Well, I only saw two more:
WALK HARD is very uneven. It has some really funny moments mocking Dylan, Brian Wilson, and the Beatles in India. But its main story mocking Johnny Cash is often just stupid and needlessly gross. The songs aren’t good enough and the acting is in a nervous, often annoying position between slapstick and something like serious. John C. Reilly has some talent, but not enough self-irony. You’ll leave the theatre longing for that Will Farrell touch.
ATONEMENT is a very classy and endlessly layered psychological study that connects with every English aristocratic virtue and vice, except those that have to do with God and ruling. In its own deep way it’s sort of a chick flick and not quite for me. But as far as I’m concerned it’s the best made movie of the year. As a man of undistinguished Irish and American stock, I have to admit to being a little tonedeaf to things classy and English.
So I tend to agree with many critics that JUNO is no. 1 and ATONEMENT no. 2 for the year. The more I think about Juno the more I admire it, and I’m managing not to think much about ATONEMENT. And I’m not forgetting CHARLIE WILSON’s war.
So, you might ask, why have you not seen NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, which as kind of tied JUNO across the critical spectrum for best picture of the year? When a movie is praised for its revelation of the nihilistic and violent core of human existence, I have the decency to wait until the twelve days of Christmas have past before satisfying my curiosity about what the brilliant Coen brothers have thought up now. But stay tuned.