Film

Film

Marvel’s The Avengers

Written and directed by Joss Whedon

Writer-director Joss Whedon, the creator of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, saves the world from destruction yet again in the first of the summer blockbusters, Marvel’s The Avengers. The adventure is moderately enjoyable but rather exhausting.

A Simple Life

Directed by Ann Hui

Whenever people complain to me about the lack of “realistic” movies out there, I point them to tiny gems such as Ann Hui’s A Simple Life, Hong Kong’s entry for last year’s Oscar for best foreign lan­guage film.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Directed by John Madden

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, by British director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love), is a “hands across the water” movie flavored with large doses of “there’ll al­ways be an England” pluck. It culminates in a warm and thoughtful look at our innate ability to rediscover unexplored strengths within ourselves even on the last few miles of life’s journey.

Monsieur Lazhar

Written and directed by Philippe Falardeau

Movies about education are seldom convincing; their depiction of what goes on in the classroom hardly ever tallies with our own experiences. So the sweet and poignant Quebecois film Monsieur Lazhar is a rare pleasure.

Bully

Directed by Lee Hirsch

Lee Hirsch’s documentary Bully rings false from beginning to end. The film wants to sound alarm bells about the prevalence of bullying in public schools, which is certainly a very real problem. But like the recently completed trilogy of TV documentaries about the child murders at Robin Hood Hills and the young men who were evidently scapegoated for the crime, the movie has a tawdry, voyeuristic quality that keeps distracting you from its alleged agenda.