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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

August 23, 2011 at 1:06 PM

A summer movie wrap-up — and a vacation

I’m slipping offline today for a week of vacation; a little breather before heading off to the Toronto International Film Festival in two weeks. So it seemed like a good time to do a little wrap-up of the summer movie season, with its highs and lows . . .
The big moneymaker: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” which has taken in more than $366 million domestically — an amount that would nicely fill a Gringott’s vault. (Runner-up: “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” with $348 million.)
Biggest surprise (multiplexes): “Bridesmaids,” which made $167 million and showed that yes, people will show up for funny movies with women in them.
Biggest surprise (arthouses): Woody Allen’s enchanting “Midnight in Paris,” still playing in theaters after nearly three months and the summer’s genuine word-of-mouth hit. Have you seen it? Don’t miss it.
Biggest disappointment: “Cars 2,” which showed, alas, that the Pixar gang is only human and can turn out a mediocre movie just like anybody else.
Best movies of the summer (in no particular order): “Midnight in Paris,” “Beginners,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” “Tabloid,” “X-Men First Class,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “The Tree of Life,” “The Tree,” “Cracks,” “Super 8,” “Passione,” “Bridesmaids,” “Queen to Play.” Then again, I didn’t see everything. What do you think?
Best performances of the summer: Viola Davis in “The Help”; Ewan McGregor in “Beginners,” Eva Green in “Cracks,” Alan Rickman in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.”
Worst excuse for a sequel: “The Hangover Part 2,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
And what did you think? Share your favorites — and not-so-favorites — of the season in the comments; I’ll be back to talk about fall movies next week.
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Allison Pill (just perfect as Zelda Fitzgerald), Owen Wilson (also perfect — who would have thought it? — as a Woody Allen-esque hero), and an unidentified lady in an excellent hat in “Midnight in Paris” (photo by Roger Arpajou; courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)

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