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Any Human Heart (2010)
A Don't Miss for the Cosmopolite
As someone who bounced around in the film and TV industry, I was enthralled with the spot on accuracy of this series. It captured that unique culture of celebrity and those who prosper on the periphery of fame and fortune. When Gloria put a fork in Mountstuart's hand, I knew I had seen a true cinematic moment of genius. Kim Cattrall is immortalized in this scene in Episode 3, as the most desirable of women who torment the sophisticated man. Important social record, great enjoyment and fun.
If you aren't Logan, you certainly recognize him in the milieu of the era that his character was created in the novel that inspired the series. Just surviving WWII was quite a feat for an Englishman. Surviving the heart-breaking loss of wife and child made all that followed in Logan's career story so true to those of us who were not far away at the time.
Current history makes Stavisky a must see
If it were not for the stylistic excesses of Resnais, the epitome of auteur directors, this movie would rank with Citizen Kane and The Godfather. Too often, the cinematic tricks interfere with a powerful narrative, and distract from otherwise magnificent qualities of Stavisky, the movie. Seldom, has an acting ensemble delivered such consistent excellence. Belmondo, in the key leading role, delivers his character's development with perfection in every scene. Boyer's performance meets and surpasses all the great roles of his career. This is a movie that can only grow in importance with time.
Viewed during the financial crises of 2009, created with stunning derivative manipulations that parallel the voucher schemes of Stavisky, one sees history repeated. It is depressing to be reminded how we have ignored the lesson of history, and now we must live through the aftermath of financial corruption on a world wide scale that makes Stavisky's crimes pale in comparison.
The Goodbye Girl (1977)
A perfect a romantic comedy. Warm hearted, funny and well, just perfect!
Two decades have passed since I first viewed "The Goodbye Girl". I can think of few films that hold up like this Neil Simon comedy. I read in a previous review that the plot is "unbelievable". Am I wrong in recalling that the writer admitted that he got the concept complete from the life of an actor? Just another case of reality possessing more truth than fiction. Richard Dreyfus and Marsha Mason should be added to that rare list of actors whose performances will forever define the characters they portrayed. Elliot Garfield and Paula McFadden belong to them in perpetuity. Played by Quinn Cummings, Lucy McFadden simply made the film work as a sophisticated child who never uttered one cloying word. Bless you Quinn, wherever your are. For someone who has been a friend of actors, and who has adored dancers, every situation in the film rang true. Previous reviews havecovered all the cinematic aspects, so I will just add my accolade: This is a film that rates with the best of Hollywood.
Woman on Top (2000)
An Overlooked Gem
Let me qualify my comments by identifying myself as a septuagenarian movie buff. Well, a movie buff until I was driven out of the theaters by noise passing for music, mumbled duologue and a concerted degrading of cinematic values.
I was not surprised to find that the generation of movie goers that has reduced film making to the dark age of cinema would rate this delight of magical realism as less than mediocre. It is in fact the first movie that I have seen, with the exception of "Chocolat", that successfully invites the viewer to enjoy art as reality. The director delivers his vision without disturbing the telling of an amusing story. The duologue is well constructed and UNDERSTANDABLE. The music is soft and supportive to the cinematic theme.
It is the joy of watching Penelope Cruz with her winsome, effortless beauty that makes WOMAN ON TOP very special. How can anyone who loves movies not believe this movie is extraordinary?