2 Mar 2010

Monthly Movies: February'10

Also known as the "preparing for the Oscars" edition! (with one notable exception) Three best picture nominees, one which should have been (imho), and one pure piece of fluff I wish I had seen something else instead of... ;o)

Although the subject matter is rather painful (a 16 year-old girl falling for a 35 year-old guy?!) I really liked this movie! Is it odd that the relationship didn't feel that icky to me (except in a couple of scenes)? For some reason I was remembering the fact that not too long ago (ok, a century), this age difference was considered an ideal pairing and the girl would indeed be considering marriage (I'm glad they at least waited for 17). The movie is so well done, and Carey Mulligan puts on such a compelling performance that you really do see his world through her eyes and fall for it the same way she does (while at the same time saying to yourself "I don't see this ending well..."). All the secondary actors are also fabulous... I just loved that scene with headmistress Emma Thompson when learning that the man in question is Jewish "But don't you know the Jews killed our Lord?!" and Jenny replying "And don't you know our Lord was Jewish?" to which a scandalised headmistress yells "Propaganda!!!" (I'm not sure how the phrasing goes, I'm translating it from what I remember of the dialogue in Spanish)
Now, if only I hadn't fallen down the stairs walking out of this movie I might have enjoyed it even more! :p As it is I'm stuck in a chair/sofa/bed/crutches for a couple of weeks and doubt I'll be saying many movies during the month of March (and there are still a couple of Oscar contenders I wanted to catch!!! not to mention Shutter Island, The Lovely Bones and Alice!!!)

Intense. Real. Harsh. And not exactly my cup of tea. I'm not big on war movies, tend to avoid them in fact. The subject matter doesn't interest me at all. But sometimes what comes out of it transcends that genre, making the human aspect of it so very real. Like here, with a bomb-defuser (dunno the proper name in English since I saw it in Spanish -artificiero-) who appears to be addicted on adrenaline (by the way BRAVO to "newbie" Jeremy Renner for that role, and he so deserves that Oscar nom!) and the rush of dismantling these thingies that could blow up in his face any second... So I'm glad this got nominated for the Oscars, 'cause otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone to see it, and I'm glad I did. Although not enough to want to see it again (but I'd still recommend it!).
On a side note, was funny to see my mom interested in a movie for a change, she was curious about this one (but not enough to go see it) because of the idea of the michelin-guy type suits these guys wear when they approach a bomb. Her interest? She was saying my great-grandfather might not have died if those things had been around in the '30s... (he died attempting to disarm an unexploded bomb during the Spanish Civil War when my grandfather was just a kid)

Wow. and OW! I'm writing this a day later and I think I'm still in shock. It's harsh, brutal, bleak... and yet tender (many of the scenes between boy and father) and hopeful. As hopeful as you can be when the world is ending. And a very realistic ending to the world. We're never told what happened (although it kind of looks like nuclear winter), but humanity is practically dead (as is the rest of the earth's animal and plant life)... because few of the people we meet along this road show any signs of humanity (cannibals...). This is not a movie to watch alone (especially if you're feeling down), and it might require a dose of something much, much lighter afterwards to make you feel better (I popped Bride and Prejudice into the dvd player, did the trick just fine!). But it is definitely a movie to watch. Very impressive. Very real. And there's no way in hell it wouldn't have worked without some damn good actors! Thank you Viggo Mortensen!
PS: why is it that each time I see a post-apocalyptic movie or TV series (just re-watched Jericho) I feel like signing up for some kind of survival course or something? It's just that seeing these makes me wonder (and doubt) if I could survive being removed from the trappings of civilisation. Have you ever wondered that?

Ah George, poor George! How could anyone treat you that way? I definitely don't see this as "Best Picture of 2010" (it's an Oscar candidate), but I will say it's a damn good movie! The people who put it together have a wonderful way for making something that is ultimately quite depressing (a man who's job it is to travel around the country firing people whose bosses are too cowardly to do it themselves, a man who enjoys his life constantly on the road, willingly keeping himself apart from any meaningful human contact... his backpack talks are so sad when you think about them!), into a very fun movie (most of the time)! Bravo to George Clooney, he really sells this one! And as for the two women (both nominated for Oscars), I much preferred the work done by Vera Farmiga (even though I wanted to @£@£@ her character by the end), she was wonderful at bringing out the various layers in her character, helping the resolution actually make sense when you think of the things she talked about earlier on. If I'm being vague it's 'cause I'm trying not to be spoilery in case you haven't seen it yet. And chapeau to the writers on the non-Hollywood ending! I could see 2 very Hollywoody ways to end this tale, and they managed to deftly (and realistically) avoid both of them making for a much more interesting story (that gives you a lot more to talk about when it's done, and boy did my dad and I talk about it!).
PS: I'd love to have that many frequent flier miles to my name! oh the trips I could take... sigh! anyone want to donate the mileage for a round-the-world plane ticket to me? it would be much appreciated!!! ;o)

What was I thinking?! Oh yeah, now I remember... that maybe it could replicate the symphony assembled in Love Actually? The more they try replicating the magic in that movie, the more I appreciate it and how hard it is to achieve... 'cause all the others just seem to fall flat on their faces! And V-Day is no exception. Too many characters with little relation to each other. Too predictable. Too bleh. Oh well, at least it gave my Dad and myself something to laugh about and tear apart on Valentine's Day weekend! :p

4 comments:

  1. I felt the same way about The Hurt Locker. I'm not big on war movies, but I watched it with my "boys". They loved it. I was indifferent.

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  2. I thought the same thing after "The Road". I was all "Crap, I wouldn't survive ten minutes in that world, I can't even eat BEEF!" :) I enjoyed the movie more than I expected to although it wasn't exactly uplifting.

    And I liked "The Hurt Locker" but after all its hype I expected more from it. I'm not much into war stuff either though, but it was good and tense, I just didn't LOVE it.

    I loved "Up In The Air" and would love it to win best movie but I feel maybe "Avatar" will trump it. Or maybe James Cameron will get director and something else can win best movie.

    I also loved "Crazy Heart" and hope to hell Jeff Bridges does well at the Oscars. He was excellent.

    I want to see "An Education" but haven't gotten around to it yet. I don't know who'll take the ladies' prizes but I'm sick of Meryl Streep so hopefully someone else will.

    Sorry, this got kinda long...

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  3. Dive Girl, indifferent? I'll admit I just went because of the Oscars, but it definitely caused an impression on me!

    Vegetable Assassin (luv the name btw!), Meryl Streep actually hasn't won the Oscar in over 20 years so... ;o) And I really don't like Sandra Bullock so I wish Meryl had finally won her third!!!

    And I love long comments! So don't apologise! Wish I had answered sooner...

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  4. I was busy reading your comments on my movie reviews. I actually have more but just recently started using tags, and I haven't gone back to fix the older ones.

    I loved "An Education" also and yes, the characters were all first rate. Great review. And I love long comments, too, Cris. You certainly manage to get a lot done in your life without seeming to fall as far behind as I do. My desire to create Pages on my blog has me feeling stressed because I want to do it like yours but then, although a lot is already written in previous posts, I want to do a good job and that takes effort.

    And I'm retired! How do you do all you accomplish AND hold down a job??

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Hey there! Yes you! The quiet one in the back... I'd love it if you hung out for a bit and shared your thoughts!

I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)