Thighs Wide Shut Thighs Wide Shut

Friday, October 10

Seacrest & Lies

Lucky Charms
Trailers & Mo

When a Mike Leigh film is released, without question, you should go and see it. The man is incapable of bad filmmaking, and if you've seen anything he's made, we're sure you'll agree. If the titles Naked, Vera Drake, All or Nothing, Meantime, Topsy-Turvy or Secrets & Lies don't sound familiar, then you need to familiarize yo-self with them pronto tonto! They all are rich works that explore the banality of everyday (British working class) life, rife with both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments that are so genuine you'll have a hard time ever forgetting them. The same is mos definitely true with his latest, Happy-Go-Lucky, although it's more on the heartwarming than breaking side. Leigh knows how to assemble a top notch ensemble cast (he's like a British Altman or Woody Allen), and has the magic touch to bring out especially amazing performances from his leading ladies. He's put brilliant, yet relatively little known (at least stateside) veteran actresses Imelda Staunton, Brenda Blethyn and Marianne Jean-Baptiste on the map, by guiding them all to their first (and in some cases, maybe last) Best Acting Oscar nomination. It will probably happen a 4th time with Sally Hawkins (a Leigh regular player, and last seen as Colin Farrell's neurotic lady in Woody's Cassandra's Dream), the happy-go-lucky title gal, who has been rightly buzzed about as one of the five possible females gunnin for the top spot at the 2009 Academy Awards. Her performance as the appropriately nick-named Poppy is a pure revelation, even more so than what Anne Hathaway done did in Rachel Getting Married (it's common knowledge that Hath's a great actress, but we guess she needed to stop being cast as a princess for everyone to realize it). Nothing can drag the lovely Poppy down, eggcept when she sees bad things happening to the students she teaches (the more tender bits of the film). When her bike gets stolen, she treats the news with a shrug and then carries on with her footloose and fancy free day. Ms Sunshine has run-ins with negative Nancies all over town (including her beyond no-nonsense driving instructor Eddie Marsan, another uber-brills Leigh regular) and she tries her best to raise a smile outta them all. While it doesn't work 100% with the grumpy Guses onscreen, it will with everyone off-screen. A splendid time is guaranteed for all, and tonight, Mr Kite won't be topping the bill

Happy-Go Hunting: czech out Leigh's extensive shooting locations tour that he gave Time Out London. we will, as soon as we complete our life's goal of visiting the Clockwork Orange locales

Verdictgo: Breast In Show

Body of Lies
Body Ardor
Trailers & Mo

The fictional modern warfare flicks they be puttin in theaters these days that star terrorism as public enemy #1 have been more dud-ly than Dudley Do-Right doing lots of wrong. We'd almos rather be sent to Guantanamo than sit thru Traitor, Rendition, War, Inc. or You Don't Mess With The Zohan again. And that's what makes Body of Lies a lot more enjoyable than it actually is. It's nuttin but a generic espionage thriller that's elevated to popcorn pleaser-land by Ridley Scott's usual solid direction (it's no 1984 Apple commercial, but hey what is?), Leo DiCaprio's dedication to his role (he speaks Arabic! yet wanders around the Middle East undercover wearing a baseball cap in land where no one wears baseball caps!), and a heckulva lot of explosions across the globe (although Bret and Jemaine are the true Boom Kings). Russell Crowe's the other marquee name, but he doesn't really add much tat all, considering he's mostly phoning in his performance. And we don't juss mean that figuratively, since he's the pencil pushing CIA guy back in the states calling the shots via his blue-toothed cellphone. His lack of presence is made up by admirable supporting work by Mark Strong (also crazy good in RocknRolla), Simon McBurney ('that guy' with 'that voice' whom we love oh so much) and Leo's Muslim Florence Nightingale, Golshifteh Farahani. Yesh, there's a lil Old/New world romance between Leo and a nurse, and while it may feel out of place with the rest of what's going on, it makes a nice diversion to the diversion that we're already watching. The film reminded us a lot of the Robert Redford-Brad Pitt burner Spy Game, which was not so oddly enuff directed by Ridley's brother Tony. Come to sphinx of it, this fluffy-nutter movie may have been better off in his brother's hands. Probably would been a bit mo flashy and fun, like Man On Fire and Domino. Come to sphinx of it part II, we kinda heart Tony more than we do Ridley, and that aint no lies, cause we have a Body of THIGHS!

AKA-47: although named after the book of the same name by David Ignatius, there were some other working titles for the film, including Penetration. wonder why they didn't run with that one? and what, Going Under Covers wasn't ever an option?

Verdictgo: Jeepers Worth A Peepers

Go-Lucky opens in limited release today, while Lies and The Duchess expands to play at a theater new jews

until next thyme the balcony is clothed...