I’m not going to try to rationalize any connections among the most recent cinematic opportunities that I’ve had a chance to see and review; they’re just three unrelated current releases playing in at least some of your local movie houses, the latter one especially which may be on its way to being seen by everyone on the planet. The three are Woman in Gold, which is a very compelling story—based on fact—with Helen Mirren portraying an Austrian woman who escaped from the Nazis in 1938, then decades later sets out (with the help of a lawyer played by Ryan Reynolds) to sue her own former government for the return of some valuable paintings stolen from her family during WW II. Then we have While We’re Young, in which a mid-40s couple (Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts) are floating into the doldrums so they attempt to enliven their lives by means of a new friendship with a mid-20s hipster couple (Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried), with documentary filmmaking as a shared passion; there’s some effective comedy here but also some important questions about integrity vs. expediency where arts careers are concerned. Finally, we have the latest worldwide megahit, Furious 7, in which Vin Diesel and his filmic family once again face terrible odds from a cluster of well-armed maniacal villains while pushing cars to heights (literally) where they were never intended to be driven. This last one’s not that interesting to me (except for the spectacular special effects), but that’s not keeping just about everyone else from racing to the theater to see Paul Walker’s last ride (again, literally; RIP, Paul).
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