Archives for posts with tag: Cate Blanchett

Four families become partially intertwined in a series of tragedies in “Babel” (2006). Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu had just become a big-deal filmmaker and appears to have been given full artistic freedom to do something that completely went over my head. It’s pornographically sad, as one bad decision leads to the next until the ripples reach around the globe. Ultimately, however, there’s no coherent story pulling it all together. Inarritu tosses a bunch of partially developed thoughts into a blender and lazily jumps backward and forward in time. The noise it makes is like – oh, I see what he did there.

There’s no question mark in the title of “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” (2019) and yet it’s asking us all something very important. What’s the difference between eccentric and crazy? The answer is a little too pat – the eccentric must be productively creative to keep from becoming menacingly crazy – and awkwardly told. We’re dealing with a rather serious issue and yet there’s a lot of uncomfortably wacky hijinks pitting protagonist Cate Blanchett against neighborhood ubermom Kristin Wiig. And some of the dialogue is a little over-the-top, even for a crazy person. And there’s an I-can’t-quite-place-it unlikability about Blanchett’s husband, Billy Crudup.

When it comes to World War II movies, there isn’t a lot of new ground to cover. So, purely for novelty’s sake, “The Monuments Men” (2014) is worth watching. The story of an American military unit tasked with saving precious European artwork from the Nazis and/or Soviets isn’t anything John Wayne ever starred in (at least not that I know of). It’s a George Clooney movie. He brings along buddy Matt Damon and fills out the cast with a bunch of other familiar names (Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, etc.). It’s good, solid, earnest, predictable. Worthy of the genre.