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Movie Madness with Michael Doherty

Friday, 8 February 2008

It's Friday and that can only mean one thing our resident movie buff supremo Michael Doherty is here with a look at all this week's new releases and a sneak preview of this year's Dublin International Film Festival.

Juno (15A)             

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox
Starring:  Ellen Page, Michael Cera
Director: Jason Reitman

Verdict: Last year it was Little Miss Sunshine. This year's super smart indie film to capture the hearts and imaginations of cinemagoers is Juno.

Directed by Jason Reitman (son of Ivan), it's a razor-sharp comedy from first time writer Diablo Cody about the choices faced by a 16-year-old who unexpectedly becomes pregnant.

The script is sharp and witty ('' I'm a legend. You know, they call me the cautionary whale''), the ensemble cast (Michael Cena, Jennifer Garner, Allison Janney) is uniformly excellent and, best if all, young Ellen Page in the lead role is a revelation.

Trivia: Juno has been nominated for 4 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Ellen Page) and Best Screenplay


Arctic Tale (G)                              
Courtesy: Paramount Pictures 
Directors: Adam Ravetch, Sarah Robertson
Verdict: The success of March of the Penguins suggests we'll be inundated with National Geographic Specials for years to come. That's fine when they are done well but this particular yarn about polar bears and walrus cubs, while beautifully photographed, is compromised by an annoyingly twee narration (courtesy of Queen Latifah) and an annoying crass soundtrack.

Definitely, Maybe (15A)         
Courtesy: Universal Pictures
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
Director: Adam Brooks
Verdict: Ryan Reynolds stars as Will Hayes, bored advertising executive and dad in the midst of a divorce when his 10-year-old daughter, Maya (Abigail Breslin), starts to question him about his life before marriage. Is her mother Will's college sweetheart Emily (Elizabeth Banks) Is she his long-time best friend and confidante, April (Isla Fisher) Or is she the free-spirited but ambitious journalist, Summer (Rachel Weisz) As romantic comedies go this is one of the better ones. Ryan Reynolds has graduated to leading man status and manages to pull if off with ease and charm.

Dublin International Film Festival Preview
The 2008 festival kicks off on Friday the 15th February and runs until Sunday the 24th February 2008.

Led by stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Writer/Director Martin McDonagh for the Opening Gala: In Bruges, the 6th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival is a delight from start to finish. The Opening will be swiftly followed by the Gala Screening of the much-lauded There Will be Blood with Daniel Day-Lewis and Writer/Director Paul Thomas Anderson in attendance. The festival continues with the cream of international talent with the Midweek Gala screening of U23D which Director Catherine Owens will attend. The acclaimed directors Mike Leigh and John Sayles round out the festival culminating in the World Premiere of Declan Recks Eden, which will be attended by Recks and cast members Eileen Walsh and Aidan Kelly.