Character actor Peter Riegert offers up a modest, if somewhat haphazard, feature length directorial debut that capitalizes on his strengths as a performer but, like most supporting roles, falls victim to irrelevancy. Overcome by midlife malaise, an aging salesman’s behavior becomes more and more erratic, leading him into comically self-destructive adventures. Riegert is terrific and Eric Bogosian makes a hilariously memorable appearance as a low-rent rabbi. Unfortunately, the episodic and unfocused nature of the story robs the film of dramatic urgency.
Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel’s latest film is clearly influenced by the work Pedro Almodóvar (who’s an executive producer for this film). However, it boasts a dizzy, dreamlike quality that leaves the audience disoriented and, unfortunately, emotionally unmoved, in this story of a twisted love triangle involving mother and daughter.
The shop combines breads and an array of fancy pastries sold at the counter, with a short menu of crêpes, sandwiches and salads served at glass-topped tables. It opens for breakfast and stays open until midnight on weekends for the post-movie crowd across the street at the Uptown Palladium 12. Cannella uses sturdy No. 6 boxes that are bad for the environment but good at protecting the pastries, so carry-out delicacies are secure.
The only saving grace about this Chinese lesbian romantic comedy is the sight of two silky-haired young women making out. Unfortunately, these scenes are not shown often enough; instead, the film delivers a stream of clichés about Chinese-Americans.
After the near perfection of his last film, Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki delivers another animated marvel filled with dazzling imagery and imaginative set pieces. Too bad the script is such a mess. A young girl, magically transformed into a 90-year-old woman, seeks help from the mysterious Howl, a handsome magician with mystical problems of his own. Burdened with innumerable and subplots, the film’s astonishing visual sense are almost undermined by an overcomplicated and nonsensical plot. Luckily, the filmmaker offers up enough visual delights to overcome the story’s biggest flaws.