Its a real mixed bag this week at the movies. The Rundown, an action/buddy flick best served to 14-year-old wrestling fans might be a better choice than Under the Tuscan Sun , a chick flick in which Diane Lane goes through a divorce and learns to live again in Italy with a fresh young stallion lover. Or theres still Once Upon a Time in Mexico , the highly stylized shoot em up by director Robert Rodriguez with a confusing story thats salvaged by Johnny Depp (so hot right now) and Rodriguezs clever camera work. Really though, the clear winner this week is Sofia Coppolas Lost In Translation.
Coppulas directorial debut was The Virgin Suicides (2000) , a great movie adapted from the novel of the same name. Lost In Translation proves shes not only upped her game as a director, shes a natural screenwriter as well.
Translation stars Bill Murray as an American movie star making a whiskey commercial in Tokyo and Scarlett Johansson as a recent philosophy school graduate in Japan with her photographer husband. Both characters are feeling emotionally isolated within their lives and dislocated in their surroundings, the strange Japanese cityscape and culture. Really the film is about the pain of being lost and the intimate splendour of being found.
My intelligent, beautiful and incredibly witty friend Semele says, "Sofia really hits the nail on the head with girls like me. This movie is smart and minimalist, with a nice wry sense of humour. Its a sweet, compassionate look at characters lost in life and it perfectly captures the strange alienated feeling you get when you travel."
Of course, not everyone goes for this type of thing. So theres Duplex starring Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller as a young couple that move into a dream home and have to deal with a crusty old lady tenant who seems to be staying alive just to make their lives miserable. Its directed by Danny Devito and hes got the kind of nasty sense of humour needed to make really old people funny. Or you can get high and laugh at Jack Black in School of Rock, which starts this week.
At the Rainbow Theatre, their cheap prices make almost anything worthwhile, especially this time of year.
The DVD pick of the week is Confessions of a Dangerous Mind a possibly true story of Chuck Barris, a television producer with a night job as a CIA assassin. Directed By George Clooney, this movie is really good.
At Village 8 Oct. 3-9
Duplex, Foolproof, Lost in Translation, Matchstick Men, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, The Rundown, Out Of Time, School of Rock, Under the Tuscan Sun
At Rainbow Theatre Oct. 3-9
Pirates of the Caribbean