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Uncle Barb's

I am a gay person before I’m anything else. I’m a gay person before I’m a white person, before I’m a Jew, before I’m a writer, before I’m American, anything.

-Larry Kramer-

I am a woman before I'm anything else.

-Uncle Barb-

Joy

View from the Couch - January 2014

Colette and Janney

When writing the original View from the Couch articles for Inside/Out Hudson Valley, as the deadline approached, I would sweat bullet points. Years away from that, I'm finding motivation to write these kind of articles again. So here is the latest edition.

Captain Phillips is the epitome of a film that didn't need to be made. Tom Hanks became the Captain and gave a great performance, but goddamn, the whole movie was loud and brutal, except for the first part with Catherine Keener that was boring. I would have been more interested in a story about what led up to the Somali's need to do this, the loss of their fishing incomes, the corruption of the warlords. It was a terrible event and Phillips may indeed have been a hero, but the show of military force was ultimately what this film was about. (CounterPoint from The Reel Charlie)

Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing is an absolute delight. The staging, the acting, the filmography are all just right. Amy Acker delivers a subtle, embodied, beautiful, funny performance as Beatrice and the rest of the cast are excellent too.

I'm a sucker for coming of age flicks and The Way Way Back amply satisfies that craving. Sweet and goofy with Toni Colette and Allison Janney, I am so there. Colette brings complexity to her characters in a way that other actors don't. As the Mom, somewhat peripheral to the story, she portrays all the conflicts and complications of having a life and being a mother. Janney was spot on as an inappropriate drunk. Duncan's story is sweet and Sam Rockwell's Owen is a philosopher extraordinaire. Finally, I just like Maya Rudolph. She's real.

Admission Truthfully, I don't even remember seeing this. Tina Fey, so you would think I would. I just looked up the synopsis and it is all coming back to me. I was right to empty my recycle bin.

Henry James is SEXIST, so what was I expecting other than sexism. What Maisie Knew starring Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan and Alexander Skarsgard is the story of irresponsible parents, but somehow dad gets a pass and Mom gets the guilt and who is the ultimate parental role model, why, it is Mom's handsome lover, Lincoln. 

ReelCharlie tipped me off to this one and since animation is not usually part of his viewing schedule, I listened. ParaNorman is top flight animation with a great story and heartwarming characters. 

Call the Midwife This is simply comfort food. Taking place in 1950s, post war London, the young mid-wives work in community service with nuns which portrays the social composition of the times as backdrop to personal stories. So far, I've seen two seasons and enjoyed them both.

Sally Potter is at her bleakest in Ginger & Rosa. I wanted to like this true to life depiction of young women on the cusp of the 70s. I adore Sally Potter's YES, rating it as one of the world's great works of art. Ginger & Rosa however left me morbidly flat.

Chris Colfer's freshman film Struck by Lightning is just okay, but it didn't suck.

Patrick Wang's In the Family sucked.

Enough Said Julia Louis-Dreyfess should have had a meatier role. She is funny and funny is as funny does and Holofcener didn't offer Julia much. And Catherine Keener should talk to the doctors about reducing her meds. Flat affect is not acting. The comparison between Please Give and Enough Said is like the difference between a light and crusty multigrain yeast bread and dough that didn't rise.

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