Last Saturday night I saw A Prairie Home Companion at the Lincoln Center Cinema on 63rd and Broadway. It was interesting seeing the movie, which is essentially a Minnesota comedy, with a room full of Upper West Side New Yorkers who were categorically twice and three times my age, but they seemed to dig the movie nonetheless.
The movie, starring Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin, Lindsay Lohan, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly, Virginia Madsen, Kevin Kline, Maya Rudolph (SNL alum), and Tommy Lee Jones, is the fictional look at the final broadcast of an old school Minnesota radio show, with the stars mostly playing the parts of the radio show performers.
To break it down, the real reason to see the movie is the pairing of Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin. Meryl Streep just fucking floors me. There's really no other way to put it than that. I'd watch the woman in anything. (And I have.) In this case she shows up with a slightly higher pitched voice, with a light Minnesotan lilt, and plays with spot on perfection one half a singing sister duo (and also plays Lindsay Lohan's mom--and Lindsay actually isn't half bad, whatever your personal feelings on La Lohan are).
It's a movie that some are going to like, and some are going to hate, but I have to say that I enjoyed it. In Goldilocks terms, for me, the movie was just right. (Did I really just say that? My God.) As one reviewer put it, "There doesn't seem to be much point to A Prairie Home Companion, but it's smart and charming and the music is lovely. Maybe that's the point."
The Verdict: Consider seeing it. You just might like it.
My top pick for the week, however, is a different movie: Mrs. Henderson Presents. Judi Dench stars as a wealthy British woman during World War II whose husband dies and leaves her with an enormous fortune. Instead of sitting at home and working on her cross stitch and doing charity work, Mrs. Henderson buys a theater in London and starts putting on shows. Judi Dench's Mrs. Henderson is a witty, smart, strong, hilarious, pushy English lady, who eventually shakes up London by deciding she wants her theater to put on a nude revue. (No, it ain't raunchy, y'all.) See it for Judi Dench. If you loved last year's Oscar winner Being Julia, you're guaranteed to enjoy Mrs. Henderson Presents. And if you didn't see Being Julia, rent that one immediately, too.
The Verdict: See it. Really. Do yourself a favor.
I saw Goodnight and Good Luck this week and generally liked it. It's smart and informative, and likeable. You have to see it on a night that you're looking for a film that looks at McCarthyism in 1950s America. It's good, it's worth seeing, but you have to see it on the right night.
The Verdict: Yeah, see it. But. You know.
Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic, the stand-up comedy film by (obviously) Sarah Silverman was, well, okay. It was fine. The girl takes the line of politically correctness to a whole new level, baby. That is to say, she'll make your ears burn with the things that come out of her mouth. Believe me, I can handle a lot, but there were a couple times that my jaw just dropped. It was funny, sure. But I think I prefer Sarah Silverman's four-minute appearance in The Aristocrats.
The Verdict: Eh. Maybe rent it with your super Christian relatives just to scare the shit out of them?
His Secret Life? Eh. It's a gay-themed foreign film (made in Italy, with subtitles), and it sounded good on paper, but it just wasn't good.
The Verdict: Nah.