Monthly Archives: November 2006

FLANNEL PAJAMAS

Writer-director Jeff Lipsky?s sophomore effort (after 1997?s Childhood?s End) was a delightful, heart-warming, ultimately bittersweet romantic dramedy that literally traced the relationship Stuart (Justin Kirk) and Nicole (Julianne Nicholson) had over the course of a few years, starting with their mutual friends? set-up of the couple on a blind date, moving through marriage and marital troubles, attempted pregnancy, and an ending that is perhaps inevitable, but no less heartbreakingly real for it. A real sleeper!

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THE HISTORY BOYS

Alan Bennett adapted his own Tony-winning stage play for Nicholas Hytner (the director of Bennett’s 1994 play adaptation “The Madness of King George”). It concerns a group of Oxford-bound Sheffield boys who have a homosexual teacher (he gropes the kids on occasion) and are saddled with a young upstart (Stephen Campbell Moore from “Bright Young Things”) who is to coach them to their Oxford exams. Richard Griffiths is terrific as the gay English teacher who fondles and adores them. Funny and somehow never too unsettling, this is maybe the warmest film about sexual abuse ever made.

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HARSH TIMES

A shiftless loser of a film – about shiftless losers! The directorial debut of Training Day writer David Ayer is roughly as incompetent and unwatchable as its characters: a Gulf War vet (Christian Bale) with a dream of becoming law enforcement (in between bouts of getting high/drunk) and his friend (Six Feet Under’s Freddy Rodriguez) who is sponging off his own successful girlfriend (Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria). Bad performances abound amongst the talented cast, led by the usually reliable Bale, whose Latino accent is intermittent at best and practically non-existent at worst (it pops up largely when the character is high/drunk)! Bad, bad, bad movie…

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