And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Review: Columbus

This one is indie all the way. Set in Columbus, Indiana, it’s the story of Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a local girl in love with the architecture of her small town but at the same time dying to get out. Enter Jin (John Cho) who’s come all the way from South Korea because his famous father fell ill here while on a speaking tour. She’s a fan of his architectural scholar dad. He’s estranged from him. As Jin gets to know Casey, he sees that she’s smart and ambitious, but her recovering addict mom is holding her back. And while these two broken adults share their bad parenting stories, Casey gives Jin a tour of her favorite architectural spots around Columbus. Not a lot happens, but it is interesting to watch.

Cafe Society

Woody Allen’s latest feels very familiar and not terribly original. It’s like he has a drawer full of ideas for film scenes and he just grabbed a hand full and shot. It has a bittersweet love story at the center, set in Golden Age Hollywood and New York, and the usual Woody stand-in character. This time it’s Jesse Eisenberg playing Bobby Dorfman, a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx who comes to LA to work for his “Agent to the Stars” Uncle Phil (Steve Carell) and falls for his beautiful secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), but eventually returns heart-broken to New York, takes a job with his mobster brother, and marries shiksa goddess Veronica (Blake Lively). The first part in Hollywood is kind of fun, but sadly it runs out of steam when it gets back to New York, almost like it’s two different movies.

Broken English

This is the epitome of a chick flick: Nora is 30-something single woman in New York City, friends are all partnered up, she only meets loser guys, she is feeling lonely, drinking too much, having anxiety attacks, and basically spiraling out of control. But just when it gets to the edge of too much, in pops charming Frenchman Julien. By now she is totally jaded and nearly pushes him away, but succumbs to his charms and allows herself to have a wonderful weekend with him only to find that he is leaving to go back to France. So what does she do? After a bit of soul searching and a visit to a psychic, she quits her job and heads to Paris to see him. Only she loses his number (and he has a name like Smith so no phone book.) Won’t spoil the ending, but it is mostly a fun little movie.