Oh Shane Black, I have missed you and your kick-ass action films with whip-smart dialog. Maybe this is not quite as fabulous as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but it is a damn great movie nonetheless. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are on fine form as the hilariously mismatched main duo, reminding me of Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours. Which is high praise indeed.
La La Land
We watched this last night, and I can’t get it off my head. From the director of Whiplash (who by the way, is 31 years old…) comes an all-singing, all-dancing hommage to the musicals of yesteryear. It is nostalgic, yet modern and fresh, romantic, but realistic, joyful and bittersweet at the same time. It is a masterpiece, and a tour de force from Emma Stone. This movie is going to win a ton of awards, and it will be all deserved.
What We Did on Our Holiday
That would make an interesting Rosamund Pike double bill with Gone Girl below… And maybe a nice relief if you are feeling like you need something to cheer you up this winter!
This made me laugh. A lot more than many so-called comedies. It obviously has something to say about today’s society, but never in a preachy way. The kids almost steal the show, but I really hope that Viggo Mortensen will (at least) get nominated for the Oscars!
I was listening to some David Bowie the other day, and it just reminded me of this great little movie. So many good tunes, so much good energy, a very sweet story, and a movie that really should have been seen by more people. So if you haven’t seen it yet, seek it out! and if you have, come back to it for the music, for the sun, for the memories and for the feelgood feelings.
Your Sister’s Sister
What a great little surprise that was! I had absolutely no expectations and I hadn’t read much about it, but I really loved this small indie film. The cast is perfect and delivers the right balance of laughs and genuine heartfelt moments. Highly recommended.
Stranger Than Fiction
I can’t believe I completely missed this one when it came out, and then never heard about it until a friend pointed it out today. And then I watched it. And I liked it. A lot. A huge lot. With a stellar cast, a wacky premise, but not as silly as it sounds, and a big heart, it just might very well be the best thing I have watched this year so far. Oh, and one more thing, if you want to be surprised, don’t even watch the trailer below, just dive right in, enjoy, and tell me what you think about it afterwards.
How often does a movie just make you happy? At the end of this film, I had a big smile on my face and I kept humming that song for a week afterwards. Do I really need to say any more?
Speech is overrated. And sometimes, even talking too much about a movie is both unnecessary and counter-productive. Just go and see this little gem. It deserves every award coming its way. And then some.
Much Ado About Nothing
I watched it again with Christine the other day, and it is still one of the most delightful Shakespeare adaptations out there. Easy, breezy, fun, with a great cast (beautiful chemistry between Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh, of course, but let’s not forget Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Michael Keaton and the very young Kate Beckinsale and Robert Sean Leonard), this is a great summer movie.
Little White Lies
If you are bored of the standard Hollywood summer movie fare, here is something for you. From the young actor/director Guillaume Canet (who also directed one of my favourite films of the last few years), this is a sober look at love, friendship and selfishness, with an amazing ensemble cast. I guess you have to use a French word to describe French cinema.
Team America: World Police
If you’ve ever seen an episode of South Park, you already know Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s brand of humour, and this movie doesn’t disappoint. With more (hilariously) nasty jokes, rude caricatures, catchy tunes and puppet sex than you can shake a weapon of mass destruction at, it will make your cheeks hurt from so much laughing.
The Girlfriend Experience
Since I was just talking about Steven Soderbergh yesterday, here is another one of his most recent movies, from the other side of the spectrum. A documentary following a few days in the life of a high-end Manhattan call girl, it is definitely an unusual but fascinating little film. At just over an hour length, I really recommend it.
Out of Sight
Steven Soderbergh makes some interesting movies. This one may be one of his most straightforward directing efforts in terms of basic plot, but both the stylish visuals and the fantastic chemistry between Jennifer Lopez and George-before-he-became-a-sex-symbol-Clooney make this a great smooth and cool film to watch if you missed it when it first came out.
My Name Is Nobody
Sometimes, you are just in the mood for something silly. And sometimes, it is good to be able to watch a movie with the whole family. Although Once upon a time in the West by the same Sergio Leone is still my favourite Western (up there with High plains drifter or The man who shot Liberty Valance, all for very different reasons) this one just makes me laugh. Every time. And sometimes, this is all that you need.
Le Bonheur Est Dans Le Pré
Most of the times, I find myself drawn much more to a british style of humour (I just can’t get enough of the Monty Pythons), but sometimes comes along a French comedy that is fantastic. It’s a simple plot, the actors are terrific, and the story is full of joie-de-vivre and it will put you in a great mood for the evening…
François Truffaut’s last (and in my opinion best) movie, an hommage to his beloved Alfred Hitchcock. Fanny Ardant is in superb form and Jean-Louis Trintignant is the perfect grumpy unwilling counterpoint. A little gem of a funny film noir or comedy crime mistery, whatever you want to call it, this movie is well worth watching.
We caught that one randomly because I vaguely remembered hearing/reading something good about it somewhere (yes, a very precise feeling, as you can tell), and what a pleasant surprise! A little French/Lebanese movie about a group of girl friends working in or around a beauty salon, it is a comedy but with serious undertones about modern life in Beirut. Optimistic and charming, it will definitely leave you smiling.
As I compile the big list of movies that I want to post here, sometimes the problem is not to pick which films to write about, but to choose which ones to leave out. As a huge Paul Thomas Anderson fan, that choice was particularly hard. This is a strange but touching and beautiful love story, and, much to my amazement, it proves that Adam Sandler can act, when he really wants to…
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Although I like George Clooney’s more stylish Good night, and good luck, I have a thing for his directorial debut. A story at the same time strange, touching and funny, filmed in a very personal style, it is definitely an oddity, but a good one!
La Cité de la Peur
A special request from my sister with whom I can quote half of the movie from memory. Serial killers! The Cannes Film Festival! Glamour! Murder! Communism! Giant mouse traps! If you loved Airplane then this is your kind of humour.
The Philadelphia Story
My favourite screwball comedy. Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart at their witty best. Need I say more? Forget about the Grace Kelly/Bing Crosby/Frank Sinatra musical remake High society which is a lot less fun, this is the real deal.
I saw it after walking the red carpet on my first visit to the Cannes Film Festival, so maybe it has a special place in my heart, but it is an outstanding original work of genius, full of energy, bigger-than-life characters, and music.
I didn’t think that sadomasochism would make a great movie subject matter, nor that you could make a beautiful love story out of it, but it turns out I was wrong. Forget your preconceptions and watch Secretary. You will not be disappointed.
All About My Mother
Ok, I lied. I can’t pick just one Pedro Almodovar movie. This one has to be on the list. A bit more flamboyant and crazy, it may actually be more representative of the rest of his filmography.