The Oscars have arrived, and with them the inevitable slew of so-called expert predictions. And though I find myself naturally curious, I must admit that my anticipation of Sunday evening’s ceremony has been subdued by lingering disappointment with some of the nominations. Put simply, my heart’s not entirely in it.
WALL*E should have been earned a nomination for best picture, as should The Wrestler. (A win for either would have suited me just fine.) Woody Allen’s strongest contribution in years was largely overlooked. And Bruce Springsteen, in the midst of a creative surge as strong as any in his career, managed to write a song for a movie (again, The Wrestler) without so much as a hint of recognition. Go figure.
Hyperbole runs rampant in the entertainment industry, but it’s hardly effusive to call Woody Allen a living legend.
At 72, the Brooklyn-born director of Annie Hall and Manhattan has received 21 Oscar nominations during his four-plus decades behind the camera, taking home the statuette three times. He has expanded his canon at the astonishing rate of a movie each year since 1992, and his latest, the remarkable romantic comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona, won an Academy Award nomination for Penélope Cruz. In short, he has earned his place in the fraternity of the finest filmmakers of any era: among them, Fellini, Scorsese and the man Allen once described as “the great cinematic poet of morality,” Ingmar Bergman.
Here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation a San Francisco theater near you... not named Friday the 13th, Push or Pink Panther 2.
January is traditionally treated as a dumping ground for Hollywood's most embarrassing blunders and stalest leftovers, but there are still plenty of viable options for those seeking a satisfying night at the movies. Among them:
Sure, you could waste your weekend listening to Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories or celebrating the misguided passions of material girls with Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson in Bride Wars. But if you're in the mood for something a bit more rewarding, there are plenty of worthwhile adventures arriving at theaters near you. Among them: