Every week in Friday's Weekend Ticket section, I review new movies and I recommend previously released ones. Can't wait to read it? Well, this feature now appears at 21Q each Thursday afternoon.
My picks among recently released movies:
Viggo Mortensen always has been magnetic, but never more so than in his role as Nikolai, the Russian-born driver for a mobster named Kirill (Vincent Cassel). Nikolai is not just great-looking (though in a decidedly been-to-prison way), but smart and decisive. Superior to Kirill in every way, he doesn't take guff from his boss but doesn't cross the line into disrespect.
Into the Wild
The young and wandering hero (Emile Hirsch) of director Sean
Penn's breathtaking, compassionate film seeks adventure while also trying to escape his past. That past intrudes when strangers inquire about his parents, gently urging him to contact his family. It's always clear that this is the type of single-minded journey that can be celebrated only when embarked upon by a young person. An older man, with more emotional attachments and fewer childhood-based resentments, would be less likely to take such a trip - and less sympathetic if he did.
The Jane Austen Book Club
It doesn't seem like a movie featuring such a large, accomplished cast would lend itself to scene-stealing. But Emily Blunt ("The Devil Wears Prada") stands out with her multilayered performance as Prudie, a high school French teacher who fancies herself more intellectual than everyone else.