2 Movies, 3 Actresses & The Oscar Race Begins

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Today I’d like to talk about two movies in theaters right now but be warned because they may be quite expensive for you to watch. That is to say, if you like either (or both) of them as much as I did, you may find yourself prompted to board separate planes to a) Southern California and then to b) Milan, Italy. That’s how gorgeous, inspiring and spectacular they are visually & otherwise. But first, the box office. Because not surprisingly, Despicable Me beat everyone else out this weekend, bringing in a handy $60 million, which is only going to grow on account of the great word of mouth. Eclipse, meanwhile, is supposedly going to hit $250 mil by midweek, which should make us wonder how it is that we’re in such a miserable recession the folks who made the third Twilight flick (one of my faves) very happy indeed. Now let’s talk about the two films I just caught. One of which I was dying to see, the other I got talked into. One’s in English. The other’s in Italian (with a little Russian thrown in). Both of which boast unbelievable casts, lots of gardening and a bit of infidelity. The Kids Are All Right stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. The ladies are a couple & parents of children who initiate contact with Mark Ruffalo, the crunchy, easygoing  restaurant owner who also happens to be the kids’ biological father (and who radiates charisma and facial hair in equal parts throughout). I’m not going to give anything away but if you’ve ever been married, or met someone who has, this is one that will stick with you. In a good way. Nor is it a romantic comedy – Lord knows I adore them – but it’s not, and part of what makes it so good is that I’m pretty sure nobody’s developed a plot as fresh and intriguing as this one for any screen (big or little) I’ve ever been seated in front of…so it’s definitely worth watching. And you know why else we should all see it? Because it’s much cooler to be able to give people that Been There, Saw That yawn at Oscar time. The second film, I Am Love, is from Italy and I couldn’t possibly tell you what the Italian title is except that it was in great huge swirly letters across the movie screen. In fact everything – even the font of the unintelligible  title – is gorgeous. And most gorgeous of all – physically and psychologically – is its star, actress Tilda Swinton. (She won the Oscar for Michael Clayton). This too is a story about married life, only it’s about a very fancy Italian clan who lives in Milan (and here’s where you might guess that the family fortune would be fabric, what with being Milan and all, and you’d be absolutely right. And that might be your last accurate guess about this film because it takes lots of weird turns and it’s kind of shocking in the end so I won’t spoil it). Anyway, I Am Love is subtitled which I’m not crazy about, but if you can suck it up as I did you might wind up very, very pleased with having caught this amazing arthouse gem. Easily one of the most visually stunning movies out there. The clothing alone is spectacular, and the house Swinton shares with her family is actually a working museum. Definitely check I Am Love out – and don’t blame me when suddenly you find yourself on some cheap fares website in search of a little Italian pick-me-up.  Or at least you’ll be ready to splurge on a fabulous meal. So that’s my two cents on two great movies, starring three of the best actresses working today: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore & Tilda Swinton. In fact, let’s take a peek at some of their other work. Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these films — in which Moore/Bening/Swinton starred — is your favorite:

1)    Boogie Nights

2)   American Beauty

3)   Michael Clayton

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