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Hopscotch, 1980 – ★★★½

Criterion Challenge 2022
Progress: 19/52
Prompt: Watch a movie made in America

Really very charming. There are a lot of good actors in this and with the exception of poor Ned Beatty, they’re all at maximum likability. Sam Waterston brought his eyebrows. It’s mostly Matthau’s movie, but Glenda Jackson knows how to craft a memorable performance out of the exasperated helpmeet.

There’s not all that much tension amid the lovely locations. I can’t say I objected. It’s a lazy shaggy dog story carried by our affection for Matthau and Jackson, which is fine.

I’ve just finished Slow Horses this week. It’s amusing thinking about Gary Oldman’s Jackson Lamb meeting Matthau’s Miles Kendig. They’re both of an archetype: the slouching rumpled older spy who appears to have aged out of being dangerous, with an emphasis on “appears.”  Lamb’s world is actually dangerous, though. Diana Taverner would eat G. P. Myerson alive.

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