Published February 27, 2012
Tags: Certified Copy, Cold Weather, Drive, Incendies, Melancholia, Take Shelter, The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Tree of Life, Warrior
1. Melancholia (Lars von Trier)
I was certain after I saw The Tree of Life over the summer nothing was going to top that cinematically in 2011. Who’s going to beat Terrence Malick? Cronenberg? Jason Reitman? Please. Respect.
And then Lars von Trier stood up and, without even knowing it, took a huge Scandinavian dump on it in the form of Melancholia.
Could there be a better film about depression? About its weaknesses and – admittedly somewhat depressing – advantages? I can’t think of one. First, it takes Kirsten Dunst’s character, and in an almost abstractly compressed wedding reception, shows how a depressed person can, within hours, find themselves completely disconnected from the happiest moments of their lives – even while they’re living them. In the film’s second section – there are no acts here, really – the movie simply observes how Dunst’s character and her family react as the Earth’s inevitable end approaches. Is she more at peace than the typically happier people around her because tragedy and its emotional shock are no stranger to her? Or is she emotionally dead? I suspect it’s the former. Continue reading ‘The 10 best movies of 2011′
Published November 2, 2011
Tags: Certified Copy, Cold Weather, Contagion, Drive, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, Super 8, Terrance Malick, The Tree of Life, The Trip, Warrior
Going into the fall Oscar season, it’s clear 2011 shaped up to be pretty similar to 2010 – wholly underwhelming as major studios flocked to big-budget tentpoles, product adaptations… anything with pre-existing source material (not including novels). It’s gotten so bad I found myself giving credit to the makers of “Real Steel” the other day because someone invented the story. Who cares if the movie is somewhat tripey and derivative. (I’m not even sure it makes any sense. The only reason boxing – or any sport – is interesting is because fragile, biological, imperfect human beings are forced to compete. Who the hell would be interested in watching robots punch each other? Where’s the triumph and defeat in that?) Continue reading ‘The best flicks going into Oscar season’