"Brainy & beautiful" could refer either to James Cameron's sublime "Avatar" or to its equally exquisite star, Zoë Saldaña.
Actually, it applies to both.
I came to Cameron's achievement belatedly and, frankly, with few expectations. And it is an achievement - a love story, a war flick and a message film, a plea on behalf of the environment, all wrapped in a green-hued, extraordinarily handsome package. Eye Candy for grown-ups.
Cameron's gentle tirade is about Pandora - a stand-in for the Garden of Eden or maybe Oz (take your pick) - and the ravaging of its resources by a private military company, a la Blackwater, that charges in and, with a sense of entitlement, brutally pushes aside the inconvenient indigenous population. (Cameron wittily names its chief resource Unobtainium.)
Pandora's natives, the amazonian, blue-skinned Na’vi, are beautifully embodied by Saldaña in a bracing, impassioned performance that handily brusts through Cameron's tricky "motion capture" technique.
"Avatar" is topical, political and empathetic. Technically, it is intimidating - particuarly in Imax 3-D - but, narratively, it is genuinely humbling.