My wife and I watched a couple of movies this weekend that had an abundance of stars. They even had relatively high Rotten Tomatoes’ scores. But, they were far from being great movies.
Last night, we watched a thriller/ comedy starring seven headline stars called “Burn after Reading.” George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Francis McDormand, John Malkovich, Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins and JK Simmons could not make this movie great. It was at best OK, maybe earning a C- letter grade. Yet, it was disappointing given our expectations.
Earlier we watched a movie with three stars called “Certain Women” about three determined (actually four) women who are trying to make a go in Wyoming. It starred Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart and Michelle Williams. It also starred a Native American actress named Lily Gladstone who has appeared in a number of movies and had equal screen time in this movie to the three stars.
Sadly, the movie was very tedious and longer than it needed to be. It was very undeserving of its high ratings. My wife and I debated turning it off on a couple of occasions, but had invested time in it by the second decision point, so we wanted to see the finish.
We were also surprised in a good way with a couple of movies this weekend. “Head full of Honey” starring Nick Nolte and his daughter Sophia Lane Nolte is very enjoyable and charming. In a movie of stars, the younger actor steals the movie playing the older Nolte’s granddaughter as she takes care of her Alzheimer’s ridden grandfather. The other is “Stronger” about a Boston Marathon bomb survivor and double leg amputee starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany as his on and off again girlfriend who was running in the race. The story moves beyond the heroic stage of his survival and deals with the real life angst of learning to live with his setback.
It seems we are better served in our search for movies in liking the story, an actor or two, and seeing reasonably high ratings using different measures. We do not mind foreign language films with subtitles and we do not limit English speaking movies to those made in the US. These sentiments open us up to a lot of great movies. For example, with a French mother, Kristen Scott Thomas has been in several excellent French speaking movies.
So, happy hunting. And, beware of too many stars. Note, the above are merely our opinions, so that and $3 will get you a cup of coffee.