MOVIE OF THE MONTH
RUDO Y CURSI We never thought we'd fall for a Spanish-language soccer film, but writer/director Carlos Cuarón is some kind of magician. Gael García Bernal slyly ignores his drop-dead gorgeousness to reteam with a shrewd Diego Luna in this loony but charming comedy about bumpkin brothers and the perils of fame. One day the pair are working on a banana plantation; the next they're Mexico's most celebrated soccer athletes, in way over their newly inflated heads among crowds of supermodels, teammates intent on hazing them, and mercenary sports managers. Trouble is, Cursi (García Bernal) dreams of becoming an accordion-playing pop star (talk about uncool), even as his hilariously bad music video showcases his severe lack of talent. Meanwhile, Rudo (Luna) is a helpless gambler and the new goalie on a rival team. This deft little story never leans too heavily on its themes of vapid stardom and the ties of home. But the bromance runs deep on-screen and off--Cuarón's brother Alfonso, who directed García Bernal and Luna in the sexy Y Tu Mamá También, turns producer here.
THE BROTHERS BLOOM If you're in love with a con man, why not join him as a con woman? That's a no-brainer for Penelope (played by an adorably comic Rachel Weisz) in this loopy globe-trotting caper. Her man is a sensitive swindler called Bloom (Adrien Brody), his partner is his brother Stephen (Mark Ruffalo), and they double- and triple-cross each other in picturesque cities throughout Eastern Europe. Director Rian Johnson follows the high-school noir Brick with this stylized fantasy. All scams should be such mind-bending fun.
EASY VIRTUE Driving a roadster, Jessica Biel zooms into this stylish comedy set in the Roaring '20s as Larita, a brash American, who shakes up a staid British family when she marries their naive son (Ben Barnes). In opulent settings, the viperish mother (a droll Kristin Scott Thomas) laments the intrusion of "this bauble of a woman," while her unhappy husband (Colin Firth) is reborn. Colorful director Stephan Elliott blows the cobwebs off Noel Coward's play; the movie's as frothy and restorative as a bubble bath.