51. The Son's Room
Giovanni, an Italian psychoanalyst who has to listen to the rambles of his patients every day, struggles to come to terms with the death of his young son in a diving accident.
What Tierna thinks: “I’d definitely recommend watching this; we had put it off a few times as you really need to concentrate more on subtitled films (Lazy? Perhaps!) but I’m glad we finally found time. The acting is very believable in this and the family interact naturally with each other, making the son’s death more poignant. The letter that arrives after the death of Andrea seems to bring some sort of comfort to the family and it ultimately has an uplifting ending. A well deserved eight out of ten from me.”
What Tom thinks: “So its been a while since our last film and our first of 2012 was… alright. It has to be said it’s fairly depressing and, particularly given that its subtitled, not a film I’d be particularly wanting to watch again. But a fairly good film with a believable reaction from the family after Andrea’s death which shows how difficult death can be. A six from me.”
Up next: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Volver is a Spanish film about Raimunda, her daughter Paula and her sister Sole. While Raimunda tries tries to deal with the dead body of her husband, who tried to sexually assault Paula, Sole must also figure out how to deal with the apparent resurrection of her dead mother.
What Tierna thinks: “I had watched this before but I enjoyed it more this time around. It was definitely one of the best of our foreign films so far. It’s a typically Spanish film; an element of the after life colliding with the living. The storyline was gripping and often unexpected although some of the story is quite common to many Spanish films I’ve watched. A good film and I’ll give it an eight out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “We’ve had quite a few slow and boring foreign films on this list (as well as quite a few awesome ones I may add) and this was a prime candidate to be another. Alas, it was not and is a pretty entertaining movie. The story of the mother leaves the viewer guessing through most of the film – is she dead or isn’t she – and all in all it was fairly enjoyable. I’ll give it a seven out of ten.”
Up next: Chopper
Posted in Cannes Film Festival, Oscar Nominated, Palme d'Or, Spanish Film, Uncategorized
Tagged Carmen Maura, Death, La Mancha, Madrid, Murder, Pedro Almodovar, Penelope Cruz, The Flower of my Secret
57. The Consequences of Love
Le Conseguenze Dell’Amore is an Italian psychological thriller about a lonely and secretive man who befriends a beautiful young waitress in the hotel he lives in and has a run in with the mafia.
What Tierna thinks: “A good film, not memorable as such but certainly very watchable. The car crash scene seemed oddly placed to me as it changed the course of the final days of his life yet it didn’t ‘fit’ for me. When watching the film the ‘consequences of love’ didn’t jump out at me as such. Looking back on the story now while thinking of it in the context of the movie title makes it all make much more sense. It left me a bit confused but it’s well written and for that reason I’ll give it an eight out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “We’re finally back after taking a few months break now that Tierna has finished her degree. This was a pretty good film to get back into the list with. The first hour or so of the film its almost difficult to guess what is actually about – Titta Di Girolamo is like a dour Larry David who merely ‘exists’ in the hotel he lives in until he finally starts to talk with Sofia and then the story starts to pick up. A well made film that I thought was good but not great, this gets a seven out of ten.”
Up next … Volver
59. Etre et Avoir
Etre et Avoir (“To Be And To Have”) is a 2002 documentary film about a small rural French school, following the students (ranging from 4 to 11) being taught by a single teacher.
What Tierna thinks: “My sister first introduced me to this film and I must admit that I was sceptical at first. There are some abstract, extended scenes showing natural landscape which I’m not sure are needed. However I appreciate the film more and more each time I watch it. It’s a heart warming story, set out over the course of a school year. The personalities of the children are central to the story, as well as the dedication and love that their teacher shows them. I really enjoy watching this film and I’ll give it a seven out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “This is the second French film on the list about schools (the first being The Class). I found it a decent film – I think your level of enjoyment will very much depend on cute / funny you find children and how rewarding you find it watching children learn stuff. While the film didn’t blow me away, I did think it was an excellent achievement to have followed the class over the course of a school year and turn it into a cohesive film – so well done Nicolas Philibert! I’m giving it a six out of ten.”
Up next: Shawn of the Dead
In L’enfant, petty-criminal Bruno tries to make some money from selling his girlfriend’s newborn baby.
What Tierna thinks: “Bruno aggravated me; he’s the type of bloke I hate; irresponsible, ignorant and a complete waster. Despite not being a very exciting film, the cast did act their parts very well. I think I’ll give this a five out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “It wasn’t a great film this but it wasn’t awful either… just a bit boring. Only about half the film was actually about the guy selling the child, the other half was him living rough and trying to make some cash. I’ll give this a six out of ten.”
Up next: There Will Be Blood … “I Drink Your Milkshake!!!”
65. Waltz With Bashir
Waltz With Bashir is an Israeli animated documentary, following Ari Folman as he talks to veterans of the 1982 Lebanon war to piece together his lost memories.
What Tierna thinks: “I’m amazed at the skilled animation in this film. It has a highly detailed graphic style which I’d love to learn to do myself. I often do not enjoy animated movies as they tend to neglect the narrative and get carried away with creative effects. However, this story is full of emotion which is only heightened by the closing scene when real-life footage is incorporated to bring the film to a close . I’ll give this a nine out of ten.”
What Tom thinks: “We’re currently in a run of foreign language films (although the last one was the magnificent City of God). On paper, this one was similar to Persepolis although I enjoyed this more. As Tierna says, the animation is fantastic and the stories are good, all the more so because they’re real. So, a decent film – I’ll give it a seven out of ten.”
Up next: L’enfant … “Not more bloody subtitles”
Gomorra, or Gomorrah if you will, follows a number of different stories revolving around the Neapolitan crime syndicate Camorra.
What Tom thinks: “Being a highly rated film about crime I should have loved this and was quite looking forward to watching it. But it just didn’t work for me. The separate stories were very disjointed and there was very little in the way of plot or development in any of them. It runs very much as a snapshot into the life of crime and, while no doubt this was the filmmakers intentions, it just didn’t make for a particularly entertaining watch. A total contrast to the next film on our list which, while seemingly quite similar, succeeds in all the ways this didn’t. I have the feeling I would enjoy this more if i watched it again but, based on this screening, it’s a six out of ten for me.”
What Tierna thinks: ” I love a film that excites me or plays on my emotions. This had the makings of a good story but really isn’t all that memorable. I’d give this one a miss if you’re thinking of watching it… I’ll give it a five out of ten.”