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This quiet little town is much closer to us than we'd like to (**** out of ****)
**** out of ****
There weren't many great film on the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, but at least three of them deserved to win an award. First, there was Gus Van Sant's ELEPHANT, with its daring and original approach to a real-life event. There was also Clint Eastwood's masterpiece MYSTIC RIVER, which went on to win two Academy Awards in 2004. But it was DOGVILLE the true star of that festival. Unfortunately, it didn't win anything- I suppose that was because its pessimistic, radical view of the human nature might not have pleased some members of the jury. That's a pity, because this is a film to enter the history of cinema.
With its unusual set design (chalk drawings on the floor to represent houses, only a few objects) and its anti-Hollywood structure (a narrator who knows a lot, the division of the story in chapters), it might repel some viewers. But that all makes DOGVILLE unique. While Nicole Kidman's performance is the best of her career, the most discussed thing about the film will be its ending. Well, all I can say is that Lars Von Trier has guts- the finale tells more about ourselves than we'd like to.
No doubt here's a new addition to my all-time top 100. It's the best film since David Lynch's MULHOLLAND DRIVE.
As awful as it gets, and it still gets worse (no stars out of ****)
no stars out of ****
Wow! It doesn't take much time to find a bad mainstream movie. In fact, there are lots of them every year. But it takes time to find something worse than GIGLI, FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY, HOWARD THE DUCK... Well, CALIGOLA tops- or should I say "bottoms"- them all. Why? Everything about this "film" is miscalculated, unpleasant and so completely wrong! A soft-core porn disguised as a biography of the mad Roman emperor Caligola, everything about it, from the acting to the indescribably awful direction, from the inane cinematography to the screenplay that seems to have been written by a horny donkey (sorry, I know Gore Vidal was involved but the writing is awful); everything is as awful as it gets, and it still gets worse.
Release us from things like CALIGOLA! Yuck! A big yuck! .
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
In memory of Marlon Brando... (**** out of ****)
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)
**** out of ****
Marlon Brando, one of the best movie and theater actors of the 20th century, has died on Thursday, July 1st 2004. With the nickname of Stanley Kowalski, I couldn't let to pay my homage and post my comment on this wonderful film, where he plays Kowalski.
It's not only Brando who shines here- A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE has to be one of the best-acted films I've ever seen. Vivien Leigh is indescribable as the doomed Blanche Dubois, while the late Kim Hunter and the great Karl Malden couldn't be any better. But it's Brando whom we most remember when we talk about STREETCAR, the best movie adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play. Kowalski, with his ripped shirt, screaming for Stella, is one of the greatest moments of the 20th century. And it tells us a lot about Brando himself and his method of acting. May he rest in peace!
Miss Congeniality (2000)
A funny, uncompromising movie- Sandra Bullock should make only comedies
Comedy is Sandra Bullock's place- that's what MISS CONGENIALITY proves. Although Michael Caine steals many scenes (he's Michael Caine, after all!), Ms. Bullock does what she does best. Her makeover is not really believable, but this is not a documentary. It's a laugh riot comedy!
The film that restored my faith in American cinema
What else can I say about MEMENTO that hasn't already been said? It's wildly original, endlessly brilliant, unforgettable in all senses. I wonder how it didn't win Best Original Screenplay in 2002- Academy voters gave the award to GOSFORD PARK, a film I also loved, but you can't ignore a screenplay like that of MEMENTO, one that restores your faith in screenwriters.
10/10- the second best film of 2001... losing only to MULHOLLAND DRIVE
Is this the same Guy who made... SWEPT AWAY?!
SNATCH, like Guy Ritchie's previous film, LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS, is a fast-paced, highly entertaining action comedy, that doesn't have the ambition of changing anyone's life or the history of cinema, but provides great fun. It's a pity that afterwards Ritchie gave us something we don't want to remember, and most of us didn't bother to watch. Do I have to mention the name of the "film"?
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)
A pleasant romantic comedy, very funny... but don't expect much!
HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS is, without a doubt, above the average of romantic comedies, due to a charismatic lead- Kate Hudson- and an endless sense of humor.
A fine date flick, if you're in the mood for laughing.
The House of Mirth (2000)
A terribly sad but wonderful drama
THE HOUSE OF MIRTH is not just a costume drama. It's Terence Davies' adaptation of Edith Wharton's novel, a study of a rotten society. He creates a film that is beautiful for the eyes and that stays with you for some time. And you can't deny that he's worthy of recognition for turning Gillian Anderson into an ill-fated heroine of the early 20th century. By the way, her performance is really good.
Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Not really an entertaining movie, but an admirable one
Art-house audiences liked SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE more than anyone, and that's no surprise. This is not a piece of entertainment, but it's an admirable mix of dark comedy and horror, making us think about the process of film-making. Highly recommended.
An honest, well acted biography
Marcia Gay Harden surprisingly won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2001 for this very unseen biography of painter Jackson Pollock, directed and acted by Ed Harris. She deserved it, but we can't despise Mr. Harris' efforts. Without risking too much, he has created an honest, sad but compelling portrait of a misunderstood artist.