Baldwin as a baby turns good into great

The Boss Baby
The Boss Baby - photo

‘The Boss Baby’

Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi

Directed by: Tom McGrath

Rated: PG

There is something inherently funny about a baby dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase, especially if the baby has the voice of Alec Baldwin. From the animation team at DreamWorks comes this clever and creative animated movie with a thoughtful premise.

If you’re wondering how that little man/baby gets his new family’s home, there is an elaborate opening that shows how some of the babies manufactured at BabyCorp are suitable for management, and some go straight out of the factory out into homes.

But BabyCorp has noticed that more and more families are opting for puppies instead of babies, so Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) is sent on a secret mission to find out why. His new parents (voiced by Lisa Kudrow and Jimmy Kimmel), who work at PuppyCorp, are smitten with his little suit and tie. But Tim (voiced by Miles Bakshi), their 7-year old son — and up until now, only child — is instantly suspicious. The adult Tim is voiced by Toby Maguire, who provides backstory for the younger Tim and his reaction to having a new brother.

As with so many animated features, they can be enjoyed on many different levels. Kids will love the funny stuff and adults can chuckle along with the gags that are just over the heads of the little ones. Tim’s active imagination allows the animators to step away from tradition and indulge in some highly creative visuals that pop up whenever Tim jumps into one of his many play characters.

You can expect super animation, a clever story and lots of laughs. But without Alec Baldwin, this may not have made a whimper at the box office.

P-P-V Scene

“Miss Sloane” was supposed to be Jessica Chastain’s shot at an Oscar this year for Best Actress. When the dust settled, she wasn’t even close to getting a nomination, but the movie is now available on pay-per-view, and you can decide for yourself if she was overlooked.

In this, she plays a hardcore lobbyist who has established quite a reputation inside the Beltway for her winning track record. When her firm decides to take the NRA on as a client with the specific task of winning over women voters, Sloane balks and jumps to another much smaller firm for the purpose of getting a bill passed through Congress for major gun reform.

Joining Chastain is a great cast including Alison Pill, Mark Strong and Sam Waterston, and this plays out with more intrigue than “All the President’s Men.” Early on, it is established that all the players are accustomed to winning, so when the underhanded dealings begin, everyone starts rolling in the mud. Double crosses, blackmail — nothing is off the table — and it’s a carnival ride to the finish with the stakes as about as high as they can get.

Chastain rarely breaks from her steely demeanor, and with severe makeup and very conservative costuming, the power-player façade is complete. She’s very good, and the argument could be made that it was Meryl Streep for “Florence Foster Jenkins” who robbed her of an Oscar nomination. Still, no one was going to beat Emma Stone this year. Chastain’s moment will come, especially if she keeps up the work she gives to “Sloane.”