Reviews written by registered user
|5 reviews in total|
Saw this just now in a small indie cinema in Heidelberg, Germany and I have to say, it was a romp. In my humble opinion this film manages to be both Wes Anderson's funniest picture so far and his most melancholic. The utter uncompromising stylishness of his other work is also present here, perhaps even heightened, but in contrast to The Life Aquatic (and to a certain degree The Darjeeling Limited), the emphasis here is firmly on plot. The brave and often odd visuals never overwhelm the story and the audience never feels like they are not quite in on the joke, like in The Life Aquatic. The tone does tend to become a bit erratic, especially in the last third of the film when Anderson seems to want to pack so much into every frame that the film becomes a bit cartoonish at times (hence the not-perfect score from me). All in all, though, the plot is very balanced and the pacing is great. The two young leads are superb and the brave move by Anderson to place unknown actors front and centre pays off beautifully. The rest of the cast is on paper even more star-studded than The Royal Tenenbaums and yet Anderson never steers into unnecessary character development just to accommodate his stars. A touch here and a touch there are more than enough to paint a picture of a group of people who are eerily similar in their dissatisfaction with their lives and yet react quite differently to the two young lovers' dash (literally) for happiness. In conclusion, a must-see for Anderson fans and highly recommended for everyone else.
There are two markedly different strands within the Coen Brothers' work: the crime black comedy, championed by the much acclaimed "Fargo", and the less heralded, but equally if not more fascinating character study, "Barton Fink" being the notable example. "A Serious Man"'s aim is clearly revisiting that somewhat forgotten second strand of the Bros' work, and boy does it deliver. Until today I thought "Barton Fink" was their best work. I am not so sure anymore. Being brilliantly acted, wonderfully shot, beautifully designed and ingeniously written are just some of the immense qualities of this picture. Seldom can a story of so little a scope become so greatly engaging and moving. Scene after scene, we somewhat cruelly delight in the protagonist's sufferings. The script makes one wonder whether he is headed towards a meltdown, a cathartic experience, or maybe... but let me not spoil anything. Let us just say that the ending is quite philosophical and will doubtlessly continue to spark debate among moviegoers.
A brilliant film from an era when Bulgarian cinema did not need to be pompous to be poignant. Held together by the lead Veselin Prahov this seemingly simple story delivers on so many levels. Today it works both as a light-hearted retrospection and as incisive social commentary. The tone is pitch-perfect throughout and not a single scene seems out of place. I was perhaps slightly more impacted than the average audience member would be, as the film is shot just a block away from where I grew up as a kid myself, in a house not much different from the protagonist's, but regardless this is a wonderful thought-provoking picture that is so much more than the sum of its seemingly modest parts.
For years, I've heard Bulgarian audiences wonder why we cannot produce
a movie that holds up when compared to Hollywood comedies. Well, now we
have. And the result is pretty satisfying. The first thing that struck
me about the movie was how professionally it was made. The camera-work,
the editing, the sound mixing, everything was of a pretty high
standard, which is not something that Bulgarian films have recently
managed. The acting was generally mediocre and the dialogue was sloppy
at times, but overall all scenes were watchable, even the more talky
ones. The focus of the movie was not in the performances anyway. The
tempo was brilliant. At one point I thought the scenes were too short
and the film would lack cohesiveness, but by the ending this style of
editing makes sense and the film plays great, seeming neither too
short, nor too long. While this is predominantly a comedy, deeper
themes are there and they are examined in a non-intrusive way even if
they are mainly Bulgarian-specific. Being able to understand all the
jokes will enhance the viewing immensely but that does not mean that
foreign audiences will not appreciate the film.
Overall I give it 8/10 simply because the movie is head and shoulders above any Bulgarian comedy that has been attempted in the last decades. For non-Bulgarian audiences the film is a solid 7.
"Fix" is a wonderfully shot, brilliantly acted and incredibly well directed film, which deserves all the praise that can be thrown its way. Tao Ruspoli takes the audience on a witty, energetic and truly emotional journey through Los Angeles in the course of one outrageous day in the lives of the characters. The jumpy hand-held camera style is not among my favorite film-making techniques and has gone horribly wrong on numerous occasions. However, if there ever was a film in which this works, it is "Fix". The sheer inventiveness of director/cameraman Ruspoli gives the film a gritty energy that is truly unique. Almost every single scene in this picture is a work of art itself. Add to that the extremely well-written (or amazingly improvised, I cannot tell) dialogue and the amazing performances of both Olivia Wilde and Shawn Andrews and you are left with a wholly satisfying experience. I would tip it for My Favourite Indie Film of the Decade. Seriously, I enjoyed it THAT much! Outrageously funny one second and deeply touching the next, this movie has all the advantages of an independent production and none of the down-sides (being too naive or too self-indulgent).