Monday, August 21, 2006
One thing we share is an ideal of beauty
Do you love Miss Toni Collette like I do? She's all over the cineplex right now, starring in the last two movies I've seen. Let's discuss them, shall we? The first is The Night Listener, which stars Robin Williams and Miss Collette, and these two leads put some good stuff up on the screen. For Williams, I think it's one of the best things he's done. I'm not a huge fan though, so that could be faint praise, but he's very good as a radio essayist who, while rebounding from a broken romance, gets wrapped up in the life of a sick boy and his mother. Miss Collette plays the mother and she is stunning. As thrillers go, though? The Night Listener-- not so thrilling. It does have some cool things to say about how we filter and edit our experiences until they little resemble what may have actually transpired. We all live in our own world and the next guy's version is a helluva lot different. The movie has some serious flaws in my opinion, but it's worth checking out for the performances alone. Not sold yet? Bobby Cannavale is in it and he's playing gay again. And he's still pretty. Yeah. Grab a pack of Junior Mints on your way in. Let me know what you think.Now for the main event. Like the first, this one is chock full of fabulous performances, but add to that better direction, a more coherent plot and a generous helping of yuks and guffaws and you have Little Miss Sunshine, y'all. It's the most fun I've had at the movies this summer. I think the casting director for this flick deserves an Oscar right now. Everyone is just spot on in this thing, from subtle glances to big scenery chewing stuff. A dysfunctional family roadtrips in a broken down van to get their daughter, Olive, to a child's beauty pageant after she pins all her chubby lil' hopes on it. Sounds pedestrian as plots go, and it might have been in lesser hands. I can't decide who I loved more in this. Toni C., sure, but Greg Kinnear (his best since As Good As It Gets), Steve Carell (I did NOT know he had it in him) and Alan Arkin (never fails to fascinate me) are fantastic. And the little girl who plays Olive, Abigail Breslin, will crack you up and break your heart. Seriously. It's a wonderful time at the movies. Thank me later.