Waitress is a delightful film that unfortunately has a horribly tragic backstory. Its writer/director/co-star, Adrienne Shelly, did a wonderful job with this story, keeping it balanced when it could have so easily succumbed to sentimentality or banality. Sadly, Shelly was senselessly killed before even finding out the film had been accepted to the Sundance Film Festival, but if there's any bright side at all, at least she's left behind a remarkable movie to be remembered by--truly a high note to go out on. The plot and characters of Waitress are charming and believable because of superb performances and a script that allows characters to be people and not caricatures. Great, but I can't help thinking: if only I liked pie...
Going only on a vague desciption of the movie in Entertainment Weekly's Summer Movie Preview, I wanted to see Paris Je T'aime. After seeing a preview for it, I really wanted to see it. It looked like one of those films that would instantly be a favorite, a film with a "gimmick" that would actually work splendidly. And that's exactly what it is. The movie has eighteen short segments, and while some have a better sense of beginning-middle-end than others, I can't think of one that I didn't enjoy. There are some that are adorable, some that are heartbreaking, and some that are laugh-out-loud funny, and all are a good time. I would list a couple as especially splendid, but I would end up listing almost all of them.
I meant to see The Queen last year both when it was released and especially when it was nominated for all of the Oscars. I was pretty certain I'd like it after what I had heard, but I was a little wary after some critics had said it felt more like a TV movie than a film. I suppose I can understand why they would feel that way, but I did not have that experience. I am fairly familiar with the royal family. I remember the day that Diana died, but I wasn't completely aware of the controversy immediately after. Like everyone else, I thought The Queen did an excellent job of portraying the situation and those in the middle of it fairly. I fell in love with Queen Elizabeth because of her grace and her politeness. Man, she is one polite lady (I wish that I could be a tenth of how polite she is). And man, Philip is a douchebag. And Charles is a sadsack pussy (well, I already knew that pretty well). And Tony Blair's wife is quite the snatchbasket. I really enjoyed the film, but I think it was at its best in the quiet moments when Helen Mirren really shines.
I was really looking forward to Ocean's Thirteen because, c'mon, I'm pretty sure you're crazy if you weren't looking forward to it. And it did not disappoint. I mean, it's not quite an Ocean's Eleven, but it is the one they should've done last time (if only that was allowed to be part of the title). Once again, we have a film that's incredibly visually interesting and a rollicking good time. The Godfather reference was fantastic (you could learn something Knocked Up), the heist was awesome, Julia Roberts wasn't around to remind us of how little acting ability she actually has...This is an incredibly fun movie filled with eye and ear candy (both in the dialogue and the music). And the last two lines of dialogue are hilarious.