An intriguing awards story this year is whether “This Is 40” — can reach beyond the Golden Globes comedy-musical category into the Oscars. Here’s the start of Justin Chang’s just-published review for Variety:
Judd Apatow’s instincts have rarely been sharper, wiser or more
relatable than in “This Is 40,” an acutely perceptive, emotionally
generous laffer about the joys and frustrations of marriage and middle
age. Boasting the empathy, texture and underlying seriousness that have
characterized the filmmaker’s output, this warts-and-all family portrait
is anchored by splendid turns from Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, reprising
their already full-bodied supporting roles from “Knocked Up.” Although a
more mature work than its 2007 predecessor in every sense, “This” is
still a bracingly ribald, foul-mouthed affair that will score as a
year-end crowdpleaser and home-format favorite. …
Not only is the film an interesting possibility for picture and original screenplay honors, not only is Leslie Mann a candidate for lead actress, but Albert Brooks has growing support in supporting actor.
My main complaints with the film were that its idea of financial crisis was a bit north-of-San Vicente myopic (though I do concede everything’s relative when it comes to anxiety), and that a few scenes didn’t quite ring as true to me as others. Overall, though, writer-director Judd Apatow continues to deliver really thoughtful and entertaining work.