Read the best movie reviews for the latest films showing in N Hollywood movie theatres including: Regency Theatre North Hollywood, Century 8, and Laemmle NoHo 7.
Another film being sold as a warm-hearted family Christmas film is Kirk Jones’ Everybody’s Fine, and though it is a good movie, it’s more of a quiet drama of a widower who finds that not all is not fine as he travels by bus (health issues prevent him from flying) to pay his family surprise visits after they renege on visiting him for the holidays. Robert DeNiro is excellent as the patriarch who makes some unsettling discoveries with each grown child he visits.
For genuine uplift, I direct you to Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, another in a remarkable run of Eastwood films (including Changeling),with an intelligent script from Anthony Peckham (from John Carlin’s book) and an excellent performance from Morgan Freeman as the newly-elected South African president—and former inmate–Nelson Mandela. Facing challenges from a torn nation beset by lingering racial tensions, unemployment and crime, Mandela resolves to unify the nation through—rugby.
If you’re looking for a feel-good film for the holidays, Up in the Air is not it, despite the jaunty nature of the nonstop television ads. Jason Reitman, working from his and Sheldon Turner’s script, from Walter Kirn’s novel, creates an arresting yet ambivalent portrait of a smooth frequent-flyer who has spent his life avoiding personal connections, while racking up the miles by working for a company that has prospered- namely by firing employees for firms without the wherewithal to do it themselves. The film is graced by a winning George Clooney performance as a downsizer/motivational speaker (how’s that for a winning combination) who –when he isn’t preparing terminated employees for a life of “unlimited possibilities”, is motivating others to get rid of the excess baggage in their lives (I do believe there are some not-so-subtle metaphors here).