+ "A Scanner Darkly": New York‘s David Edelstein writes that "Itâ€™s terribly frustrating when oneâ€™s Dick is at armâ€™s length" â€” ba-dum ching! In his lukewarm review of Richard Linklater‘s latest, he calls the film "static and remote." Meanwhile, Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir, the New York Times‘ Manohla Dargis, and the Village Voice‘s J. Hoberman all like the film to varying degrees. O’Hehir calls it "among the darkest and loveliest movies you’ll see this year," and calls it "a strange brew that I found as full of passion, humor and tragedy as any so-called realistic film I’ve seen all year." Dargis focuses more on Dick’s novel and life than the film; she finds Linklater’s use of rotoscoping "makes certain sense," but still wishes the film were live-action. And Hoberman salutes Robert Downey Jr.‘s performance and the film, asiding that "Midway through 2006, this supporting turn is the performance to beat in what seems the year’s American movie to beat."
Armond White at the New York Press, having long-established himself as Linklater’s mortal enemy, continues his campaign:
[D]irector Richard Linklater may be the most trendily attuned yet vacuous filmmaker at work. Heâ€™s made a career out of pandering to hipster self-involvement and here enlists hip-cred actors (Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey, Jr.) to claim media attention.
Oh, Armond. As for the film, he adds that "the film’s ideasâ€”on homegrown dystopia, everyday alienationâ€”could only seem inventive to cultural retards."
+ "Heading South": Laurent Cantet‘s follow-up to his excellent 2001 film "Time Out" opens in New York to mainly positive reviews. At the New York Times, Stephen Holden writes that the film "becomes one of the most truthful examinations ever filmed of desire, age and youth, and how easy it is to confuse erotic rapture with love." He also likes the fairness with which the film treats all of its complex characters, something Salon‘s Stephanie Zacharek also notes. She writes that:
"Heading South" is a seemingly straightforward and simple picture that’s really defiantly complex, sexually, politically and emotionally. Even the look of the picture has many muted layers: It’s been beautifully shot by Pierre Milon, whose lens drinks in gorgeous beach vistas and breeze-ruffled foliage. Yet somehow we’re always aware of the poverty, and the danger, just beyond the margins of the screen: This isn’t a travelogue brochure.
Less impressed is J. Hoberman, who calls the film "less analytical than overwrought," suggests that "’Heading South’ makes its points in the first 20 minutes." And at indieWIRE/Reverse Shot, no one’s fond, and James Crawford actually proposes that
"If I didn’t know better, I would swear that ‘Heading South’ was a
parody of a particular American institution: the movie-of-the-week
social problem film."