Movie Diary 2/1/2021

Willow (Milcho Manchevski, 2020). Three stories of motherhood, two in the present day and one set in the Balkan Middle Ages. From the director of Before the Rain. Potent in many ways, although it also has the air of film-festival fodder about it; Manchevski’s sneaky Eastern European sense of humor makes the difference.

The Little Things (John Lee Hancock, 2021). Crime drama that obsessively includes every dumbass contrivance in the catalog. Three Oscar-totin’ actors incorrigibly strut their stuff, providing the main source of enjoyment: Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, Jared Leto.

The Midnight Sky (George Clooney, 2020). Dogged and well-meaning – thus seeming to describe parts of Clooney’s personality – this movie lacks a great deal of his other distinguishing characteristic, humor. The apocalyptic circumstances weigh against humor, obviously, although there’s a little dry comedy along the way. But the main thing in this humanist sci-fi tale is sentimentality, and that’s here in abundance.

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