27 Sayuri’s eye at an early (pre-pubescent) age and finds himself the center of her adoration over the ensuing years. The struggles of these characters make for adequate screen entertainment, though the movie curiously mutes the tragic dimension of women being bartered over and sold like trinkets in an open-air marketplace.
THE PRODUCERS ✰✰✰
The Academy isn’t exactly known for its embrace of comedy -- only in its humorless universe could Ben-Hur win the Best Picture Oscar in the year of Some Like It Hot -- but in the 1968 race, voters were in a giddy enough mood to hand the Best Original Screenplay Oscar to Mel Brooks for his comic gem, The Producers. Don’t expect similar accolades for this latest version, since a funny thing happened on the way to the podium. Brook’s commercial failure but cult success was
resurrected by the comic legend himself as a Broadway musical, one so successful that it earned a record 12 Tony Awards to go along with its enormous box office booty. That a movie version would follow is no surprise; what’s startling is how the picture plays as little more than a static filming of the stage play, barely more mobile than those one-set Shakespeare dramatizations that used to pop up regularly on PBS. In the Gene Wilder role of the timid accountant Leo Bloom, Matthew Broderick strains too hard to be funny -you almost feel sorry for the guy, praying he doesn’t give himself a hernia through all those pained expressions. Nathan Lane, on the other hand, is a riot in the Zero Mostel role of Max Bialystock, the struggling producer who determines that a dreadful show called Springtime for Hitler is his ticket to riches.
RUMOR HAS IT ✰✰
Sarah Huttinger (Jennifer Aniston), a newspaper obituary writer who can’t decide whether or not to marry her easygoing boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo), learns through a series of events that the bestselling novel The Graduate was based on the experiences of her own family. Over 30 years ago, both her mother (now deceased) and grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) had slept with Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner), who in more recent times has become a billionaire thanks to the booming Internet trade (the movie’s set in 1997). Convinced that Beau can help her sort out her own ambivalent feelings regarding her family, she maneuvers to meet him in person, only to find that, like her mom and grandma before her, she can’t resist his roguish charm. The hook turns out to be the most entertaining aspect of the film, as Sarah strives to
learn exactly how all the pieces of the Graduate puzzle fit together. But once she becomes romantically entangled with Beau, the picture grinds to a halt, losing its comic conceit and getting bogged down in the mundanity of its older manyounger woman relationship. Director Rob Reiner then proceeds to make matters worse, repeatedly mistaking frantic for funny and basically turning these initially promising characters into gibbering idiots.
What could be more idiotic than releasing a foreign slasher flick in the high-profile summer movie season? How about releasing a foreign slasher flick on Christmas Day? This Australian import strands three college-age kids (Cassandra McGrath, Kestie Morassi and Nathan continued on page 28
he was almost creepy.
This guy was so obvious,
B ERLIOZ SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE FABIO MECHETTI, CONDUCTOR RICHARDS – TRIP HAMMER LISZT – PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1, WITH JOSÉ FEGHALI, PIANO
If you fall in love with a touring actress, what better way to get her attention than to follow her around hoping to “bump” into her? If that doesn’t work, attempt to overdose on opium and in your narcotic state create a symphonic tribute to your object of desire. Oh, and don’t forget to add the part where the blade chops off your head and it tumbles into a basket. Romantic or disturbing? You decide.
Sunday, January 15 at 5:30 p.m. At the Lucas Theatre
FABIO MECHETTI, MUSIC DIRECTOR AND PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR HASKELL ENDOWED CHAIR
THIS IS YOUR MUSIC
Tickets: SCAD Box Office (912) 525-5050