Invictus (2009)

There are times in the human history where a nation points out an inspired leader to lead it to a better future. There are even fewer times where that leader uses a reconciliation approach to make this happen. Nelson Mandela was such a leader, that had the emotional strength to forgive the very people that imprisoned him for twenty seven years in a tiny cell, in order to bring peace to his country.

Clint Eastwood makes an very good film, based on a book by John Carlin (Playing the Enemy), about a specific period of Mandela’s life, the time that he was elected as president and foresaw that rugby could be used as a  vehicle to achieve his goal: mitigate hate between black and white in his country.

Morgan Freeman is excellent in Mandela’s role as well as Matt Damon in the role of Francois Pienaar, the leader of the rugby team.

There are films that have a certain quality and you feel you did not waste your money and time. There are even fewer in that category that make you feel that there is hope for the human race. This is one of them!

My rating: 10/10

PS. info about Invictus (may want to have a reference after seeing the play)

The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)

The second film of based on the trilogy of  Stieg Larsson, this time brought to scene by the director Daniel Alfredson. This film, has the same qualities as the “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (see my blog entry). If you go, you’ll enjoy a good thriller.

My rating: 08/10

The Book of Eli (2010)

Well, Mad Max had some decency as a movie: it was the “End Of The World” as we know it (it is so fashionable these days!), no law, a guy that would cross the land without stop, a hero… This is a bad movie, using the same moto. Preaching in its worst form, unbelievable scenes… It is amazing what can be produced when money is provided. Hope Denzel Washington needed the money to play the main character… Avoid it!

My rating: 03/10

A Serious Man (2009)

It looks like a comedy but it is bitter. The surface may make you laugh but, if you want to see a film of Ethan and Joel Coen you do not go to see a nice comedy, do you? Well, down in the essence of it, in my opinion, it becomes more depressing than “No country for old men“. It is “no country for young men” either. This is the meaning of the film.

There are two stories in that movie: one before the initial titles, a five minutes story and the main film after. Both stories have something in common: an individual, sane, sensible, logical, facing an irrational world around it. A world that has its own standards, logic (or lack of it) and decides, despite of his desire, effort and will, what happens next.

The title, is used by different individuals in the film: the main character and its opponent. They both claim to be “serious”, but one of them is not: what does such a title offer anyway? What does any title offer??

The second story makes an elaborate approach to the concept of religion and its inability to provide a relief to the troubled individual: all the wisdom that once could south the soul now is gone… All the suffering that produces through the rituals it forces to children that are obliged to follow it, is more depressing than ever.  Because, these rituals are deprived of their real meaning.

My rating: 06/10 (because I am fed up with pessimistic movies!!!)

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

 Guy Ritchie created one of these action/mystery/thriller films that keep your interest as long as they last. Excellent plot, impressive scenes, a good movie in its kind, worth seeing… Both main characters, those of Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr.Watson (Jude Law) had a nice face-lifting, rendering them fresh but equally interesting as in older movies.  

My rating: 07 / 10

Les herbes folles (Wild Grass) (2009)

As wild grass grows through cracks of cement, so do the illogical passions and expectations of the human beings grow through their civilized masks. People with a respectable profile, display these cracks as time passes by and they see the ending coming closer, without having realized their dreams. A lost wallet is the cause for George Pallet (André Dussollier) to bring to the surface all his expectations and anxieties. Marguerite Muir (Sabine Azéma) also lives a well balanced life until she falls in love, so uniquely visualizing in the film the equivalent french expression “coup de foudre”. From that point on, everything in her life becomes a mess.

Alain Resnais makes a movie for the feelings we cannot control in our lives and the passions that peal off our civilized face with a playful mood and a tone of slight exaggeration.

It is not one of his best movies but is certainly a worth seeing one.

My rating: 06 / 10