Friday, December 28, 2007

Grace is already gone

I'm within five films of being able to put together a proper Top 10 list for 2007. One of those five was the Iraq War tearjerker Grace is Gone--not that I, or anyone else, really needs another Iraq/Afghani/9-11 melodrama, but I'll always give its star, John Cusack, the benefit of the doubt. Grace really is gone, however; after just two or three weeks of release, the film has disappeared from Manhattan cinemas, and unless The Weinstein Company is planning some sort of early 08 push it may be AWOL for moviegoers till DVD.

That simplifies things for me by a factor of one film. Still, it deserved due consideration, and despite my resistance I would have bitten the bullet and seen it, once the holiday rush subsided. TWC should have kept it in theaters, but may have enough on its plate trying to keep the gonzo I'm Not There* in play through awards season. I was further surprised to see that the studio isn't giving Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream an Oscar-qualifying run; it had been scheduled to open today. This, however, is a concession to reality; the film is a big step back for Allen after the modest steps forward of Match Point and the lightly enjoyable Scoop, and its January dumping-ground release is apt.

Look for top, flop, and in-betweener lists of various kinds as my next few posts. Grace, we hardly knew ye.

(*That I did manage to see, and I must report that I wasn't really there, either. My Dylan phase pretty much ended with college graduation, and reviewers who wrote you don't need to know anything about him to appreciate the film are nuts. Forearmed, it's a slog through the soap operatic Heath Ledger segments particularly, and Christian Bale's bits aren't much better. The uninitiated will be ticked off or fast asleep within 15 minutes. There's an amusing short film with Cate Blanchett to be had from the remnants. Otherwise, to show that I'm not a complete philistine, I liked what Todd Haynes was trying to convey with the seriously miscast Richard Gere, never quite at ease outside big city parts, and his faux Western fable storyline. Plus the soundtrack has some decent covers. It's a puzzler, and like so many Bob Dylan or Dylan-related films a wipeout with audiences. He's as much a flop indicator as Nicole Kidman or airships.)

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