Monday, 1 February 2016
Best of Jan 16
Ex Machina by Alex Garner 2015 - English/British
There are only couple of science fiction movies I have ever liked. In fact, most of the time I don't even like to watch them. I can add Ex Machina to that small list now. Brilliant cinema.
This is about artificial intelligence, basically. But like in the Tamil, Yanthiran, when the man created robot is instilled with human emotions, man is challenged.
Please do not think at all about this movie as anything like Yanthiran. This is more a thrilling drama, beautifully acted. Really, a must watch. Definitely among the best movies of 2015.
And above all that, to know that this is the debut of a director, brilliant!
45 Years by Andrew Haigh 2015 - English/British
An older couple are about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when they receive a letter. The content (that the body of his first love has been discovered, frozen under the snow in the Swiss Alps) is shocking for the husband. Further developments over the next few days are even more shattering to their marriage.
In some way, this felt more like a Michael Leigh movie, to be frank. What an incredible drama about love and marriage, but quite different from all others. Stunning acting performances from the two veteran actors, Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay. A must watch cinema.
Band de Filles - Girlhood - by Celine Sciamma 2015 - French
The ideal translation should have been Gang of Girls, but like always the English name for this French movie too, is misleading. I loved the two previous movies of this director, both was about teenage girls coming into adult hood. She is again into the same age, and still comes out with a gem.
A teenage girl joins a gang of 3 others, in their poor neighborhood (cite) and slowly her life changes, some for good and some for bad.
A beautiful cinema, wonderfully performed. In fact there are moments in this cinema when I was wondering, how in the world can somebody act so natural like this.. Brilliant.
Macbeth by Justine Kurzel 2015 - British/French/American co production
Another adaptation of the Shakespeare play. However I would say this is the most cinematic of all the theatre adaptations I have seen.
A stunning performance by Michael Fassbender, who seems to be on a never ending climb in his career. With Hunger, Steve Jobs (I didn't like the cinema at all) and Macbeth, he is placing himselves among the very best in contemporary cinema.
The Perfect Day by Fernando Leon de Aranoa, 2015 - English/Spain
The first English movie by this Spanish director, within few minutes we realise why it is made in English. It follows a day of a group of aid workers in war torn Balkans. And obviously the group has people from different countries.
An aid group in the war torn country has to retrieve a dead body from a drinking water well. They just miss something to do this task though, some piece of rope.
This is really a black comedy. A really serious subject told with lots of shades of humour in the fore ground. The director uses a relatively slow pace that we are in some ways forced to look deeper and feel for the villagers and the aid workers.
Straight Outta Compton by F Gary Gray 2015 - Hollywood
About a music band (hip hop) which emerged from difficult back grounds in Los Angeles.
This is a well told, straight forward cinema based on a true story. And excellent music too.
It is ridiculous that this movie, along with Beasts of No Nation, didn't get any mention in the Oscar nominations. For me both these movies are definitely the best I saw from Hollywood 2015. Both have 'black' backgrounds and especially Straight Outta Compton, which actively talks about the harassment of the blacks, by the system, have been completely ignored by the Oscar 'white' awards. Not that I care about these awards, but still how they can be so blunt is beyond me.
Spotlight by Tom McCarthy - 2015 Hollywood
The best one, out of all the Oscar nominated movies.
The investigation by a Boston Globe team of journalists about child sex abuse by Catholic priests, in Boston
A well made cinema, the best part for me was the performance of Mark Ruffalo. The kind of subtle and crystal clear changes he brings in - both in his body language and dialogue delivery - to each and every important character of his, is unbelievable. What an actor.
Room and The Gift too were interesting cinema in the ways in which it got out of its probable cliches , typically possible endings or treatments, with similar themes before. Room concentrated a lot on the child and The Gift simply made a European style climax.