By Original-Cin Staff
Maybe there’s something in the air, but we’re all thumbs up this week.
Renée Zellweger has starred in a lot of movies with people’s names for titles — Jerry Maguire, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Nurse Betty, Miss Potter — but her career performance to date may be as Judy (Rating: B+), a film about Judy Garland, the erstwhile child star and gay-icon performer, in the last year of her troubled life. Jim Slotek discusses Zellweger’s “incandescent” Oscar-buzzy performance and her evocation of Garland’s power and vulnerability… and the pros and cons of a movie designed to showcase that performance.
Jim reviews another story of a big-voiced chanteuse: Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Rating: A), a terrific documentary about the powerhouse ‘70s pop rock singer. Studded with interviews from musical friends (Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Don Henley, Jackson Browne), the movie is narrated by Ronstadt, who has been unable to perform for a decade because of Parkinson’s disease. But it’s a story of a woman finding her voice in more ways than one.
For the younger set, Dreamworks offers the animated film, Abominable (Rating: B+) which follows Yi, a grieving teenager who discovers a fugitive Yeti in her house in Shanghai, and accompanies him, along with a couple of her friends, back to his home on Mount Everest. Reviewer Karen Gordon notes that the movie, within a conventional kids-on-a-mission framework, finds a place for more complicated emotions.
Finally, there’s Monos (Rating: B+) about children but not for them, a Lord of the Flies-type fable set amid a Latin American guerrilla war, centred on an adolescent platoon called Monos who have a mission to maintain custody of a kidnapped American woman. Reviewer Jim Slotek praises the near-hallucinatory quality of the film and the chilling effect of night scenes in the Colombian jungle.
Have a great weekend.