Bridget Jones's Baby (♦♦♦♦½): Forty- three year-old Bridget is single again after having broken up with Mark Darcy. Mark is now married but things aren't going well in his marriage. A friend of Bridget convinces her to go together to a country festival where she, accidentally, spends the night with a stranger. Within the same month, she has a tryst with Mark Darcy, who confesses he is not over her. Now Bridget is pregnant and she doesn't know which one is the father.
Bridget Jones is my favorite singleton, and she gets it exactly right. Bridget Jones's Baby is hysterical in the tradition of Bridget Jones's Diary. As always, Bridget's antics and care free attitude make for great comedic moments, and Renee Zellweger is still brilliant as Bridget, now a forty-something singleton still trying to figure things out. Both leading men, Colin Firth as a much older Mark, and Patrick Dempsey as Jack, have great chemistry with Zellweger. Catchy music and new adventures hopefully will have revamped the franchise.
American Pastoral (♦♦♦): I don't know what it is about Phillip Roth's stories that have a haunting, and quietly devastating quality that always leave me in a sort of daze, immersed in thought. Such was my experience with the adaptations of The Human Stain, and more recently Indignation, and American Pastoral.
Directed and acted by the multifaceted Ewan McGregor starring as Seymour "Swede" Levov, Jennifer Connelly as his wife, and Dakota Fanning in her best adult performance to date as Merry Levov, American Pastoral is the story of a seemingly normal, middle-class youth who becomes politically radicalized during the 1960s. American Pastoral is a slow-burning meditation on familial bonds and acts of violence that rock their foundations.
If you want a movie to make you think about human nature, it doesn't come better than a Phillip Roth's adaptation in general and American Pastoral in particular.