Movie Diary 3/23/2009

Starlift (Roy Del Ruth, 1951) and Tea for Two (David Butler, 1950). Two more from the new Doris Day box set; Tea is a goony backstage thingie, Starlift a long out-of-print parade of guest stars in a let’s-put-on-a-show-for-the-soldiers premise. Along with some good songs and antiseptic style, both give a swell showcase to a strong dancer whose career fell short of the top rung, Gene Nelson.

The Cake Eaters (Mary Stuart Masterson, 2007). Indie with a lot of actors, and a lot of acting. Cast is led by the newly warm Kristen Stewart; the interesting possibility of matching Bruce Dern and Elizabeth Ashley, who wear their miles and their damage proudly, is toyed with.

12 (Nikita Mikhalkov, 2007). A Russian adaptation of Twelve Angry Men, pumped up with very Russian exapansiveness, and maybe more interesting as a cultural artifact than a movie. (full review 3/27)