Day: April 13, 2012

2012 in Film: #95 – Hanna

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2012 in Film: #95

Hanna (2011) | Directed by Joe Wright

Grade: B+

Thoughts: Joe Wright’s action thriller reminds me a lot of Brian De Palma’s Carrie in that it uses something strange or supernatural to serve as a metaphor for puberty and the protagonist entering womanhood. Even so, the coming of age action movie is, for the most part, an adrenaline pumped thrill ride, with a kickass performance from Saoirse Ronan and an amusing performance from Cate Blanchett.

2012 in Film: #94 – Pi (π)

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2012 in Film: #94

Pi (π) (1998) | Directed Darren Aronofsky

Grade: A

Thoughts: Aronofsky’s debut feature film is a noir/horror hybrid, and a damn good one. Its incredible plot and fantastic acting add to the suspense, while the film’s harshly light black and white cinematography add to the films claustrophobia and paranoia. Obvious allusions to other directors, such as Lynch and Hitchcock.

2012 in Film: #93 – Beginners

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2012 in Film: #93

Beginners (2010) | Directed by Mike Mills

Grade: A-

Thoughts: Mike Mills’ tender, semi-autobiographical film about relationships and life is at first quirky in the annoying sense. But fifteen minutes later, it becomes tender, real, and beautiful. Unique visual style that works with everything in the film. McGregor gives a great performance, once you get used to his character. Melanie Laurent is stunning and vulnerable in the film. And, of course, Academy Award-winner Christopher Plummer is absolutely superb as McGregor’s newly out father.


2012 in Film: #92 – Persona

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2012 in Film: #92

Persona (1966) | Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Grade: A

Thoughts: The best abstract and modernist horror film ever made, I would say. Drenched in visual symbolism and iconic photography, the film penetrates the viewer’s psyche just as the title suggests. The cinematography is stunning.

2012 in Film: #91 – Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

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2012 in Film: #91

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007) | Directed by Sidney Lumet

Grade: B

Thoughts: It is, essentially, an ingeniously put together noir, with incredible visuals and a unique storytelling device. The linearity, or lack thereof, is the film’s draw, as well as its top notch performances and editing. However, it goes on for far too long and risks the audience getting bored. Lumet, however, does exercise his great directing muscle throughout.