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Almodovar, but no carnal episodes
An extremely kind, compassionate and tender film noir, from Spain's most internationally acclaimed filmmaker, might lack some of the suspense his other movies are famous for, but still it keeps the spectator thrilled and anxious until the very last moments. Anyone who likes Almodovar movies should see this one, and you can bring your family along, for a change (kids and grandmas alike).
Indeed, the movie lacks some of the usual Almodovar suspense, and whatever mysteries it contains, are generally solved by the viewer some 20 minutes before they are explicitly and verbally elaborated on screen. It looks like Almodovar lost some of his interest in the telltale part of his movies, paying more attention to acting and emotions. Well, acting is fully worth the shift.
Penelope Cruz is predictably brilliant and gorgeous, but performance by other ladies (from the elderly Chuz Lampreave to teenage Cobo) is also worth applause.
The Pianist (2002)
A Brilliant Movie For Everyone To See
This movie is definitely not about Holocaust, not about WWII, not about Jews vs. Germans and Poles, albeit such interpretations do occur to many critics.
The movie really is about survival. Was it all worth it, after all. Isn't there a price too high to be paid for survival? Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer, as Shakespeare had once put it.
I bet anyone who ever had any doubts as to whether this life were worth living, should see this movie and judge for himself.
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
The film is a must, since it's Forman. But the factual side can't be trusted.
Since Milos Forman is one of the greatest film directors of our time, this film can not and should not be missed. It's truly a masterpiece, and it's especially enjoyable, once you are ready to regard it as a work of pure fiction, ignoring any resemblance between its characters and real persons, dead or living. But please beware of regarding this film as a reliable source of information about Larry Flynt, his legal woes, battles, victories and adversaries. Many facts, pertaining to specific lawsuits, verdicts, plaintiffs and defendants, had been intentionally distorted in the quasi-documentary movie script, to make Flynt look as a first amendment champion even in those cases when he was tried (indicted and sentenced) for his part in an organized crime syndicate. If you need bare facts about Flynt - all verdicts are online, check for yourself. Also don't forget to make a check on Keating, who was in fact acquitted of fraud charges, while the movie states (in the epilogue) that he was found guilty as charged.
These discrepancies are worth mentioning, because Forman himself kept repeating in some interviews, that the movie is supposed to advocate free speech. Which is a noble cause indeed, but it doesn't justify such blatant distortion of events. The rationale behind free speech protection is our right to know and tell the truth. This right can hardly be protected by means of distorting the truth.