#41 in my movie challenge for the year was Syriana, which I had wanted to see in theaters, and never managed to pull off, since getting to a theater for a movie is much harder these days with two kids. I’m actually glad I didn’t. It’s a complex movie that I needed to do a few rewinds on for dialogue. It’s dark, challenging, and very well done. I’d been warned in advance that it’s hard to keep track of the plot, so I didn’t get too concerned about the details. It’s an impressionistic movie, and by the end, the story was clear in spite of so many details. Clooney’s performance is the anchor, yet the other actors–Chrisopher Plummer, Chris Cooper, Jeffrey Wright, Matt Damon, Alexander Siddig–are all excellent. There is a scene with a young boy, though, that so upset my husband G. Grod that he couldn’t finish the movie, and that still makes we uncomfortable, so if you’re the parent of a young child, you might want to save watching this for a day when you’re feeling emotionally resilient. This is a movie that would benefit from re-watching, yet it’s so bleak (nearly hopeless, I think) that I’m not sure I could bear to do so.

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