Prince Avalanche and Almost Christmas make for a pretty solid double feature. Both are dark comedies that star Paul Rudd as a blue-collar guy trying to prove his worth to his girlfriend and her young daughter. Both attempt tender character portraits, and both appear to be attempts by their directors to reclaim the critical acclaim that once embraced them.
Prescription drug abuse isn't as attention-grabbing as bath salts, and not as glamorized as meth, but as the documentary Oxyana movingly depicts, it's just got as much power to destroy. Taking its title from the nickname acquired by Oceana, West Virgina, Oxyana is a portrait of modern rural American life as completely transformed by drugs, in this case a legal prescription painkiller that has paralyzed an entire generation
Whether you know and adore Elaine Stritch for her decades-long Broadway career, her distinctively boozy and brassy singing style, or her wickedly winsome guest appearances as Jack Donaghy's mom Colleen on 30 Rock, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me is an absolute joy.
The film's most telling moments were when Haneke confesses that he channels his own fears and anxieties into his work, which is sometimes autobiographically inspired, as a form of therapeutic catharsis, and when he admits, "In cinema, the viewer is always the director's victim."
As its plot progressed I was able only to follow its broadest strokes. Ultimately, not even the smoking hot sexual chemistry of its leads (Jean Dujardin and Cécile De France) could save this confounding thriller.
The absolute last thing the Internet cat meme phenomenon needed was a feature-length documentary that's happy to participate in, not examine, the madness. Given access to a variety of people who have turned our world into one that includes the phrase "cat-lebrities," Eisner and Andy Capper come away with…nothing. Maybe even less