Last thoughts…

Rather than yield to the temptation of posting resolutions for which I’ll be accountable in public, and inspired by Mark Richardson and Eric Harvey‘s own remarks about originality and its discontents let me add a shibboleth to the short list couple of points I made a few months ago: confusing press releases for criticism, orContinue reading “Last thoughts…”

Divorce, Romanian style: Tuesday, After Christmas

The pillow talk, tangle of limbs, reveling in a lover’s nudity for its own sake — what distinguishes Tuesday, After Christmas from other films about infidelity is the way in which Romanian director-cowriter Radu Muntean allows his characters to enjoy themselves before rushing to judgment; he is not one of those scolds for whom theContinue reading “Divorce, Romanian style: Tuesday, After Christmas”

Melancholy, Xmas edition: Metropolitan

Although the formal evening wear look rented from a costume shop and scenes aren’t so much photographed as stumbled upon, Metropolitan is a minor masterpiece. Rare is the movie that attempts a tone and style and achieves it. James Wolcott: The poignance of the film–akin to the poignance of Barry Levinson’s Diner–is our understanding thatContinue reading “Melancholy, Xmas edition: Metropolitan”

Hot and cold: Young Adult

The first half hour is the best work of Jason Reitman’s career: taut and mordant. Concluding that she needs her high school flame Buddy (Patrick Wilson, in one of the more compelling impersonations of defeated suburban blankness in recent years) back in her life, ghost writer of young adult fiction and dipsomaniac Mavis Gary (CharlizeContinue reading “Hot and cold: Young Adult”

The one percenters

Our legislative satraps: While the median net worth of members of Congress jumped 15 percent from 2004 to 2010, the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans remained essentially flat. For all Americans, median net worth dropped 8 percent, based on inflation-adjusted data from Moody’s Analytics. Going back further, the median wealth ofContinue reading “The one percenters”

Too cute for words: The Artist

Silent movies aren’t a genre, they’re a method. All the genres we recognize — westerns, sci-fi, crime pictures, comedies, melodrama — existed in 1927. The Artist gets this wrong from the beginning: it doesn’t know what it is except a brilliantined nod of the head whose novelty dissipates after a hundred long minutes. Writer-director MichaelContinue reading “Too cute for words: The Artist”

“What anonymous sludge lurks underneath the nice people I see and talk to every day”

Maura in the weeklong Village Voice roundtable on the year in music: I grew up listening to and loving music that was vicious to women, to the point where I would often sublimate my femininity and identify with the dudes singing, and then I had my feminist awakening but still listened to the Afghan WhigsContinue reading ““What anonymous sludge lurks underneath the nice people I see and talk to every day””