I had a huge movie binge this weekend! This is what I saw:
- The Sea Inside (Alejandro Amenábar, 2004)
A moving and well made story of the life of Ramon Sanpedro, a quadriplegic who is appealing for euthanasia, which is against Spanish laws. The film shows all the people in his life – from those that live with him (his elder brother, his sister-in-law, his nephew and his dad), to the two women who love him, Julia, a lawyer who herself is suffering from an illness, and Rosa, a single mum who firsts visits him out of curiosity (played willingly by Volver’s Lola Duenas).
I found The Sea Inside sad and intelligent (it doesn’t take sides), though a tad overlong and after a while I got bored of the flashbacks/dream sequences of Ramon diving into the sea. That said, it’s worth watching purely for Javier Bardem’s subtle and affecting performance. This is the guy that killed all them people in NCFOM, everyone!!
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks, 1958)
One of my favourite films of all time, about unfulfilled wife Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor, in sizzling form), whose handsome but indifferent and alcoholic husband Brick (Paul Newman, nearing Brando levels of hotness) not only doesn’t care about who’ll get his dad’s large inheritance, but also, won’t have sex with her.
Tennessee Williams hated this version of his play due to the toned down references to homosexuality and Skipper’s suicide, but to be honest, they don’t have to spell it out for us to work it out. I saw this with my brother yesterday, which possibly detracted from the power somewhat as he could only see the funny side in it all (such as when Brick was chasing Maggie around the room with his crutch), but it still remains a highly enjoyable melodrama with one of the best ensembles I’ve seen.
- The Girl on the Bridge (Patrice Leconte, 1999)
Another one of my favourites, though on a rewatch, I feel that my ranking it 43rd was a little high. I think it would be just outside my 100 now. It still remains a highly entertaining and witty experience, but I don’t know, I guess I just don’t like it as much a second time round. It’s about Gabor, a knife-thrower, who stops Adèle, a suicidal and confused young woman (who quite frankly, is a bit of a whore) from jumping off a bridge. Together, they form a double act in circuses, and their luck thrives everywhere. The entire film is really charming and quirky, not dissimilar to the oddness of Amelie, and the knife-throwing scenes are exhilarating to watch. Vanessa Paradis and Daniel Auteuil have such incredible chemistry that you wonder why Adèle would ever run off with another man. (Answer: 'cos she's easy.)
- The Spirit of the Beehive (Víctor Erice, 1973)
OK, this is another film that was one of my all-time favourites, an
d my adoration for it has lessened slightly. I think I should only watch films once. Anyway, I think the second time round watching this, I just wasn’t as beguiled by the minutiae as I was the first time, and found some of the wordless scenes, frankly, a little dull. But I’m still as effusive, if not more so, in my praise for little Ana Torrent’s performance, which is probably one of my favourite from a young actress, nay, an actress, in cinema. Honestly, those eyes!! She was just beyond sweet, and every time she asked a naïve question, or gave that wide-eyed look, I just wanted to give her a massive hug. A performance, along with Jennifer Garner’s in Juno, to make me want to go and become a mother.
- Kinky Boots (Julian Jarrold, 2005)
A winningly unassuming Britcom about mild-mannered Charlie Price who inherits his father’s ailing shoe company. Needing a bright idea to stop his company being walked over by repo men, he’s inspired by London transvestite Lola to start a niche market making boots for men. Mainly thanks to Chiwetel Ejiofor’s by turns charismatic but profound performance as Lola, and Simon, respectively, and Joel Edgerton’s bumbling nice guy, this film really works. Kinky Boots does what it says on the tin: make you laugh (Nick Frost is hilarious and the line about Ukrainian peasants had me giggling for half a minute), entertain you (the drag act scenes are oddly interesting), and generally give you a good time for 100 minutes. Just like the boots Lola wore before Charlie designed better ones.
- His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
I said, goddamn. They talk quite quickly in this film, don’t they? Wow. And, after me going off three films slightly after watching them again, His Girl Friday only went higher in my estimations.
The frenzied humour, the mile-a-minute speed of talking, and Rosalind Russell does wonders on the girl power front as highly capable and Godlessly reporter who was always too good to be just married off and become a housewife are just some of the things to love about Howard Hawk’s screwball and massively funny comedy.
So that was me! Seen any good movies recently?