Reviews written by registered user
|62 reviews in total|
As you sit in front of Le Prénom, you can't help but think how many
similarities it shares with Carnage (Polanski, 2011): same middle class
context, almost the same setting, but with that French flavour that
makes everything much tastier. Vincent is about to become father for
the first time, and, during a dinner at his sister's house, he's asked
about the name his wife Anna and he want to give their son. This
simple, lame question sets off an evening where secrets are revealed,
feelings are declared and hypocrisy is unmasked.
I think the movie, built on a very strong and witty screenplay, wouldn't have worked the same if the actors hadn't been so good, with so much remarkable chemistry between them. The cast is directed as if it were a company in a theatre: everyone has to be empathic with the others, in order to make the script work.
Better to watch it in original language, with subtitles: it's worth the risk to miss some of the dialogue.
It is funny to realize how unfair it is that such a gentle, yet unlucky, movie like this has been a failure, while craps like Saw 3D choke up theaters for more than three days. Sweet Bliss, tortoiseshell glasses and clothes only "Ghost World"'s Enid would wear, lives in a small Texas town, studies at the local high school and works as a waitress in a garish diner together with Pash, her wise and chubby best friend (Alia Shawkat, a freckled face perfect for this slightly unrewarding role). Bliss's mother is a former beauty queen, and therefore carries her reluctant daughter to incredibly poor pageants; but, respect to many movie characters of mothers ready for anything, she's a caring woman, who has probably suffered and who wishes all the best for her children. It's easy to notice that "Whip It" is a movie ruled by women, because Bliss, in the attempt to turn her life upside down, tells a lie about her age and enters in an Austin roller derby team. It was only to be expected that Bliss/Babe Ruthless turns out to be born to score points on the skates, finds love in the super-hipster Oliver and friendship in her shabby team mates, but, since we're given an equal quantity of laughters and tears, her choices compel Bliss to neglect Pash and to tell her family too much lies. Plot is more than predictable and follows the structure of sport fairy tales like "Ice Princess", but first-time director Drew Barrymore covers everything with a delicate, feminine, graceful spirit, and builds up a delightful leading lady, whose coming of age can be easily enjoyed. Kudos to a perfect Page, that, even in a less flamboyant role than Juno, forgets the sassy lines and plays a shy girl who gets to know herself and knocks down all her insecurities, in the name of Girl Power. Barrymore makes a movie that recalls the sport movies from the Seventies and the girl power from the Nineties, mixed up in a very faithful portrait of the suburbs and of the provincial way of thinking. The atmosphere turns melancholic in the last quarter, when Bliss must pick up the pieces and fix things with her parents, with Pash, with Oliver, with her favorite team mate Maggie Mayhem. The technical aspects are the weak points. Editing is rough and cinematography tends to zoom abruptly, but Barrymore can still improve a lot. Go girls!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's time to know Alo, the red-haired boy always wearing that weird bone necklace. Alo lives in the countryside (which gives us the opportunity to shift our attention from Bristol for a while) with mum, dad, the dog Rags and Dewi, a mysterious man helping his father in the farming works. Poor Alo: his mother is what we could define a castrating woman, both to him and to her husband, and, when she's made a decision, she doesn't turn back. So, when she decides Alo must leave college, Alo must leave college. Things happen in the background: Franky and Mini keep hiding something, and Grace and Rich's relationship finally gets to the next level (but we don't see it, a choice somewhat delicate but perhaps disappointing for the couple's fans), while Alo struggles to grow up and be more than the weird farm boy. A good episode, but not great ("Liv" still the best so far): season is approaching to the finale and we still have other surprises to find out.
After the great episodes focused on Mini and Liv, here comes a more relaxed episode about Nick, the character I less cared about. Nick is a rugby champion, he's cool and he has a girlfriend his team mates would die for. But, at home, the situation is not so great (just watching his father for a few seconds may help supposing what's like living with him). We're done with the first half of the season and plot is tightening up, while some new elements are introduced, for example I think Franky will be involved in Liv/Matty's storyline, and Mini is gradually changing and maybe she's gonna be the most transformed character next season, as it happened with Katie Fitch in the previous generation. This is a transition episode and there is not much more left to say.
Skins 5 is almost reaching the high level of the best episodes from Season 1 & 2. Why is it still fresh after five seasons? Because of the scripts: they ooze sincerity, even if situations are obviously larger than life, but if scripts didn't ooze sincerity, the series wouldn't be so successful in portraying not only the teenage wasteland, but life, in some ways. Never as with this season the parents of our heroes are real folks, not the typical parent who doesn't care about you and no child would have around. This time we get to know Liv: at first I thought she was a naughtier version of Jal (if Mini was the new Michelle, someone had to be the new Jal), and I couldn't stand her fierce, party-girl attitude. Getting to know her was a pleasure, because I was put in front of a very fragile, confused, messed up girl who has to hide her own weaknesses if she wants to survive. The episode went from aerial and dreamy tones of the scenes with Matty (such a great character) to the tough and sad sequences involving a furious Mini, and Liv's mother and sisters. It was just like living a whole roller-coaster day with Liv. I must mention the soundtrack, which contains a lot of interesting alternative artists (The National, Best Coast, Beach House, a beautiful revival of an old Simon and Garfunkel song).
Mini has a freckled angel face, long blond hair: she's a very beautiful girl, surrounded by a bunch of friends and a popular, hot boyfriend. But there's more than meets the eye, and being the girl everybody aspires to be friends with, or to make love to, has a lot of negative consequences, as Mini will soon learn. I didn't like her, in the beginning. I felt she was false and bitchy just like every other blonde in every other show, but I forgot that Skins is NOT your typical teen drama, because each character has more sides, and Mini, as the tradition of Skins claims (the most stereotyped characters are the ones with more things to say), is very complex and hides some secrets you couldn't tell at first glance. She's not the new Michelle Richardson, for sure; and she's not even stupid and insensible as I thought. Freya Mavor portrays Mini with freshness and innocence, and she could possibly grow even more in her acting skills. We're just at the beginning. Best scene? The confrontation between Franky and Mini.
When there's Cassie around, you always have a magnificent Skins
episode, like this, that's able to make you see the world through
someone's else eyes. I feel sorry for Cassie, because she doesn't
deserve the parents she got (I mean, which mother is so heartless that
doesn't even care about her daughter's health situation?), she doesn't
deserve the friends she got (it seems that nobody wants to watch at her
problems. See Michelle, that calls her "crazy bitch". She's drunken and
half asleep, but there's the famous saying "in vino veritas".. you know
what I mean?). The only light for her could be Sid, but Sid has his own
Painful the way teachers and educational system are depicted here.
I'm watching again Skins' first season, in original language with
subtitles because Italian dubbing isn't the best we could hope for.
To tell the truth, this first episode is not very good since it doesn't contain any character development or heart under it. It simply shows a group of teenagers behaving in an hedonistic manner (exaggerated, but in some ways possible in the reality), without analyzing this behavior's causes. Anyway, this is only the first episode and there's a whole season that still has to unfold. Hannah Murray gives an hint of what her Cassie will be: I think she's the best actress of the cast, and she's also given the most interesting character.
I still can't forget the first minutes, with a silent Effy sneaking in home after a wild night out.
Saying goodbye to a whole bunch of characters you learnt to love episode after episode is never a nice thing to do. I already had experienced this when the unforgettable Generation 1 left, leaving many situations unresolved as in real life; then Generation 2 came, and even if in the first moments I didn't like the change, I accepted it little by little, step after step, until I started to care for these kids and to love them. Now it's difficult to realize this generations will be replaced by other kids (I think Karen or Mandy or Matt, Sophia's brother, are going to come back in the next season), and it's painful to watch an episode like this, maybe the most disappointing in this overall wonderful fourth series. The technical aspects were always good, and Lily Loveless had her moment of glory here - this girl has potential - but.. the episode left me quite cold. Many things weren't developed or explained well; the final was pointless. I save this for the soundtrack, for Pandora's singing scene and for Loveless' acting.
I believed that the first season was the better. After watching this
episode, I had to change idea. Fourth season is more beautiful and
lyrical than the first one, although it lacks humour. I'd feel a
criminal to spoil the plot, because it's so full of subtleties and
surprises that you must see the episode; if I had to compare it, I
would compare it to the second-last episode in season two, with Cook
behaving as Michelle behaved, and the scene at the pub as the supper
scene at Chris and Cassie's place (my humble opinion). I didn't like a
lot Cook and Effy before, but here I changed opinion: Effy is so well
written and well acted, she doesn't seem a TV character.
The dialogue scenes (Effy and Naomi at the hospital, Cook and Effy at the park) and the scenes between Effy and Freddy are top notch, and soundtrack is perfectly chosen. Don't miss this one.
|Page 1 of 7:||      |