We had some pretty bad weather in Florida (though far better than the Northeast) so we caught up on some movies. Herein are my reviews so that you can enjoy, yet not waste time.
Enough Said: A tour de force with Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini (his final film), underscoring the agony of adult dating and the wonder of finding someone who is a soulmate. Extraordinary.
All Is Lost: Robert Redford might have three lines in the entire film, focusing on his attempts to stay alive when his sailboat is struck by drifting cargo. His acting, and the direction that molded it, are incredible. The ending had me awestruck in its subliminal complexity.
The Counselor: This is a pretentious, bombastic mess where a great cast (Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt) seems unsure themselves of the rationale for the dialogue. Director Ridley Scott must have been on LSD, and Javier Bardem seems to be semi-coherent. After a while I simply rooted for the drug lords. They made more sense.
Gravity: Vastly overrated, George Clooney mailing it in, and Sandra Bullock terminally overwrought. I don’t understand all the hype around this. Even great effects become boring when repeated or implausible. The site of Bullock navigating in space with a fire extinguisher was pretty hilarious, though intended to be scary.
And For Dining:
Table 26 is an excellent Palm Beach restaurant with a great burger as well as wonderfully conceived comfort food (meatloaf). A lot of beautiful people who know where the really good chow is.
La Serena (The Mermaid) may be one of the best Italian restaurants in the country. Even veal dishes you find on all menus are executed here with unique zest and imagination. The wine list is exquisite, it’s nearly impossible to get in (which is a challenge I love), and the food is to die for. Bentleys, Rolls, and Maseratis dot the lot. Small place but great food.
Finally, the Four Seasons in Palm Beach has wonderful service, fine food, great views, and “typical” Four Seasons ambiance. It has the largest beach I’ve seen in Palm Springs. (The beach at The Breakers is no wider than my car at this point.) It’s an oasis of civility and charm.
© Alan Weiss 2014