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Terrible terrible film. don't listen to the users who rank it as 'a gem'. i would defy the most hardcore of crowe fans to find a redeeming feature to this mess of plot and underdeveloped characters. bloom and dunst are good actors but have so little to work with here that they're left flailing and resorting to sickeningly 'sweet' performances. the film has lovely ideas in it... the concept of the roadtrip planned by the girl, the music, the adventure, and solitude, taken with your dead father is a premise that alone would have made the most beautiful film, but unfortunately someone decided to put the other 70% of the plot in to ruin it.
Welcome to Sarajevo (1997)
Like many other users here i have never understood why such a fantastic and quite groundbreaking film has never received a more fitting place in filmic history. i think it's sensitive and fitting and yet packs enough punch to perhaps make people who didn't before, care a bit more or take a bit more notice of what happened in the Balkans. the actors are memorable and the script powerful. i have also loved the passion that has gone into this film, the filmmakers obviously had a real love for this part of the world which is something we were never shown on the news, that the Balkans are beautiful and vibrant countries and that the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia let us ignore that and de-cultured the people in some way. watch it if you haven't already!
Blue Juice (1995)
British comedy of best sort
A Beach bummer? Sorry but no - this is a fantastically easy, fun film, and ridiculously true to life for anyone who's spent any time or has any fondness for cornwall. The characters are larger than life, but all charming and not out of place in a film of stereotypes. Lovely - no it isn't going to challenge you, but i would urge you to watch it of you are in love with cornwall, bored on a wet Sunday, or your day's surfing has been called off due to lack of waves. I think critics of this film perhaps are a bit quick in their discrimination because of the 'surfing movie' genre tag that this film carries. I would urge anyone put off by that to take another look, this is not a surf film, but a British surf film, which is of course an entirely different kettle of fish... no glossy beach babes and 'dude' but quirky, hopeless overgrown teenagers living for the next swell.
See it but don't take it as anything more than satire - don't try to like the ideas.
Have just got back from seeing this film, which i was very excited about because of clive owen... i have to say that this film is very deceiving... do not be fooled by the terribly hatable characters and a script which gets more and more cliché as the film descends into chaos. you should instead delve a little deeper if it has left you a bit cold and annoyed as my main feeling after seeing this film is that i marvel at the wonderful clever ironic satire it provides on modern relationships and our constant search for happiness when we don't really know what we're looking for anyway. the questions raised on intimacy, eroticism, and how to get 'closer' to people are wonderfully refreshing and the whole thing is beautifully acted and somehow nicholls has retained the feeling that this is a play - a play being a work of it's moment, satire, centered on humanity, something personal. i wouldn't say i 'love' it, but i certainly got something out of it. there are scenes of complete originality and spine tingling accuracy also - the realistic fight between roberts and owen and their coarse commentary of sex, portman and owen in the strip club, and portman at the end - there don't think i ruined the plot there did i??
Embrassez qui vous voudrez (2002)
Wonderful web of repressed characters.
It was Francois Ozon's 'Swimming Pool' that really made me sit up and take note of Charlotte Rampling's suitability to french cinema. Her stern facade yet the notion she is longing for sexual freedom suits it to a 't'.
After 'Swimming Pool' I made a conscious search for Rampling's other forays into french cinema, and this is one of the surprisingly many i came up with.
'Summer Things' seemed to me a bit like a multiple brief encounter. It follows a family riddled with dissatisfaction and their friends over the course of a summer. The daughter off for a 'naughty summer'in Chicago with the boyfriend her parents don't know about, the mother off with her friends all of whom have terrible family problems themselves, and the father who spends the summer liberated from the wife he is confused by, in the arms of his transsexual lover.
The characters are all linked in such deliciously complex ways - one of the biggest links being how much they need this change, this summer to not make them change their lives as what is expected of films of this nature, but in fact to learn how to enjoy the lives they already have - this idea was so refreshing, and like 'brief encounter' what made it so real. there weren't any epiphanies, just character developments, life lessons and realisations of the fact that the grass is never as green as we hope it might be.
Watch it! :)
My Beautiful Son (2001)
Touching yet not soppy, a drama with some British grit
This film was shown on TV here and repeated once - i am waiting very impatiently for it to be released on to DVD - despite my nation's beloved actress, Julie Walters winning a bafta for her performance, it's yet to be released - mainly because it sadly came and went without much fuss being made about it.
I have adored Julie Walters from the first time i saw 'education Rita' and feel her presence and northern nonsense persona was a wonderful dynamic next to Paul reiser and their on screen relationship was so moving.
I usually don't enjoy these 'pushing emotional buttons' dramas - to me the words cancer, bone marrow, long lost family, when put together with film spell disaster, but this was something different. British films being known for their 'realness', made this feel like a personal, private film, only you were being allowed to see the painful process this family goes through when Paul reiser comes searching for his birth mother as a last chance to get bone marrow.
I will say no more, other than watch it.... and please can it be released on DVD???