Saturday, November 13, 2010

Week of November 12 to November 18 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

It’s always interesting to see what Scot (the Tropic’s film programmer) has come up with. This week there are three new films that will make you laugh, make you cringe, and make you wonder.

The laughs will come from MORNING GLORY a comedy from the pen of Aline Brosh McKenna , the screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada. The theme again is the travails of an overly earnest working girl coping with a larger-than-life figure. This time it’s Rachel McAdams, as the producer of a failing morning TV show, who has to whip an aging star news anchor (Harrison Ford) into working on her show, which is fluff TV, as he sees it. With Jeff Goldblum to add the necessary harrumphing, and Diane Keaton as Ford’s co-host, Morning Glory hits the comedic ground running. And it keeps going. “A funny entertainment.... the kind [of comedy] I like best. It grows from human nature and is about how people do their jobs and live their lives.” (Roger Ebert)

The cringe factor is produced by THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, the final stage in Lisbeth Salander’s struggle with the world. Again played by Noomi Rapace, Lisbeth is her own worst enemy, as her distrust of everyone makes it almost impossible for even her ally Mikael Nyqvuist to help her. She’s hospitalized, recovering from a bullet to the head, and then she’s standing trial for murder, looking her ravishing Goth best. It’s “a rousing, grueling, almost operatically scaled finale to the series.” (

The American remake of the original Dragon Tattoo is now filming and scheduled for release next year. The Girl is being played by Rooney Mara, who’s now on the Tropic screens as Mark Zuckerberg’s lost girlfriend Erica Albright in THE SOCIAL NETWORK. If you’ve seen that movie, you’ll know that she plays a peripheral, but oddly central, role. If you haven’t seen it, it’s held over for another week, giving you a chance to catch a movie that is highly touted for multiple Oscars. By the way, the fact police have informed me that the real Mark Zuckerberg has had the same girlfriend, with whom he lives, for seven years. In other words, there is no real Erica Albright. So? There’s also not really a Girl With The Dragon Tattoo… is there?

And the wonder will come from Clint Eastwood’s HEREAFTER, a kind of exploration of the afterlife, but not really. There are three interwoven stories: a French television journalist (Cecile de France) who barely survives the tsunami in Thailand, a pre-teen British schoolboy (Frankie McLaren) who is coping with the tragic loss of his twin brother, and an America psychic (Matt Damon) who is trying to escape from the burdens of his talent. Each of the stories is a wonderful set piece in itself. The tsunami reenactment is terrifyingly real, and there’s a sexy food sequence that subtly recalls Tom Jones. All this drives the film and creates characters about whom we care. It’s their life stories that matter and make the movie satisfying. As to the hereafter, even Eastwood can’t take us there, though he can make us wonder a little.

On the Special Events calendar, there’s a benefit sing-a-long screening. It’s the SOUND OF MUSIC with Julie Andrews, plus You and Your Friends! Proceeds benefit the Bahama Village Mentoring Program of A Positive Step. Get your tickets at the Tropic $25.

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[from Key West, the newspaper -]

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