While recovering from a nasty stomach virus this week, I caught up on a few films I've been wanting to see for some time. Between bathroom breaks (sorry for the visual), I saw:
Capote: For me, Capote is a B+ movie with A+ acting. Prior to Oscar time, I doubted the move to cast Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead. I'm a serious fan of Hoffman. I've seen all his films, and think he is the Dustin Hoffman of this era (the best compliment I can give to a character actor). But, play Truman Capote? C'mon...Well, he does. Superbly. An honest, moving and impressive portrayal. I liked the movie pretty well, but it was his performance that made the film an event for me.
The Family Stone: I wanted to like this movie for so many reasons, most of them involving Sarah Jessica Parker. I think she is wickedly talented, sexy and weird. Stone has a very good cast, and the acting was above board. Parker tries to assimilate into a family that seems very normal, but which is experiencing a grief and despair that hasn't yet risen to the surface. It does, mid-way through the movie, and the results were sort of off-putting to me. Some of the dynamics in the film made me feel uncomfortable, and made me enjoy the movie less.
Shopgirl: Based on a novella by Steve Martin, Shopgirl follows a smalltown girl as she discovers herself in big city LA. We get to see how choices and relationships affect her maturity and perspective, and how she becomes more resilient through some strained experiences. I thought Shopgirl was a fantastic, original movie, with appropriately restrained performances by Claire Danes and Steve Martin. Jason Schwartzman steals the movie with what I think is his best performance since Rushmore.
Of the three, I recommend Shopgirl highest.
Now, back to the couch...