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Atonement pivots around a letter that should never have been written, and I wouldn’t go nearly as far as saying that this movie shouldn’t have been made, but its existence seemed rather irrelevant. Having not read the Ian McEwan novel, I still felt the distinct sense that I was watching a film adaption of a very lyrical novel. Apart from one sequence, which I’ll get into later, I never felt invested in the movie; it lacked the epic qualities I’d expect of a period piece. Not all great stories make great movies, and Atonement is no exception. Read the rest of this entry »

So with yesterday’s killing of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, I was inspired to jot down my thoughts on A Mighty Heart, a film about another episode in the all-too-recent history of terrorism in Pakistan. It would be an understatement to say that I was shocked by how much I liked this movie. After opening to generally positive views, but amidst the clutter of the summer blockbusters, I probably would never have even considered seeing A Mighty Heart had it not been for the Golden Grouches endeavor. But I’ll blame the advertising campaign from Paramount, which as I recall, pushed the film more as an Angelina Jolie drama about lost love than a taut docudrama about the fight against terrorism.
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I liked this movie a little more than John did, but I agree that ambivalence is a pretty fair expected reaction to the movie.  Most of the literary references went way over my head.  And I thought the last third of the movie fizzled out something fierce.  But I have a little thing for Lauren Ambrose, so that helped.

Frank Langella was fine and all, but nothing earth-shattering, I’d say.  I don’t know if John would agree, but I could see an argument that save for one 45 second scene in the bathroom, he wouldn’t really be getting any buzz at all.

December 2007