I’m struggling to sift through my feelings and understand why I’m looking forward to seeing Rob Marshall’s Memoirs of a Geisha (Columbia, 12.9) with the same anticipation one normally associates with going to the dentist. I shouldn’t admit to this. Prejudice before-the-fact is not an admirable thing. If it’s made with the right stuff, if it’s a touching film…it will be something to cheer. And yet…and yet. Am I concerned because Gold Derby guy Tom O’Neill is over the moon about it? Yes. Am I persuaded by Time‘s Richard Corliss having declared that “it has a shot to join Chicago as a Best Picture champ.” Uhh, no…because anyone who points to Chicago as something to measure up to in any regard is talking the wrong language with me. Consider Corliss’s description of Arthur Golden’s 1997 best-selling novel of the same name: “[An] authoritative evocation of an alien, exotic world, one in which women served men less with sexual favors than by creating a simulacrum of the feminine ideal. But the book’s real pull is its take on the Cinderella story.” And Sony Pictures’ production chief Amy Pascal saying, “I’ve gotta believe, in the job that I do, that when you give the audience something that they haven’t seen before, they are going to like it. I’m hoping the film appeals to people who have ever been in love.”