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Old November 10 2011, 10:16 PM   #848
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Re: Movies Seen in 2011

179. Tootsie (C)

I can't understand why this movie was nominated for so many Academy Awards after it was released. Compared to, say, Mrs. Doubtfire, which I see dumped on as being light weight, I can't really say that Tootsie is particularly smarter. Almost all of the humor is predicated on Dustin Hoffman dressing up as a woman, which is good for a few laughs, but is hardly enough to sustain a movie for almost two hours. And, for something that's trying hard to make a feminist statement, it seems a little backwards that it takes a man pretending to be a woman to fight all of the sexism in the workplace (and in the writing) on the soap opera that Hoffman's feminine alter ego, Dorothy Michaels, ends up on.

Bill Murray is pretty funny, in a supporting role as Hoffman's roommate, I suppose. Otherwise, its rather unremarkable as a film. The music, heavy on the synthesizer, has dated badly, and visually it's never more than workmanlike in its approach. Pollack is good as Hoffman's agent, though. I might like him more as an actor than a director here, to be honest.

180. IMPOLEX (C-)

An independent film from Alex Ross Perry, a young, New York City-based filmmaker, this one doesn't really work, but I shouldn't be too hard on it. It is, after all, a debut feature. It's nominally a period piece set just after the second world war, about a soldier sent out to recover bombs that failed to detonate, but that turns out to be a pretty thin backbone. The biggest problems are the production values (at the level of a student film) and the acting (mostly terrible, seemingly deliberately so). Perry seems intent on letting his actors perform with such awkwardness in delivery that the whole film is oddly distant. Still, it has its moments, including an excellent monologue near the end about waiting for your loved ones to come home from war. That moment really does work. It's a shame the rest of the movie doesn't. Perry has a new feature out this year, The Color Wheel, which I haven't seen but am curious about.
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