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James Joyce's Women

Accessible James Joyce
This is a wonderful film. Fionnula knows her stuff and she can help you know it too. It's been several years since I saw it, but there are some scenes that come to mind so easily and vividly. If you find James Joyce a challenge, as I do, this film makes his work accessible. 10/10!

Punch-Drunk Love

thought-provoking movie - what IS it about??
I had read good reviews but was concerned it was just hype - do I want to waste my time watching usually-obnoxious Adam Sandler (Opera Man, folk singer, Water Boy, ad nauseam) do his witless schtick?

Well, some friends said it was interesting, so...

This is a thought-provoking movie - what IS it about??

Why the truck crash at the beginning, the harmonium, the angelic woman, the "unbreakable" breaking toilet plungers, the pudding, etc? It's something like a dream (the shifting, fantastical colours between scenes are reminiscent of just before wakening in a bright room or moving in and out of consciousness); or perhaps, an after-life experience - the proverbial white light; or something like Pee-wee's Big Adventure - little boy trying to find his way - who better than Adam Sandler?

This isn't to be taken literally - mostly it reminds me of some of my weirder dreams (maybe it's time to re-read Carl Jung's dream symbolism book). Or, are they just putting us on? I don't think so - it's about becoming conscious - seeing and being seen - I'm not sure they succeed, but it was interesting - not one of your laugh-out-loud comedies, but funny, in ways.

I wonder how they're going to take this in France - is Sandler the new existential Jerry Lewis? That I gotta see!

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Reasonably enjoyable
If you're Greek, you'll enjoy this movie. I watched with several Greeks (they understood the Greek dialogue) and they were laughing uproariously throughout; that was fun to see. There were light laughs for me, but the movie was full of cliches - homely girl and cute guy, quirky father, stolid white-bread parents, etc. - and hardly any attempt to delve into what motivates the characters - what exactly is the attraction between the two, for instance? But, overall, it was reasonably enjoyable.

P.S. This movie was shot in Toronto which has a vibrant Greek community (Pappas Grill, one of my favourite restaurants, can be seen in some background shots) - I wish they'd had the balls to actually place it there instead of pretending that it's Chicago - maybe one day.

Belle Epoque

What an amusing, beautifully done movie. Just this one point to add: it has a father who is neither dysfunctional nor a buffoon but a wise, compassionate mentor offering subtle, wry commentary throughout - how refreshing. I laughed the whole way through.

The Business of Strangers

disappointing, lame & preposterous
Given the reviews I read of this, I was looking forward to an intelligent depiction of generational conflicts in the business world featuring the most charming Stockard Channing. She doesn't disappoint, but this movie has an unbelievable plot device that is quite preposterous given the nature of the characters involved. As it unfolded, I kept muttering, "No way, they're not going to do this...', but yeah, they did. There was potential for something really interesting here, but it devolved into something quite lame.

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