Friday’s Flicks

Movie titles like A Good Year and Harsh Times perfectly encapsulate the post-election mood — it just depends on which side of the political divide you reside.

It’s been a pretty good week at CityBeat Headquarters — the public actually agreed with the majority of our election day endorsements; nice job, Fox, your batting average is up to .127. Alas, even a “tsunami” can’t take down the likes of Steve Chabot and Jean Schmidt in these parts.

Yes, in addition to our deep devotion to the projected image, we here at Friday’s Flicks are also pretty serious political junkies, losing several hours a week to a variety of publications, Web sites and television programs.

What’s that got to do with this week’s movies? Quite a bit, actually. Babel and the aforementioned Harsh Times, two of several politically minded films opening this fall, hit theaters this week.

Opening films (click on grade to read review):

Babel: A-

A Good Year: B

Harsh Times: A-

The Return: Not screened for review

Stranger than Fiction: B-

Flick of the Week: Babel

Criticized in some quarters as an overreaching, convoluted melodrama, the wildly ambitious Babel certainly requires a degree of patience. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga are interested in exploring borders both literal and psychological. The result is a compelling, emotionally fraying look at the world today, a place where technology has made communication easier while we remain as culturally divided as ever. (Look for my interview with the Inarritu in next week’s CityBeat.)

Now excuse us as we take down the “Cranley for Congress (I Guess)” sign afixed to Flannery’s desk.

— Jason Gargano

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2 Comments on “Friday’s Flicks”


  1. I can’t wait to see Stranger Than Fiction. I love Will Ferrell and I want to be a writer, so it should be good!

  2. Westside John Says:

    Not all of the readers of CityBeat agree with it’s political views. We conservatives can actually read a left slanted publication and see that it has many redeeming qualities. I applaud the nation for speaking it’s mind at the polls. That is what makes our nation so great (at least for now). I just don’t like it when a liberal movie comes out it is seen as “sophisticated” or “cutting edge” but a conservative movie is seen as old and used? I personally see this contrast between viewpoints as stimulating, a spark for hours of debate and pleasant conversation (with my liberal friends who are not closed minded). I hope the system stays as vibrant and hot as it is today.


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