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DID YOU READ

The week’s critic wrangle: “Evening.”

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"We are mysterious creatures, aren't we?"
+ "Evening": When a film with this kind of pedigree — it’s based on a novel by Susan Minot;  adapted by Minot and Michael Cunningham; directed by Lajos Koltai, whose "Fateless" was the most beautiful-looking film to ever be made about the Holocaust, a fact that makes its lack of sentimentality all the more piercing; and stars an avalanche of respected actresses, among them Vanessa Redgrave, Meryl Streep, Natasha Richardson, Claire Danes and Toni Collette — gets buried in the height of the summer far from awards season, it’s generally a sign that the film is a dog of Clifford proportions. According to Manohla Dargis at the New York Times, the film is actually a sign of something else: "Stuffed with actors of variable talent, burdened with false, labored dialogue and distinguished by a florid visual style better suited to fairy tales and greeting cards, this miscalculation underlines what can happen when certain literary works meet the bottom line of the movies. It also proves that not every book deserves its own film." Seconds Andrew O’Hehir at Salon: "I don’t quite know what to make of the fact that two distinguished novelists produced this blend of sub-Tennessee Williams period potboiler and quasi-spiritual fairy dust. Maybe if Joyce and Nabokov had written a screenplay together, it would have been ‘Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.’"

d Gonzalez at Slant suggests that "[m]ade by dilettantes, for dilettantes, the film might be considered a gay man’s fetish art," and Elle Taylor at the LA Weekly adds that "[y]ou have to wonder, too, what [Minot] thought of Cunningham’s major plot surgery, which corrals just about every hot-eyed young thing in the movie to fall in love with the undeserving Harris, playing up hints of incestuous attraction and inserting a homoerotic subtext involving a painfully miscast Hugh Dancy as a rich young drunk with forthcoming tragedy in his puppy eyes."

David Edelstein at New York allows that some of the performances are still worth watching. "Evening only bestirs itself when Meryl Streep in old-lady makeup pays Redgrave a visit: The way these two great actresses breathe the same air and adjust their rhythms to each other seems almost holy."

"In truth," seconds David Denby at the New Yorker, "this sort of mood-memory material would have been done better fifty years ago, when it would have starred Lana Turner, Rock Hudson, Sandra Dee, and John Gavin, and been directed by Douglas Sirk. The resulting movie—let’s call it ‘There’s Always Yesterday’—would have been obvious and floridly emotional, but it would have had greater energy and theatrical flair than ‘Evening,’ which isn’t much fun." Fortunately, Roger Ebert provides plenty of fun himself, breaking out the signature brand of not-snark he employs in his best take-downs: "Buddy inevitably is an alcoholic whose family members are forever moving the wine bottle out of his reach. He has to get drunk as an excuse to kiss Harris. This is pathetic. Buddy should grow up, bite the bullet and learn that it takes no excuse to get drunk."

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…