Secret Sunshine is about a young widowed mother (Jeon Do-yeon) who moves to her late husband’s hometown to open up a piano school. Lee Chang-dong is a maestro of human emotion and authentic storytelling, which the existence of Poetry alone would prove, but which Secret Sunshine reinforces.
It’s Jeon Do-yeon who absolutely dominates this film, though, earning her Best Actress honors at Cannes.
The way she appears to have found peace is through Christianity, and it’s in the portrayal of this that Secret Sunshine fails its humanistic aspirations and turns partisan. It’s disappointing, because if Lee had afforded the Christian characters in the film with the same empathetic detachment as he normally does, his film would have been a far richer and more effective exploration of the themes it was after. Secret Sunshine is half a perceptive, incredibly acted drama about coping with extreme loss, and half a frustratingly reductive, ill-informed commentary on faith. Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly. Ryan Gosling's gift of physical comedy, combined with his fantastic chemistry with Russell Crowe, makes "The Nice Guys" worth a look. Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common.


When I began as a film critic, Jean-Luc Godard was widely thought to have reinvented the cinema with "Breathless" (1960). Simon Abrams and Odie Henderson celebrate the Rudy Ray Moore Blaxploitation classic "Dolemite," recently released on Blu-ray by the Vinegar Syndrome.
From Ben Stiller's pantomimes of romantic hesitation in its opening moments as Walter Mitty goes all J.
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For all that, I'm giving the movie two stars, which, in star speak, translates to "fair." I'm not doing this as a sop to anyone who might end up charmed by the sometimes winsome and always self-help-book-like particulars of Stiller's romantic fable, which is can-do optimistic in rather stark contrast to Thurber's highly pessimistic mini-parable. In "Tropic Thunder," that privilege was articulated via biting the Hollywood hand that fed him and telling the audience that it was getting what it deserved; here, the privilege manifests itself in Stiller's ability to take a big film crew to Greenland, Iceland, and a relatively safe stand-in for Afghanistan to impart some vague, semi-earnest be-here-now bromides to the paying customers.
Stiller plays the title character, a daydreamer so focused that even as he learns that he's likely to lose his job as a "negative assets handler" in the photo department of the real-life photo-driven Life (which ceased publication as a separate magazine in 2000, and was re-created as a newspaper supplement), he can't stop constructing fantasy scenarios involving the co-worker on whom he's crushing.
A missing negative from the magazine's star globe-trotting photog (Sean Penn) sets Mitty on his own real-life globe-trotting adventure in search of the photog, who can tell him where the missing shot is.
Along the way he makes the Very Important Discovery that, while his fantasies might in some ways exercise his imagination, they are in a certain sense holding him back.


While everything Stiller attempts here has a real professional polish, what "Mitty" lacks is any sense of what life might actually be like for the kind of "ordinary man" Mitty represents. Adam Scott's dismissive, ignorant bean-counter, a company man who's overseeing the shutdown of Life, comes off more like a nasty CAA agent than a publishing executive. And every now and then a Mitty fantasy will show its snide hand: there's an entirely beside-any-point "Benjamin Button" parody here that wouldn't pass muster as an MTV Movie Awards sketch. These sorts of incidental irritations, I began to notice, led me to some possible overpicking of nits, as in "I was in Iceland last winter, and everyone there speaks English almost perfectly, Stiller!"So again, there's a real question as to how reliable my assessment of "Mitty" as a weak-tea bunch of insincere pandering might be. On the other hand, your ability to swallow the movie's nth fake epiphany scored to the nth contrived-crescendo concoction by Arcade Fire or some other camouflaged emoting pomp rock outfit might not necessarily make you a better person than I.



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