Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parenting issues

Juno: Non-judgmental, unsentimental yet upbeat tale of teenage pregnancy, which consequently felt believable. The film doesn't sentimentalise Juno's condition (binge-eating, hormonal surges, constipation, plus the most amazingly distended pregnancy prosthetic I've seen in a movie), but at the same time doesn't make it out to be some kind of punishment for her misdeeds (Juno's parents are disappointed in her but supportive, and the ending of the film implies that Juno will go on to an otherwise-normal late adolescence and early adulthood), while adoption and blended families are given a good press. The gradual unfolding of the characters of the adoptive parents, also, is touchingly done, and the whole thing is a portrayal of flawed, but generally good, human beings which, well, the whole family can enjoy.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: I was looking forward to this as it was my favourite of the trilogy when I was a kid, but found it a little disappointing this time round. Although much, much better than the second film, it is mostly a rehash of the first, with a few changes rung on it for variety. It's a good film for a game of spot-the-thesp (can you find Ronald Lacey among the Nazis?) and has some good lines; even the father issues worked fairly well as Spielberg plays them almost like knowing self-parody (although there were one or two cloying bits towards the end). However the film referencing is much thinner on the ground (mostly coming in the witty casting of an actress with a strong resemblance to Lauren Bacall as the treacherous Nazi Dr Schneider), and most of it felt fairly tick-the-boxes to me (quest for Judaeo-Christian mythological object? Check. Nazis played by Brits? Check. Dieselpunk-style souped-up Thirties techno-porn? Check. High-larious scene indicating what a terrible teacher Indy is? Check). Still, I've spent worse evenings. Next: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Nuclear Fridge.

Movie count for 2011: 7