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Two More Screenings

I've been to another couple of screenings of Academy Award-nominated films. Yesterday, Bowling For Columbine, and today, Catch Me If You Can. I recommend both movies.

Michael Moore's documentary about gun violence in the United States, Bowling For Columbine, explores various potential factors behind the high number of gun deaths in this country but does not offer easy answers. I feel I should warn any potential viewers that there the movie contains some very disturbing footage of gun victims and killings. It also includes what is probably the most excruciating sequence I've ever watched, assembled from security camera footage and recorded telephone calls during the Columbine shootings. There is also a brief clip of the second plane striking the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I hadn't seen footage of that event in a long time and was startled by the power it retains.

Catch Me If You Can is based on the astonishing young life of Frank Abagnale Jr., who in the 1960s spent several years living under various identities on the proceeds of his skill at forging checks. This film is a great deal of fun to watch. The opening credits are brilliantly done (there really ought to be an Oscar category for these) and John Williams' score is perfect. Despite my concerns Leonardo DiCaprio is very good as Abagnale, as is Tom Hanks in an unusual role as an FBI fraud investigator. Christopher Walken is excellent as Abagnale Senior, putting lots of wonderful subtle touches into his performance.

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