Friday, 19 April 2013

four films

The Place Beyond the Pines
Although it was heartbreaking, I really liked Blue Valentine and so I was v.much looking forward to the director's, Derek Cianfrance, newest movie offering. Add him to a tantalising trailer, killer cast, sweet-ass tag-line and I was ready to love it. I was not disappointed. The story takes place over three distinct acts - all v.much connected but which, at the same time, feel almost like three short little films. At first glance you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's a quiet film, set in a quiet nondescript town, about people who are just living their day-to-day lives. But, it seems there's a lot more depth to it, namely its message: the importance of a father/son bond and how our decisions and actions have a consequence. I really don't want to give any of the plot away because that'll ruin the surprises but I will describe the feeling I got whilst watching it: tingly, the hair on my arms stood on end. Drifting seems like the perfect word for The Place Beyond the Pines - from the characters to the overall mood. The film itself drifts along at a thoughtful pace, easily switching between the different character perspectives across the three acts. The ending is fairly inconclusive, the viewer leaves the set of the story in much the same way as they entered it, on a motorcycle driven by a drifter. It's emotional and rather haunting, the cast is excellent, there are some truly beautiful shots (the winding empty road as Gosling and then later his son, are riding along made me wish I had a bike) and the soundtrack needs to be released soon so I can buy it. Need I say more?

Danny Boyle's first film since directing the epic opening ceremony at the Olympic Games last summer. The premise starts simply enough. It all revolves around a painting which is first the subject of the robbery and then goes missing as the thief, James McAvoy, fails to remember where he stashed it. Enter Vincent Cassel as the leader of the heist group who's pretty pissed off and so suggests McAvoy sees a hypnotherapist (the beautiful Rosario Dawson) who'll hopefully unlock the vault of McAvoy's memory and reveal the painting's location. There's a lot of 'is that real or is he dreaming' but the confusion just adds to the suspense. The lighting and soundtrack are awesome and the conclusion is very satisfying. Nice one Danny.

You'd think this was some sort of psychological experiment exploring the idea of authority but no. No, this is based on real life events. Set in a fast food chain restaurant in the US, the manageress gets a complaint call about one of her members of staff stealing from them. The member of staff flatly denies it. The person on the phone says that he's a police officer and that the member of staff (a young teenage girl) needs to be contained and watched until he can collect her. And so ensues the fastest escalating complete insanity you could possibly imagine. It's tough viewing and will certainly leave a bad taste in your mouth. However, I do recommend it, much in the same way I'd recommend Dogtooth (to be watched once and only once) but do have something light or funny lined-up to watch afterwards.

Robot and Frank
Set in the near(ish) future, retired jewellery thief Frank is given a robot by his son to help him out around the house and garden. Frank takes an immediate dislike to the robot but gradually finds within it the perfect accompliace and, to an extent, friend. It's a beautifully paced film with a very small (but fantastic) cast lead by Frank Langella. Uncomplicated and delightful viewing. Go see!


1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog and loving it. Maybe we can follow each other on GFC or bloglovin? Please feel free to stop by my blog and let me know. XO


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