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Powerful and feminine...
On a winter Saturday evening with tea in hand one wants to watch a nice story, a romance perhaps. Browsing through the film options on that genre W.E would perhaps feature under the apprehension, guilty pleasures not high expectations category and with Madonna under the directorship comes with a condescending feeling of poor cine plot quality and a mainstream story line. Curiosity, a good cast and movie was rented...Two hours later the deceiving nature or preconceptions was confirmed...
The storyline based on Wallis Simpson and King Edward's relationship, excluding the public and royal element, is another one of an affair, however of a great romance and the uncompromising need of a man and a woman to share their lives. Hardly and innovation. However, the palindromic movement between past and present and the similarities in the female nature for mending, preserving, enduring well acted by Abbie Cornish as Wally, a contemporary woman trapped in a dysfunctional relationship and Andrea Riseborough (Wallis) a historic figure but mostly a woman in '30s being bigger than the mediocrity of her marriage. Madonna, delivered a fairly satisfactory result following the historical facts of the relationship, however the angle of which the relationship was viewed from is more important than the historical accuracy.
The film explores the different ways the two women deal with their quest for true love, and the power in trusting their instincts. Wally's need for escapism, identity and a point of reference to relate to, lead to an infatuation with the tales of Wallis Simpsom. Abbie Cornish gives a good performance portraying the journey from sadness, insecurity and self depreciation through the train of hope to a place of contentment and that collarbone of most movies of such genre that always something happens that enlightens you and you know what the right thing to do is. She is transformed from the wife hidden behind plain dark outfits to a confident woman in tailored Diors.
The photography is very eye pleasing and smooth; combined with the sharp and couture costume designs appropriate to the strength of the characters of the leading figures, make a strong screen visual outcome.
Maddona delivered a good movie, one for many women to see themselves in, to relate to and be inspired, to trust their wants, and persevere for what they believe is right which may not be in agreement with the society's consensus. Overall, a very promising directorial debut and one to watch.
Black is for Light
A true masterpiece of senses by the ever quirky Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Black is about faith, strength, conviction and the defeat of the impossible.
Rani Mukerji potraits a deaf, mute child living in a world of darkness and anger, trapped in the desperation and shame of her family is introduced to Amitabh Bachchan playing an extraordinary teacher who helps her see the light within Black.
The performances go beyond the lines and the characters. They become souls, birthing emotions, captivating attention and showing the gift of a different perspective. Rani Mukerji's physical beauty comes secondary as her character takes charge. The eyes, the walk, the touch, the longing and desire of a woman in a world of silence and darkness become a captivating two hours of pleasure. his greatness Amitabh Bachman doesn't fail to prove once more that his talent and commitment to a role knows no limits. A true teacher, a life leader, the light of her darkness.
Black gives the the Piano (1993) a new element and if it wasn't for Michael Nyman's serenian chords the latter would be a follower.
Black takes you to a different place, for a while, where you can go against the odds....pour some alcohol and try and stay with that feeling...
The Iron Lady (2011)
Meryl Streep delivers a stupendous performance as Margaret Thatcher under the guidance of Phyllida Lloyd. The pair can evidently work very well together after the success of Mamma Mia. The film goes through the life of Margaret Thatcher beginning as a young Margaret Roberts working at her father's grocery store and daring to be different as guided by her proud father. A continuous of very well crafted and sewn together flashbacks provide the magnificent story of one of the most famous or infamous one could say women politicians in the world history. Maggie as a non conventional wife with her ever amusing husband Denis by her side, who she still 'communicates' with during her dark frail days of dementia. As a Ma as her daughter Carol (Olivia Colman) calls her- we don't see much of her motherly side, however until her older days she continues to be kind ad understanding.
The political aspect of the Iron Lady, is one of a fighter, a fierce human being; wavering between ethnicism and humanitarianism from the one hand, especially on the early days, and on the other hand a strong conviction and belief that her decisions were for the better. The film does provide an account of the rises and falls of the Thathcerian years and the proud, ostentatious even attitude of Maggie herself. A series of events of the contemporary British History that most of the nation will be able to relate to.
Margaret Thatcher has been a highly debatable figure who received both praise and strong criticism by civilians and political circles. The viewer should not expect the movie to be neither a documentary nor a historical account but rather the days and tales of an extraordinary individual who left her mark in the political history and became a great inspiration for women. Phyllida Lloyd, provides the story of Margaret Thatcher in the most cinematic and theatrical way supported by Meryl Streep's Oscar standard performance and this is a good enough reason for cine lovers irrelevant of political views and ideologies.
The make up, costumes and achieve an utterly convincing transformation of Meryl Streep from a women in her early thirties to a frail figure in her eighties, which will most likely receive a nomination if not an award.
A movie for the young to learn and for the older to remember
an absolute joy of the wide screen! "Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Midnight Magic in Paris....
Woody Allen directs his first digitally enhanced movie without losing the emotion while leaving the audience with a distinct aftertaste. A young writer finds himself in Paris with his wealthy inlaws and his soon to be wife typical American heiress. He has dreams, romance, aspirations to find his inspiration in a flat in Paris
.One midnight he gets absorbed in an illusion, he becomes a protagonist in a world of nostalgia, dreams, in an artificial temporary fantasy with beautiful sounds,vintellect, romance, intensity, excitement
.The sunrise brings him back to his wedding plans and reflecting on life and decisions
.A movie to watch in a cosy afternoon.
Owen Wilson, excels for one more time in getting the right balance between being naive and eventually true to yourself and others. Marion Cottilard, a 1920s' diva, as in le Petit Mouchoirs, she has a certain je ne sais quoi, she doesn't fails to be effortlessly attractive, powerfully captivating by her sincerity and self confidence. A movie that makes you feel like drinking red wine, listening to Cole's voice in a vinyl record and singing to yourself
Let's Do It, let's Fall In Love
Les petits mouchoirs (2010)
Cest la vie....
A group of old friends on a holiday in an idyllic place at the cost of France are going through a series of events with a major impact on their lives. Not a masterpiece by any means but a highly recommended film to watch especially if you are on your 30s-40s and want to find something to relate to combined with eye-pleasing photography.
It is almost as if the film was based on a 'what makes a good Sunday evening cinema movie' list. Award winning actors V (tick), Ideal location V, old friends on a holiday V, dare to be V, trim women on their mid 30s V, spring summer summer-wear collection V, a variety of characters with a plethora or emotional complexions and attitudes that most of the viewers can relate to V, French accent V, great music including attractive guitarist V and a lot more.....All very well crafted and no wonder the movie needed to be 154 minutes long to contain all these elements....
The director, Guillaume Canet, a true idealist, clearly rates human relationships, interactions, friendships, the power of feelings and the importance of daring to express them and listen to them at all costs. After the great success of Tell No One, Canet copied and pasted a few elements on Little White Lies. Cluzet as a protagonist, the scene of old friends enjoying a holiday and drinking red wine on a summer evening before something major happens, the powerful soundtracks...Nevertheless, he knows how to put this together well and make viewers contemplate on their lives, friends and deep, hidden secrets...
Surely a lot of Europeans will be googling the location after the movie and looking for the soundtracks too. The music is very well suited to the film to support the balance between humour and drama with highlight the version of 'I did it my way' at the end. A food for thought for your journey back home....
Never Let Me Go (2010)
Never Let Go of A British film!
Never Let Me Go is a compelling story about strong beliefs, what happens behind closed gates and an example of education gone wrong. if you liked 'An Education@ and 'Notes on a scandal' you are going to love this film. It is no a case of necessarily relating to the characters in any way apart from old novel memories of boarding schools.
It is interesting to watch how characters develop so differently under immense institutional pressure. Never Let Me Go it is about strength within limitations and weaknesses. The characters create a truly unconventional mixture of love, friendship, dedication and determination.
Carey Mulligan after her brilliant performance in 'An Education' comes to give another example of her effortless and flawless acting. She was definitely the right actress for this role. There is such a beauty in the deep sadness and the realistic even cynical approach in life. Andrew Garfield is the mere example of acting diversity this year. He portrays very well the impact of the social pressure of an young boy's life and the crying need for help and guidance.
A masterpiece of the British cinema. Such a genuine depiction of Britishness !
Black Swan (2010)
A beautiful mind!
A rather accurate depiction of a schizophrenic individual and the brilliance of a distorted brain. The palindrome between reality and fantasy is shown in a playful and at times enigmatic way. The film manages to create a wide range of emotions and subsequently a palette of facial expressions to the viewer; fear as you expect the worse can happen at any time. Admiration of the stamina, endurance and the way she lives her dual life while reaching the top. The viewer can almost empathise and 'ok' the existence of their deepest secret thoughts. The catharsis of the 'swan' leaves a feeling of contentment after the symphony of the emotions. It is as if the whole movie was written with the music in mind and the emotions go up, down; mix up like the notes on a page of a music composition. In one word: Brilliance!