Movie Shorts: June 2008

Family Affairs

‘Savage Grace’ takes the mother/son bond to extremes

Eddie Redmayne (l) and Unax Ugalde in Savage Grace.

It’s like driving past a nasty accident. We don’t want to look at this real-life Oedipal drama with a gay twist from out director Tom Kalin (Swoon, I Shot Andy Warhol). But we just can’t help it — mostly because it stars Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) as the beautiful but tragically bent socialite with a thing for her son (Eddie Redmayne). — Preview: Nancy Ford

As You Like It
For his fifth Shakespearean screen outing, Kenneth Branagh adapts that most sweetly loony and breezily beguiling of the bard’s comedies, As You Like It. He makes it the more winsome by setting it in 1800s Japan, so the Duke’s merry men do thai chi in the Arden woods and sad Jacques (played by Kevin Kline no less) is serenaded in a raked sand garden. The fair Rosalind (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her enamored cuz Cecilia (“whose loves are dearer than the natural bond of sisters”) go in drag as a couple, and Rosalind sets up a gender merry-go-round in her cross-dressing disguise, even persuading her beloved to make love to her when he thinks she’s a boy. Branagh’s created a likable new As You Like It, both lively and intelligent. Includes Alfred Molina as the fool Touchstone, with some really tall hair. Premieres August 21 at 8 p.m. on HBO (
Review: Ann Walton Sieber

Bill Maher: The Decider
The outspoken host of Real Time with Bill Maher heats up an already plenty hot summer in a live concert from Boston’s Berklee Performance Hall. Likely replete with stinging references to Scooter “Less Time Served Than Paris Hilton” Libby, the show premiered July 21, but repeats throughout August on HBO ( — Preview: Nancy F ord

Her boyfriend just got snuffed, one son is about to be busted for having a trunkload of pot, and her other son is on the lam with her eight-toed brother-in-law’s ex-girlfriend, all while she’s being held at gunpoint by gang-bangers. Sounds like someone needs to roll Ms. Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) a big fatty. Returns to Showtime ( on August 13 at 9 p.m. — Preview: Nancy Ford

We’re not sure how those Red Hot Chili Peppers boys feel about the obvious rip-off of their similarly titled 1999 album. But star David Duchovny (The X Files) says this Californication is “funny and kind of dark,” unlike his quirky turn with Brad Pitt in the dark and kind of funny Kalifornia (1993). Premieres August 13 at 9:30 p.m. on Showtime ( — Preview: Nancy Ford


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