Rodrigo García

The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Impersonating a nun, finding impure uses for her body parts, seducing a man of the cloth – Jennifer Garner is filthy. And sweet. And in love. In Rodrigo Garcia‘s new short, she and Alfred Molina sap every ounce of humanity and drama from the wood of the confessional. It’s a film comprised almost solely of dialogue (with a pristine shot selection just for good measure). There’s a pulpy feel to it – a kind of polite insanity that still feels rooted even in its mythical (and undeniably romantic) setting. Both actors are in solid form here – proof that Garner can do more than what she’s been handed in the past, and although her sweetness is played upon, it never feels exploitative. What will it cost? Only 11 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films

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Albert Nobbs is a study in tasteful restraint. But that doesn’t mean it’s slow, passionless or dry. Rodrigo Garcia’s film trades in subdued emotions and subtle currents of longing that are deeply felt, driven home by the great performances of leads Glenn Close and Janet McTeer and a screenplay that’s attuned to the sense of wonder — and the longing for something better — that accompanies the pursuit of an unlikely dream. Close stars as the title character, a devoted and rigid butler at a small 19th century Dublin hotel. Albert has a secret, of course. He’s a woman, living as a man to work and save enough money to open a small tobacco shop. When the obsessive, justifiably paranoid Albert meets Hubert Page (McTeer), a handyman facing the same predicament, he’s inspired to begin opening up, moving forward in his store-owning aspirations and fomenting a romance with the deceptive maid Helen Dawes (Mia Wasikowska).

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr pulls out his screening schedule, which looks like a gambling addict’s racing form. He bounces from huge, mainstream releases to minor indie award contenders. Facing motion-capture CGI, tattooed bisexual investigators, cross-dressing waiters, silent film actors, and a lead star who is literally hung like a horse, Kevin tries to make sense of the seemingly countless releases this holiday week. Exhaustion from this process makes it impossible to buy a zoo or face the 3D end of the world, but his movie stocking is full, nonetheless.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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