Reviews

57 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
6/10
Jung and his first lover/patient
4 April 2003
Roberto Faenza has shot a very brave film, brave because shows an argument like this in the today's film panorama should be considered very brave. Nowadays, any film that enters into the psychoanalysis field and its world should be at least seen.

In this case, Faenza shot a non Italian film, with a multi national coproduction about a sort of small biography of Carl Jung the famous psychologist who has funded a personal current beside the one developed by Siegmund Freud. The film has some very good moments, specially when Jung is at his very beginning of his career in a house hospital in Zurich and meet Caroline Ducey as his very first patient. The developing of her illness and Jung's very modern approach compared to the rest of his colleagues in the hospital is really the best part of the film, this together with the start of their love "affair" worth the whole film. Unfortunately the rest of the film is not well driven, a sort of general and confused flashback brings the old scenes to a "today" situation through a "path" that a relative of Caroline is following in Russia with the help of some old books.

Rating: 6/10
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Jalla! Jalla! (2000)
5/10
...not precisely as good as East is East
4 April 2003
The promises were all pretty good, same producer as "Fucking Amal" and Together: Lukas Modysson, the one who is part of the newest Swedish generation of innovative of directors in Sweden; but I am afraid the final result was well far from the expectations...

Josef Fares is a young director from Lebanon who wanted to develop in a funny way the already too much seen cross fertilization between different religions in Western Europe, same topic of East is East or Dreaming Beckam; this time the plot is shot in a Swedish town with two main male characters whose lives are linked by a common job. One of them, acted by Fares Fares in the role of "Roro", is the typical young man who was born in Sweden, so well adapted and completely almost "swedish" but his family is still attached to their tradition and religion, so they do not accept easily a non arrange wedding. Beside this, the film develops also a normal Swedish couple which has become in crisis, and this is shown by the impotence of the guy.

There are some funny situations but the final results is poor and most of the situations are well superficial and not specifically well defined.

The results is a very commercial film, poor of content and not original at all, a positive point is that is free of violence.

Rating: 5/10
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The Pianist (2002)
The Holocaust from Polanski an unforgettable lesson to this nowadays world
7 November 2002
Many years have passed since last time that Roman Polanski shotted a film in Eastern Europe and specifically in Poland and its Warsaw.

I remember one of his really first sixties films: A knife in the water or Repulsion where the characters were already psychologically deeply analysed with his matchlessly "Polansky's style" that later on will be spreaded to all cinema audiences with Rosemary's Baby an The Lodger.

This film welcomes him back to his land, his people, his ghetto.

It is rather difficult to express with words the bad feeling of the horror of the Holocaust got it from this masterpiece. The consequences of the Holocaust seen through a Jewish family in Warsaw obliged to move to the "Jewish ghetto" during the German occupation in Poland in the Second World War. The main character is an excellent pianist -Wladislaw- who plays for Warsaw Radio. The images in the ghetto are already seen but never were enoughly metobolized as in this film.

No "Schindler's List" nor The Holocaust -the TV serie- had such a deep impact as this one. Touchful scenes of People treated as flesh in a slaughter, senseless faces without identity and future are flashed in the screen, walking as robots or zombies. Child screams and weeping heard as backnoise that penetrates in your head as well as the bombs that are exploding outside; pricking and cruel images that will not be easily forgotten. Some scenes are particularly touchful as the one of the father that shares for the whole family in six small pieces a sugar tablet and the one where Adrien is hiding himself, seeking desperately for food and water; rarely in a film thirst and hunger were described so perfectly. Also the way how Wladislaw plays piano in front of a general nazi after longer days of fasting is supreme, initially seems to be rather static but then comes music and Wladislaw starts to dream again with it. Also the locations of a destroyed Warsaw give desolation and a strange peaceful message like peace after the battle. Superbly acted by Adrien Brody as The Pianist this is not only a must film is The film of The Holocaust.

Rating: 8/10
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6/10
Madness and Poetry two sides of the same coin??
16 October 2002
Could you imagine Michele Placido -the famous actor of "LA PIOVRA", a succesfull mafia TV serie- shooting a film about a poet's life, well this is the case and the result is remarkable.

Placido decided bravely to use a non commercial theme and describe deeply the life of an early 20th century poet, considered as a genius by all his colleagues. He is well acted by Stefano Accorsi, one of the latest generation Italian actors, well known after the succesfull blockbuster: L'Ultimo Bacio; he has a discontinuous and peaceless love story with Laura Morante, who in the film is a "well" known high class lady in the poetry male circles. The relation is well far to be a quiet one also because he starts to have more and more internal conflicts with himself. Laura Morante is splendid in her role, a nice middle age lady who has an unforgettable past with a family that finally she leaves to follow inconditionally his Poet friend. The film is well located in the Italy of those years and the atmosphere is perfect. The story can not finish in a different way than in a mental hospital.

Michele Placido seems to debate with us about the real meaning of poetry (or more in general arts) and the difficulties for a Poet (or an art man) to see life as everybody does in a standard way. However the film has certain moments where you can notice a lack of continuity in the story but the overall result is good.

Rating: 6/10
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Gosford Park (2001)
7/10
An enchanted "British" film shot by the great American Director
2 August 2002
It so rare to see nowadays films that will not easily be forgotten and definitely this one is one of those.

An excellent cast, giantly headed by Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas, drives us in this old manor house in the middle of the British country side with several characters: the upper social class and the lower class. The first one are the owners of the house and the guests of a shooting party organised in "Gosford Park". The lower class is represented by maids, cooks and pages. This clear split has reminded me a 1970th British TV-series. Two actions in parallel are described and one character, a false page, builds up a bridge between the two classes. He is in reality an actor who wants to learn about that world.

Nothing is missed, everything is there with a precise and maniacal description. Even a murder gives the leit motiv and the thrilling effect to dig out the personality of the characters. Robert Altman, the excellent director, has never disappointed but films as this one improve certainly his already famous career.

Rating: 7/10
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Casomai (2002)
7/10
A "Milanese" case..., are you really like this??
19 July 2002
I was very pleased to go and see a "Milanese" film shot in Milan. Alessandro Alatri is a Roman director who has understood properly and fortunately printed in a film the Milanese philosophy.

Film tells the story of a standard -in career- Milanese couple, starting from "the birth" to the death. The birth-wedding is so typical out of any scheme that becomes original and involves all the wedding guests in a flash back story of how the couple came to each other and felt in love. Life is hard in the "urbe" of Milan and after the sweeties old days became tougher and tougher, then finally the product: a child, who instead of strengthen further the couple relationship it weaken because "the selfish effect" typical of a nowadays "metropolis" personality. The advertising environment with all the "creative" under stress atmosphere helps to get well involved in the plot. We are losing the life values and this is well and deeply reflected in this nice and sharp movie from the Senza Pelle's director.

The actors are well chosen, Stefania Rocca nice and well characterised, and a positive surprise, an unexpected good Fabio Volo, well known by the "trash" TV serie: Le Iene.

Rating: 7/10
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7/10
How a cinema crew can change your life...
19 July 2002
This film was called in Italy "Hollywood Vermont", normally Italian do not translate properly foreign films but I think in this case, the non original title is better than the original one: The State and Main.

A Hollywood crew go to Vermont (a small American town) in order to shot a film about an "old mill" which was supposed to be there but they realised that is completely ruined. This changes dramatically the original shot scheduling and obliges everyone to spend much more time in town and to modify the story accordingly. Modifying the story time passes and people town lives are modified as well by the "giant-state" represented by Hollywood and its array. A film in a film, starting from Francois Truffaut up to know, this is a very brilliant film with characters exchanging their life and giving a "breathe" and a reason to live to the "nothing happens" town: Vermont. Different stories link to each other in a perfect and funny puzzle, as some Robert Altman's films. At the end the lesson is quite simple but realistic: is something has to happen will certainly happens, film will be shot and all obstacles will be overcome and at the end there is a real "happy ending".

Rating: 7/10
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6/10
A brave film for an unexpected Sergio Castellitto
14 June 2002
I can only say that in the poor Italian cinema scenario, a film like this one from Marco Bellocchio definitely has an important role.

Nothing to do with the best Bellocchio's filmography but considering how difficult is to treat this argument in a very politicized Vatican environment, this film gives you at least some good arguments to think about.

Sergio Castellitto gives his best, his acting is well according to what you would have expected from his character. The film at the end is a bit unconcluded but worth surely its view.

Rating: 6/10
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Talk to Her (2002)
7/10
Monologues to your mind - A must see film
14 June 2002
I want to stress the fact that I have never been a big fan of Pedro Almodovar, even recognising that his films have a lot of artistic value.

This is for me a big exception, since the first scene, where a play of "Cafè Mueller" is shown in a theatre you start to breath this magic atmosphere which follows you in the whole film, is like an existential path to your mind. A "cult" and very intellectual movie, shot in a sort of "sweet" flashback, with lives that get -by chance- together and some clear characters with a "torera" side story that gives the leitmotiv to the whole film. A nice story about lives that want to find an outburst. Almodovar has some personal touch like the black & white scene of the film seen by Benigno (the male nurse), full of symbols, which hardly will be forgotten. A "must see" film

Rating: 7/10
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Amélie (2001)
7/10
Exciting, Marvellous. A small masterpiece
10 April 2002
I was so excited when I saw this film that I do not think will be able to find the right words to comment on it.

Understanding that is the same good director of Delicatessen, you can easily follow the style and the speed of the film. Initially, it took me a small while to follow the description of all the characters but then, as a film "leit-motiv", I was deeply involved in the Amelie's hyperrealistic world. She is so detached form the nowadays reality that convince even more, specially because the film starts in a lovely "Parisienne" sixties years and ends up nowadays. The film, as Coen brother's films, is full of well defined characters, each of them has a special meaning in Amelie's life.

It is necessary sometimes to see "fresh" films as this one, perhaps the best film of the whole season.

Rating: 7/10
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5/10
Easy but entertained thriller movie. Worth a VHS/DVD rental
10 April 2002
Don't have too much to add about this film with a very standard cast, nice ladies, and a not too original plot. Two couples research their own personality through a journalistic visit in a boat trip to an old crime scene, discovering how weak and troubly is their life. The film is shot in a nice flashback and two stories, in parallel, are told. If you want to have good time in a rainy Saturday rent it but don't spend your money in the cinema doesn't worth it. Rating: 5/10
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Enigma (2001)
3/10
A senseless spy film.
10 April 2002
Normally I do not go to the cinema to see what I call a "blind movie", means without knowing anything about the film, in this case I really went, perhaps attracted by Kate Winslet and the director Michael Apted which I thought,after having liked Extreme Measures could shot a good relaxing film, but I was wrong.

In the film you get the impression that the director wanted to fill up just the time with the standard length of a film with senseless scenes and with a sort of "cryptographic" plot that does not help in the action of the film. I am quite surprised about Kate Winslet who normally plays very good, see the Jane Champion film, but here plays as a secondary role actress. The only interesting thing of the film could be part of the plot when you relaize that the British wanted to hide a major Polish genocide done by the Russian in the 2nd World War.

Rating: 3/10
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7/10
...Coen's brothers forever
2 March 2002
Sometimes is so difficult to comment a film with such premises as this one. Each film that comes out from the brilliant mind of the Coen's brothers is a new puzzle piece of a perfect masterpiece, their whole filmography. Their humour is just as fine as the most intellectual European writer with the major strength of being well located into the American "empty" province. "The man who wasn't there" is a film shot in a perfect black and white with very standard roles and this is perhaps its winning factor. Life goes on with in a barber shop without too many exciting events. Suddenly a man wonders whether he has still something to say and to do in the emptiness of his life with a betrayed wife.

As always in the Coel's films the plot is intelligent and full of well defined characters. The atmosphere is always cynic as in the best "Fargo" age.

Rating:7/10
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5/10
Good plot and thrilling effect
2 March 2002
I had really good time seeing one of the last efforts of Lee Tamahori the same director of Once were warriors (his real first famous film) and later the "commercial":The Mulholland drive.

If you think are going to see something like "Seven" or some other typical serial killer's films, forget it.

This is in a way quite intelligent because the director brings the audience to a non expected end, full of surprises.

The cast is good and Morgan Freeman is in His role.

Rating: 6/10
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Original Sin (2001)
5/10
Standard good commercial film
10 January 2002
In the way back home from Caracas to Milan this christmas time I saw on the plane this film which honestly my major interest was initially on the acting, and not only, of Angelina Jolie. At the end the film is a non standard love story, with some pieces of mystery and a sort "magic realism" coming from the Mexican dusty environment. Antonio Banderas plays a standard role of abandoned lover by a "femme fatal" of Angelina Jolie, but things change and the end is quite interesting. Is a good commercial film which could be easily seen in VHS/DVD or TV.

Rating: 5/10
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From Hell (2001)
7/10
The beauty crudeness and true story of Jack the ripper
10 January 2002
The Hughes brothers have really surprised me whit this small masterpiece.

Jack the ripper I think is the most famous serial killer ever known in the history of murderers. This excellent film recreates a poor Victorian London area: Whitechapel with a detail precision that only a genius good do. The story is known but in this film there is an interesting side story, which is the personality of the commissar, giantly acted by Johnny Depp, and also the prostitutes environment with the Royal complot and the role of the masonry which enhance the interest of this film. The noisy and scary sound track fits just perfect with all the scenes and with the disturbed mind of a "junky" commissar who has "shining" experiences under the opium effect that help to solve the case.

Rating: 7/10
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6/10
Good plot. Sticks to your chair
6 January 2002
Watched this film in DVD at my second country, Venezuela, with some friends, and I must admit that it sticked to the chair due to the good acting: Gene Hackman and the superb plot. This is the typical film that I would suggest to watch either in DVD or VHS because it worths the cost of hiring it. Tony Scott has well directed this excellent action film.

Rating: 6/10
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5/10
Excellent DVD tester but nothing else
6 January 2002
Finally I had the opportunity to watch this film in a serious Home Theater System with some good friends and I realize that technically speaking the film is just excellent is what you should bring to the stores before buying a home theater system, but the rest has been seen and said already. Aliens against Americans and at the end is the way around.

Rating: 5/10
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8/10
A terrible masterpiece...
17 December 2001
I do not know how to thank Michael Haneke for this superb film which is built on the roles of its major actresses. An oppressive mother, marvellously acted by Annie Girardot, and her "pianist" daughter, giantly performed by Isabelle Huppert are the elements of this theatrical film which shows the decline of the femininity of a young "mind sick" lady who has a double life. The appearance of a severe and slightly sadic piano teacher hides her real double side personality, perverse and "voyeuristic". The toilet scene is as crude as deep and uncommunicative. Rarely in a film, such a high level of expression as this one has been achieved. The teacher is pitiless and full of frigidity complexes, her personality is completely analysed and dissected by Michael Haneke getting finally a rainbow.

Rating: 8/10
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5/10
Well below the expectations...
28 November 2001
After all the noise around this film honestly I was expecting an important, commercial but good Italian film from the last generation of Italian directors: Gabriele Muccino.

Nothing to do with this "naive" thoughts, nothing more than a well acted commercial film, fresh but meaningless of a piece of youth which doesn't stand the rules and links of the traditional society.

Rating: 5/10
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I cento passi (2000)
7/10
An excellent non typical "mafia movie"
28 November 2001
I was well surprised to see how with intelligence a film with a plot which could be easily mixed up to the typical "mafia's films serie" has been excellently directed and extremely well acted.

Normally I do not make any type of comparison to the "golden years" (sixties-seventies) of the Italian cinema but for me is a must today to say that this film and the director: Giordana does not have anything to envy to Francesco Rosi and his films. The actor Luigi Lo Cascio is just excellent well deep involved in his character.

Do not miss the film it worths even in DVD or VHS.

Rating: 7/10
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The Others (2001)
6/10
Gothic and weird. Worths to see it
28 November 2001
To be honest when I decided to go and see this film I thought that acting Nicole Kidman would be a nice and "handsome" film without having read almost anything about it.

I was misjudging the director and the "beautiful" actress, because this important film from the Chilean/Spanish Amenabar is much more than a normal thriller or a "scary movie". The photography is rather gothic, and since the beginning there is a sense mistery around this "haunted" house. The lack of light which is a "leit-motiv" of the action helps you to enter into Amenabar's world. As soon as the action goes on some elements are disclosed to the spectator but you have to wait up to the end to understand the whole plot.

Nicole Kidman is the right actress in the right role, a bit "northernish" and of course beautiful.

Rating: 6/10
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Quills (2000)
7/10
The Quills of a charmy and perverted man
11 October 2001
Philip Kaufman after "Henry & June" and "The Unbearable lightness of being" has shot this interesting film with an over standard photography in a didactic XVIII century, all locations were represented with a maniacal style.

The last days of life of Marquis de Sade in a mental hospital of Charentoune (France). A Marquis, superbly performed by Jeoffrey Rush, fully literate and completely out of mind but with some very intellectual and erotic implications. Kate Winslet has the beautiful role of the Hospital's laundress, Madeleine, a learner of the Marquis' stories. The society moralism is well represented by Michael Caine, the hospital's owner-inquisitor, the wife is his subconscious, the sin. The crude, but excellent scene, of the speech transcription of one of the latest Marquis' stories narrated cell by cell of the hospital-prison goes in a "crescendo" of drama and beauty. The dodecaphonic music plays an important role in the film. Last but not least, the outstanding performance of the abbot: Joaquin Phoenix.

Rating: 7/10
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4/10
The Perfect Fake
1 October 2001
This is one of this films which you could easily use as a "sampler DVD" to test how good is your Home Theatre system, specially concerned to the audio features. And for this is excellent, but I am afraid as a film I would never suggest to spend neither your time nor your money for seeing it.

It is a pity that a well known director as Wolfang Petersen did a very commercial film with the only objective of underline its special effects side. The story is real, has happened in Gloucester's fishermen town some time ago but how was shot is completely unreal. The only positive characteristic of the plot is that, at the end, has a light of realism, and nobody survives from this improbable "perfect" storm.

Rating: 4/10
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7/10
Back to the old Moretti's psychological films
24 September 2001
Being a father I thought honestly not to be prepared yet for seeing the latest effort of Nanni Moretti. At the end I decided to rent a DVD and I was well surprised about the result. No doubts that Moretti, with "La Stanza del figlio", went back to his best film maker past.

All the elements of a very "Bergmanian" film are present: a psychiatric doctor and a high class, Roman and well established family. Film goes on between a psychoanalytical session and the life of all the family characters. The Doctor, Nanni Moretti, is diving in too many obsessions, his house has long corridors which are the one that has to cross his mind. Laura Morante is again an excellent Doctor's wife. Then happens the unavoidable the son's accident and an apparent family harmony is broken.

Doctor wonders: if I had not gone to visit my patient it would have not happened...

Rating: 7/10
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