Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Films I have seen recently...

I have no time sadly to catch up properly on films I have seen in the last week or so at the cinema or on DVD - instead, here are some mini reviews.

“Orlando” (1992, Sally Potter)
Tilda Swinton is perfectly cast as the immortal man/woman in this adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s imagined biography of the man/woman who spans centuries of British aristocracy. Not a joy to watch, but manageable.

“The Libertine” (2004, Laurence Dunmore)
Johnny Depp in dull period piece about the sleazy Earl of Rochester, the king’s brother who shagged his way around the courts and then died a grizzly death as punishment. Very boring.

“The Hours” (2002, Stephen Daldry)
A re-watching of the re-interpretation of Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs Dalloway”, seen through three women in three eras. A second viewing and a greater understanding of Woolf helped considerably. Got much more out of it this time.

“Shopgirl” (2005, Arnand Tucker)
Steve Martin ‘stars’ in this adaptation of his own novella – in which he plays a rich and dull, emotionally retarded businessman seduced Claire Danes, who is significantly younger than him and has her own neurosis to deal with. Jason Schwartzman plays the klutz who also wants to date her. Unbelievably dull.

“Junebug” (2005, Phil Morrison)
Quirky, meandering account of hick family life seen through the eyes of a rich New York art dealer, played by Embeth Davidtz, who is baffled by their weird customs and family sensibilities. Good soundtrack by Yo La Tengo. Picked up after confusing start. Amy Adams is very good as the sweet but dim, pregnant wife Ashley.

“Borat” (2006, Larry Charles)
Sacha Baron Cohen is hilarious as the spoof Kazakh reporter. It’s noticeable how he only sends up those who take themselves too seriously. Highlights the flaws in petty-minded Americans. Favourite three scenes: the chicken on the subway; the naked wrestling; and the street kissing.

“Casino Royale” (2006, Martin Campbell)
Bond is back and Daniel Craig is better than expected. Quite refreshing to see a Bond who could equally be a Bond villain. Too long, but keeps momentum up, doesn’t get tedious and shows a new side to the super spy. Surprising.

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