Radio 01.23.09
 
            This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” and here’s my commentary on films opening today at the Majestic Theater in Greenville :
            At last, there’s a romantic comedy for the Baby Boomers.  Last Chance Harvey” stars Dustin Hoffman as Harvey Shine, an American businessman who tries to handle a big client presentation long-distance while he attends his daughter’s wedding in London, and nothing goes right.  Including with his daughter, whom he hasn’t seen much of, anyway, since her mother moved her back to England with her.  Harvey is fighting that dreaded encroaching obsolescence, and not very well, either.  He meets an English woman in the Heathrow airport, and tries desperately to strike up a conversation with her, but Kate, played by Emma Thompson, has preoccupations of her own.  Their halting relationship is delicately understated, with a reserve and reticence that feels both awkward and genuine.  For those of us just now eligible for senior discounts, it’s a nice, quiet, little date movie, pleasantly done.
            Much more high-powered is the critically-acclaimed “Doubt,” about the priest who’s too much interested in little boys, and the Mother Superior’s role in ousting him from the parish.  Yesterday, this movie was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Meryl Streep for Best Actress, Philip Seymour Hoffman for best Supporting Actor, and Amy Adams and Viola Davis for Best Supporting Actress.  But just because there are several great performances doesn’t make it fun to watch.  Those of us who went to parochial school in the 1950’s, though, will resonate with this taut little drama that began as a play, and still feels kinda stagebound.
            Then there’s the fairy tale.  Inkheart” is about Mo Folchart (Brendan Fraser), lover of books, who, while reading bedtime stories to his daughter, accidentally discovered a very unusual talent:  every word he spoke came true.  Characters would leap off the page and into “real” life.  The trouble is, then they wanted a life of their own, which “Silvertongue” could not control.  He kept his strange talent hidden for many years, until his little girl Meggie (Eliza Bennett) becomes a young teenager, and one of the characters in the “Inkheart” book re-appears in his life.  Thus begins the strange odyssey to read these characters back into the book, and his wife….back out?  Well, you have to be there.  Based on the popular novel by Cornelia Funke, it’s a little dark and complex for small children.  But those of us who are bible-readers and churchgoers will not be at all surprised by the serious power of the written, and spoken, word.
 
This is Ron Salfen, “At The Movies,” for 93-5 KICK-FM.