ALL CONTESTANTS MUST ENTER THE NUMBER OF OSCARS FOR THE BEST PICTURE!
This is the time of year when many can gobble up filmatic treats of the past season; the nominees for the Academy Awards or see the modest and mundane; it is a comfortable hiatus before the next blitzkrieg of film invasions.
“THE WAY BACK”
Director Peter Weir directs this film loosely based on Slavomir Rawicz’s “The Long Walk”; Rawicz’s relates his WWII escape and trek from a Siberian gulag to India with five others; 4,000 miles of savage, excruciating endurance. Regardless of the veracity of his experience it is the recipe for a magnificent adventure, delivering a fusillade of enormous physical and psychological challenges. It is breathtaking in scope, a travelogue of compelling landscapes: Gobi Desert and the Himalayas shimmer, shiver, and seethe, stunning, saturated beauty.
Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, Saorise Ronan and the entire cast fester and shrink as the debilitating miles demand an enormous toll for freedom.
This is entertainment worth at least………..
Expecting nothing, I was surprised that I was engrossed with the issue depicted, the dilemma that everyone, if placed in a similar situation, must rely on the trustworthiness of their instincts to dictate what path to tread. Do you tell a good friend if you know their spouse is cheating?
Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly give credible performances. Winona Ryder has the scene- stealer justifying the price of admission; it is inspiring to see someone rising from the ashes of humiliation, climbing and competing on the treadmill of triumph.
“The Dilemma” is flawed but intriguing.
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!
“NO STRINGS ATTACHED”
It is a travesty that “Dumb & Dumber” has been appropriated; because there could not be a better title for this supercilious, inane inconsequential film. Natalie Portman (Emma) and Ashton Kutcher (Adam) are metaphors for the narcissistic, self-gratifying, noncommittal relationships of today’s contemporary culture; pedestrian platitudes prevail; the sanctity of intimacy denigrated to a few rutting moments, love or accountability absent. You would be better served by seeing “From Prada to Nada” (based on Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”) a predictable and shallow tableau but leaves room for romance, possibly a future. Even with strings, Emma and Adam do not stand a chance and neither did the audience.