Depressing pics open in time for the holidays
SNOW? Snow in New Orleans recently and then the biggest snow fall in 30 years in Las Vegas! What is this old world coming to? While the eccentricity of it may make us smile, there is no joy in Mudville over the “fun” films Hollywood has sent us lately.This December, we’ve seen a slew of depressing movies. Yes, many of them are totally brilliant and important. But even in a big sprawling unique drama like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” I found myself sobbing at the end and couldn’t get some of the sadder aspects out of my psyche for days. In the 1930’s Great Depression, they were making movies that made folks feel good in spite of their circumstances. Take “My Man Godfrey” for instance or “It Happened One Night.” But now — ? Consider the biggies: Will Smith’s “Seven Pounds,” described as both “gruesome” and “relentlessly depressing.” This from a great comic star! It’s all about the quandary of suicide. Then there’s “Revolutionary Road,” which goes into marital angst in the Fifties. You may never take on a serious relationship again after seeing this one with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. How about “The Reader,” which features an illiterate woman who seduces a teenager and goes on trial for war crimes in the aftermath of Hitler’s Germany. Really a fine film, but not an upper. Plus, “Doubt” – Catholic moralizing, guilt and fine acting to the nth degree. Of course, there is Tom Cruise and his historical “Valkyrie,” a true story about a failed plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler. And though they are pushing this as a James Bond thriller, it’s still depressing history. There’s an exception in the thriller category. I mean “Frost/Nixon,” which is dynamite and full of suspense and grand actors. Meanwhile, your kids have gone wild for vampire love in “Twilight.”
* * *WANT a last minute gift for the person who is perhaps a deserving “wannabe”? Drop by your bookstore and get the genius artist-writer Edward Sorel’s new one “The Mural at the Waverly.” This discusses the fabulous wall paintings Sorel has done for Graydon Carter’s smash hit restaurant in Greenwich Village. You can also buy Sorel’s caricatures of Americana (Uncle Sam and others) in the Metropolitan Museum. He is in a class by himself.
* * *CAROLINES on B’way, the comedy club, sends good wishes and tells us that Air Force One will now be known as “The Soul Plane”…that Lindsay Lohan admits she is not a thespian…that Tina Fey deserves a cabinet appointment … and suggests ego-bypass surgery for Kanye West. Caroline also wishes for more gold parachutes that “don’t open” and suggests the most precious gift of all is -laughter.