Armageddon and Deep Impact), when they're done with intelli-gence and conviction, work so damn well? The apocalyptic theme itself is perhaps charged with enough importance that a good filmmaker feels bound to honor it. Certainly those who made Last Night (Don McKeller), Before the Fall (Tres días, by F. Javier Gutiérrez), and now this film by Lorene Scafaria (pictured above center, with her stars -- three of the best "end-of-worlders" made so far -- honor the psychology, sociology, humanity, fear, depres-sion and aggression inherent in the subject. All three writer/direc-tors are creative enough to convince us that the end really is at hand while providing crackerjack entertainment in the process.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) again scores with a light, bright screenplay full of quietly funny dialog and ideas that sometimes take awhile to sink in (the line about the "school desk" stumped us momentarily, until my partner figured it out). And oh, the great cast that Scafaria and her casting directors (Nicole Abeller and Jeanne McCarthy) have assembled! The two leads, Steve Carell (above, and at bottom) and Keira Knightley, are lovely together. He, in fact, is turning into American film's current, Gary Cooper-type "everyman" (from Crazy Stupid Love and Hope Springs to this) without losing his wonderfully dry, ironic humor. Sure he's a fine comedian, but he's proving even better as a just-plain good, versatile actor.
Connie Britton (at right) and Rob Corddry.
Adam Brody (above), Derek Luke (below), Melanie Lynsky, Martin Sheen, William Petersen and a bunch more. What a cast this is -- and how very well does each actor deliver!
Focus Features, and running the just-about-perfect-length of 101 minutes, it arrived on DVD and Blu-ray last month, for sale and/or rental. Don't let it get away this time....