NEW YORK – Rent "21 Grams" for yourself, "The Cat in the Hat" for the kids but skip "Veronica Guerin" in today's Foxlight.
It's the best movie of last year that no one saw, and now that it's out on DVD I can prove it. Pick up "21 Grams" (search) and see why they really gave Sean Penn an Oscar this year, and why nominated Naomi Watts was robbed. They both gave the performances of their careers in a film without a single false frame.
This twisted tale of tragedy and revenge shows how redemption isn't always pretty. Penn gets a heart transplant from Watts' late husband, then decides he wants to meet her. The jumbled timeline actually plays out more realistically than any linear tale ever could. By the way the title has noting to do with drugs. It's about the weight of a soul when we die. I know that sounds preachy, but trust the Foxlight on this one. It's sensational.
Nobody saw "Veronica Guerin" (search) in the theaters, and the same will probably happen with the video. Cate Blanchett is an amazing actress, but this is just another example of why "based on a true story" doesn't mean it rings true. Or makes a good movie. Director Joel Schumacher can turn out first-rate smaller films -- "Phone Booth" and "Tigerland" are both terrific examples. Rent them instead.
Finally, it was noisy and crass, but my 3-year-old loved "The Cat in the Hat." (search) It got slammed by critics who grew up with the book and thought Mike Myers tuned it into a "cat-astrophe." Foxlight thinks there's no rhyme or reason for all the cattiness. Kids will love the whole kitten caboodle. And now I'm officially out of cat puns.