Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie
ANY QUESTIONS FOR BEN?
Millennials are easy to make fun of, given our flighty, technology-obsessed natures. But this Australian film makes fun without being all that fun. Any Questions focuses on Ben, a single man with a well-paying advertising job and a constant parade of interested women. But, of course, he’s not happy, and only a self-righteous, beautiful human rights lawyer can (possibly) help make things better. The plot swaps between witty repertoire about 21st-century life and montages of Ben’s high-flying lifestyle, with little interest in propelling the story along or making him more than the shallow caricature he is. The film, like Ben, is filled with a lot of coulda, woulda, shoulda.
Plays at 2 and 6 p.m. May 30 at the Movie Museum
A bored housewife gets a webcam to chat with her seafaring husband, only to become a viral sensation when she starts writing and choreographing music about her humdrum life. To follow her dreams, she’ll have to leave her domesticity (and her young twins) behind, a decision that flirts with feminism without making a solid commitment. It’s a cute premise, but the execution leaves something to be desired. The amiable actors give their all trying, but the film is decidedly unfunny and shallow, even for a musical. Some of the numbers are delightfully creative and sharp, but most of them will just make you cringe.
Plays at noon, 4 and 8 p.m. May 30 and 12:30, 4 and 9 p.m. June 1 at the Movie Museum
Japanese samurai and Old West cowboys are entwined in cinematic memory, but Unforgiven switches the usual formula up, as Lee Sang-il takes on Clint Eastwood’s 1992 classic. The results? Superb. Though mostly a by-the-book adaptation of the original, Unforgiven distinguishes itself by setting the events during the turmoil of post-Meiji Restoration Japan — where Western supplanted Eastern at a dizzying pace and the indigenous Ainu found themselves under governmental attack. These cultural wrinkles add a different context to the film’s actions, but they also make you wish that a few more liberties had been taken with the story, to step fully out of Eastwood’s shadow.
Plays at 1:45, 5:45 and 9:45 p.m. May 28 at the Movie Museum