‘Zootopia’ ‘Sunset Song’ ‘Jaws’
Hey, it’s that cute Disney talking animals cartoon about the perils of bigotry! “Zootopia” was a surprise mega-hit back in spring. On one hand that’s a good thing: The movie, about a world populated by chattering, anthropomorphized critters, makes no bones about teaching the children the accidentally super-timely message that you shouldn’t judge people based on stereotypical beliefs. We do wish it was a better film, though, with its wan detective story and sub-Pixar gag-flinging. We’re frankly surprised if the only aspect of it that endures is that objectively excellent bit involving DMV worker sloths.
During the aughts, English filmmaker Terence Davies couldn’t get a film made. Now he has two hitting America in the same year. Before the stubborn director’s Emily Dickinson movie “A Quiet Passion” arrives, catch up with “Sunset Song,” in which the maker of sensuous, melancholy memory pieces like “The Long Day Closes” takes on a sprawling novel (by Lewis Grassic Gibbon) about rural Scottish life in the early 20th century. As a resilient young lass struggling with love and loss, Agyness Deyn is no mere model who gave an excellent performance. She’s as perfectly fused with the material as her character is with the land she calls home.
Fall’s not the best time to watch Steven Soderbergh’s favorite movie. But the classic that ushered in the summer blockbuster — and helped destroyed the idea that mainstream cinema could be about more than tentpole franchises — should work gangbusters whenever. We won’t pester you with stories you’ve heard a million times before (the shark wouldn’t work!) or talk about the best scenes (remember the scar-off?!?). We’ll just say this remains a beautifully made film, and that that Richard Dreyfuss fella is pretty good.