American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
1. "Esther Williams, Who Swam to Movie Fame, Dies at 91." Aljean Harmetz's New York Times obituary for the late Esther Williams, best known for her starring role in the "Water Ballets" that became so phenomenally popular with movie audiences in the 1940s and '50s.
From “Bathing Beauty” in 1944 to “Jupiter’s Darling” in 1955, Ms. Williams swam in Technicolor pools, lakes, lagoons and oceans, cresting onto the list of Top 10 box-office stars in 1949 and 1950. 'Esther Williams had one contribution to make to movies — her
magnificent athletic body,' the film critic Pauline Kael wrote. 'And for
over 10 years MGM made the most of it, keeping her in clinging, wet
bathing suits and hoping the audience would shiver.'"
"Adding briefly via email to his expansive introductory post,
Seitz noted that as an editor, he favors pitches 'writers have been
carrying around in their hip pocket forever and ever, with the details
changing, and that they've never written for a professional outlet
because they keep getting told that the idea is too weird or the thesis
too hard to prove, or that it's not 'a good fit' for the section, or
whatever. [...] 'That sounds completely ridiculous' followed by 'but
this writer might actually have a point' is the best possible reaction
that a publication can get from readers.' "
"The idea that a single political solution exists (whether in the form of a politician or a policy) for the complex problems of the nation and the world is one with little backing in any of the recent Marvel films. Indeed, it’s not too much to say that Marvel Comics is reminding us anew, with each successive film in the Avengers network of storylines, that the worst sort of war is the war we wage daily against our own fears of fallibility and failure, as it’s this sort of windmill-tilting that ultimately leads us down the path to ruin."
"[Bill] Murray plays Mr. McNulty, an actor who is so unmoored from conventional attitudes toward things like responsibility and career that substitute teaching is his day job, and he rolls into the classroom cloaked in Murray’s signature fake sincerity. Though he was handed the assignment to teach the kids about real life by teaming them up in compatible mock marriages, Mr. McNulty tears up the rulebook and matches them in ways designed to get them thinking about the lives of those different from themselves."
IMAGE OF THE DAY
VIDEO OF THE DAY
One of Esther Williams' most famous screen appearances, in the water ballet from 1955's Jupiter's Darling.
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The RogerEbert.com staff picks for the Oscars.