When you get too far behind on film reviewing, you have to condense. It's brief capsule time. Let's catch up on movies we left behind as summer waned. Did you see any of them?
A senior citizen couple seeks marital counselling.
12 WR: Fine performances take intimacy seriously. Near gem but pacing problems, atrocious music. B
Oscar: Streep always has a shot in Best Actress and she's the film's best hope (sorry) beyond a screenplay longshot but I'm doubtful that this quiet surprisingly nuanced take on marriage and intimacy will survive the louder grabbier Oscar films. Plus when Oscar ignores Meryl, which is admittedly not often, it's almost always when she's playing contemporary and relatively ordinary women (here's proof.)
KEEP THE LIGHTS ON
The story of a troubled 10 year gay relationship beset by sex and drug addictions
12 WR: Intermittently searing. Bruisingly repetitive. Cathartic for filmmaker (undoubtedly) but unshaped; needs dramaturg. C+
Oscar?: Not that kind of movie.
THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN
A childless couple (Jennifer Garner & Joel Edgerton) inadvertently create the perfect child over a teary conversation. A naked boy with leaves on his legs emerges from their garden. Life lessons ensue.
12 WR: Adoption plea framing device = unmitigated disaster. Played with realism it's entirely oogie. D-
Oscar?: As likely as children crawling out of the earth that aren't zombies.
A money man is chauffered around Manhattan in a limo (read: coffin) seeking a haircut as his fortunes vanish and the world falls into chaos.
12 WR: Forgets to adapt heady prose but actress cameos pop. Pattinson finally vampiric! B
Oscar?: The Academy is deathly allergic to Cronenberg but damn that Howard Shore score is good.
FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL...
Roommates (Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller) run a phone sex business which complicates their friendship
12 WR: Weirdly chaste, claustrophobic, over/under art-directed (?!?) but actors obviously enjoying themselves! C+
A bike messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) delivering a package worth a lot of money is hunted by a dirty cop (Michael Shannon) down the crowded streets of Manhattan.
12 WR: Only works as found object: Lost 80s Film. Disposable (even to itself!) D
Oscar?: If they had a stuntman category...