2011 Nastri d’Argento Nominations and Award Winners

Last night was the award ceremony and the big winner is Nanni Moretti's Habemus Papam with six awards. Award winners are in *BLUE. Positively pleased with the Rohrwacher sisters awards, congrats!

To read winners in all categories go here and here available only in Italian.



Today the Sindicato Nazionale Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani (SNGCI) announced the nominations for these prestigious awards and here they are for some categories. Top nominee is Habemus Papam by Nanni Moretti with 7 nominations.

Best Director
Marco Bellocchio for Sorelle Mai
Saverio Costanzo for La Solitudine dei Numeri Primi
Claudio Cupellini for Una Vita Tranquilla
*Nani Moretti for Habemos Papam
Pasquale Scimeca for Malavoglia

Best New Director
Aureliano Amadei for 20 Sigarette
Massimiliano Bruno for Nessuno mi può giudicare
Ascanio Celestini for La Pecora Nera
Edoardo Leo for 18 Anni Dopo
*Alice Rohrwacher for Corpo Celeste

Best Actress
Paola Cortellesi in Nessuno mi può giudicare and Maschi contro femmine
Angela Finocchiaro in La banda dei Babbi Natale and Benvenuti al Sud
Donatella Finocchiaro in Manuale d’amore 3 and Sorelle mai
Isabella Ragonese in Il Primo Incarico
*Alba Rohrwacher in La Solitudine dei Numeri Primi

Best Actor
Claudio Bisio and Alessandro Siani in Benvenuti al Sud
Raoul Bova in Nessuno mi può giudicare
*Kim Rossi Stuart in Vallanzasca - Gli angeli del male
Toni Servillo in Una vita tranquilla and Il gioiellino
Emilio Solfrizzi in Se sei così ti dico sì

Best European Film
Another Year, Mike Leigh, UK
*The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper, UK
In a Better World, Susanne Bier, Denmark
Potiche, François Ozon, France
Of Men and Gods, Xavier Beauvois, France

Best Non-European Foreign Film
*Hereafter, Clint Eastwood
Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky
Inception, Christopher Nolan
The Social Network, David Fincher
Winter’s Bone, Debra Granik

To check nominees in all categories go here available only in Italian. Besides the obvious 2011 Cannes films there aren’t much new Italian movies that wish to see from above films as there are too many comedies which I don’t like. Nevertheless looking forward to watch Sorelle mai by Bellocchio and of course Il Gioiellino (The Jewel) directed by none other than Andrea Molaioli (remember great La Ragazza del Lago?) with Toni Servillo in the lead.

Award ceremony will be on June 25 at Taormina, Sicily.


Since I’m in my Swedish movies mood what better movie to review than the one that beat great Svinalängorna (Beyond) at the 2011 Guldbagge Awards? Yes Sebbe won the Best Film award and honestly I have not a clear idea why this film was considered better than Pernilla August outstanding film.

Babak Najafi film has a strong story, great tech specs and good pace, sometimes slow and other times fast. But film is structured with a narrative that keeps audiences far from getting involved, from feeling deeper than just being sorry for the bulling, the sad situation with Sebbe’s mother, his isolation, and being happy that he’s great with his hands, that he can build things, that even when he’s desperate to do something radical he doesn’t do it, that he’s a survivor. Maybe there is something relevant in Sweden that I’m unable to gasp, but this film allows you to contemplate, never to really feel. Still has a strong story that will keep your attention from beginning up to end.

Movie tells the story of Sebastian, Sebbe, a fifteen-years-old boy that lives with his mother in an apartment that’s much too small; he skips school because he’s horribly bullied by his classmates and he’s a loner that finds solace at the junkyard where he finds things that will come alive in his hands but his detachment from what surrounds him increments at the same pace as his own little world shrinks. One day his mother fails him due to a red jacket and nothing else is the same; everything fails and crumbles. Must be a trend but this film, in my opinion, has a happy ending that is so uncommon in great excellent European –even Nordic- cinema.

Maybe because Najafi’s style actors’ performances are adequate to their characters but never outstanding or remarkable, which is a pity as I believe that Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs character (Sebbe) should be allowed to shine as character absolutely carries movie in his shoulders.

I really wish someone from Sweden could explain me why this movie was considered by their top awards better that Pernilla August film, as I can’t understand it. Obviously what I’m really looking is the reason why this film can be considered outstanding by Swedish awards, critics and audiences. If you can help, I highly appreciate your feedback.

Nevertheless, this is another family Swedish drama that will keep your attention since beginning up to end and yes, I believe is a good representative of Swedish -and European cinema- and as such I do recommend watching the film that won top award at Guldbagge Awards and the Best Debut film at the 2010 Berlinale where was premiered.


Watch trailer @MOC

Svinalängorna (Beyond)

There are not many raw family dramas that are so well constructed that make you feel like if you were there, inside the movie, living everything that’s going on in the present as well as in the past. Pernilla August debut absolutely will take you inside her movie and not only makes you the observer but also makes you feel the pain and the impotence of not being able to do something while Leena is a child.

You will not see much of the terrible things that happens to young Leena but you will feel everything thanks to an extraordinary performance by Tehilla Blad that plays young Leena and the outstanding visual narrative storytelling that August chose to tell a common story (damaged kids from alcoholic parents) and turn it into a tense, strong, intense, down turning voyage into a damaged family.

But if young Leena is fantastic, older Leena is superb as is played by none other than Noomi Rapace that again gave a strong performance as the happy mother of two young girls that suddenly gets a phone call that turns her happy world upside down as she is doomed to relive her past while traveling to the hospital where her mother is about to die. Can’t help but to think what is to have your real-life husband playing your husband in the movie and see that he is not as good actor as you, must be something not easy to accept. Yes in this movie Ola Rapace, Noomi’s real life husband, plays her husband and definitively is not as good actor as she is. Also with an amazing performance Outi Mäenpää (remember Black Ice?) as Leena’s mother.

Movie has very good tech specs but what stands is editing as an extraordinary tension builder as you know since the very beginning that something not good is going to be seen but August takes us in a slowly built voyage that flawlessly goes from present to past, from happiness to unhappiness, from deep buried secrets to release them, and unbelievable but true, to a happy ending. Great performances by the three female actresses, excellent director, very good tech specs and outstanding editing make this common story into a new, different and very compelling story and consequently, movie.

As we know film premiered at 2010 Biennale where won the Best Film Award in the Settimana Internazionale della Critica and had eight nominations at the 2011 Guldbagge Awards where Pernilla August won the Best Director and Outi Mäenpää the Best Supporting Actress awards plus movie has more international honors in the festival circuit; all honors, in my opinion, extremely well deserved. I strongly recommend this film to adult audiences that like very good and raw family dramas but be prepared for an intense, painful, emotional voyage into the life of damaged people.


Watch trailer @MOC

Today Second Thinking Piece

This is the second article that made gasp for one single statement that reads: "Thinking is boring"... Oh!!! What follows is copy/paste of the article.

June 3, 2011
In Defense of the Slow and the Boring

WHAT is boring? This question was inspired by a piece in the May 1 edition of The New York Times Magazine by Dan Kois that offered a cheerful conformist’s take on what in certain circles is sometimes termed slow cinema and that he simply finds boring, the equivalent of eating his “cultural vegetables.” Mr. Kois writes that he knows he’s supposed to embrace celebrated films that he variously describes as “slow-moving, meditative” and “stately, austere” and “deliberately paced.” But he can’t, won’t, doesn’t like or understand them. In this he empathizes with his 6-year-old daughter, Lyra, who, at a friend’s urging, tuned into “Phineas and Ferb,” a TV show that she doesn’t fully get but watches “aspirationally, as a sort of challenge to herself.”

Mr. Kois watches aspirationally too. He sees Kelly Reichardt’s “Meek’s Cutoff,” the subject of his longest lament, but his eyes roll back in his head. This makes him feel guilty, but not really. He and his daughter “both yearn,” he writes: she wants to be older than she is, while he aches to “experience culture at an ever more elevated level.” To that end he has watched films by Andrei Tarkovsky, including “Solaris,” but this too bored him as did, apparently, the very different Hou Hsaio-hsien. “As I get older,” Mr. Kois concludes, “I find I’m suffering from a kind of culture fatigue and have less interest in eating my cultural vegetables, no matter how good they may be for me.” Happily for him, movie theaters offer a cornucopia of junk food.

For instance: “The Hangover Part II,” which I find boring, raked in $137.4 million over the five-day Memorial Day weekend. It’s the kind of boring that makes money, partly because it’s the boring that many people like, want to like, insist on liking or are just used to, and partly because it’s the sort of aggressively packaged boring you can’t escape, having opened on an estimated 17 percent of American screens. Filled with gags and characters recycled from the first “Hangover,” the sequel is grindingly repetitive and features scene after similar scene of characters staring at one another stupidly, flailing about wildly and asking what happened. This is the boring that Andy Warhol, who liked boring, found, well, boring.

“Of course, what I think is boring,” Warhol wrote in his memoir “Popism,” “must not be the same as what other people think is, since I could never stand to watch all the most popular action shows on TV, because they’re essentially the same plots and the same shots and the same cuts over and over again. Apparently, most people love watching the same basic thing, as long as the details are different.”

Warhol’s own films are almost always called boring, usually by people who have never seen or sampled one, including minimalist epics like “Empire,” eight hours of the Empire State Building that subverts the definition of what a film is (entertaining, for one). Long movies — among my favorites is Béla Tarr’s seven-hour “Sátántangó” — take time away even as they restore a sense of duration, of time and life passing, that most movies try to obscure through continuity editing. Faced with duration not distraction, your mind may wander, but there’s no need for panic: it will come back. In wandering there can be revelation as you meditate, trance out, bliss out, luxuriate in your thoughts, think.

Thinking is boring, of course (all that silence), which is why so many industrially made movies work so hard to entertain you. If you’re entertained, or so the logic seems to be, you won’t have the time and head space to think about how crummy, inane and familiar the movie looks, and how badly written, shoddily directed and indifferently acted it is. And so the images keep zipping, the sounds keep clanging and the actors keep shouting as if to reassure you that, yes, the money you spent for your ticket was well worth all this clamor, a din that started months, years, earlier when the entertainment companies first fired up the public-relations machine and the entertainment media chimed in to sell the buzz until it rang in your ears.

So, is boring bad? Is thinking? In Chantal Akerman’s 1975 film “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” there is a scene in which the title character, a housewife who turns tricks in her fastidiously neat home, makes a meatloaf in real time. It’s a tedious task that as neither a fan of meatloaf or cooking, I find difficult to watch. Which is the point: During the film’s 201 minutes Ms. Akerman puts you in that tomb of a home with Jeanne, makes you hear the wet squish-squish of the meat between her fingers, makes you feel the tedium of a colorless existence that you can’t literally share but become intimate with (you endure, like Jeanne) until the film’s punctuating shock of violence. It makes you think. MANOHLA DARGIS

MOVIES may be the only art form whose core audience is widely believed to be actively hostile to ambition, difficulty or anything that seems to demand too much work on their part. In other words, there is, at every level of the culture — among studio executives, entertainment reporters, fans and quite a few critics — a lingering bias against the notion that movies should aspire to the highest levels of artistic accomplishment.

Some of this anti-art bias reflects the glorious fact that film has always been a popular art form, a great democratic amusement accessible to everyone and proud of its lack of aristocratic pedigree. But lately, I think, protests against the deep-dish and the highbrow — to use old-fashioned populist epithets of a kind you used to hear a lot in movies themselves — mask another agenda, which is a defense of the corporate status quo. For some reason it needs to be asserted, over and over again, that the primary purpose of movies is to provide entertainment, that the reason everyone goes to the movies is to have fun. Any suggestion to the contrary, and any film that dares, however modestly, to depart from the orthodoxies of escapist ideology, is met with dismissal and ridicule.

Even though, in the bottom-line, real-world scheme of things, the commercial prospects of a movie like “Meek’s Cutoff” are marginal — and even though the distributors of foreign-language films can only dream of such marginality — it is still somehow necessary, every so often, to drag “art movies” into the dock as examples of snobbery, pretense or a suspect form of aesthetic nutritionalism. Vegetables! Yuck! And the supposedly more sophisticated arenas of cultural discourse are hardly immune.

Last year there was a big kerfuffle at Cannes when the jury dared to give the top prize to “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s dreamy and oblique spiritual head-trip through the jungles of his native Thailand. This year a different jury gave the Palme d’Or to “The Tree of Life,” Terrence Malick’s dreamy and oblique spiritual head trip through the bungalows of his native Texas. And while much love has been showered on that movie — including by me, once it opened here — it was also met with scattered boos at the press screening and corresponding sourness among some critics. Writing in TruthDig, the venerable Time critic Richard Schickel strikes out against Mr. Malick’s “twaddling pretenses,” seeing them as the latest example of what he calls “The ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’ scam,” after Alain Resnais’s quintessential art film of 1959.

For Mr. Schickel the problem with “The Tree of Life” is not just that it isn’t a good movie (“inept” is his succinct appraisal of Mr. Malick’s skill), but also, more seriously, that it gets the medium wrong. Movies, Mr. Schickel writes, “are an essentially worldly medium, playful and romantic, particularly in America, where, on the whole our best directors have stated whatever serious intentions they may harbor as ignorable asides. There are other ways of making movies, naturally, and there’s always a small audience available for these noble strivings — and good for them, I guess.”

Yes, good for them. I will stipulate that Mr. Schickel has forgotten more film history than I will ever know, but in this instance his summary of that history strikes me as strangely narrow. A whole lot of cinema, past and present, falls into that “other ways of making movies” category, and dismissing it outright in the name of fun risks throwing out quite a few masterpieces with the bathwater.

In Mr. Schickel’s argument, “pretentious” functions, like “boring” elsewhere, as an accusation that it is almost impossible to refute, since it is a subjective hunch masquerading as a description. Manohla, you had some reservations about “The Tree of Life,” but your dispatch on it from Cannes emphasized its self-evident and disarming sincerity. Sincerity is the opposite of pretentiousness, and while it is certainly possible to be puzzled or annoyed by Mr. Malick’s philosophical tendencies or unmoved by the images he composes or the story he tells, I don’t think there is any pretending involved. (And while we’re at it, if “The Hangover Part II” is a quintessentially boring movie in its refusal to do anything new or daring beyond a few instances of easy, sophomoric shock-humor, is there a recent movie more deserving of being called pretentious than “Thor”?)

Why is it, though, that “serious” is a bad word in cultural conversations, or at least in discussions of film? Why is thinking about a movie an activity to be avoided, and a movie that seems to require thinking a source of suspicion? It seems unlikely, to say the least, that films like “Uncle Boonmee,” “Meek’s Cutoff,” “The Tree of Life” or Jean-Luc Godard’s recently and belatedly opened “Film Socialisme” will threaten the hegemony of the blockbusters, so why is so much energy expended in defending the prerogatives of entertainment from the supposed threat of seriousness? I certainly don’t think fun should be banished from the screen, or that popular entertainment is essentially antithetical to art. And while I derive great pleasure from some movies that might be described as slow or tedious, I also find food for thought in fast, slick, whimsical entertainments. I would like to think there is room in the cinematic diet for various flavors, including some that may seem, on first encounter, unfamiliar or even unpleasant. A. O. SCOTT

To read article at the New York Times please go here.

So what do you THINK about the two articles??? (hope you don't got bored by the two articles...)

Today First Thinking Piece

Not often I get interested in reading articles by well-known critics as most look and feel like "cinema classes" ... but there are always exceptions and today I found two articles that I want to share with you all. This is a copy/paste of the first one.

June 17, 2011
Sometimes a Vegetable Is Just a Vegetable

ON May 1 The New York Times Magazine published an article, “Reaching for Culture That Remains Stubbornly Above My Grasp,” in which Dan Kois wrote about watching certain critically regarded movies, like Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris,” that he likened to eating his “cultural vegetables.” In the June 5 Arts & Leisure section the chief film critics of The Times, Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott, defended such films, adding to a vigorous, sometimes fractious discussion about so-called boring and slow films that is still continuing, lighting up the blogosphere and beyond, and inspiring hundreds of readers’ comments. They invited Mr. Kois to join them in the still-simmering conversation.

DAN KOIS So often the things we write sort of flicker and die, and it’s been gratifying to watch this discussion spreading across the film-loving parts of the Internet.

I’m not surprised that the response from critics in particular has been mostly hostile; I made jokes, after all, about a lot of critics’ favorite movies, and critics are critics because they take taste personally. In part it defines them.

But these issues — of public and private taste and the ways they intersect — are becoming more germane for civilians as well, as Facebook and Goodreads and Yelp and Netflix urge us every day to share our Likes and four-star ratings with the world. And I think it’s a source of anxiety for many, as it is for me: this sense of wanting to stay engaged with the culture, both high and low, but feeling, rightfully, that we no longer have the energy to take it all in.

Most full-time critics naturally consume, as Tony Scott puts it, a varied cinematic diet. But for noncritics the expense (in cash and, often as crucially, in time) forces a set of ruthless calculations whenever a new film is praised by reviewers or friends. In that context aspirational viewing is risky — whether those unfamiliar flavors are the populist blockbusters you often dislike but feel you oughtn’t miss, or the slow-moving art films you’re worried you’ll appreciate without actually enjoying.

So my question for you two is: Do you ever engage in aspirational viewing? Are there styles of filmmaking or individual directors you simply can’t access, but keep sampling in hopes of finally breaking through? I don’t mean things that are just terrible, like “The Hangover Part II”; I mean movies you genuinely wish you could get excited about and feel guilty (yes, Manohla, really guilty!) that you can’t. What’s your cultural vegetable?

A. O. SCOTT A lot depends on what is being aspired to, and in the name of what. A place at some imaginary cultural grown-ups’ table where people speak in hushed tones about exquisite masterpieces? A domain of art where experiences are more difficult and perhaps more intense than in the easygoing, thrill-a-minute realm of pop culture?

I guess my own aspirations are always to see something interesting, and ideally something that will challenge my expectations and prejudices and show me something new about life, love, art, whatever. I don’t believe that certain kinds of work have a monopoly on offering this kind of experience, and the history of movies as a popular art form proves as much. So I don’t want to get pigeonholed as a snob or an elitist, or as someone who believes that one kind of movie is a priori better than another. Thinking in categories — high and low, trash and art, entertaining and “serious” — is a shortcut and an obstacle, and it leads inevitably to name calling and accusations of bad faith. “You’re a snob!” “Well, you’re a philistine!”

The suspicion that only certain kinds of people like certain kinds of movies slides into contempt for the movies themselves, which flourishes on both sides of the supposed high-low divide, and other divisions as well. Action movies are for guys; romantic comedies are for girls; animation is for kids; subtitled movies are for skinny people dressed in black. And so on.

Our job as critics— our mission as freethinking, curious, pleasure-seeking human beings — should be to smash these categories, which are at bottom self-reinforcing artifacts of the tyranny of marketing. Duke Ellington said there are only two kinds of music, good and bad. William Blake said: “To generalize is to be an idiot. Particularization is the alone distinction of merit.” Figuring out how to respect the particulars is difficult enough without falling into the traps of groupthink and pop sociology.

But what was your question? I don’t feel guilty about not caring for “Last Year at Marienbad“ or persisting in my skepticism that the films of Pedro Costa are as transcendent as some of my colleagues believe. But until I can argue my case, the benefit of the doubt goes to Mr. Costa and the burden of proof rests on me.

MANOHLA DARGIS Having an open mind is my only form of aspirational viewing, which is partly why I also think it’s good to resist categories (like cultural vegetables). The critic who insists that every movie in an art house is art and that every major Hollywood release is trash just reaffirms prejudices (aesthetic, ideological, political) instead of looking at the movie with a Zen-like beginner’s mind. Each of us has preferences, of course, that are shaped by our life histories, and we nurture those likes and sometimes abandon them for different reasons, including education and habit. But it’s a problem when critics try to rationalize their preferences — their so-called taste — into a proscribed idea of cinema. And, Dan, I have to think that it’s this proscriptive urge by critics that partly inspired your original article.

KOIS Well, the at times overheated response to my piece has certainly increased my awareness of critical factionalism and the flair some critics have for being proscriptive bullies. (I’m sure there are people who think of me the same way.) Like most thoughtful readers, though, I usually read writers whose insights give me pleasure, not guilt: writers who are catholic in their tastes and honest in their enthusiasms. The guilt, really, comes from inside, specifically the part of me that’s an uncertain college student, terrified I’m not keeping up.

That’s why it’s hard to take offense when critics, spurred by genuine love for individual films, push back against my piece. Just because I appreciated “Blue” and “Tulpan” more than I enjoyed them doesn’t mean I don’t adore reading smart critics passionately make a case for those films.

Which brings me to the most succinct and potent response I’ve read, posted as a comment on The Times’s Web site by Johnny from El Paso. In just a few sentences he demolished my central metaphor, articulated your concerns about the dangers of categories and penned a pitch-perfect review of a film that I feel certain my philistinism won’t stop curious viewers from seeking out. “ ‘Meek’s Cutoff’ is not ‘cultural vegetables,” Johnny wrote. “It’s a steak. Bring your A-1 and chew on it.”

SCOTT “The one thing I most emphatically do not ask of a critic is that he tell me what I ought to approve or condemn.”

That’s W. H. Auden, from “The Dyer’s Hand,” the first dozen pages of which — a series of epigrammatic musings on “Reading” — may be all the theory any critic needs. Old Wystan did not much care about movies, but about criticism he was never wrong.

To wit: “Pleasure is by no means an infallible critical guide, but it is the least fallible.”

And somewhat astonishingly, given our interest in vegetables: “You do not educate a person’s palate by telling him that what he has been in the habit of eating — watery, overboiled cabbage, let us say — is disgusting, but by persuading him to try a dish of vegetables which have been properly cooked. With some people, it is true, you seem to get quicker results by telling them — ‘Only vulgar people like overcooked cabbage; the best people like cabbage as the Chinese cook it’ — but the results are less likely to be lasting.”

DARGIS Dan, I didn’t “enjoy” watching “Shoah,” but I do appreciate it: it’s a long and slow film, and its protracted length is essential to its meaning. Duration is a crucial issue here, and some of the recent discussion about slow (if not boring, at least to some of us) films revisits arguments over what has previously been termed Slow Cinema. In the February 2010 issue of Sight and Sound, the British critic Jonathan Romney characterized Slow Cinema as films that are “poetic, contemplative — cinema that downplays event in favor of mood, evocativeness and an intensified sense of temporality.” He added, “Such films highlight the viewing process itself as a real-time experience in which, ideally, you become acutely aware of every minute, every second spent watching.”

As with other critical coinages, Slow Cinema can easily become misleading shorthand for work that is very different. The truth is that questions of time have preoccupied filmmakers long before Kelly Reichardt, the director of “Meek’s Cutoff.” Filmmakers isolate time (as in the empty hallway shots in films by Yasujiro Ozu, images in which nothing appears to be happening); embody time (the “tirednesses and waitings” of Antonioni, as the philosopher Gilles Deleuze put it); make time stutter (the jump cuts in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless”); slow it down (the long takes of Bela Tarr); and deconstruct it (as the avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs does). Without going too deeply down an academic rabbit hole let’s acknowledge that when we talk about ostensibly slow and boring films, the terms of debate extend beyond issues of entertainment.

Deleuze, for instance, distinguishes between pre-World War II cinema, in which time was subordinate to movement (the passage of time obscured through classical techniques like those of continuity editing), and postwar cinema, in which a direct vision of time emerges. In this new cinema — with its discontinuities, sense of interiority and seer-subjects — time appears “for itself,” becomes something movies confront even if their characters (and maybe we too) don’t know what it means. And so characters in “L’Avventura“ wander around and forget that a woman has disappeared, and Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, stuck in her horror of a life turning tricks out of her dismal middle-class home, makes a meat loaf in real time we share. They are, as Deleuze puts it, “struck by something intolerable in the world, and confronted by something unthinkable in thought.” Sometimes a slow movie is just a slow movie, but sometimes it’s also a window onto the world.

To read article at the New York Times please go here.

Movie Bits and Bits

Here are some mini-bits about some movies.

The Tempest by Julie Taymor. I do believe that Taymor movies are not for everyone much less when is based on a not so well-known Shakespeare play about love, vengeance and forgiveness but I believe that this is a fantastic adaptation to the big screen due to the amazing visuals and special effects plus great performance by Helen Mirren who plays Pospera, a role than in the original play is a man, Prospero. Movie is a bit too talkie for me but amazingly kept my total attention which happens not very often. Somehow believe movies like this make Shakespeare more accessible to general audiences, but unfortunately I know that general audiences won’t be attracted by film, which is true pity. Then those that like Shakespeare surely will not like movie, so I really wonder who the natural target of this great film is. I do recommend film to those that don’t mind very visual theatrical adaptations to the moving pictures. Enjoy!!!

Balada Triste de Trompeta (The Last Circus) by Alex de la Iglesia. Surely not for all audiences as this visually crazy with a crazier story film will not please many, but I found movie to be Brilliant!!! Not only made me recall Fellini but I found love story to be a satire of what happened in Spain during those times. Watch at your own risk, but if you enjoy Felliniesque visuals plus are familiar with Spain’s history then maybe you will like this really crazy movie. Enjoy!!!

Hanna by Joe Wright. Liked the story, liked Saorise Ronan performance as well as Cate Blanchett as a villain; but didn’t like the movie as I believe Wright messed up the storytelling, which is a true shame. Director is excellent for period dramas but when he comes to the present he seems to lose his magical touch. Enjoy.

A Religiosa Portuguesa (The Portuguese Nun) by Eugène Green. Movie has everything I like (very slow pace, nothing much happens, silences, very little dialogue, etc) but I couldn’t stand it, was impossible for me to finish watching. Sigh.

Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement by Susan Muska and Gréta Olafsdóttir. A documentary that tells the life of Edie and Thea; actually doc splendidly relates the love that these two women had for each other during 42 years, a story that culminates when finally they are able to get married. You will watch two remarkable ordinary women that lived their life against many odds. Strongly recommend to not miss this nice, very nice documentary. Enjoy!!!

Henry’s Crime by Malcom Venville. Surprisingly entertaining crime-romance-comedy film with very acceptable performances by Vera Farmiga, James Caan and one of my favorite actors Keanu Reeves in a role where he is forced to do his regular straight face acting but also goes to his more human smiling face and emotional acting, which is just great for me. Story is interesting especially because mirrors Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchad play. Great movie for when you feel like having a good entertaining moment. Enjoy!!

La Robe du Soir (The Evening Dress) by Myriam Aziza. Aziza’s debut is a film with striking photography and a not-so-usual story about a student/teacher crush. Juliette, a 12-year-old-girl, has a strong crush on her beautiful/sensual teacher Hélène; everything is fine until she notices that Hélène is paying too much attention to a male student. Story unravels in a sort of Fatal Attraction -French style, of course- that tests the limits of what should and should not be happening between students and teachers. As a matter of fact and according to what I read it was director’s intention to criticize the French education system. I don’t believe film is the usual lesbian interest film as even when the story morale is definitively lesbian, the way story unravels is not lesbian at all. Still film is excellent not only for its top tech specs but also for the unbelievably good performance by Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi that plays Juliette. If you are like me that love excellent French cinema then this film is must be seen for you. Enjoy!!!

Ces amours-là (What War May Bring) by Claude Lelouch. Unfortunately terrible and misleading translation into English as film is nothing about war even when is set during WWII; this is a feminine saga told like perhaps only Lelouch can tell, a female drama during several decades, that revisits life in France, revisits French cinema and is all about love (French style). Not your regular entertainment fare even under French standards but film has a little bit of everything that has been great (and bad) in France. Most notable Anouk Aimée cameo, the passages from films by Gremillon, Fleming, and Carné; but Lelouch homage to Jean Gabin is really fantastic. Suited only for those that really love French cinema. Enjoy!!

The Adjustment Bureau by George Nolfi. Surprisingly good sci-fi entertaining movie especially when really film is all about love, which is surely the reason why so many disliked film as probably were expecting another Bourne-type story as Matt Damon is the star. So if you enjoy watching unusual love stories then give this movie a try and perhaps you will highly enjoy your entertaining moment. Enjoy!

Submarino by Thomas Vinterberg. Movie grabbed me since the very beginning up to the very end. While story is painful to watch film is truly mesmerizing thanks to great performances and the grim reality style. Not often I’m able to hypnotically watch a film about alcoholism, drug addiction, violence, mental illness, and many other not positive life situations, but film takes you by the hand and not fast-not slowly shows you the lives of those inevitably marked by what they had to live in their childhood. You’re the observer, they live, you feel; intense. Highly recommend it to those that enjoy excellent European cinema. Enjoy!!!

That is all.

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