love and humour

My capacity for writing reviews seems to be falling off…or perhaps it’s simply a sunday morning lethargy. Then again, it’s sorta easier when there’s only 2 movies to review not 4. Stayed up late last night and had some me time…got the iPod going and a glass or two of chinotto. This morning has been lazy and a little indulgent. A bit of a breather. Curiously, it’s just gone midday and in the old days I’d still be in bed. So my sense of being indulgent has obviously changed as I’ve been up for hours: caught up on a few #blogeverydayofjune posts, bit of email and have even been out for brekky with the paper. Next film is at 2.30 so I’d better get the reviews done. 4 movies seen yesterday, 4 to be seen today (including the Guy Maddin), and 2 to finish with tomorrow.

Yesterday started off fantastic with a spanish romance called Me, Too directed by Álvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro. This was mostly about romance and attraction, and the difficulty of committing to someone. This was a slightly different take on the topic but it handled it in a way that was fun; it knew when to take the piss and when to be serious. It was about understanding the needs and desires of folk who sometimes end up on society’s margins for reasons beyond their control. I saw this film when I was properly awake and not jaded and it was just sweet and fun.

White Material directed by Claire Denis was definitely a harder story, as you would expect from anything starring Isabelle Huppert. Huppert plays a plantation owner in the middle of a rebellion as people leave and die. It’s a complicated movie and it’s hard to work out which side is which and where loyalties lie. Through it all, Huppert’s character strives to get through, to keep things going, even when her life is being kicked out from under her. You get a sense of the complications of her existence as a white plantation owner in the middle of a rebel uprising. Not to mention her lazy son, who’s white and was born there. Where is home exactly?

There was a packed house for the third movie, Four Lions, directed by Christopher Morris. The regulars are trying to pick the film based on the audience that turns up; this was relatively easy for both the Banksy flick and The Runaways. Harder to tell for this one other than it was an english speaking comedy on Saturday night about a terrorist cell in the UK plotting a bombing. Lots of humour based on the ineptitude of the plotters, though retaining a serious undertone, and you have little doubt that they are serious about it all…even if they’re not quite sure on the right way to hold a rocket launcher. It should be mentioned that ineptitude refers not just to the plotters but also to the people chasing them. As I think the director commented, there can be cock-ups all round.

The final movie of the evening was ok but didn’t excite me, Cyrus directed by The Duplass Brothers from the US. This was shot like a low budget film but with big name actors though it was nice to see Tomei on screen again. Her co-stars have never blown me away however. This felt a trifle forced with the son manipulating the relationship of his mother and her new bloke. The ending and structure were a little too pat for my liking and it relied on creating cringeworthy moments for propelling the plot. It was fun and I did laugh in parts but I wasn’t particularly enamoured with it either.

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