I have thus far seen 101 movies this year, which is a poor showing for a man with a lot of spare time and no kids. There is one movie that is awful, two movies that were surprising and three movies that I am deeming the best. Of course, I hope to be off to the cinema again before the end of the year so maybe Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol will amaze me.
Sucker Punch may be the worst thing humans beings have ever made. Probably is. Scientists at CERN may call a press conference about it soon. It is morally bankrupt in a way that is hard to explain. An utterly deplorable movie. May it languish in the utter failure that it has deserved and may fewer and fewer people ever be exposed to its manipulative and exploitative trash in the future. Avoid this shite.
Jane Eyre is not the kind of movie that I would typically get excited about but it is was a masterpiece. I knew nothing about the plot and its strong female lead, portrayed brilliantly by Mia Wasikowska was utterly surprising to me. I was expecting a light frothy piece about how silly women are and how it will all work out in the end for the landed gentry. What a fool I was! The fecking plot is amazing. I love this movie. Go see it!
The second surprising movie for me was Another Year, which looks like an awful full-of-it movie about middle class English people being all middle class and boring. In fact it is a touching film about ageing, friendship and the value of simple pleasure. The performances are astonishing and the script is totally convincing. A lovely little masterpiece.
My Favourites Of The Year
In pure and simple terms, Hanna is my favourite movie of the year. It is a gripping, heart-pounding adventure movie, a prime example of the best of modern cinema. This movie couldn’t have been made ten years ago, never mind fifty years ago and it is superb. The soundtrack, the design, the acting, the pacing; all of these things contribute to the phenomenal momentum of the movie. Plus, a wee Irish girl stars and is charismatically brilliant in it.
The best movie of the year is Black Swan. It is difficult watching but it is a movie that will last for generations to come. I can’t say it was enjoyable but it was worthwhile. There were horrible scenes but the end-effect was deep empathy for mental illness and a conviction that if I ever have daughters they can do anything but ballet!
But the movie that I was most captured by this year was Tree Of Life. I spent the first twenty minutes sobbing at the grief of the mother, representative of Grace. The roller-coaster continued throughout all the 16 hours of film that followed! I too wish the raptor hadn’t shown mercy to his prey. I too wish that the scenes of star formation could have been cut shorter. I desperately wish that the final scenes on the Distant Shore looked less like a Halifax advertisement. There is so much to quibble with but it would all miss the point because there has rarely been a movie as ambitious in scope or as successful in telling the story of how not just the characters but everyone who has ever lived is raised by the Father Law and the Mother Grace, indeed the whole Cosmos is forged in the dialogue between those two mutual forces.
The anti-Sucker Punch.
Your Correspondent, “The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by”