Wicker Park – thriller made in 2004. A young Chicago advertising executive believes a woman he sees in a cafe is his long-lost love. His conviction leads to obsession, as he puts his life on hold to trail her – that’s the plot. Played largely by unknowns, likely to remain so. Exceptions are Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbour, Virgin Suicides and several other films) and Rose Byrne. A very average film,.
Capote – excellent film and strong acting from James Seymour Hoffman, who well deserved the Oscar for this performance. Outstanding.
Mrs Henderson Presents – the true story of the Windmill Theatre between the wars with Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins, Will Young, Thelma Barlow (who plays a wonderful 1900’s Lady – a far cry from Coronation Street) and many others. Good, old fashioned story – excellent character acting and a well deserved Oscar nomination for Judi. Well worth watching.
An Unfinished Life – Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Lopez – a pastoral modern rural story with quality acting (as you would expect). Nice interweaving story, well crafted script. Strong film.
The Lord of War – Nicholas Cage, Ian Holm. Dreadful, dull, predictable film. I think Cage has lost the plot.
Earth – wonderful film set in India at the time of partition (1947). Strong storyline, excellent cinema photography. Good acting, especially by those in female roles. Part of a trilogy (Earth, Fire, Water) directed by Deepa Mehta in 1998.
Water – another excellent film (with a terrific soundtrack) by Deepa Mehta made in 2005 but set n India in 1938 just as Gandhi was becoming important. Powerful. Great story telling, good casting. Won 3 Genies – Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Cinematography and Best Music.
Fire – the third of the Deepa Mehta trilogy, the first made and the weakest of the three. Two married women become lesbian lovers when their husbands either become holy and celibate or celebrate marriage by sexing up a mistress.
Agata and the Storm – an Italian film, focusing on a very beutifiul middle aged women and her brother (who turns out not to be) and her attempts to find meaning in her life. Mildly amusing, but good film.
Ginger and Cinnamon – also Italian and a strong story line, with strong acting and good scenes. Highly recommended.
Antares – This is what one review said: The convoluted love-lives of three women living in a Viennese apartment block provide the emotional payload for this gripping, at times devastating, drama. From married Eva's steamy, reckless affair with a kinky businessman, to Nicole's harassment by her obsessive ex-husband, the film is intricately constructed (with each of the three stories illuminating some hitherto-unseen aspect of the others). Faultlessly acted by its ensemble cast and utterly convincing throughout, this is an occasionally shocking (ie. explicit sex) yet always insightful study of infidelity, deception and sexual hunger, shot in wintry tones that contrast sharply with the heat of the passions aroused. Its a long film, but interesting...
Raja – a Moroccan film – about a man wanting to seduce a 19 year old girl who works in his garden in Marrakech. There are other story lines here too, but the core is an old man of 55 trying to seduce a young woman who in turn wants to be captured. Nice set pieces, strong story and convincing characters. Also recommended.
Memoirs of a Geisha – beautifully filmed, good story line and excellent acting (though sound quality could be better). Recommended.
The Last Remake of Beau Geste – the great Marty Feldman film with Terry Thomas, Peter Ustinov, Roy Kinnear, Trevor Howard, Irene Handel, Sinead Cusack, Spike Milligan, Michael York and many others. Good, 1970’s (it was made in 1977) laugh.
Match Point – very well made, clever Woody Allen movie. Serious, creative and a terrific storyline. His best in a long time.