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Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Kudos for Catch Me if You Can!
Out of the several excellent films late in 2002, Spielberg's fabulous "Catch Me if You Can" is most certainly among the top
five, for superb direction, innovative filming, and of course, great acting by principals Tom Hanks and Leonardo DeCaprio (whom I was never particularly fond of until now).
The plot twists and turns keep the viewer perpetually interested. The surprises are unexpected, but logical - not outlandish.
Years ago I might have felt that the depiction of the FBI agents was exaggerated, but after the current years' revelations of their activities, I find everything not only apparently accurate but almost understated at times. The two major characters are carefully and gradually revealed to us until we understand the personal difficulties Hank and Frank have
undergone in their lives, which to some extent lay the groundwork for their behavior.
I highly recommend it for the whole family.
A delightful, touching tale
I believe Kevin Spacey has given his finest performance yet in this carefully crafted film. Prot's gentle kindness towards all humans, including (and especially) the mental patients he encounters, is a real relief for us after all the recent human atrocities we have encountered. Jeff Bridges (former "Starman") performs well as the increasingly confused psychiatrist who is finally brought to his own epiphany.
This is a film which promotes thoughtful conjecture, and it is not to be forgotten. It portrays joy, delicate humor, tragedy and finally a rather comforting conclusion.
May we all find his "bluebird of happiness".
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
A real Greek classic (sort of)!
I loved the film, and I must see it again to catch some of the more subtle references to Homer's Ulysses (Odysseus to us Greeks). Very clever writing, delightful dialogue. John Goodman's "Cyclops" was a real belly laugh! And I actually began to enjoy country music - amazing!
An American in Paris (1951)
The dream film that altered my life!
In the year of distribution (1951) of An American in Paris, I had just been married. My husband and I saw the film, and laughed and cried over it. We enjoyed the spectacular dancing, the vibrant colors of clothes and sets, and the marvelous Gershwin music. We both swore that someday we would get to Paris.
Sadly, it was not to be for us, as my husband, Thanos, died 24 years later, having been sick for many years.
The following year an old friend invited me to visit him while he was on sabbatical from school. He had spent many years in Paris, teaching English there, and rented a little house in Neuilly. I said no, but all my friends said "GO! It's the opportunity of a lifetime." So I did, and fell in love with that glorious old city.
I cried because Thanos was not with me, and yet I felt he knew I had come here for both of us, and was glad for me. I have since visited the City of Light 5 times, and love it so very much. I am now too old and too disabled to do any more world traveling, but that city of romance is something that will always remind me of Thanos. That's why I still love to see the youthful Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron falling in love as WE were once young and in love - and the glorious city of Paris - the most beautiful place in the world!
Electrifying depiction of the world-famous trials
I was only a teenager when the Nuremberg trials began, and I (as most other people throughout the world) had very little true knowledge of the horror stories of the victims of Nazi atrocities. When the truth burst upon the world, many people could not believe what they saw. (Some neo-nazi fools still deny everything.)
This is not an easy film to watch, especially with actual films of the frightful deathcamps, but one is drawn into the story because it was such a momentous event - that the major Allies of WWII united to have fair and open trials not just of single criminals, but of an evil governmental system.
Alec Baldwin has done a magnificent job in his role as Robert Jackson, who was the Chief Prosecutor. I wish I could thank him, as co-producer of this fine mini-series, for such a vivid rendering of those years.
Yes, there are still horrors being perpetrated on innocent victims in many parts of the world today, but the world IS watching, and in many cases, is resisting these evil governments.
I suggest that it is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE that young people today watch this film. Too many young (and many older) people think of WWII as only a rather heroic glorious time; I want them to know what some human beings were doing to other innocent victims. Believe me it is NOT boring. Yes, there were many, many heroes. I know. I married a young man who had fought with the Greek resistance movement and suffered greatly, but his spirit, as that of many others, could not be conquered. We must not forget!
Le Comte de Monte Cristo (1998)
Revenge is sweet!
Mon Dieu! This is a giant, epic drama! Yes, some of Dantes' disguises are not too believable, but big, beefy Gerard Depardieu is in top form as he battles his way back and dispatches his enemies most satisfyingly. Scenes filmed on location in Europe are spectacular. The story moves along briskly, with almost never a dull moment.
The supporting players are excellent, and (for those of you who wish to polish up your French) Depardieu's French is clear, concise and not hard to understand. (The subtitles help, of course!) DO NOT - repeat - DO NOT buy the dubbed version. Even if you can only say "merci beaucoup", listen to the lilt of the original French. Le film, c'est magnifique!
Pane e cioccolata (1974)
Beautifully filmed and produced tale
I saw this film when it first came out and fell in love with it.
Having spent some time in Switzerland, I knew the truth of the rejection of foreign workers, and I saw the places where they lived in great poverty, in the midst of rich, glittering inter- national crowds. The bigotry was (and still is to a great
extent) painfully true.
This is one of those marvelous films that makes one cry and laugh, almost simultaneously. As many have said before, it is Chaplinesque.
I especially appreciated hearing the various languages actually spoken by the characters - German, Italian, Greek, Turkish. The subtitles help the viewer very well indeed, but the sound of the actual languages enhances the verisimilitude of the story.
Just recently I have, after more than 20 years of searching, discovered that this film is on video tape, and I can't wait to acquire it - at long last!
Angela's Ashes (1999)
Kudos for the faithful production!
It is seldom one sees the translation of book to screen done so well. The events as well as the mood and the heartbreak and joy of this autobiography were depicted faithfully and with great care. The actual locations shown lent great credibility to the story, and the so-called "residence" on the infamous lane was reproduced in unbelievable detail. The actors did a fine job. One small point: I felt Ms. Watson's performance was a bit too subdued. "M'am", as McCourt wrote about her, appeared to me to be a tougher lady, better able to speak her mind out. I also missed seeing her quiet moments with her friend, sharing tea and a cigarette! She did have one or two small pleasures, after all! But the movie is a wonder! I loved it. Not to be missed!