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Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

Blue Jasmine

There are at least three surprising things about Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. One is that he felt moved to make it in the first place. The movie is obviously in some sense a response to the recent Wall Street debacle and crisis. More specifically, he seems to have in mind Bernard Madoff’s giant, Ponzi-structured swindle. Not that the movie’s couple living high off the dirty proceeds of a financial shell game, Jasmine and Hal (Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin), resemble the Madoffs. They’re much younger and better-looking, and they’re apparently not Jewish. The world of national social and economic dislocations isn’t, to say the least, Allen’s customary creative stomping ground.

The Butler

Why has Hollywood never made a film about the civil rights movement? There are plenty of documentaries, most notably Eyes on the Prize, but we all know that documentaries don’t get seen by many people. There have been films on this or that corner of the struggle—Ghosts of Mississippi, The Long Walk Home, Mississippi Burning, Malcolm X—but nothing that tries to grapple with the whole thing. (By contrast, how many films have there been about Viet Nam?)


To get the obvious question out of the way up front: How bad is Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, founder and former CEO of Apple? Not really bad at all, though it may depend on whether you feel Jobs was a visionary guru who pulled the world into the 21st century by the force of his will or an asshole who benefited from the work and talents of others.

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