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Michael Moore in TrumpLand (2016)
Moore at his kindest and gentlest
This is Michael Moore at his very bestvery thoughtful and penetrating, and hardworkingly committed to fostering understanding of some of our fundamental political challenges.
I felt he did an excellent job of presenting the view that Trump's rise on the national political scene is a warranted but ultimately very destructive reaction to the neglect and abandonment of countless Americans by our economic and social order.
"Michael Moore in TrumpLand" is full of genuine humanity and surprisingly gentle humor.
I'm doubtful Moore's efforts in making this film stand much chance of having an impact on the electoral outcome, but I still think it's great that he has given us an offering of such quality.
I must say on an anecdotal note that upon being re-exposed to typical TV coverage of the election after having left a screening of this movie, I felt as though I'd gone from a sane place to a place of true barbarity. (I was really, truly surprised to find how super-barbaric what has grown all-too-familiar of late suddenly seemed.)
Certainly very engaging
I've seen this complex and absorbing documentary only once and feel I'll need to see it more times before I can really know how to feel about it.
It was certainly involving and thought-provoking but also a bit frustrating in that many of the quotes from Arendt's works and correspondence seemed a bit too truncated (brief or lacking in context) to be understood well.
I couldn't help feeling a longer version of the film would have provided the opportunity for a fuller presentation of her ideas.
Still this was a very interesting film and at least gave me some sense for the life and work of Arendt.
I'm rather hoping the writer/director will use the opportunity of the eventual DVD release of the documentary to flesh out more fully some of Arendt's chief ideas by means of a good audio commentary or other extras.
Le temps de l'aventure (2013)
Lovely movie. A must-see for Devos admirers
I found this to be much better than other reviews had led me to expect.
It's not a film that offers a moral or any special psychological insight. But it is very colorful, intelligent, and involving, I thought. (It is also VERY funny in spots!)
This is a film that offers a quite life-like portrait of two people at a particular juncture in their lives. There's nothing spectacularly memorable in the plot, but it offers its portrait in a very lovely, rewarding way.
Emmanuelle Devos is just wonderful in this. I've seen her in at least a dozen previous films, but I felt like I was only really seeing her in film for the very first time in this movie, so full and present was her role and performance.
So I'd say for fans and admirers of Devos, this film is a must-see.
As for Gabriel Byrne, I strongly disagree with reviews that suggest his performance was expressionless or monotone. He is after all playing a character who is genuinely bereaved, and he does convey a grim stoicism appropriate to such a situation. But that only serves to make the moments when he conveys notably different emotions even more affecting.
The characters played by Devos and Byrne are not the sole characters in the film, by the way, and this is not at all a film that takes place statically in just one location (which was the impression I had gained from reviews), so the film also offers varied scenery and a lively sprinkling of encounters with other personages.
Like Crazy (2011)
Poignancy without melodrama--really!!
I'm a very tough customer when it comes to romantic dramas, but I felt this was probably the most wonderful romantic drama--and perhaps movie in general--I've ever seen in my life.
I'm not sure I can explain why, but I can at least say the following two things in partial explanation: (1) The cast was astoundingly good--including the two main leads.
(2) The movie was extremely emotionally affecting without being the least bit melodramatic--an amazing feat.
Concerning point 2 above, I would even go so far as to say that this was at one and the same time both the most moving movie I've ever seen and also the least melodramatic one.
I would strongly suggest that anyone who wants to experience that paradoxical-sounding combination should watch this movie.
Do not be afraid to see this movie
I'm not sure why this movie has received such universal abuse from reviewers.
Admittedly, it's not as inspired as some past Jaglom offerings (certainly not as inspired as "Hollywood Dreams", which I absolutely loved), but on a moment-by-moment basis it is certainly interesting and colorful enough to be worthwhile--contrary to what reviewers would have their readers believe.
I'm even more puzzled by how reviewers seem to have taken to bleating in unison that Jaglom has all along turned out nothing but tiresome nonsense.
Have they seriously forgotten such marvels as "Tracks", "New Year's Day", "Venice/Venice", "Last Summer in the Hamptons", and (the aforementioned) "Hollywood Dreams"?
Interesting, colorful, and very relevant
Thought this movie did a good job a laying out some basic issues surrounding questions of anti-Semitism, support and criticism of Israel, and the role of the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S.
The movie benefited from the personal reflections of the director on the movie's subject, but on the other hand I often felt the movie relied too much on colorful depictions of individuals and groups and too little on a more "objective" and data-based examination of the question of whether and how much actual (and not just imagined) anti-Semitism results in harm to people around the world.
A longer, more carefully researched film could probably have matched the depictions offered in this film with data about and the testimony of people who have been the brunt of truly injurious anti-Semitic prejudice.
That said, I do feel the attitudes and beliefs illustrated by the individuals and groups depicted in this film are--as the film suggests--probably very often more at the root of concern about anti-Semitism than any real incidence of the latter.
But, still, that's a very sweeping generalization and would need to be "documented"--something this documentary doesn't seem to do a great deal of.
However, this was a very interesting and colorful film about a number of issues central to Jewish identity (especially the identity of "secular" Jews), and could be very valuable in sparking sharper thought and discussion about those issues. And also in encouraging more research on the actual extent, or lack thereof, of anti-Semitism around the world.
Autumn in New York (2000)
This movie is very underrated. Yes, the plot has a "disease of the week" aspect. But illness is featured in this movie in a way that seems admirable to me: it informs the character of Will's involvement with Charlotte and lends that involvement the seriousness necessary for it to have a profound impact on him. I found the performances--though not flawless-to be rich and rewarding. And in fact, this is a movie with many small rewarding moments. The Autumnal scenery is also lovely, on a straightforward level as well as a symbolic one (i.e., Autumn as "late in a person's life"). It's unfortunate that this movie has found so little appreciation among reviewers (professional and unprofessional). It's well worth seeing and appreciating.