Perhaps it’s not handsome, but there’s a weird sort of gratification when you read an article or review that agrees with something you’re already thinking. Such as Jason Anderson’s review in Eye of Away We Go, where he notes that “Even the least discerning and most pliant indie hipsters may have cringed at the poster for Away We Go. That cutesy, post-Juno graphic-design cocktail of photo, illustration and hand-drawn type was more than enough to indicate the movie’s target demographic even if star John Krasinski wasn’t pictured looking like a guy who sells merch at a Fleet Foxes show.” But of course, there’s more to a film than its poster, and Anderson proceeds to do a good job of making us reconsider our hard-set feelings brought up by our distaste for such a pandering poster, arguing for a film that’s well written by writing team Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, if slightly overdone by director Sam Mendes.
This week also sees the release of the best foreign-language film Oscar winner, the Japanese drama Departures. Considering it won against a strong selection that included Waltz with Bashir, you’d have to expect it to be something special, but amongst others the Star’s Peter Howell claims it won because “The Academy is a sucker for sentiment, and Departures very ably plays to it.”
Something that clearly hasn’t been treated with any sentimentality is The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, remade starring John Travolta and Denzel Washington for what appears to be absolutely no good reason—the original is such a perfect ’70s artifact it feels like trying to remake The Warriors, or something. “If the first movie was a reliable old local, faithfully making all the stops, the remake is an express train racing to its destination and missing everything in between,” says NOW’s Norm Wilner.
Also out this week: Everlasting Moments and Imagine That.