Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Best and Worst of 2007: #9

9th best -- Les petites vacances

This year's Red Lights prize for underheralded French drama that I could hardly have liked more goes to Olivier Peyon for his subtly disquieting granny-and-tots road movie. New wave veteran Bernadette Lafont, as the disobedient gran indefinitely prolonging a day out with the kids, offers a smiling enigma of a performance that's calibrated beautifully, and Peyon, a new name to me, has something of that Cédric Kahn/Laurent Cantet/Ray Lawrence knack for creating a kind of abstract unease by letting the camera linger: the sustained rear-view shot of a slow-moving log truck as the movie opens is a case in point, setting up a lot of the film's tensions by both obstinately stalling progress and prompting a dangerous urge to overtake.

9th worst -- Good Luck Chuck

After a grimly appropriate performance as a sleazy voyeur in Mr Brooks, Dane Cook returned to default obnoxiousness in the year's most calculatedly vile -- if not quite its creepiest -- mainstream rom-com. Jessica Alba "broadened her range" by playing a pratfalling penguinologist, and the penguins did not look impressed. They looked vaguely appalled. Worst bit: Cook testing his romantic mojo on the least attractive female he can find, whereby we discover that if you're over a size six in this movie, you lick your own warts, stuff yourself to farting point, and are barely human. This was like an STD infecting multiplexes.

1 comment:

Nick Davis said...

The notion of eight movies worse than Good Luck Chuck is already deeply horrifying to me. I proceed with trepidation, but also with fascination, into the rest of this countdown.