And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Arty Chick’s Middleburg Film Festival Download 2019

Another super tiring weekend in the bucolic Virginia hamlet of Middleburg watching more films than I should! I predicted early on that this festival would outgrow itself and I think it has come to that point. Too many people know about it and the growing pains have become chronic overcrowding at venues without room for expansion. I’m already searching for another festival for next year. (All suggestions are appreciated.) I saw fewer films this year, too, just nine — Marriage Story, The Capote Tapes, The Aeronauts, Frankie, Waves, The Report, The Two Popes, Atlantics, and Knives Out. I only gave one of them four stars and several were surprising disappointments. For too many it was great cast and great performances in an otherwise just okay movie. Here’s my list with trailers and my preliminary impressions. Full reviews of select films will come later, so check back.

Little Men

Little Men is a small film with a simple story. Two adolescent boys Jake (Theo Taplitz) and Tony (Michael Barbieri) become best buds when Jake’s grandfather dies and his family moves into his Brooklyn apartment. Tony’s mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia, Gloria) runs a shop downstairs in the building, but when Jake’s father Brian (Greg Kinnear) and his sister Audrey decide to raise her rent, the ensuing arguments between the parents threaten the boys’ relationship.

I Don’t Know How She Does It

I Don’t Know How She Does It isn’t quite as bad as many of the reviews would suggest. But it is just mediocre in the (95 minute) moment – and gone from your consciousness completely by the time you get out of the parking lot.

The Last Song

“Tonight, on a very special Hannah Montana… Miley turns into a bratty sourpuss for 20 minutes, then meets and kisses a hot guy on the beach and veers back toward the sweet smiley Miley that 10 year old girls everywhere have come to know and love. And somebody dies. So you’ll cry.”

The Green Zone

The Green Zone is a nice taut political thriller set in Baghdad starring Matt Damon and it feels a lot like Jason Bourne went and joined the army (which isn’t all that surprising since it was directed by Paul Greengrass who also directed the last two Bourne films). Damon plays Chief Warrant Officer Roy Miller whose assignment is to find those Weapons of Mass Destruction that we went to war about. It is very early in the war in Iraq, and Miller’s team has so far been sent on a series wild goose chases to find WMDs in various and sundry places without any success. He is beginning to question the intelligence that the army has been given and when he starts digging for the truth, he puts himself in a dangerous position.