Ruby (Zoe Kazan) comes to life when Calvin (Paul Dano) begins writing her into existence on his typewriter in Ruby Sparks. Kazan also wrote the new romantic comedy from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine.
Credit Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures
Gertrude (Annette Bening) and Mort (Antonio Banderas) are Calvin's hippie parents, who win Ruby over despite Calvin finding them irritating.
There's a fine line between satire and the nasty snigger that marks so much of pop comedy these days — which is another way of saying that the corrosively funny takedown of child beauty pageants in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine moved me to forgive (by a hair) its creepiest creation — Alan Arkin's heroin-addicted grandpa. Still, I wonder whether my 14-year-old, who has roared her way through that movie at least a dozen times, can tell the difference between sharp commentary and the juvie desire to shock.
Young-chan lost his sight and hearing as a child, though after he learned to speak. His wife, Soon-ho, cares for him, and the intimacy between them is the most striking part of Planet of Snail.
Credit Cinema Guild
Soon-ho, who suffers from a spinal disability, helps Young-chan navigate his daily life, but prods him toward increasing independence. In one tense scene, she waits anxiously after sending him out for a day on his own.
The obvious way to approach South Korean director Seung-jun Yi's modest but potent documentary Planet of Snail is to think of it as a story about a disabled man making his way through the world with the help of his companion. But more simply and more accurately, it's really a movie about marriage — about the way two people can smooth over each other's cracks to achieve an imperfect yet sturdy wholeness.
The Obama administration has a special temporary visa extension for Syrians who've fled to the U.S., since it's unsafe for them to go home. But there's a catch. Syrians who've arrived in the last three months, when the violence really started escalating around Damascus, aren't eligible. No one thinks Syrians are going to be deported anytime soon, even if they get caught with expired visas. But without the special status, it's harder to get work or student visas.
The near-default on U.S. obligations cost $1.3 billion because of increased borrowing costs, according to a new GAO report. To put that in perspective, that's more than 1,600 times as much money as was wasted at a Las Vegas conference for government employees that the House has spent countless hours investigating.