I saw “Amadeus” when it first came out and I was a kid. I don’t remember much beyond the powdered wigs and the music that my frustrated piano teacher was trying to teach me — only it sounded better. Then I kept seeing it near the top of the all-time high movie review scores on Metacritic.com. So I saw it again. I think I understood it a whole lot better now than when I was 10. It’s a beautiful and well-produced movie, but I had to check back on Metacritic to see if anyone else found the accents really distracting. I loved “2012.” I can suspend disbelief, but somehow a bunch of supposed Germans and Austrians speaking English in American accents. To make it worse, there are a couple of Italians who speak in heavy Italian accents. Once I got past that, though, it was a great movie — and worth watching the director’s cut. I’m not sure how it could have been just as good if it were 20 minutes shorter.
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It’s probably mostly timing, but “Away We Go” struck a chord with me. It’s the story of a lovely lady (played unremarkably by SNL’s Maya Rudolph) who is pregnant with one girl of her boyfriend’s (played a little more remarkably by Jim from “The Office”). They strike off to look for a new home and a new life, and figure out when they will go from being “fuckups” to grownups.
I somehow missed the release of this movie even though I like John Krasinski (admittedly his “Office” character jumped the shark long before the rest of the show when he became a prank-free and serious manager guy) and director Sam Mendes’ “American Beauty” is one of my favorite movies of all time. I also understand Dave Eggers is quite a writer (someday I will get around to reading “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius”).
It’s probably for the best, because I had pretty low expectations going in, thinking that such a great writer and director would have been showered with praise if the movie was as great as the sum of its parts. It doesn’t quite hit the mark. All the secondary characters (the new age childhood friends, the obnoxious work pal, the lonely sister and the sad college pals who can’t have kids) are disappointingly one-dimensional. But I don’t think I am alone in being able to really sympathize with the 30something main couple who can’t quite figure out how to be adults.