Now that Christmas is over, the movie awards season begins. If you only go to the cinema once in the year, it should probably be in January as this is the month when the majority of the best films (i.e. Oscar contenders) are released. The lists for the BAFTA awards have recently been published, and of the fifteen contenders for Best Film, I’ve seen four of them.
We Need to Talk About Kevin
I’ve reviewed this elsewhere already; although it’s well done, it didn’t really make much impression on me. However, since then I’ve read the book and what is really remarkable about the film is how faithful it is to the book. Especially given that the book is written in the first person – we are told by the narrator herself what is going on inside her head. Film can only show us what people do and say, not what they’re thinking. The film is an outstanding adaptation of the book and definitely deserves to win the Best Adapted Screenplay, if not Best Film.
Also reviewed elsewhere. It’s a sweet film, I liked it, although I’m not sure it has the universal (i.e. male) appeal to win Best Film.
Midnight in Paris
I saw this ages ago, but it looks like I haven’t reviewed it yet. It’s the latest offering from Woody Allen. I don’t like Woody Allen as a person, and I usually avoid his contorted, over-analytical films. However, MiP is a well-made, lightweight fantastical morality tale set (in part) during the Parisian Belle Époque. If you haven’t been there recently, and still think Paris is the most romantic city in the world, you’ll love it.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
This is exactly the kind of film I have real trouble with. Lots of lots of characters who all look alike and a complicated plot. I can never tell who is who and what they’re supposed to be doing to each other. Think The Godfather, a film I’ve tried to watch many times and still can’t make head nor tail of. The thing I really remember from this film is the lack of lighting. Every scene is dark and it’s difficult to see what is going on. This really doesn’t help at all when all the characters look alike. That said, it’s well done, and I know there are folks out there who love their spy stories; I suspect they’ll love it.
And here’s a couple of other films on general release.
The Skin I Live In
A Spanish film about a man who has secretly developed a new way to make human skin. It’s another film where I had trouble following the plot. I don’t have too much to say about it, to be honest I lost interest after the first half hour or so. Probably better than watching paint dry, but I wouldn’t pay to see it.
This was recommended by no less person than Mark Kermode, film reviewer extraordinaire, who called it the scariest film he’d ever seen. Errr, what? It’s one of the most violent films I’ve ever seen but after that what plot there was didn’t really hang together. I’d actively advise against seeing this. I really don’t think watching people hitting each other in the head with hammers is entertainment.