Slim pickings this week, with one Oscar bait film opening and not much else of interest.
The Oscar bait is Nebraska (84) the latest from Alexander Payne. It’s a father/son road movie, which is not exactly new ground, but it’s nice for Bruce Dern to get some moments in the sun. Chris Nashawaty: “Nebraska isn’t a perfect movie. It’s often hard to tell whether Payne, an Omaha native, is paying heartfelt tribute to his vast stable of Cornhusker characters or slyly mocking them as simpleminded yokels.”
The most prominent multiplex film this weekend is The Best Man Holiday (59), which seems to indicate that films aimed at black audiences may finally be crossing over to white audience appeal, at least based on preliminary box office numbers. Nicolas Rapold: “Mr. Lee’s film is more traditional than its sexually frank humor might indicate, with faith and charity ultimately given pride of place (right alongside human pettiness). But even if some of the crudeness and the drama feel forced, it’s hard to hate.”
Charlie Countryman (29) looks like another bad movie on Shia LaBoeuf’s resume. I’m not sure what it’s about, but the reviews will keep me away (though Evan Rachel Wood does have a nude scene). Robert Abele: “Pulpy dross of surpassing dumbness, Charlie Countryman takes the blender approach to mixing dark adventure, doofus comedy and pie-eyed romance, but forgets to put the lid on when pulsed.”
A lot of documentaries this week: 12-12-12 (53), about the Sandy relief concert on that date; Dear Mr. Watterson (56), about the creator of Calvin and Hobbes; and The Long Island Railroad Massacre (NA). Can it really be almost 20 years that this crime took place?