Christmas - New Year Week is a great time for movies. Have seen several and just wanted to give some quick notes:
Les Miserables (Tomatometer- 72%): Spectacular movie version of what I always saw as a much overblown musical. The music is terrific - as it was in the stage version - but here the storyline becomes much clearer and less hidden behind the staging. Victor Hugo's novel translates well with a great story. But it is the acting and singing that makes this such a spectacular cinema. They sang and acted together in this one and that makes the emotions real and intense, transferring the power to our experience. (I disagree with the Tomatometer on this one. I was not expecting to like it as much as I did. Easily a movie that should be in the 80s.)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Tomatometer- 77%): A wonderful British ensemble cast about "retirees" moving to India. Colorful and personable storyline that ended where I expected it to end, but there were lots of wonderful plots and stories that got us there that were entirely unexpected. Made me stop and think about the issues of getting older and retirement, since that is my age group. Charming and fun with lots of good quotes, the most famous being:
Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, then it's not yet the end.Arbitrage (Tomatometer- 84%): Richard Gere is as slimy as you can be in this high quality drama/mystery. Money, family, loyalty, business. It's all wrapped up in a fine dramatic show. No spoilers. It does treat the subject well. That's it. Gere is certainly in the running for a Best Actor nod.