Tuesday, March 15, 2011

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Lisa Cholodenko, 2010)

****
USA
In its own minor key it never misses a note. Everyone will have their own favourite performance. I was particularly struck by the way Julianne Moore does a lot of the heavy lifting. She shifts back and forth from comedy to hyper-detailed drama and never breaks a sweat.


Also - speaking of astonishing, hyper-detailed actressing, now nobody in Australia or America has an excuse to miss
Certified Copy - still my only set of ***** for a 2010 premiere. Is it too early to brand it a masterpiece?

Labels: , ,

MY JOY (Sergei Loznitsa, 2010)

***
Ukraine/Germany/Netherlands
A stark modernist journey into Russia's dark twisted peasant heart. Sharp and absorbing to begin with, but it loses focus and becomes repetitive - both in terms of narrative and meaning.

Labels:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (Fred Zinnemann, 1966)


UK

A historical drama that is petrified of history. Fred Zinnemann directs a Robert Bolt play that doesn’t so much tackle historical events (namely the battle of wills between Henry VIII and Thomas More) as cower before them. Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Orson Welles and others enunciate each syllable and hit their marks to the millimetre. Thomas More’s religious fundamentalism is mistaken for the pinnacle of human decency and never questioned. Zinneman’s energies are consumed in conjuring up an aura of respectability – there is no space for insight, imagination or oxygen. It’s the kind of constipated middlebrow pomposity that only exists to sweep up Oscars and quickly disappear into oblivion. It’s The Life of Emile Zola. It’s Frost/Nixon.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,