Curl up and enjoy one of these brilliant films.
If you thought Ghostbusters was Bill Murray’s finest hour you are in for a shock as Lost In Translation is a subtle affair, all about melancholy and mood. Cultures collide in this movie. Old meets young. East meets west. The rushing world outside threatens to intrude on inner thoughts. And the loneliness of Murray?s middle-aged actor, awkward but at ease with Scarlett Johansson as a listless teen wife, makes for a tale that is at times painful, but always poignant in spades.
There are so many things that impress in O Brother Where Art Thou? Theres George Clooney check. A stellar cast including Holly Hunter, Charles Durning and John Turturro check. Theres a swampy blue grass soundtrack, which got a Grammy for its troubles. And there are the Midas-like skills of cinemas favourite brothers, Ethan and Joel Coen.
O Brother Where Art Thou is a re-telling of Homers Odyssey (bet you wouldnt have guessed that). Set in the depression-era southern states, it is a Stooge-like stagger through bad times and mad times of three escaped convicts who unwittingly embark on an unlikely musical career. Charming, funny and unique, and as good as the Coen Bros get.
Its clear from the outset that Kevin Spaceys character, Lester Burnham, is about to meet a sticky end, and before the movie is over we discover how it is going to happen. Is it something to do with his wifes (Annette Benning) affair? Or his daughters Lolita-esque friend (Mena Suvari)? This is an understated tale of inner despair in suburbia. Beware the killer hook at the end.
Go back in time with this Oscar-winning adventure, set in second-century Rome. Gladiator made stars of Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix (not just down to the fetching chainmail), and added the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture to director Ridley Scotts trophy room. Famed for its sword-splicing greatness as well as battle scenes that demand sharp intakes of breath, its an emotionally involving epic on an old Hollywood scale.
We all know the story: eleven year old Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) lives in the manly north where real lads go boxing and only sissy boys dance. Billys talent for ballet is indulged, on the quiet, by teacher Mrs Wilkinson (Julie Walters). Defying Billys macho dad (Gary Lewis) and brother (Jamie Draven), she pushes her protégé to a Royal Ballet School audition, and a chance to succeed.
Billys oppressive world is painted in expert strokes by director Stephen Daldry, who allows his young star to shine in the euphoric ending. This is the perfect film to add a life-affirming glow to winters Sunday afternoons.
Once seen, never forgotten: Memento is a tightly drawn, suspenseful thriller, which keeps viewers guessing until its shocking end.
Guy Pearce stars as Leonard Shelby, whose polished exterior hides chaos within. Shelby is on a quest to discover who killed his wife, and, consumed with a desire with vengeance, he edges closer and closer to the edge. Someone knows the truth, and who knows? Perhaps its him
his memory is, after all, shattered into a thousand broken pieces. Nothing is as it seems in blink-and-youll-miss-it Memento: dont take your eyes off the screen.
If you can stomach the bone-crushing brutality of Amores Perros, youll be rewarded with a raw but oh-so-rich insight into the folk whose stories it tells. Instead of a conventional beginning-middle-end narrative, the story comprises a threesome of vignette tales.
Here we meet a businessman, about to run off with his teenage mistress; theres a revolutionary assassin, whose life will change forever, and theres Cofi the dog and his owner (Gael Garcia Bernal). Hes about to learn that vengeance is not always sweet.
After that, theres the crash.
Welcome to Amélie's enchanted planet.
Tiptoeing her way along Parisian pavements is Amélie (Audrey Tautou); a cartoon-book heroine for a light-as-a-feather, wish-whispered tale. Amélie, you see, isnt like other girls. Shielded from the world by eccentric parents, she is now grown up but ageless, and free to follow her kind-hearted, if oddly imagined, schemes. Of course they land her in all sorts of hot water.
Our heroine is, perhaps, more of a mood than a character. Shes effervescent but calming. Quirky but clever. And shes at the centre of one of decades best fairy tales. This is a cinematic world to experience and savour, rather than a narrative to rationalise and understand.
There is, they say, a fine line between genius and madness, and it is there for all to see in the Ron Howard biopic of maths prodigy Robert Forbes Nash.
Nash was a talented but socially awkward mathematician who struggled with schizophrenia throughout his life. The films genuine believability hinges, almost single-handedly, on the instinctive and impressive portrayal of Nash by Russell Crowe. The last third of the film can be tough going it aims to mimic the fractional world Nash grew to live in. However, no-one said the subject matter was easy, and the courage of Nash as he struggles to get his life back on track is heroic. Crowe excels in this impressive role.
It may have been a modern-day take on the Pride and Prejudice story, but the film adaptation of Helen Fieldings best-selling book defined a generation of women smug marrieds and singletons alike.
Yes, the casting of Rene Zellwegger caused outrage as the film went into pre-production but once the Texans girl-about-town portrayal hit the big screen it was hard to imagine her being played by anyone else. With the fabulously caddish Hugh Grant and stoically glum Colin Firth providing the love interest, theres a lot to love about Bridget. Just as she is.
Based on the original novel by Marc Dugain, The Officers Ward is a painful and rewarding watch. Set in the first world war, it follows young engineer Adrien (Eric Caravaca) as he prepares to set off to fight.
After a short spell on the front line he is injured and transported to a ward for soldiers with facial disfigurements. Despite the care of a kind nurse, Anaïs, (Sabine Azema) Adrien is dismayed to realise his true love Clemence may never look at him the same way again. Tender and tragic, the Officers Ward is a timely reminder of the horrors of war and the struggle of those wounded. Moving performances, and compassionate and artistic script.
Spirited Away is an animated flick that will fill all but the most hardened souls with joyous wonder. Japanese creator Hayao Miyazaki has melded the most traditional Miyazaki storytelling values the epic battle between good and evil with a lightness of touch rarely seen in traditional Disney picks.
As cartoon heroine Chihero moves to a new town she somehow steps into an enchanted magical spirit realm (Isnt it always the way)? With echoes of The Wizard Of Oz and Alice In Wonderland, this is the biggest grossing Japanese film in box office history.
Adrien Brody won an Oscar for his role in The Pianist. He takes the lead in Roman Polanskis adaptation of the memoirs of Polish Jew Wladyslaw Szpilman, a musician who managed to escape the Nazi death camps as his Warsaw ghetto neighbours perished around him.
The Pianist is stark and the story is heartbreakingly simple. Szpilmans quest to survive as the Nazis draw closer is laced with a terrifying tension. He is close to starvation, and his on-going mental struggle to cope would churn the most steadfast of stomachs.
Bend It Like Beckham launched the careers of Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra- and it didnt do Jonathan Rhys Meyers any harm either.
The story is this: Jess (Nagra) and Jules (Knightley) join the local womens football team, spurred on by their mutual love of a certain Mr David Beckham. Unfortunately Beckham isnt the only crush they share, and a rivalry develops for the affections of their team coach Joe (Rhys Meyers).
None of this sits well with Jesss Indian parents, who would prefer her to have more traditional aspirations. This is a gentle comedy tale about a clash of modern cultures and one girls struggle to find happiness while juggling lifes different demands.
Talk To Her is arguably Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar's most accessible - and finest movie. The story centres on the relationship between two men: the antisocial but chaming Benigno (Javier Camara) and a more sensitive soul, Marco (Dario Grandinetti). Both find they have a lot in common when, after traumatic accidents, the women the love lie in hospital, trapped in comatose states.
Well, so far, not your average love story. Brought together by circumstance, the mens casual friendship becomes a needy bond, and, through flashbacks, we learn that, below the surface, all is not as it seems. A sad sexual twist of an end could make you reach for the hankies, but these are characters who will stay with you for years.
This New Zealand-made gem is wonderful childrens tale. Dubbed a Maori Karate Kid, it pits the traditional values of community chief Koro against the ambition of his eleven-year-old granddaughter Pai as the pair clash over who should be the tribes next leader. The whale rider in the title is the mythical figure who founded the tribe and when the impressive creatures begin to congregate in a neighbourhood bay, it seems that they will again play their part in the tribes destiny.
This Jim Sheridan-led film sees Irish immigrant parents Johnny and Sarah (Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton) arrive in modern day Manhattan with nought but their dreams to support them. The city is seem through the wide-open eyes of their daughters, Naomi and Kirsten, as they negotiate a Hells Kitchen world filled mostly with transvestites and junkies, but also with a new artist friend, Mateo.
There is one family member missing from the move young son Frankie, whose death has shattered his fathers faith. Someone in their new circle can restore that faith but a terrible price must be paid.
Its probably physically impossible to sit though Finding Nemo without ending up with a great big, goon-like, grin on your face. Disneys aquatic adventure is aimed at children but loved by adults, following desperate clown fish dad Marlin as he searches for his little lost son in a vast underwater space. The characters he encounters provide panic and terror as well as lessons and laughter, and you will really like, really - care about the fate of the finned ones by the end. Youll never look at fish fingers in the same way again.
Fancy a great big dose of swashbuckling adventure? That, and a pirate based on a ravaged Keith Richards, the Rolling Stone? Look no further than Pirates of The Caribbean, The Curse of The Black Pearl. With lovable villain Johnny Depp leading the action as Captain Jack Sparrow, Orlando Bloom wearing the breeches and Keira Knightley striking a cannonball blow for the liberation of womenkind (albeit the liberation is mostly from corsets) - this is a witty and wonderful theme park-style ride.
If you love little Hobbity things youre in for a treat in this, the second instalment of the Middle Earth trilogy. Peter Jackson directs the now familiar cast, with Elijah Wood as Frodo, Andy Serkis as Gollum, Orlando Bloom as Legolas and featuring, of course, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan as the assorted band of the hairy-toed.
Jacksons great feat is in weaving J.R.R. Tolkeins complex tale together, shoehorning epic battles and action adventures into the screen time, This flick is an eye-popping spectacle. Enjoy getting lost in this fantasy world.
If Amélie made you look at Audrey Tautou in a certain way, then Dirty Pretty Things will change that view altogether. Here, director Stephen Fears faces the dangerous world of illegal immigration. In the darkest corners of London, Tautou stars as asylum seeker Senay, whos hiding from government officials. Elsewhere, hopeful Nigerian Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) stumbles upon a dangerous hotel room secret, while his boss (Sergi Lopéz) knows how to exploit his deepest fears. By the way, this is the film that christened the band.
This highly praised and atmospheric flick won the Academy Award for Best Film in its year of release as well as top honours for director Clint Eastwood and stars Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman.
Eastwood plays Frankie Dunn, a down-at-heel boxing promoter, who reluctantly agrees to train a wrong-side-of-the-tracks waitress Maggie (Swank) as she attempts to go for boxing gold. Dunn is aided throughout by his old mucker, Scrap (Freeman), and both men see something special in their new charge. While Maggies skill is undisputed she requires Frankies help to hone her talent, and as Scrap sees a father-daughter bond develop between the two, he hopes it will heal some of the scars from Frankies past.
This is a weird one. No, really, its weird. And complicated. But if you concentrate, and invest your time and attention, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind will reward you with an abstract and innovative take on love.
If you anything about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, youll know to expect the unexpected. Here we see Joel (Jim Carrey) undergo a medical procedure to delete the disturbing memories of his ex girlfriend (Kate Winslet). We probably all wish we could do that. However, as the procedure takes place, Joels mind whizzes though a series of snapshot scenes, leaving us to piece together facets of his disappearing life. Memorable - and a great soundtrack too.
Preston, Idado - and small town life is proving pretty tough for high school loser Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder). Cast out by the in-crowd and out-crowd alike, he seeks refuge in lonesome pursuits and thinking out loud. But his gauche existence is perfectly drawn by first-time director Jared Hesse, who, in good indie tradition, thought up the film with his wife. The result is a quirky, toe-curling comedy, perfectly balanced to capture the awkward alienation as well as aching funny events in its heros teen life. Put yourself in his moonboots and see what life is like.
He does only tell one side of the story, but wow - Michael Moore tells that story awfully well. Hot on the heels of the eye-opening Bowling For Columbine, documentary filmmaker Moore has got his big guns out for former American President George W Bush. Did his arms sales to Saudi programme and personal friendships with the Bin Laden family have anything to do with 9/11? Moore thinks it does and he has a compelling way of putting his argument across.
We dont want to be the ones to break the news to you but the undead are on the streets of London. You never know the minute, eh? Lifes loser Shaun (Simon Pegg), must morph from suburb dweller to Zombie killer in an instant, bringing his flatmate Ed (Nick Frost) and ex-girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashby) along for the ride.
Mixed with the hoards of the dead-souled, bloodshot-eyed things is a deep respect of the horror flick genre, and a script that excels in the comedy stakes.
American horrors just seems so unlikely. This is a handy cinematic reference guide detailing how to dispense with marauding ghouls who might, at any moment, surround your favourite boozer in Zone Three.
Its well named, this one. Exploding in your face and intended to blow away audience preconceptions, this Paul Haggis-directed Best Picture-winning slice of all-life-is-here action is provocative and unflinching.
What happens it this: Los Angelinos are going about their business. Theres a good-guy black cop, and dishonest white one. Theres a Persian shopkeeper, a car-jacked couple, and a middle class husband and wife who get drawn into something bad. The crash comes when worlds smash together, scattering the repercussions of prejudice and crime.
When cowboy companions Ennis De Mar (Heath ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaall part ways after a summer of love and bare back riding, each knows whats in store for him a wife, kids and if theyre lucky, earning an honest dollar.
The bond they form on mountain wont be broken, however, and despite all of their best intentions, they are pulled together again - and again. Great love and great betrayal is the theme here it won Ang Lee an Oscar for his interpretation of a short story by Pulitzer-winning Annie Proux, and provided a Stetson-toting love story from Ledger and co-star Michelle Williams off set.
High praise indeed: this is the favourite film of Gavin and Staceys Uncle Bryn.
Imagine you are the well-travelled, well-heeled Brit chick Madeleine, recently married, whos travelled to Pfafftown for work and to see how your husband George lived before you became his wife.
Its not that he used to be a woman, or anything. But a trip to South Carolina to meet his parents, his layabout brother, and his brothers very pregnant young wife, Ashley (Amy Adams) is a bit if a culture shock, to say the least.
Told in snapshot scenes and moments, Madeleine encounters a host of special little ways the clan have come to think of as normal. And who says theyre wrong? A great little character piece about relationship dynamics, love, and the (very) odd bits in family life.
By the time teenager Sonia (Deborah Francois) is discharged from a Belgian hospital, babe in her arms, neer-do-well boyfriend Bruno (Jeremie Renier) has sublet their apartment to live in a shelter. His next money-making scheme, selling their child for 5,000 euros, leaves Sonia in hospital in a collapsed state.
This moral tale from the Dardennes is shot on hand-held cameras for visceral realism; it is painful but rewarding. Can Bruno redeem himself, or has he left it too late?
A sleeper hit in its year of release, Little Miss Sunshine charms and delights at its V-Dub filled with a fractured family heads out along the interstate. Seven-year-old Olive is en route to win the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant. Brother Dwayne never speaks and reads Neitzsche. Gay Uncle Frank is suicidal. Granpa smokes heroin. Not surprisingly, mom Sheryl is harassed and dad Richard is a takes downturn in his already-failed career as a motivational speaker.
Theyre all in a bus, together, for three long, stir-crazy days. This satirical tale about the dysfunctional family is raw, funny and honest. Will the Hoovers be winners when they get where theyre going - or will they (ahem), have to just keep sucking it up?
Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway star in The Devil Wears Prada, a sharp and caustic look at the fashion world. Streeps Miranda Priestly edits Runway, a high-end glossy, while Hathaway is her plain Jane Superbrain assistant, who knows nothing about the world of designer clothes. For ladies who love fashion, The Devil Wears Prada succeeds on many levels. Its a sleek comedy with barbed but sparking wit, and a great showcase for Streeps acting skills. It also boasts SATCs Patricia Field as wardrobe designer so it has scene after scene of to-die-for outfits and always, always, just the right pair of shoes.
It doesnt have an over-egged plot or budget-blowing action scenes, but Once is one of the best feel-good films youll ever see. The musical (although a million miles from anything in a The Sound Of Music vein) stars songwriter Glen Hansard as a Dublin guy who meets for an immigrant girl from the Czech republic. Quickly and simply, they fall in love. Made on a super-tight budget, Once is realistic and lovely and makes you want to hunt the lead characters down and hug them, all to the sound of quirky indie-pop soundtrack youve made.
It used to be that movie men could become politicians (Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger), but imagining a career path that went the other way would have been an unthinkable dream. That former Vice President Al Gore, working with Sundance-winning director Davis Guggenheim, felt the evidence for global warming was so compelling that he turned his back on multi-topic politics to dedicate his life the cause, is noble and unnerving indeed.
The resulting film - non-preachy, witty, but ultimately apocalyptic - has spread around the planet, reaching audiences no one political speech could. If you believe a film can change the world, hope this will be the one to do it.
Just in case you thought otherwise, Pedro Almodovars Vovler has nothing to do with guns. Volver is Spanish for coming back. And someone does come back in the film the ghost of Raimunda (Penelope Cruz) and Soles (Lola Duenas) long-dead mother (played by a sprightly Carmen Maura).
The trouble doesnt stop there, however. Raimundas daughter has killed her husband, and Raimunda resolves to hide his body. Ghost mum hangs out in Soles hairdressing shop she doesnt speak but does a good hair wash. Meanwhile, the reason for her visit soon become clear - she wants to talk about something bad that happened in Raimundas past. A great ensemble piece from Almodovars female cast, shot in sunshine colours with the devil in its detail and joy at its heart.
Mix Pulitzer Prize-winning Cormac McCarthy with the off-the-wall Coen Bros and you get this. No Country for Old Men is a slow country, fast dialogue film, a bit like Fargo, with a death toll rising faster than rain water in Biblical flood.
Redneck hunter Llewelyn Moss finds $2 million dollars of ill-gotten gains, and despite obvious dangers, decides to keep the cash for himself. Psychopath killer Anton Chigurh is hot on his trail, and laconic Sheriff Ed Tom Bell just wants to get the investigation over so he can get on with retirement. Chilling and thrilling, it is in parts, blackly funny but it is always violent to the core.
One part afternoon movie plot to two parts super-droll indie flick, Juno is a My So-Called Life-style cautionary tale about a) getting pregnant and b) having to cope with it. Deal.
Here, Ellen Page stars as the always-charming Juno. Shes a funny fish this one clever, and capable, with razor sharp tongue. When she gets pregnant by best friend Bleeker she takes the lead to manage her future eschewing an abortion for a private adoption, after finding prospective parents in the small ads. Over the course of a year, Juno grows big and grows wiser. Youll be emotionally involved with this one from beginning to end - and youll be rooting all the way for the smart-ass kid.
Director Cristian Munguis film won the Palm DOr at the 2007s Cannes Film Festival and it is easy to see why. Set in communist Romania, it follows Gabita, a student who finds herself pregnant, and Otilia, the resourceful flatmate to whom she turns to for help.
Finding a backstreet abortionist is relatively easy for the girls but finding out to how they must pay for the procedure is not. Filmed in unflinching detail, their sisterhood is tested and the pain is intense. This tragic drama can be harrowing to watch, but those who are not easily shocked will be rewarded.
Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano star in There Will Be Blood, director Paul Thomas Andersons study of a wholly evil man.
Daniel Plainview is a bad un, and greedy with it. Hes an oil man, a prospector, who buys up peoples land, and drills on it, and makes a fortune while the weary kind-hearted around him struggle. But Plainview, surely, must come a cropper. After pitting his wits against Eli Sunday, his treacherous world begins to spin out of control
There Will Be Blood is a film of epic proportions. You've just found the justification for that 52 inch widescreen TV your boyfriend bought.
Based on the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner is an intertwining story of family and friendship, betrayal and redemption through love.
Two young boys are out playing with kites in Afghanistan. A wicked stranger rapes Hassan while his friend, paralysed with fear, fails to come to his aid. The shame of betraying Hassan haunts Amir throughout his life, and twenty years later, that guilt will take him back to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Amir put things right for his boyhood pal, in order to cleanse his soul. A haunting tale.
The slums of Mumbai are not an obvious choice for a feel-good adventure, but Danny Boyles joyously bubbly Best Picture was the hit of the year.
The action centres on an Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Jamal Malik is teetering on the edge of winning wealth beyond his wildest dreams. After performing better than show bosses expected, he is arrested, and, accused of cheating, his whole life flashes before him. Escaping the brutality and poverty of his slum-dwelling existence means so much more that anyone could imagine. Can he win out against all odds - or is his destiny sealed for good?
If youre anything like the girls in the Marie Claire office, you loved the original Sex And The City TV series and waited with bated breath for the release of the follow-up film. We werent disappointed. Our New York foursome have moved on with their lives, but the enduring themes of the series the city and the sisterhood of the women never falter. When Big jilts Carrie at the alter, the girls rally round to help her with humour, sex and sarcasm. With that, and the power and beauty of Manolo Blahnik, we know that good will prevail.
This might be the tale of a comic book hero but it sure aint one for the kids. A wicked and wild-eyed Heath Ledger stars as The Joker in this ghoulish gothic adventure, with director Christopher Nolan heaping on the tension in the follow-up to Batman Begins. Starring Christian Bale as Batman and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, it was released shortly after Ledgers death, so the hype surrounding the film was intense. A fine calling card to leave on the planet.
Husbands, eh? Whod have one? Ray Eddy (Melissa Leo) is certainly thinking twice about hers, who has gambled away the deposit shed saved for a trailer, leaving her potentially homeless and at her wits end. When a chance meeting with Mohawk Indian Lila (Misty Upham) throws up a way to make easy money, Ray jumps at it. But driving illegal immigrants over the Canadian border is dangerous, putting Rays life in peril and her familys future at risk. Quentin Tarantino called Frozen River The most exciting thriller Ive seen all year and it triumphed at Sundance upon its release.
Flight of The Red Balloon is Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsein's adaptation of a much-loved French childrens tale. Its a bit unnerving.
As his mother (Juliette Binoche) juggles her busy life, Simon, a seven-year-old cutie, is followed by a red balloon. Its everywhere, like a little puppy dog, just watching, there. The spectacle brings wonderment. Apart from that, not that much really happens, but it's amazing how much a film with such a light storyline can truly enchant.
You wait years for one balloon-themed film to make the big-time then two float into your line of vision at once.
Disneys animation Up features grandpaw curmudgeon Carl Fredericksen, whose adventure-filled days have ended, after the death of his wife. Theres spirit in him yet, though and thanks to the thousand helium balloons he ties his home onto, he is soon off, flying high in the air. Carl is not alone, however. An over-zealous, eight-year-old Explorer Scout has hitched a ride to South America. Together they run into a host of fun characters - and discover a friendship that will enrich their souls forever. Up looks spectacular and the dialogue is clever - great for grumpy folk and happy folk alike!
By the time the movie is over, Quentin Tarantino has already declared it 'a masterpiece'. It is. But for British audiences it will always be masterpiece-in-the-making The Great Escape versus The Chainsaw Massacre - with Allo Allo thrown into the mix.
Making a comedy about World War Two was always going to be risky - but this by far Tarantinos best work for years. Brad Pitt leads a team of undercover Jewish-American soldiers, who infiltrate the German ranks in order to blow up Hitler and bring down the third Reich. Their quest is a bloody, brutal, rollicking adventure. There are some fairly substantial holes in the plot but everyone looks like theyre having a brilliant time in the outfits. Its great fun. Just dont go thinking itll be like Das Boot or Saving Private Ryan. What-a-mistake-a-to-make!
Hailed as the first great film about the Iraq conflict, The Hurt Locker goes right to the heart of the action with this razor-sharp piece centred a the bomb disposal team.
Sergeant William James is seconded into the unit to replace a colleague killed by an IED. Out of control and high on danger, he takes too many chances, which puts fellow soldiers lives in peril. Unimpressed, Sgt JT Sandborn prefers to play by the book and minimise risk. The unit have thirty-nine days before the end of their tour of duty. As their day of homecoming draws closer, the team get closer and closer to the edge.
Up In The Air has two very brilliant plus points. Its got George Clooney (whats not to love about George Clooney?) and its got Jason Reitman, the writer/director of Juno, who once more displays talent for very, very good comedy things.
Here, Clooney is Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizer, whose job it is to travel America, fire people, then deliver insincere but comforting platitudes as they prepare to leave. Firing people has its perks most usefully, first class plane tickets aplenty, an affair with a fellow traveller, and a lifestyle fuelled by the ten million air miles he's earned.
But then feisty office newcomer Natalie imposes a system of firing punters by video conference call. Its time to downsize the downsizer a very welcome move in this day and age!
UP IN THE AIR IS NOT YET AVAILABLE TO BUY ON DVD
Right. So we could tell you that Precious is the story of illiterate, overweight sixteen-year-old Claireece, whose life is the worst type of disaster zone. Shes pregnant for the second time by her absent father and abused by her awful mother (MoNique). Or, I could tell you that it has Mariah Carey in it, and shes got a moustache.
If you only check it out for the second reason, then so be it. Director Lee Daniels will still have you caught up in Claireeces story, and by the end you'll be cheering because she has a charm it is hard to resist.
This adaptation of the novel Push by Sapphire is hotly tipped for success in awards season. It has already won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Prize.
PRECIOUS IS NOT YET AVAILABLE TO BUY ON DVD