My God aren’t we prolific today!
Well my dear six readers and followers, here’s my piece, I’d sum up the best, likable and disappointing, no scratch that terrible duds of this year.
As the immortal Margo Channing remarked:”Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”.
Shall we start from the worse to the best? Enny mini moe OK you won, the best.
, follow by the worthier, than the near miss, and finally the 3 worst movies or
disappointing of this year
1)Deux jour, une nuit( Bel/Fr/It-2014
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardin are two of the most humane and realistic directors operating today, their film is a tour de force of a woman, whose fight to regain her job is harrowing, tearful, and cruel. The most wonderful indiment against thew capitalistic system, without degenerating to a Marxist polemic, its actress the wonderful Marianne Coutialrd, gives the best performance of her career, and this film remain etched in your memory, years after you’ve seen it.
Richard Linklater’s movie , which chronicle an American family at its most dysfunctional, over a number of years, in an original and quite revolutionary manner in its filming. The patience and humanity of Linklater is most rewarding, it’s also a portrayal of the American father as its most pitiful and pathetic, and disturbing as well; and the mother as a woman, gradually struggle and find some independence. The boy Eller Coltrane, and Lorelei Linklater, display some amazing performances from ages 12 to 21,(The sister is slightly older), Rosanna Arquette, Ethan Hawke(Linklater’s regular actor) complete the ensemble, Hook in one of his most difficult roles excel, and you’re root for this pathetic man, Arquette is a wonderful finely tuned actress, whose face read such suffering, frustration and resolution, the likes of it I’ve seen rarely in any American movie.
3)An only child aka:Child’s pose, the Roumanian movie is a wonderful compelling movie by Calin Peter Nezer. The story , again about the problematic l;ives of a castrating mother, her rebellious son, an accident, and her efforts of getting her son out of jail, is also a marvellous chilly effort of a society, whose communist way hid class divisions as big as the Western free world. Luminita Georgio , is one actress whois mesmerizing, and her monologue about the lives her son had, is such a contrast to the poor farmer’s family whose son her only son killed. A scene which is a model for screen acting and direction.
4():Miele(aka:Honey)An Italian movie, is an impressive debut of actress Valeria Golino, as a directress, the movie which tells about a a young lady, who injects lethal drugs to her willing clients, is a moralistic tale, not boring for a second, and its moral dilemmas about the right to die, and when one choose it, uncompromising, un hypocritical Golino is a name to be reckoned with
5).Nebraska-Alexander Payne’s wonderful dramedy, a road movie , which tells a tragi-comic tale of a father who may have a dementia, his son, who journey to get a lottery ticket, who may or may not can be found at a town near by. A Black and white movie, which show America’s back yard in a wonderful, touching, funny and tragicomic manner, and Bruce Dern remind us, that there are still actors in their 70’s who can still deliver a performance.
6)Inside Llewyn Davis- Joel & Ethan Coen’s film, is a wonderful movie about a failure, partially based on the life of a Falk singer who influenced luminaries like Dylan, it’s a bittersweet, comic movie about one define moment during the sixties the short-lived Falk music, before the Rock takes over. a road movie , as well as an urbanite comedy, its one of America’s best movies of 2013/14.
7(Before the Winter chill(aka:Avant L’Hiver- a Thriller, which touch the question of Immigrants, French and the tensions among them. Philip Claudel’s movie, is one of the most memorable thrillers I’ve the pleasure of seeing, and Daniel Auteuil, Christine Scott-Thomas, and above all the fantastic performance of Leila Bakhti, gets under your skin.
8)Grand Hotel Budapest Wes Anderson’s valentine to Ernst Lubitsch, and Billy Wilder’s comedies, as well as the 30’s European comedy, and Stefan Zweig’;s books, is a joy to watch, the movie within movie, gives you a funny and rich lives of a country before the war, and during its initial phase. Ralf Finnes,m Gustav H., is a delight, but there’s an air of over fancy, and over sophistication, which slightly mar the films’ achievement.
9) Whiplash-If there’s one movie which gives you an insight of the race for American dream’s achievement and its trappings, it’s this one. Whiplash tells about an obssession, for jazz, for drumming, for excellence, which corrosive, frightening, and also exhilarating. The story is about Andrew Gayman, son of a ailed author,a high school graduate, whose acceptance as a drummer in a prestigious big band, is a voyage fraught with humiliation, sadism, and unrelenting drive for excellence, which Terrence Fletcher the chief teacher, and band leader. One can applaud J.K. Simmons, a wonderful character actor, whose under Damian Chazzel’s direction display such a marvellous, complex performance, of a man whose both terrifying, and also respectful, Andrew Teller’s Gayman is in his quiet persuasive way, balance the overpowering Simmons. Such a joy, and yes, even the Jazz music was great, and I’m a rocker myself.
10) And finally Mr. Turner- Mike Leigh, doesn’t disappoint, and gives us this year a bio pic, mesmerizing, original, funny, inventive, and a rousing movie about William Turner. Turner, plays to a perfection by Timothy Spall, is a fantastic, as a painter, whose constant search for perfection, and his uneasy personality, gives the audience some notion about the artist, his relations to society, and his immortality as an artist. Mike Leigh, doesn’t stop at nothing, cliche-ridden, in a refreshing way, and create the British Victorian world with panache, humor, and a moving portrayal of a country, individual and the society in a given time.
Of course there are the Israeli Movies. 4 of them were distinguishable this year. 1)Farewell Baghdad(Mafriach ha-Yonim) Nissim Dayan’s movie was a movie which present us the Iraqi Jews in 1951, at a crossroad, the new state of Israel, has given way to pogroms and pressures to get out of Iraq, spoken entirely in a Jewish=-iraqi Arabic, the movie vividly captures Eli Amir’s book, and gives us a portrayal of a family torn apart by conflicting directions.
2)Zero Motivation(Efess Beyahasei Enosh)- Talia Lavie’se’ movie was a justified hit, its comic marvellous description of an army soldier girls in a remote Southern outpost, during the 1990’s is a gem, Israel is one of the few countries, which a large corpus of a young female film directors came to their own, and Finkel is one of them, the actresses Nellii Tagar, Dana Ivgy,Shani Klein, as their overly ambitious and currently frustrated officer and above all Tamara Klingon as the Russian pouting Irena, a Newcomer whose looks are a combination of Lana Turner, and Gena Rolands are joy to watch, and the movie is a grand satire and also a feel good movie.
. .Gett- Ronit &Shlomi Elkavetz, is another winner, an almost tedious chronicle the frustrations of Vivienne Amsalem, whose wish to divorce from her husband Simo, is a moving portrayal of an obtuse religious male dominated establishment, and a woman who pay dearly for her freedom, an ensemble cast delivers a fine performances, and anyone who see the film witnessed the Israeli society, at its most disturbing phase of its existence.
The Farewell party( Mita Tova), by Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon is a fine black comedy about a group of elderly people, who helps other men and women pass away. Its subject, grim as it is, gets a surprising light touch, which surprisingly works, and the 70 something actors and actresses, especially Zev Revach and Levana FIinkelstein, give the audience something to think about.
RESPECTED, AND NOT YET GOOD MOVIEST
The last year had some fun movies like:”Guardians of the Galaxy”,22 Jump Street, and especially “neighbours”, the best comedy of the year, directed by Nicholas Stoller, and had Sth Rogan and Rose Byrne’s couple of a sorority, give both a rolling down the asiles- clutching- a-split-ribs-kind of movie comedy,, together with a beguiling performances of a couple , who still wish to be young, while Zak Ephron, and James Franco’s brother Dave are contrast to the Byrne-Rogan’s, main heroes is a gem and the movie is a joy .
The Lions of the American films Scorsese and Allen somewhat disappointed, yet their movies were still high above the usual pap we’ve accustomed this year.
“The Wolf of Wall Street”, Martin Scorsese,s overblown too long biopic, was at once funny and incisive, with a comic performances of DiCaprio, Hill and Margarete Robie, a Newcomer and an accomplished actress, Kyle Chandler’s FBI’s agent was a balanced thoughtful performance, one should wonder: What if Martin Scorsese would cut somewhat?It might elevate the film much more, and its message wouldn’t lose an iota of its sharpness. .
Woody Allen returned to the 1920’s with “Magic in the Moonlight,”, a screwball comedy, funny, and utterly enjoyable, and yet, one can expect something from the old master, some astute remark on reality and magic, men and women, instead we’ve seen a comedy, which had it been directed by a college grad first Helmer, we’d be applauding, but Woody Allen is a pretty much an institute in itself. While Colin Firth gave a wonderful performance, along with Emma Stone, Eilaine Atkins, and Marcia Gay Harden, still it could’ve been a much more funny and brilliant movie.
Thrillers were good this year,”Gone Girl”, is a case in point.David fincher’s taut and somber thriller, was wr was based on a book by an authoress, Jillian Flynn it tells the story of a woman, whose disappearance caused havoc in her husband’s life, Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck as the couple, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry and Kim Dickens, all turned in a wonderful performances, rich in nmuance and in detail, and yes, the film noirish atmosphere is excellent, yet, what bothered me is the mysiogenic attitude, an attitude which get this film a very disturbing quality
THE REALLY BAD MOVIES AND DOWNRIGHT DISAPPOINTING
Yes, dear six readerars we’ve reached the end. I chose three TERRIBLE PICTURES,
“1)aving Mr. Banks”, John Lee Hancock’s pedesterian and tearfully boring pic, is an example of how not to make a movie about masterpices, true Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson tried hard to gain some sparkle about the creation of “Marry Poppins”, and yet like Jason Schwartzman and Paul Giametti, didn’t do anything, except having wastyed their time and talent, over a bland un inspiring by the numbers film, which does injustice to P.L. Travers aka:Helen Goff, Walt Disney, “Mary Poppions”, and especially wasted my own time and patience.
2)”The Thief Book” I diodn’t read the book, but the adaptation was terrible. Really, how much can we suffer movies like that? Brian Percival’s film is a full catalogue of the Holocaust/Nazi Germany’s stock cliche’s, again a girl, this time a communist’s mother’s daughter, who adopted by two working class couple, who hides a jew, and of course we see the bad German boy, the bad German fmily, and yes, they’ were all ionnoicent vitims. Like hell thy were!! We’ve seen hundreds of the filmStime and again ad nauseum. It’s pretentious, and to add insult on injury, we’ve seen a movie which partially used German, and than switch to English, and that’s not ewnough. Pity Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, they deserve better. This movie is rightfuly belong to the history’s dustbin.
3(“The Other Woman” OK I know it was a hit, seen by millions of women, desperately wish to see something, that will have women as positive and getting even.Alright, I’m for the women’s. but there is more to it, look a comedy , can’t be directed by a fine guy, who tell a jokes in a party, Mr. Nick Cassavetes, is more a dramatic director , and I for one, was suprised to see it . The story about the vengeance of a lawyer lady, her husband’s wife and the second mistress), might’ve been funny on paper, instead we got ‘ in my opinion a recycling movie, with chracters smack out of better 90’s and 80’s movies, which were much more better, describing women’s solidarity(First W
(ive’s club” comes to mind)
Tht’s it merry xman and happy hannuka, hope that all goes well with you