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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

my (short) week at the movies: ’27 Dresses,’ ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,’ ‘Taxi to the Dark Side,’ ‘The Business of Being Born’

Because there’s nothing worse than being a spinster. Oh, I expect it’ll be quite “romantic” and absolutely “hilarious” to watch Katherine Heigl trip over herself in matrimonial desperation as she’s a bridesmaid once more when what she really wants is to be the bride. If 27 Dresses [opens wide January 11] doesn’t make me want to slit my wrists, I’ll consider my outing to see it a success.

The Chicago Film Critics Association has already named 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [opens limited January 25] the Best Foreign Language Film of 2007, and it won the Palme d’Or at Cannes last spring. There were a few screenings I could have attended in the fall of this one, but I couldn’t squeeze it in until now… and it doesn’t open here till the end of this month anyway, so I’ll consider it a 2008 film. Set in Romania during the last days of communism, it’s a bitter tale (or so it sounds) of tough choices facing women in a time and place of limited opportunity. Movies about the real lives of women — and not the likes of 27 Dresses — are rare enough, so I’m looking forward to this one.
I had planned to see the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side [opens limited January 18] a few weeks ago, but the year-end crush got to be too much, and I put it off. I’ll see it now. Another entry from last spring’s Tribeca Film Festival that I’d hoped to see, the documentary The Business of Being Born [opens limited January 9], is landing in theaters now, too: this one’s about home birthing as an alternative to the industry that has taken over this most natural of events in hospitals.

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  • JT

    I’ve seen 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and it is absolutely gut-wrenching. I wasn’t sure if I loved it at first. It’s very minimalistic, similar to Gus Van Sant movies like Elephant or Last Days, so there are lots of long, deliberate takes of people walking. But almost a week after watching it, I now realize how haunting these images are and even thought it’s the complete opposite of a preachy, message-laden, political movie – if someone watches this and still believes that women should not have the right to legal, safe abortions, I don’t know how to relate to them.

  • Moe

    Hey MJ, how about a list from you on your most anticipated 2008 films?

    I’m interested in finding out where Indy 4 and The Dark Knight fit in…..

  • MaryAnn

    Hey, I’m still trying to finish up 2007. You can guess how psyched I am for Indy and Bruce Wayne, can’t you? :->

    Maybe I can find some time for a look at 2008 soon…

  • Yeah, I’ve seen that “27 Days” trailer and it doesn’t sound too promising.

    Apparently Summer Glau isn’t the only actress out there who’s being expected to play the same role over and over again…

  • “27 Dresses,” I mean.

  • MaryAnn

    Turns out a bullet in the brain would have been less painful than *27 Dresses.*

    Oh, and I have to see the Veggietales movie this Saturday morning: *The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.*

    I should stock up on bullets.

  • Moe

    Looks like 27 Dresses is being delayed.


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