The first impact grenade has gone off in the vicinity of Spanglish (Columbia, 12.17), and Tea Leoni’s chalk-on-a-blackboard performance has taken the heaviest hit. “It’s difficult to engage with a picture when a major character is so out of control emotionally as to require immediate institutionalization, even if no one in — or behind — the film seems to notice,” declares Variety critic Todd McCarthy. “So it is with Leoni’s Deborah Clasky, a Bel-Air matron whose complete self-absorption has obliterated any personality and interests she once might have had. A clenched fist of knotted nerves tightened by constant workouts, Deborah can’t relate to anyone on a human level, only in a manner she imagines is appropriate or prescribed.”