There Will Be Movies. Margot at the Movies. Movies in the Time of Cholera. P.S. I Love Movies.
In the interest of suspense, with only two months to go before it's time for Ten Best lists, I won't update or emend the midterm progress report that I published at the end of the summer. I will, however, update my viewing agenda, shuffling the categories a bit and making room for winter- and spring-quarter titles that I'm scrambling to find on DVD. If something knocked your socks off in 2007 and I haven't already seen it or listed it here, please give it a plug in the comments section. Otherwise, this is the pool... and though my year-end awards aren't as comprehensive or as devoutly followed as some people's, I hope to keep you interested as we head into the mass hysteria and delicious gratuitousness of awards season!
I'm Not There, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men
Redacted, Southland Tales, Margot at the Wedding, Youth without Youth, Persepolis, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
SOLID NUTRITIONAL VALUE
Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains (missed it), Starting Out in the Evening, I Am Legend, Darfur Now (missed it), The Price of Sugar, Atonement, Juno, Sweeney Todd, Honeydripper, The Orphanage
SMELLS FUNNY, BUT I'LL TRY IT
American Gangster, Enchanted, Love in the Time of Cholera, Charlie Wilson's War, Lions for Lambs, The Kite Runner, The Mist, Grace Is Gone
VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS (DVD)
Black Book, Ten Canoes, The Exterminating Angels, I Don't Want To Sleep Alone, Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams, 12:08 East of Bucharest, Offside, Private Property, God Grew Tired of Us, Broken English, The Namesake, Fay Grim, Days of Glory (Indigènes), Crazy Love, Paris, je t'aime
ONLY IF I'M NOT TOO FULL
The Great Debaters, For the Bible Tells Me So, The Golden Compass, P.S. I Love You (missed it), Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, The Walker (missed it), The Lookout, The Simpsons Movie
Before anyone asks, my Atonement problem springs from having read the book a week or two ago and finding it emotionally unpersuasive and arrogantly technical: it struck me that McEwan was pawning some of his own limitations as a writer onto his characters, so that his tendencies toward aridity and schematics become their foibles instead of hissymptoms of the writing passing themselves off, sometimes interestingly and sometimes not, as subjects of analysis. He spins a good yarn, with some evocative set-pieces in a French barn and a war hospital; unfortunately, though the writing is best in these passages (and because he's Up to Something, there are reasons for this), I wish the prose and the narrative logic were as gripping in the first half of the novel, where its heart seems to lie (in more ways than one!). I'm quite curious how Joe Wright will bring off certain characters and narrative turns, but the high-romantic pitch suggested by the trailer seems worrisomely wrong. Mainly Movies, who harbors the same misgivings about the book, has registered a lukewarm-at-best response to the film. I'm nervous. But I'm also compulsive, so I'll certainly see it, and I wish I could do so right. now. And if Vanessa Redgrave can do for the epilogue what she did for the prologue of Howards End, I'll have gotten my money's worth.