5 items from 2014
Just when you thought that Stephen Frears’ latest film, Philomena, would be yet another questionable exercise from the once generally revered auteur, (judging from a recent string of misfires that resulted in his career worst with 2012’s unfathomably awful Lay the Favorite), he switches it up with his best work since The Queen. Presented at the Toronto Int. FIlm Festival, the Academy Award and BAFTA award-nominated crowd pleaser, to be sure, but despite its unavoidable pretense as an awards darling (of which there are bound to be several), a disavowal to wallow in chintzy schmaltz at least makes it deserving of praise in that it’s intelligently written (and based on a true story! Oh my!) and genuinely performed, even if the film is rather visually banal.
- Nicholas Bell
The Oscars inspire various emotions in film producers: suspense, elation, deflation … and relief. Whatever the outcome, award season is finally over. "They are very exciting, but it's got to the point where they take up a big chunk of the year," observes Christine Langan, head of BBC Films. "You're barely through the summer when the pundits are coming up with a programme of what to watch."
Still, she grants, for those outside the major studios, gongs can be a film's best friend. "Working in the independent sector, you're in the lunatic gang anyway, hoping for some magic – a really unusual story or a really knockout performance – so of course awards are important. They can prolong the life of your film, get it noticed, »
- Ben Walters
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 27 Feb 2014 - 05:54
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2010, and another 25 overlooked gems...
By 2010, Hollywood’s obsession with 3D movies was in full swing. James Cameron’s Avatar may have given audiences a taste of what the cutting edge of stereoscope could look like, but it has to be said that the movies ushered into cinemas in its wake were a decidedly mixed bunch. Toy Story 3's 3D was extraordinarily effective, yet Clash Of The Titans looked like a blurry mess. How To Train Your Dragon came to life in its flying sequences, but the less said about the horribly murky Last Airbender, the better.
Unless we’re mistaken, none of the movies on this list were shot or released in 3D, and few of them did particularly stellar business. A few got a certain amount of critical acclaim, »
Philomena Lee, whose search for the son sold by nuns to America when he was three years old inspired an Oscar-nominated film, has said that meeting Pope Francis has helped her find closure.
"I felt such a sense of relief yesterday for the guilt I carried and that I still carry a little bit today," said Lee on Thursday, a day after the audience. "Because you were made to feel so, so bad about having a baby out of wedlock.
"He really made me feel so good inside because I carried the guilt inside me for 50 years, without telling anybody."
Lee, 80, attended mass on Wednesday morning with her daughter, Jane Libbteron, before their brief meeting with the pope. »
- Catherine Shoard
Ireland, for its tiny size and small population, can boast of a lot of wonderful native films. Whenever people think about Irish cinema – two major themes emerge. First, there is Ireland’s turbulent historical and political past which makes good cinematic fodder, and secondly there are all the films exposing either poverty and drunkenness (Angela’s Ashes being the most famous film of this ilk) or clerical abuse (The Magdalene Sisters).
I have not included films about Ireland as they tend to be very stereotyping – for example, The Quiet Man and Darby O’Gill and the Little People. I have let Irish cinema speak for itself with powerful masterpieces of cinema, quirky contemporary films and some very funny comedies.
Whatever you are after, there is an Irish film to satisfy you.
12. Disco Pigs (2001)
- Clare Simpson
5 items from 2014
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