Potiche is an entertaining fable of female empowerment and class struggle. It concerns Suzanne Pujol (Catherine Deneuve, still classy as hell), a–as the title suggests–“decorative object” or trophy wife to her factory-owning husband Robert (Fabrice Luchini), who winds up managing her husband’s plant after settling a workers’ strike. Gérard Depardieu plays Maurice Babin, a socialist politician who once worked in Robert’s plant and shared a particularly passionate day with Suzanne so many years ago. Now Babin wants to help influence Suzanne’s decisions. It’s a film steeped in political debate, with the husband and lover playing the far ends of the spectrum and Suzanne discovering her own philosophy while learning she has a knack for politics. Writer/director François Ozon finds much relevant material in its late 1970s setting. It might not sound like much fun to some, but it is. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Using the trademarked “one wild night to change your miserable life” plot, Take Me Home Tonight works best when it’s being sincere about the problems of a recent college graduate without much direction. Here, he is Matt (Topher Grace), who just got his degree from MIT and is working in a video store at a mall in his hometown. His high school crush Tori (Teresa Palmer) invites him to a party, where he must maintain the ruse that he’s a successful banker in hopes of impressing her. Their story, despite the deception, turns out to be sweet, but it’s undercut by crimes and misdemeanors, casual cocaine use, and nonspecific bits of 1980s nostalgia. My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Limitless has a point. I’m not sure what that might be, but it certainly has a point. What it seems to be is an amalgamation of various, contradictory ideas. It’s about a struggling writer (Bradley Cooper) who takes a mysterious drug that allows the taker’s brain to operate at full steam. Bad things result from his newfound power of intellect, but it hardly matters because, after all, isn’t it fun to wield such corruptive power? There are some insane moments of violence that are far more effective than director Neil Burger’s editing and camera tricks, like a standoff in an apartment that leads to a vampiric action and the use of a little girl wearing ice skates as a weapon. My review is here. Available on DVD and Blu-ray.