Well, I've been too busy going to movies! Hugo, hm? I skipped that one, and it sounds as if that was a mistake.

I'll mention just one of the ones I've seen and liked -- Young Adult. Charlize Theron gives a powerful performance in a story that sounds like a typical romantic comedy: successful, beautiful young woman leaves the big city to return to the small town where she was born to reconnect with her high school sweetheart. Only there are kinks in that story. An author of YA fiction (Theron) sees her successful career coming to an end. She's no longer young (37) but she is still beautiful, although now she has to work at it (false hair, etc.). And she drinks like a fish. Then to cap things off, her highschool sweetheart is now married and is a new father. Going back is only the first of a number of bad decisions she makes, and toward the end she reveals something about her past that explains why she has gotten so far off the track. The town itself is no picket-fence dream; it's filled with small people leading small lives. She does bond with one former classmate who gives her some perspective (Patton Oswalt in another good performance). Young Adult is not a parody of romantic comedy; it's played absolutely straight. The movie is funny and poignant and smart. I'd say Charlize Theron was a shoo-in for her second Oscar if it weren't for Meryl Streep waiting in the wings.