Original screenplays in the mix

'Happy-Go-Lucky,' 'Synecdoche, New York,' 'Frozen River,' 'In Bruges,' 'Seven Pounds'

Alternating between Sally Hawkins’ uberjovial Poppy and Eddie Marsan’s combustible driving instructor Scott, Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky” aims for and, ultimately, reaches a satisfying middle ground.

Charlie Kaufman’s Escher-esque look at mortality, “Synecdoche, New York” is ambitious, dense and unconventional — all the things cineastes complain they don’t get from Hollywood. Unfortunately some found it impenetrable.

Frozen River,” from debut writer-director Courtney Hunt, also tackles poverty, race relations and human smuggling with neither a heavy hand nor a bleeding heart. Pic won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance and already has a screenplay nom from the Spirit Awards.

Seven Pounds,” from Grant Nieporte, manages to surprise without feeling cloying or forced. Nothing is wasted in this story of a mysterious man with the power to drastically affect the lives around him.

A conversational, Mametian character study about squabbling hitmen hiding out in a sleepy Belgian town, “In Bruges,” from writer-director Martin McDonagh, struck a surprisingly effective balance between violent black humor and dramatic heft.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety