Monday, January 19, 2009

The disappearing magic of movies

For years, I was a huge cinema buff, seeing at least one release per week.  

But lately, not so much.  It just doesn't seem to be high on the list of preferred activities for Matthew and me, for several reasons. 

Foremost: Movies just aren't all that good these days, expecially for the price.  For instance, neither Matthew nor I was impressed with Doubt, which we saw this past weekend. The film, based on a hit play, centers on a psychological battle between a nun and a priest in the early 1960s over whether or not the priest molested a boy.  Although the acting is excellent (Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, with Amy Adams in a supporting role), it's a very bleak, austere film with no real conclusion.  It left us both with a feeling of vague dissatisfaction -- which, at $9.50 each, doesn't seem like such a great deal. 

Compare that to the exuberance and joy I felt after seeing Slumdog Millionnaire a couple of weeks ago.  Set in Mumbai, India, it was directed with style and verve by Irishman Danny Boyle.  This little "sleeper" of a film is absolutely breathtaking: A great story, wonderful acting, and incredible visuals (cinematography, editing, etc.).  I haven't loved a movie as much in many, many years.   

And it seems I'm not alone, for the film is garnering critical praise (including a recent Golden Globe for best picture) as it continues to pull in more and more viewers by word of mouth.  

Slumdog Millionnaire is pure, old-fashioned movie magic, so hard to find these days. Don't miss it. 


Matthew said...

I'm not ready to give up on the suspension of disbelief, but the crop of holiday movies doesn't seem to be up to par.

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