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About Schmidt (2002)
A courageous and amazingly successful adaptation ...
... because it threw away 95 percent of a successful book, whose protagonist would not have anchored a successful movie, and made a film that succeeds brilliantly -- and entertainingly -- on its own terms. The script is masterful. The direction was patient and confident. Nicholson, Bates, Davis, and Mulroney nailed it.
Scintillating and original buddy/road movie.
"Malunde" is an odd-fellows buddy/road movie that features a disaffected middle-aged white South African and an 11 year-old black child of the streets.
It kicks off in confusion and excitement, builds steam and pays off with a terrific emotional wallop at the end.
It features incandescent performances by the two leads, on an impromptu backroad journey from Johannesburg to Capetown, in varied settings and difficult situations. A sense of menace hovers throughout, though the tenuous bond formed between the two principals grows stronger over time.
It has a fabulous score of South African music and is a joy to look at (gloriously filmed in wide-screen by Wim Wenders' DP). The audience loved it as I did.
Dinner Rush (2000)
Terrific family story, with garlic and basil
This is one fine little movie, unexpectedly kicked into gear by a killing, then settling into a busy night at a coveted Tribeca trattoria.
It's got everything: the sensory allure of the food; constant menace; a father and his two very different sons; the striving, wannabe diners; the restaurant staff scrambling to cook and serve, sitting in judgment of the whole thing--and possibly a surprise. Mangia! Beve!