Hello dear six readers and friends of my Facebook page
See I didn’t quite forget you.
This year was rather bad right? I mourn for a dear man who was killed in a terrorist attack at the Sharona Food site at Tel-Aviv, Dr. Micael Feige, America is having her own nightmare, and the movies?
Well, the movies hmm.
Shall we say it was a mixed year?
It’s the right phrase, mixed. And on the other hand, the year marked my debut as a film director/writer at a documentary genre, that’s why I didn’t write much.
,without further delay, let’s start the summing up
.Strangely enough, the best two movies are the last I happened to see this year,
1) The best movie of this year, is a Roumanian masterpiece by Christie Munjiu:”Graduation”, a sombre and dark tale about compromising, and principles, the goodness of man, and the devotion to a family. Romeo isn’t an ideal man, a doctor, with a depressed wife, talented daughter, and a mistress, he tried to live a moral life a contradiction, his love for his daughter, his desire to give his daughter a ticket to a bright future-An undergraduate in a swank British University, derailed when his daughter is getting attacked, this caused a chain of event, which constantly challenged the viewer with moral questions, at the end, the dream is getting sour, and the good moral doctor is slightly corrupted but not much. And Adrian Tiny as Romeo gives us an impression which leaves us unsettled, a wonderful masterpiece, and another testament to the power and stamina of non US/Hollywood movie.
2)La la land , In 2015, I wrote about “Whiplash” and foretold that Damien Chazelle, is a talent to watch. He is, because to years after showing us the brutal, realistic, harrowing look at America and its dream, out comes” La la land”, movie no.2. What makes it so good? Well, for starters its opposed diametric role to Munjiu’s movie, it simply tells us that dream can be fulfilled, at a cost, but if you’re an actress, whose failed time and again, writing a monodrama, and if you’re a jazz pianist, who gets the actress in spring, and finally you’re both drift apart, after a passionate love affair, in which you encourage each other, and if, at the end, you meet bit older, much wiser, but she is a star, and he is a jazz club owner, than this tale of caution, is rewarding, it’s not just a copy paste pastiche of Hollywood musicals, it’s also a Jacques Demy’s valentine, check the ending, and see the ending of “Umbrellas of Cherbourg”, and see how intelligent, and smart person Chazelle is, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling capture our hearts, and their farewell meeting at the end, is a beautiful work of acting, and yes the opening number caught me, and lifted me up, who didn’t want to dance and sing during the depressing morning traffic, which is slow and getting on your nerves?
And now back to this year’s beginning, “Spotlight” no. 3 in my list, won the oscar over”The reqevenant”, this year we have our share of”Based on true story”, and this movie, was humble but effective, Tom McCarthy, present us, a no-nonsense, effective chilling story, and the investigating reporters at “Spotlight”s “Boston Globe” magazine, in a predominant Irish-Catholic surrounding, expose a horrid tale of child molesting, culpability, fear and absolutely horrified people, who just corralled to this dominant and absolute power the priests and their superiors wielded upon their parishioners.Michel Keaton, Mark Rufallo , Stanley Tucci(The conversation between Gabardian and Rezendes is a wonderful scene, highlighting the inner tension between immigrants and Christians and the Irish-American society which treats them like shit, is still true), Brian Michael D’Arcy, Rachel McAdams, and Lieve Schriever, an outsider-Jew from Miami, does wonder as an editor who won’t budge, and Keaton himself, as a well connected editor, coming to grips with his own Irish society’s seamier and dark side, and refuse to wallow in it. Billy Crudup’s lawyer is another case in point, as a man who let the compromise gnaw. A movie, which, in hindsight, is telling me why Trump became president.
No. 4 Italy didn’t disappoint. and now ” Like Crazy”, Paolo Virzi’s road movie cum woman’s picture delivers us a wonderful exact, tragic comic lives of two diametric Italian women, one(the marvelous director/ actor/writer Valeria Bruni-Tedesci) is an aristocrat, prone to violent outburst, and habitual liar, the other a depressed single mom,. whose boy was living from infancy in a foster family, goes to track this child, what starts as a mistake in a bus, becomes a voyage, which reveal a lot, especially when we glimpse at Miachela Rammazzoti’s character
5) “Hell and High Watert”David MacKenzie’s heist movie was an ingenious gem, and also an eye opener trip to the Texas Heartland, Donald Trump’s Country was seen in its tragic and harrowing site, what the West& East Coast missed, the movie’s tale of two brothers, a farmer and his n’er-do-well- brother robbing banks to pay up mortgage, is a hard look, at the people who time, and liberal well intentioned persons forgot, an unexpected tale, with stellar performances from Chris Pine, Ben Foster and vet. actor Jeff Bridges , all makes this British Helmer’s heist movie a must.
6) Clint Eastwood maybe republican, libertarian, Trump supporter, but he is also a storyteller, and in “Sully”, he returned to the -based-on-true-story- formula, and made a simple yet moving story of the miraculous Hudson River landing making Chelsie”Sully” Salenberger, with Tom Hanks solid performance, a hum,a person, definitely not mythical-bigger- than- life, but a man whose gut feeling saved lives, a humanistic movie about ordinary man , doing a heroic deed, not an ounce of , just pure storytelling, yes the women, are not presented well, they’re one-dimensional, making a phony feeling, this movie a flawed one, and yet it’s a jewel of a storytelling old Hollywood at its best.
7) The Israeli movie scene wasn’t good one, lots of disappointing movies, but some how one Israeli film stands high above the rest, “Avinu”(“Our Father”) Many Elias movie id the best gangster movie of this year, a story of a security man, named Obadiah, and his love for his barren wife Rachel, who wish for a baby, one favourr, one ostensible act, one promise, and his life are changed, when a simple task binds him to a ruthless gangster named Rosenthal, Morris Cohen,Rotem-Zisman-Cohen(His wife in real life, and now m ae her directorial debute), his wife, Alon Dahan as Rosenthal, and the actors surrounding them makes a compelling stark, cruel, violent with poignant moment of tenderness, an Israeli movie, which holds his own to any American Gangster movie of the recent years.
8) Steven Spielberg returned to the family film.The BFG., based on Roald Dahl’;s book was , everything that a kiddie movie should have, baddies, goodies, imagination. This tale of a friendship between a curious orphan girl and a giant, mange to deliver, and I can tell you that one can even shed a tear or two that’s how strong this movie is. And I find myself cheering, laughing, sometimes secretly dabbing an eye or two, and Spielberg still have it, at 70, he, like Eastwood still there, still able to recharge himself.
9)Disney’s animated”Zootropolis”, was a delight, it has everything humor, message, concealing very well, check the sloth scene, and the subway station, when a tiger is getting a terrible treatment, and a very beautiful take on cops movies, and buddy genre, directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore, did a fantastic job, and prove that with talent, cinema awareness, biting and sweet humor, one can make an animated movie, which is high above the rest of the crop which was shown in our theaters.
10) Closing the list is a French Noir, Paul Verhoven returned to Europe, and surprise suprise made a thriller:”Elle”. A film noir with its heroine Michele Leblanc, a woman who is vulnerable and tough, making us feeling inconclusive to her, and the movie offered us contradictory emotions, wishing to hug and comfort her, when she’s raped, and slap her viciously, a rape victim, flirtatious, treacherous, tough, and very vulnerable person, Isabelle Hupert made us yet again, in her tour de force performance, reaffirm , at least to me, that she’s a worthy successor to Darrieux, Morgan, Signoret, and all the fantastic French actresses of yesteryear. A just for any one who wants a feminist, noir thriller, worthy of a Melville, , packed with cynical humor and tender moment. Yes,. it’s that kind of movie , which makes me sometimes finding hope in movies.
Of course there were the disappointments, Kenneth Lorgan”s”Manchester by the sea”, succeeds in one thing, I nearly fell asleep, something which I DIDN’T AND DON’T AT MOVIES, a lethargic overlong .movie boring and frankly I didn’t give a shit about it.
Same can be said about the new israeli Ophir award,”Sand storm” was another one Israeli film made by a Jewish TEl-Aviv director’s liberal in a sickening meaning of this word, about Bedouin women, starring two actresses, who still didn’t fully get it, being urban Palestiunian-Israeli actresses, it’s a colonial picture, the worst kind, the white memsahib who comes from the Tel-Aviv about the plight of Bedouin Women, I rather see a movie, written and directed by Bedoin woman, who is much more authentic, than this liberal well meaning moivie, which don’t even have a cluye about its subject, despitee research, and well prepared field trips to the Bedouin population, it still reeks of colonialism, thankfuly, it didn’t get to the final forign category of the 2016 oscars.
, The dressmaker” Jocelyn Morehouse movie, was another case. A Mess, which was a take off on “The visit”, by Durrenmant, or so I guess, was a mixup.What is it? Satire? rom-com? Melodrama? Everything else? Who cares really? Apart from Hugo Weaving hillarious portrayal of a gay closeted cop in a small town, it’s a waste of tlent, money, and time.es
There were other movies, which didn’t make it, some were very good, excellent in fact, “Son of Saul”, was a tremendous piece of work, impressive, harrowing, the best holocaust fiction movie , can’t categorize it.Simply can’t. I can add that its script was summoned to the Israeli film fund, which refused to finance it, another eample of its stupidity, and utter detachement from the real movie making.
And sure, there were movies which were either respectable(“Truth”‘”Junction 48”, or simply fun “The Nice Guys”), but they were movies, which had some sparkle, but didn’t make the grade let’scall them the second best ones.
This is it, a next year coming, sorry I missed “Hateful”, love westerns and Tarantino, but a flu can be a killer, let’s pray hard tha the next year will be better one, and yes, my movie? Let’s pray that he’d be good.