Monday, February 07, 2011

I've seen some good films recently

For various reasons — a new television, a new Freebox, fewer scruples — I've seen quite a few films recently. Some excellent and some beyond bad. I started keeping a list on IMDb, just in case I started to forget.

Never Let Me Go (2010)
I liked this film much more than the book. It was visually soothing: I especially liked the greys and the taupes of the children's hand-knitted cardigans and the peeling walls of their school.

The Stepfather (2009)
Dreadful, dreadful film. Everything I hate: murder, shallow characters, Patrick Swayze lookalikes.

D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)
I watched this one with the children who asked if the colours in all films were dull like that back in the day when I was young. Well, yes I suppose they were.

Away We Go (2009)
Thoroughly enjoyed this story of a young couple expecting their first baby, and travelling from city to city to find the perfect place to settle down. The ending is rubbish but the rest is a great exploration of modern stereotypes we're all annoyed by, and I laughed a lot.

Get Low (2009)
This story of a reclusive old man who arranges his own funeral was good but it could have been much much better. Occasional whiffs of Little House on the Prairie.

Main Street (2010)
Colin Firth with a Texan accent. Hmmm. But Orlando Bloom wasn't too shabby.

Bright Star (2009)
I really liked this rather whimsical story Keats's last love affair. The costumes were lucious if a little too modern to be entirely believable.

Copie conforme (2010)
I've mentioned this one already. Juliette Binoche and an unknown (to me) English baritone act out a strange aftermath to their relationship (or maybe not) in gorgeous Tuscany. Definitely made me want to see more by the Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

The King's Speech (2010)
I enjoyed this, but who didn't? I particularly liked the scenes in the speech-therpist's Harley Street basement with peeling paint, the patina of grubbiness, faded carpets.

Somewhere (2010)
The story of an actor and his relationship with his young daughter. Nothing really happens but it is all rather diverting.

The Social Network (2010)
Yes, not bad but I thought the beginning was much stronger than the end.

Welcome to the Rileys (2010)
I like James Gandolfini and I loved this story of a couple in late middle age coping with loss.

Fargo (1996)
Hard to believe that this film is already fifteeen years old. I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much the second time round, but it's still classic cinema.

Finding Forrester (2000)
A film with lots of good intentions. Sean Connery plays an aging, reclusive author befriended by a young black kid who wants to write. There are some good lines. Like "The first key to writing is... to write, not to think! "

I Love You, Man (2009)
Amusing film. Starring Chandler.

It's Complicated (2009)
Silly story about a divorced couple that gets back together again. Meryl Streep and Alex Baldwin 's talents are underused.

L'homme de chevet (2009)
I abhor the simpering Sophie Marceau, but Christophe Lambert plays an interesting character in this story of a disabled woman who needs someone to look after her.

Burn After Reading (2008)
I totally missed the point of this film. I mean what was it about exactly?

Quiz Show (1994)
I quite enjoyed this story of corrupt morals - what about you?

There's a function on the IMDb My Movies page where I can create a ballot and you can go and rate the films on my list. Go on, humour me.


nmj said...

I tried to read Never Let Me Go but could not get into it, I am not an Ishiguro fan - maybe will try & see it, your review makes me want to. Love the idea of soothing taupes.

I love Juliette Binoche - & Tuscan landscapes - but found this film so pretentious, though I read she was so happy to be working with the Iranian director, it was a dream for her.

I liked Social Network just for the background it gave to Facebook, but didn't love it. Was intrigued to learn later that the blonde twins are two actors with one actor's head, all very hi-tech.

Loved Fargo all thos years ago! Haven't seen anything else on your list. Have you seen Of Gods & Men? I thoroughly recommend it, I didn't know anything about these French monks in Algeria. I understand the film has done really well in France. A beautiful & bleak movie.

deborah said...

I went to the cinema about six times last year. Once with you Lesley. You forgot to add it to your list. Tamara Drew!
Perhaps it was further back ... or not worthy of comment. I found it entertaining but felt sorry for the actress who seemed to have swollen lips. The ageing author in the story was so lacking in sex appeal it was bizarre.
Every time there was a coupling it seemed to be hello, clothes off, bang bang ... also rather bizarre. Not really life like (IMHO).

Moobs said...

Fargo is gem.

Lesley said...

@nmj: Yes, I read the twins/one head thing too. I'm glad I read it after the film, otherwise I would have spent a lot of time looking for the technical subterfuge.
I haven't seen Of Gods and Men (yet?), thought it might be too harrowing.

@Deborah: Yes, I'd forgotten about that but didn't start keeping this list until just after Christmas anyway. The problem with Tamara Drew I think was that it was too self-consciously English - with all that cottagey, chintzy, deepest countryside stuff. One felt the director's eye wavering off towards the American market.

Veronica said...

I'm not sure there was a point to Burn After Reading, except just fun. Brad Pitt was so great in that (and I'm not a fan of him otherwise). Nice to see George Clooney playing someone rather obnoxious too.

The best film I've seen this year is Même la pluie/También la lluvia by Spanish director Iciar Bollain. If it's still around in your area, do go and see it, it's excellent.

Ms Mac said...

I know I've seen Burn After Reading and I know I laughed a bit at it but that's it.

The Social Network bored me after about 45 mins. Watching over-privileged, obnoxious, immature boys squabbling over money was all it said to me. And perhaps Zuckerberg has some form of autism?

I know I've seen Quiz Show but it was a long time ago. So long that I'm getting it mixed up with the William H Macey story in Magnolia (which I hated).

I love that you "abhor" Sophie Marceau. That amuses me.

Andrea Knapp said...

I almost watched Never Let Me Go yesterday but then remembered how much I disliked the book - even though Stella bloody loves it *ducks* and I feel the same way about Ms Knightly as you do Ms Marceau!


Quite looking forward to The King's Speech at some point!

Lesley said...

@Veronica Will definitely try to see También la lluvia

@MsMac Yes, perhaps he does have some sort of Asperger's thing going on. I did quite enjoye the first scene with his girlfriend though.

Anfrea: I don't think I actually managed to finish the novel - must be one of those you love it or you hate it books. But we're right and Stella is wrong. Obviously.

Lesley said...

enjoye Anfrea really?


Being confined indoors most of the day, just the four of us, is reminding me of the days when my children were wee and most of our weekends ...