Movie Diary 12/1/2014

Big Eyes (Tim Burton, 2014). The Keanes, the creators of the big-eye waif paintings of the Sixties, given life by Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz and a narrow focus by Tim Burton. (full review 12/25)

Wild (Jean-Marc Vallee, 2014). True story of a dippy trekker, played by Reese Witherspoon, walking the Pacific Coast Trail by herself. Hits every note pretty squarely on the head, lest you might miss something. (full review 12/12)

Finding Vivian Maier (John Maloof, Charlie Siskel, 2013). The photographer who never showed any of her thousands of pictures while she was alive – an eerie subject for a documentary, and a portrait of an artist focused on the thing itself.

The Skeleton Twins (Craig Johnson, 2014). Whatever this movie adds up to, it sure is fun watching Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Luke Wilson et al. in a tale that looks like an Alexander Payne first draft.

Point and Shoot (Marshall Curry, 2014). Matthew VanDyke, a self-styled 21st-century Lawrence of Arabia, is the subject of this doc, much of which consists of footage he shot while riding his motorcycle (and joining a Libyan rebel militia) in far-off places. A wacky chronicle, perhaps not far from Grizzly Man. (full review 12/5)

The Sleepwalker (Mona Fastvold, 2014). An arty nightmare in the Massachusetts woods, where two couples work out some buried secrets. Seems half-digested, but you can see what the idea was – and a cool, ominous soundtrack. (full review 12/5)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014). I liked it the first time, I liked it the second time – Anderson’s best movie since Rushmore is a “statement” movie, for all the well-orchestrated frivolity.


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