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Home Movies, 3/10

Synecdoche New York is not a film for everyone, as I tried to convey in my review last fall. It is a "huge film about puny sentiments, an anti-heroic epic of failure, remorse, alienation, and self-pity." It is also, as of today, out on DVD. Watching it at home may not be quite the immersive experience that it was to see it in the theater, but the stakes are lower for those who may find its morbid tone off-putting. In any case, I strongly recommend giving it a try.

Several other worthy discs are being released today, including Jonathan Demme's excellent Rachel Getting Married (which I reviewed here) and Milk, which won Sean Penn his second acting Oscar last month. I found the latter well-made yet nonetheless disappointing, and less powerful than the 1984 documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, which can now be watched in its entirety for free (though with some commercial interruption) here

A few films I didn't review last year are out on DVD as well, including Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky, which in a better world would have netted Oscar nominations for Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan; the exceptional music biopic Cadillac Records; and the moody Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In, which I didn't love quite as much as some, but was nonetheless among the more striking, original films of the year. Finally, if you're in the mood for a lightweight Apatowian comedy (though one in which Apatow himself was not involved) featuring thoughtful disquisitions on barista-speak and Kiss lyrics, you could do considerably worse than Role Models.

--Christopher Orr