Also this week, I published 4 brand-new reviews...
Caesar Must Die (2012)
On the surface, this is a documentary about the inmates of Rome’s high-security Rebibbia prison — many of them with mafia connections — putting on a performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. However, it becomes clear fairly quickly that it’s all been staged... The question becomes: is that a problem? Because while it isn’t a documentary, it also is a documentary.Read more here.
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
Unlikely stories can make great movies, or at least fun ones, and if this isn’t the former then it’s largely the latter... Boasting a typically witty script from Aaron Sorkin, and a cast (including Philip Seymour Hoffman) capable of delivering it, it makes a potentially grim topic surprisingly entertainingRead more here.
Lost River (2014)
there’s definitely some magical realism going on... Adult fairytale would be another term for it; there are slices of some form of Gothic, too. To put it another way, it’s definitely Lynchian. Other directors may have been an influence on Gosling as well, but it specifically brought Blue Velvet to mind for me, without in any palpable way being a clone of that movie.Read more here.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
very ’70s in its bleakness; also in being about someone sticking it to The Man, and The Man winning. We often conflate such qualities with realism — “it’s not all happy, it must be more like real life” — but I wonder if Cuckoo’s Nest is actually too on the nose as an indictment of the system.Read more here.
Finally, my 100 Favourites series continued with 2 more posts...
the real star is Whedon’s screenplay. Packed to the gills with the literate, witty dialogue he’s famed for, it also manages to be emotionally affecting, make points about governments and their power, engage with themes of belief and the importance of freedom, and weave in a subtext that reflects the real-life story of Firefly’s death and rebirth — though Whedon claims that last one was an accident.Read more here.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
exactly the kind of movie primed to emerge as a consensus favourite: it has drama and darkness, but also humour and optimism, and elicits emotions across the spectrum — it’s neither too grim to depress people into not enjoying it, nor too sentimental to make them do that mock “throwing up” noise some people do when things get really schmaltzy.Read more here.
More next Sunday.