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Life Is Sweet (1990)
Best film of the year
What can I say that previous fans of this movie have not said yet? I think that Mike Leigh is the best filmmaker working today. So, I won't bother rehashing the story line.
I am convinced even thinking back to 1991, when it was released in the US, that Life is Sweet was the best of that year. That year was remembered more for, among others, Schindler's List, The Remains of the Day and The Piano.
Alison Steadman seemingly insensitive lighthearted outlook on the world -laughing after nearly every sentence she or others utter, which incredibly I never tired of (an amazing feat), is all just her way of dealing with life. She sees it for what it is. The scene where she explains to her daughter Nicola how much of a sacrifice that she and her husband have made for the sake of their family is one of the most touching I have seen between a mother and daughter. I felt as though I was eaves-dropping while watching it. What a pleasure!
sweet and sad film of a distant childhood memory
A sweet touching portrayal a grown man's unforgotten memory of his adolescence. After many years Malena's beauty in his memory is larger than life. This is how many of us remember things, poetically and sentimentally. I adored the film. It is not about how beautiful Malena is or whether or not young Renato will have his love requited back to him. It is a simple moment in time of when he was young and had his life ahead of him and his aspirations for Malena was what stood out in his mind after many years and lovers.
Like Everybody's Fine, Tornatorre has a wonderful way of pacing his scenes and that includes the task of coordinating the incidental music along with those scenes. Ennio Morricone music was so beautiful and for me reflects not the beauty of Malena, but a distant memory of a time in Renato's life he will never live again. A lost childhood. I wept a couple of times. Call me sentimental.
One of the best but sadly true political thrillers
Told in a series of flashbacks and fast forwards, "Missing", starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek is at once subtle and powerful. Even today, when movies seem to loose their appeal due to comparison with subsequent films done since, it still remains compelling. Performances are understated, avoiding overdramatic reactions to the growing injustices and eventual heartbreaking discovery that Spacek and Lemmon's characters encounter. In light of the attempted expedition of Augusto Pinochet from England, the dictator who ordered so many killings back in the 1970's and who was assisted by the United States in overthrowing Allende's Chile, this film, so realistically directed by Greece's Costa Gavras, is worth purchasing and watching over and over. A 10, Superb!!