hair turned silver. Now that this demographic is one of the few that still goes to the movies off-line, we're being wooed.
It matters little that Sebastian Silvio, the writer/director of "Crystal Fairy," also wrote and directed "The Maid," a little masterpiece. It matters only that he thought a moment in his own life would make a dandy little film, and, further, that he thought that moment and that film would interest anyone. It does not.
That is 2 as in the number, the second in a series, not "t-o-o," as in "also." This film gives sequels a good name although it's hardly "Godfather II." It picks up where "Despicable Me" left off, that is, with the main character, named Gru, becoming a family man.
Yes, it's derivative, and, yes, it's violent with bullets going through foreheads, bang in the bangs. Yes, it's vulgar with the F bomb dropping like acid rain. But "The Heat" is also delightful. Just watching Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock bash each other, verbally and physically, is worth a lot.
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I'm a co-DJ on Literature for the Halibut.
I grew up listening to KDHX since I can remember.
Sleater-Kinney is my favorite band (I think).