The Human Stain (2003)

TheHumanStainWhy did I like “The Human Stain” so much? Because it speaks of so many important things with a direct and indirect way at the same time. About things one is born with and can do nothing to change, the decisions made because of them, friendship, the desire to live and enjoy life, the realization of what is important and what is not, the measure of sorrow, a caress that was intended but was not given, a hug that means different things for two people who care for each other…

Well, it is based on a book with the same title and despite the fact that I have not read the book, Robert Benton made an amazing movie played by an amazing cast. This is not a film to be missed.

My rating: 09/10


Don Jon (2013)

NoDonJont bad for a first film of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Not bad at all. Apart from its really funny moments, the true merit of the film lies in its . sincerity about the way men see their love life, the way they “rate” women, what they expect from them (which is totally unrealistic), what women expect from them (totally unrealistic too), the expectations of parents regarding their kids (them being equally immature, if not more than them!).

Provided you are willing to hear some truths (OK, you may ignore them too!), this is a film where you are going to have a lot of fun. It is rare these days 🙂

My rating: 08/10 (for its kind)


Short Term 12 (2013)

ShortTerm12A facility for underprivileged kids. People working there that struggle to make their lives affordable till the State finds a solution for them. ‘Short Term 12‘ may not appeal to you as the theme sounds depressing. Yet, it is a highly optimistic film showing, that despite the harsh conditions these kids lived in and the wounds marked on their body and soul, there is still hope for a better life, thanks to those who through love, patience, and understanding stand by them. One can better understand its own daemons by looking at them in another person’s soul.

Destin Cretton made a movie which reaches deep in your emotions, a hymn to the best of what we carry inside us,

This is a film you should definitely NOT miss.

My rating: 10/10

Frances Ha (2012)

FrancesHaA unique film conveying through the power of black and white, the feelings of love, loneliness, insecurity and the constant struggle of the self into accomplishment, to make the dream (or a part of it anyway) to come through, despite all odds. Honest, realistic, with short scenes following one after another, in accordance to the rhythms of an accelerated life. Aesthetically beautiful scenes intensifying the above. A film which has its funny moments but is more of a drama than a comedy.

My rating: 07/10

A Burning Hot Summer (Un été brûlant) (2011)

UnEteBrulantA Burning Hot Summer” or love passion in multiple versions and expressions. The dependencies, misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations between people who (as usual) use the word “love” as a crutch to fill their personal void. The flirt with the idea of death when the “dream” fails to come through. All the above wrapped up with excellent acting and a plot without surprises. Some scenes are very attractive nevertheless, despite the “deja vu” experience.

My rating: 06/10

Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012)

WoodyAllenADocumentaryApart from a very short period of time (something like less than a year) I am a big Woody Allen fan. I’ve seen almost all his films. So, when the documentary was released in a film festival, I thought: “but I know the guy inside-out, watching it should be a waste of time!”. Big mistake! This is an excellent film worthy of its subject.

It is very interesting to see how Woody Allen started, as a person that was extremely uncomfortable with a live audience and became the director he is now. How things in his childhood affected his obsessions, ideas, beliefs. The way people who worked with him speak about their collaboration. The way he sees his work, life, love and of course death!

It is such a pleasure to see a man at his age to have such clarity, soberness and maturity about all aspects of his life and work.

He is really amazing as is this film that shows the man behind the work done. If you like his movies do not miss it. If you don’t, well, you may learn something in another level 🙂

My rating: 09/10 (Ok, I said I am a fan!!!)

The Attack (2012)

The AttackThe Attack” is a film about love, friendship, trust, betrayal, hate, beliefs and much more. First of all, it is a great movie to see. Direction by Ziad Doueiri is excellent, it has a gripping story (L’attentat is a best seller) which combined with the acting of all actors involved totally immerses the spectator in the film’s story. It is also a film that raises numerous issues for discussion.

Most of all, it is from these films that have a point (or more) to make (as I suppose does the book). So, unless the story is unveiled, one cannot really discuss about the film.

Things I liked in the film:

  • The thanking speech of the Arab surgeon when he was awarded the prize
  • The way his memories unfolded about his wife
  • The scene when he was watching the video at the end

So, the rest of the post contains spoilers and it is up to you if you want to read it before or after seeing the film.

My rating: 09/10

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Love and Bruises (2011)

loveNbruisesLove and Bruises” is all about what a relationship should NOT be. The desperate need for love leading to a doomed relationship, the wrong choices, humiliation, attachment to the wrong person because one cannot stand on its own feet. Acting is great, yet, this is a story told so many times, in so many different ways and lacks the spark that will really make it stand out from the lot.

My rating: 05/10

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)

tiemeuptiemedownIt is really weird how a film with such a funny and silly (as it seems at first) plot can generate so much emotion. This is the characteristic of all Pedro Almodovar films anyway. “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” is not one of his masterpieces but there are two things I’d like to keep;.

The first is the reply of the director of a film (in the movie), to the remark that his film is more a love story than a horror film: “It is hard to tell them apart”! How true!

The second is the closing song of the film, “Resistiré“, which is one of the main dimensions of the film and I liked so much, that its translated lyrics follow:

When I loose all the games
When I sleep in the arms of solitude
When I find there’s no way out
And night won’t let me rest

When silence frightens me
When I no longer stand on my feet
When memories rebel
And push me against the wall

I will resist, to keep on living
I will into iron to toughen my skin
And even if the winds of life blow harder
I;ll be like the reed that bends
but does not break

I will resist, to continue living
I’ ll endure the bumps and never give up
And although my dreams are broken into pieces

I will resist, I will resist …

Creation (2009)

TheCreation_ loss of a child, the breakthrough of scientific thought, the anguish of a man and a woman living in the same house, once in love but not anymore. A fraction of Darwin‘s personal life given in a superb, breath-taking manner by a combination of the gifted play of Martha West, Jennifer Connelly but most of all Paul Bettany, the direction of Jon Amiel and a story based on the book “Annie’s Box” by Randal Keynes.

A story revealing the human soul behind the scientist, a story about the fact that unresolved issues inside us may hinder our creativity for decades, that uttering the untold held back by fear may make us free once more, bringing back peace, love and trust.

So many things in a condensed, non-tiring way, told gracefully as if Darwin’s life is a fairytale (or a nightmare). The scenes where Darwin speaks to his daughter Anny about Jenny the monkey and the one he looks at her playing on the beach are among the many to be remembered. Even the soundtrack is beautiful.

Creation is a film one should not miss.

My rating: 09/10