At Movie City News, Larry Gross posits:
l. V is about the gayest superhero of all time.
I mean he makes Batman look like Tarzan by comparison. An outcast who cannot be himself in the ultimate ways, he is at the same time a dedicated gourmand, lover of 40’s torch songs, a great dancer, an unrepentant high culture aesthete, an exceptional interior decorator and an enthusiast of 1930s black and white period costume tear-jerking swash bucklers – and maybe he’s just tomorrow’s with-it metro sexual – but given his lack of nostalgia for nuclear family or lost love, and given that he can only warm up physically to Natalie when she’s bald, it would seem to me that, well … you get where this is going.
Iâ€™ll go out on a limb: packaging this kind of rhetoric in with a rip-roaring (or close to it) actioner is a more important and valuable gesture than the sum of Brokeback Mountain and Good Night and Good Luck. Are those films better? We can leave that up to personal preference (for my part: yes to Brokeback, possibly to GN&GL). But I think that the dissemination of the ideals that these films share may stand a better chance at long term success in the places where they really need to be heard when not worn so openly on the sleeve.
Tom O’Neil at the LA Times‘ Envelope reports that the hugely expensive "Lord of the Rings" musical opens onstage in Toronto today, while Joe Dziemianowicz at the New York Daily News makes us wonder what’s stranger: that anyone saw "The Celebration" and thought, "Now there’s something that deserves the Broadway treatment!" (not a musical, sadly), or that it stars Ali MacGraw.
Do the movies still work today, or are they too quiet? Depends on your tastes. Paul Schrader made a much more specific version of "Cat People" in 1982, which I admired for its own qualities, including the use of atmospheric New Orleans locations. But the 1942 movie gets under your skin. There is something subtly alarming about the oddly mannered good-girl behavior of Simone Simon, and the unearthly detachment of Kent Smith as her husband, and the rooms and streets that look not like places but like ideas of places. And something touching about Irena, who has never had a friend, and fears she will kill the only person she loves, and is told she is insane. At the end, Oliver pays her a simple tribute: "She never lied to us."
+ Is V for Vendetta A Drag? (Movie City News)
+ Where You Least Expect It (Reverse Blog)
+ Can ‘Lord of the Rings’ rule the Tonys someday? (LA Times)
+ B’way gains unlikely Ali (NY Daily News)
+ Cat People (1942) (RogerEbert.com)