Thursday, January 5, 2012

Week of January 6 to January 12 (Mann)

What's on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

Our reviewers Ian and Shirrel have already covered several of this week's movies: THE DESCENDANTS, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, and YOUNG ADULT. Check the index to the right for links to these reviews.

New this week are two interesting alternative films.

is a cinema roman a clef based on the political and personal life of the current French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, leading up to his election in 2007. It's comforting to learn that we're not the only place where election campaigns are "a merry-go-round of vanity, vulgarity and viciousness," to use Roger Ebert's description of this film. But it's also the story of his relationship with his then wife, Cecilia, who bailed on him just at the moment of his triumph, leaving the alluring Carla Bruni to step into the role. Wow, since he's a right-leaning guy, maybe he should throw his hat in the Republican ring here. He'd fit right in.

THE WHALE is thankfully free of any narrow-minded backbiting. That's because it's a documentary about a non-human -- in this case a very playful orca (killer whale). Stranded in a British Columbia fiord apart from his family pod, he sought social relations with people who came to him. Beautifully filmed, it's a "thoughtful, philosophical, political and ultimately sad documentary that ponders the impulses behind, and advisability of, intense interaction between human beings and another smart species." (Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter)

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