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Lou Harry's A&E

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Arts & Entertainment, etc.

You-review-it Monday: Oscar-nominated films and more

February 22, 2010

Missed Bela Fleck at Clowes. Missed Loretta Lynn at Ball State. Missed the one-actor plays at the IRT (although I plan on getting to see "The Year of Magical Thinking" this week) and at the Phoenix. Missed the Fringe-fest revivals at Theatre on the Square. Missed the Troika performance with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

I actually think it's a good sign, though, that there's so much going on around here that I want to get to but can't. And that's just one weekend.

What I did do was catch Time for Three with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for its raucous Happy Hour concert/party on Thursday. (How many times have you seen a symphony concert where the conductor is whistled at by an audience member?) I also hosted Storytelling Arts' annual benefit on Saturday, having fun with last-minute-subbing tale-teller Andy Offutt Irwin.

I also continued my quest to see as many of the Oscar nominated films as I can. This weekend, it was "A Serious Man" (up for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay) and "Moon" (which I mistakenly thought was up for a screenplay nod). I'm still wrestling with the former, which at times infuriated me but which, ultimately, might end up as the underdog that I root for. Not that it has a chance. Another critic noted that it's the kind of film that you're allowed to do after you win an Oscar for Best Picture and that's a pretty apt description not of what it is, but why it is. I'm thankful there wasn't a temptation to pack the film with stars, as was one of the many problems with the Coen's "Burn After Reading." This one is harsh, but not nearly as cruel. And, unlike "No Country for Old Men," its final moments match the tone of the rest of the film.

Can you tell I'm deliberately not saying much about content? I went in cold. You should, too. Just know that, even though "A Serious Man" is billed as a comedy, you shouldn't go in looking for laughs.

As for "Moon," well, it's the smartest science fiction film I've seen in a long time. And it's another that you definitely want to go in knowing as little as possible. It reminded me of some of the better SF tales I read in my teens.

And your weekend?

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