; movieschocolatebooks: January 2014


Friday, January 31

The Return

Even the strongest feelings, even the deepest bonds die away if left alone for long enough; the return of the prodigal father can only cause ache to the ones left behind and drains all life from their open arms. All great stories of humanity have already been lived and told, yet their magic is brought to life under the skillful hands of a talented creator. Andrey Zvyagintsev is a promising director, whose mysticism and naturalistic approach to the story is reminiscent of the great Andrei Tarkowski. In The Return time stood still and the natural world defeated man once again in their fight for supremacy- woods, rain, lake, wind, arid land conquer the realm of man and their ancestral force slowly reshapes his habitat.

Once again, journeys define us as human beings and challenge our limitations, either turning us into kings of the world or beggars of our long-lost humanity. The Return, contrary to expectations, is rather about the two boys -Vanya (Ivan Dobronravov) and Andrey (Vladimir Garin)- than about their unknown father who comes back after twelve years of absence. His return feels less natural than his leave and is marked by unspoken truths and hidden plans. The father comes from nowhere, has his own hidden agenda and at the request of the mother, takes the two boys on a trip that is used an excuse to tend to his own affairs. Harsh, violent, unaffectionate, stark, the father rapidly turns from unknown figure to detestable adult, defeating the spirit of the boys, reaping their innocence and breaking their hearts. Andrey and Ivan record their trip and mixed feelings on a diary, meant to witness their coming of age, their rite of passage from their mother's protective dominion to their father's abusive realm. Andrey is more lenient, anxious to please the father, desperate to grow under the influence of an male role model ,whereas Ivan is the rebel with a cause; to him, the stranger doesn't qualify for the paternal figure and he resents its dominating attitude. His final outbreak, stealing away his father's knife - a symbol of manhood and dominance- leads to an unexpected turn of events that will shatter his innocent childhood world.

The characters are well-defined, standing luminous in the dark shades of the movie, almost as red as the car -symbol of the crossing over between the world of innocent childhood and the harsh reality. The boys are natural in their roles, rendering a wide range of emotions, from mute excitement to fear and ultimately, shattered innocence. The father has the agile movements of a trained military figure, the inexpressive face of a heartless creature, and the violent gestures of an abused adult; however, his final strike of unselfishness conceals the promise of redemption. Still, life steals aways his final attempt to regain his long lost children and he vanishes as quickly as he emerged. The mother -blond, protective, kind, attractive- is only powerful outside the father kingdom and watches helplessly how her children fall at the mercy of the estranged husband.

In a religious key, the movie is a parable of the supreme sacrifice- that of the Chris figure father who has come to save believers and non-believers. The fish, the sea, the boat that feels like walking on water, on a hidden stone, the father scolding them as Chris did with his disciples, the corpse lying in the boat as if crucified, all these resemble the Biblical story and give a deeper meaning to the story. On the other hand , it could all be an apophenia effect of a desperate mind. The key lies in your own heart and in the wonderful things The Return has in store for each of its viewers. This is a movie that will sadden your heart only to deliver your spirit from the darkest pit; life is generally painted in sepia tones and it is within us to find the guiding light, the strongest shade of red that can colour our inside.

Sunday, January 26

Her by Nico

Fie ca recunosti sau nu, tu, barbat ai nevoie de o ea- HER, sa te faca sa te simti al ei. Asa cum si tu, femeie, ai nevoie sa te simti protejata si iubita de un El...sa va intregiti si sa va daramati pentru a va construi la loc impreuna. Tu, barbat vrei sa te faca vulnerabil ei dar puternic in fata lumii. In filmul regizat si scris de Spike Jonze (acelasi regizor si unul dintre autorii minunatului Where the wild things are) un el trecut prin divort se apara bine de tot ce ar putea sa ii deranjeze viata abia de el stiuta, folosindu-se de tehnologie multa si distractiva, dusa pana la o individualizare si o personalizare atat de eficiente, incat aproape se realizeaza transferul de sentimente om- masina. Aici, se vad cum, cautarile fiecaruia de obtinere a perfectiunii, a partenerului perfect aproape s-au incheiat. Si sa fim seriosi...e greu sa relationezi, sa conversezi si sa te exprimi cu adevarat cu o alta persoana, chiar daca incerci sa rezolvi o divergenta parteneriala sau sa ajuti cuplul din care faci parte sa evolueze sau sa se mentina.

Despre aceste lucruri este HER. HER ESTE O REALITATE, intr-o lume ce ar putea fi a noastra, un viitor nu prea indepartat, cu tehnologie ce satisface aproape toate nevoile....DUREROASA, DAR REALITATE... cu un JOAQUIN PHOENIX dirijor al unei 'orchestre' de el vazute, al unui film alcatuit din oameni orchestra, cu el dirijor...duce tot filmul pe umerii sai. Este ficare barbat la un moment dat in viata sa. este toti- partial si in general. este barbatul secolului XXI cu o ea perfecta. Acest film s-ar mai prezenta si sub motto-ul: 'nu avem wi-fi, vorbiti unul cu celalalt'... 'nu exista relatie perfecta, voi o faceti sa fie perfecta'... 'femeile sunt facute sa fie admirate, rascolitoare, muzicale'... sau 'poti trai singur pana la un punct'.

Singuratatea lui Joaquin dar si a lui Amy Adams, poate fi o rezolvare pentru cei mai raniti dintre 'pamanteni', poate fi un mod de a se apara de eventualele rani. Nu se apara de fapt impotriva cuiva, ci se apara pe sine, se protejeaza...si se protejeaza inchizandu-se in sine, in ''treburi'' care aparent le umplu viata si mintea...pana ajung seara acasa si se aseaza in pat, unde cea de-a doua perna este rece si unde daca te trezesti noaptea brusc si simti nevoia sa comunici cu cineva despre ceea ce aparent te-a speriat si trezit si nu poti, pentru ca nu ai cu cine...si infrunti toate singuratatile de frica sa nu fii iar ranit. Asa face Theodore Twombly jucat de taciturnul, dar profundul domn Joaquin Phoenix. In lumea secolului nostru totul se rezuma la gasirea metodei celei mai eficace de rezolvare a unei probleme. Si cum credeti ca se intampla aceasta rezolvare? Prin eliminare...da! prin eliminare. Nimic nu este forever. Rectific...Nimic nu mai este forever. Daca ceea ce ai nu se incadreza celor dorite de tine, devii caine cu tine si tai in carne vie, te tai pe tine insuti de la frau liber dat mintii de ''a se prosti', de a se indragosti, de a se relaxa in prezenta unei posibile persoane-partener. Te faci calculat si logic, te faci organizat si cerebral si faci acestea, in primul rand cu tine. Nu iti mai acorzi luxul greselilor si incercarilor. Dar chiar daca tu suferi si aparent esti ermetic simtamintelor ce te-ar face vulnerabil in fata unui posibil partener, te deschizi in alte parti- in hobby-uri, in pasiuni aparent nebanuite dar, pentru ceilalti ramai departe.

EA este Scarlett, sexy voice Scarlett. Trebuia o voce pe care sa o recunosti dintr-o mie. Trebuia sa fie o voce PE CARE SA O VISEZI SI SA TE FACA, BARBAT FIIND, SA O CAUTI , cu inflectiunile si caracteristicile persoanei ce o poseda, iar Scarlett a avut curajul sa ramana o diferita. Ea este intruchiparea perfectiunii femeii din mintea barbatului. Cea care accepta tot ceea ce zice el, fara a riposta, doar accepta tacit si nu deranjeaza, in aparenta. Ea este intruchiparea minusurilor si plusurilor barbatului ce il are partener. Pornind de la complexul oedipian, Samatha, jucata (jucata e mult spus... vorbita) de focoasa Scarlett este creeata special pentru un el, in acest caz domnul Phoenix... si de aici, o interesanta poveste de dragoste intre un om aproape ermetic in exprimarea sentimentelor (desi este scriitor al unora dintre cele mai frumoase scrisori drept job) si o OS (operational system)- un sistem operational creea special pentru a raspunde nevoilor unui om. Vedem cum oamenii pot deveni benevol aproape computere iar aceste OS se umanizeaza, cautand sa inteleaga complexitatea trairilor ce ne compun, ce ne individualizeaza, ne fac ceea ce suntem... oameni, mai buni sau mai rai, mai deschisi sau mai inchisi...dar totusi oameni. HER este un film cuminte, este un film care nu te ia pe sus, dar te rascoleste in locuri pe care nu stiai ca le ai, te face sa te intrebi: CE-AR FI DACA...? AS PUTEA OARE...? CAT AS PUTEA SA INDUR?

Saturday, January 25

Henry and June by Anaïs Nin

Once again, a book that reminds me of the unexpectedness of personal journeys meant to liberate the spirit and challenge the heart. Henry and June is the incredible account of a woman's awakening to life, of her mysterious and provocative becoming into her much craved womanhood. Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell was born under a fascinating star- that of Bohemian, artistic influences, thrills of flamenco music, accomplished writing and self-indulging way of looking at life. Upon reading her books, based on her diaries, one feels instantly drawn to her vulnerable, yet overwhelming passion. This is a woman passionate about writing, true to her feelings, emotional and open about her consuming interests. Without necessarily being into female erotica, I still marveled at her easiness and natural manner of exploring erotic writing. The most extraordinary thing about her writing is her strength, her explosion of femininity and her open-mindedness.

Henry and June is the story of the intriguing moment in her life when Anaïs met Henry Miller and his wife, June Mansfield Miller. At the time, Anaïs became fascinated with both of them, taking the shy banker little wife out of her shell and turning her into an accomplished woman, both sexually and intellectually. Anaïs was taken aback by Henry's literary force and helped him with his work, becoming his mistress, once June went away. In the beginning, Anaïs felt more intrigued by June's captivating personality and physical attractiveness; however, the two women did not have an intimate relationship or if they did, Nin kept it for her eyes only. Upon June's departure, the relationship between Anaïs and Henry grew into an addictive obsession, taking them on an exploring path meant to reveal unimagined sensations and discoveries. The more she fell for Henry completely, the more estranged she became from her husband, Hugo. It was interesting though how all the other men revolving around her -Eduardo, Allendy, Hugo- openly or secretly coveted the devilish creature that could fulfill every male fantasy and hidden expectations.

Anaïs is hard to resist. She must have been an intriguing beauty that made your senses boil with anticipation. I, for one, am not attracted to women, yet I felt a sudden, unexplained magnetism towards her exquisite writing, her sharp mind and the sexually charged, self-assumed womanhood. Much to her flaws and humane limitations, Anaïs is one of the most fascinating women I have read about, read into and wished to have met. Some people simply burst with life and passion, incapable of walking through life without pouring their grace upon the fortunate few who penetrate their circle of fire. And this woman and writer surely was one of them great characters. Her talent resides in her writing skills, in the way she manipulates words into penetrating the readers' minds, in her liberated, fluid style and the beauty of her narrative.

Henry and June is an analytical book, dissecting the relationships with her abusive father, her cousin Eduardo, her shrink Allendy, her husband Hugo and her lover, Henry. Her desires are selfish and self-centered, her actions are at times hard to accept, yet we are not to take upon ourselves the difficult task of judging her choices. Polyamorous relationships are still a tabu, a controversial subject in nowadays' modern, open-minded society. Right or wrong, sinful or natural, I believe they do not make the core of this book; it is the intensity of the writing and the idea that love is so challenging in this respect that it takes endless analysis. Yet, for a woman to face and accept her shortcomings and limitations, to be open about her feelings and her desires is a healthy, natural process that should be applauded and appreciated. This is a book for the brave women, for those who are not afraid of meeting challenges as they grow and become themselves the strong creatures they are meant to be. Roaming the cafes in Paris, visiting art galleries, watching prostitutes, writing powerful lines, questioning personal life, marriage, choices, make Henry and June a book that is both spontaneous and delicate, a journey into self-discovery. Henry is "a man who makes life drunk", June "the most beautiful woman on earth" and  Anaïs, I would say, is the devilish candour that should define a woman.

Friday, January 17

La Grande Bellezza/The Great Beauty

Once again, beauty takes the form of Rome, exquisite cinematic vision and a journey that will live you breathless. An unspoken homage to the place that lived as main character in the movies of Rossellini or Fellini, La Grande Bellezza is the latest attire of the Eternal City- a Rome that pulsates with aliveness, in a movie that makes your heart burst. It is one of those movies that display such beauty in themselves -chromatically, in dialogues, in the story- that you feel shrinking into yourself due to their overwhelming power. There are some works of art so breathtaking, so ferocious in their impact on your senses that you at once develop the most acute form of Stendhal syndrome and find yourself numbed from all that beauty. And this is exactly how I felt while and for some time after watching La Grande Bellezza.

Remembrance of past times and forgotten memories is very Proust-like and Rome unravels as an appealing madeleine that takes us down its streets full of history, art and a smell of intriguing yesterdays. Jep Gambardella (Tony Servillo) redefines the joy of dolce far niete, taking it to the next level- a refined lifestyle that we are allowed to grasp through his eyes. Decadence and debauchery beautifully translate into women, drinking, eating, drugs and partying. In-between, Rome keeps its splendour for the chosen ones and denies its grace to the unfortunate tourists, the last of each drops dead for the sinful audacity of turning its back to its music and poise. Rome belongs to itself, not to the inquisitive eyes of the rest of the world and Jep holds the keys to all its lavish secrets. The magnificence of Rome feels like looking through a kaleidoscope of peculiarity in which a skillful puppeteer's hand has shovelled them all: the cardinal, the stripper, the magician, the nun, the dwarf editor, the mute, the bald, the ugly. Immune to all and open to everything, Jep's lethargy comes to an end when, lost among faceless friends and acquaintances, news from its past great love knocks at his door. The husband of his first love -eighteen is the most unfortunate, yet the essential moment to encounter amore- reveals that his dead wife took her eternal love for Jep to her grave and this bitter revelation takes him back, down the memory lane, to a beautiful summer, of beautiful people and beautiful feelings. Little by little, composure is shaken and the shield of numbness that Rome has wrapped around Jep's heart melts away and his memories of the purest feeling lead to turmoil and bitter tears. Mortality becomes visible and soul-searching, necessary.

Tony Servillo has natural charm and aristocratic movements, gliding on and above, in and out his beloved Rome, a spectator of its decandence and past glory. Can a man be defined by the city he inhabits? Can we grow into being extensions of a self-eating, agonizingly beautiful city? Good actors make it feel possible and simply grab you from the ordinary comfort of your existence to stir your senses and challenge your mind. Modern day Rome has lost its lush, reminiscent of past emotions and fears. Jep Gambardella, under the skillful touch of great Tony Servillo, is its voice, asking la grande question: where can beauty be found? Is it in the glorious past, in the opulent present or in the unexpected future? Beauty is to be found not in the plastic surgery interventions or the incredible dresses, yet beauty is within. We are merely the translucent mirror that reflects it upon the world around us. Beauty is brought to life by love and together they give meaning to life. Obviously, they glitter in a unique manner in the Eternal City, in a movie that no loving mortal should miss- La Grande Bellezza.

Tuesday, January 14

The Wolf of Wall Street by Cheltuitus Banus

Nu voi fi un spoiler, nu voi povesti filmul. Este mult prea frumos, pentru a-l povesti. Acest film se simte. Si nu vorbim despre a simti ceva psihologic, psihanalitic, analizabil si disecabil din puncte de vedere freudiene sau altcumva-ene cu vreo unda de subintelesuri sau vreo personalitate neinteleasa ce ar putea rascoli straturile si circumvolutiunile creierului nostru. Acest film se simte razand si ranjind cel putin doua ore din cele trei aferente lui, chiuind, tipand, plangand, mirandu-ne si lasandu-ne uimiti si purtati de jocul actoricesc absolut fenomenal al lui Leonardo DiCaprio and his wolf pack, haita lui de nebuni frumosi, ciudati si dezlantuiti, haita lui de magnifici speculanti dezaxati ce se desfasoara incredibil de armonios sub bagheta marelui Scorsese.

Subiectul este pur american, este visul american indeplinit... cu suisurile si coborasurile ce fac viata frumoasa...nu de alta, dar daca ar fi totul roz, nu am mai sti sa ne bucuram de tonalitatile acelui roz, tot asa si cu negru...am fi intunecati si deprimati, nu am reusi sa ne bucuram de culorile si emotiile ce ne compun....ups and downs, here and there, in and out...this is life... Leonardo este Jordan Belfort, un cocktail reusit de Robert Redford si JACK Nicholson, este alfa si omega in filmul acesta si el face filmul sa fie ceea ce este- un drum de trei ore cu caruselul ranjetelor si neuronilor nostri...si inca ce drum!! Este pur si simplu efervescent, este the actor, s-a nascut sa fie actor, respira actorie, o manaca pe paine (sincer? eu nu prea il aveam la favoriti cand Titanicul l-a facut superstar, mie imi placea baietelul de nestapanit din This Boy's Life. Aici face un rol ce ii solicita optimismul pana la un punct in care pare aproape bolnavicios,chiar inconstient de optimist, ii solicita resursele de spokesperson si este lupul alfa in gasca a sa de ''adunati'' si formati dupa chipul si asemanarea sa, formator de opinie si model de vis american realizat cu brio. El face in film, prin rolul sau ceea ce majoritatea doar viseaza... Nu voi spune nimic din rolul si actiunile sale in film.

Inainte de a deveni alfa, Leonardo il are model, la inceput de drum in realizarea visului sau, pe Matthew McConaughey, alias Mark Hanna, detinatorul unei firme de brokeraj, de pe Wall Street care pur si simplu farmeca si vrajeste in aproximativ 15 minute cate ii sunt alocate rolului sau, prin dezinvoltura, excentricitate, sexualitate exprimata pe sleau si vocabular...De mult nu am mai vazut un film atat de liber si libertin, din toate punctele de vedere. Domnul Hanna este un fel de vrajitor al banilor altora, este manipulatorul suprem al parghiilor financiare ce ridica si coboara visele oamenilor de rand...Asta pana la un punct, altfel filmul ar fi fost despre el si nu despre volubilul si fermecatorul nebun al tablei de sah al filmului nostru...Desi cam fura din atractia ''nebuniei viitorului lup'', ramai cu gandul la el...tot filmul, este punctul de reper al tanarului ambitios reprezentat de Leonardo Dicaprio. Matthew aproape fura filmul cu atitudinea si cantecul lui manly man. Pana la urma atitudinea este tot ce conteaza... Secundul lui Jordan in acest film, este un newcomer original si jaw dropping personality and actor, Jonah Hill in rolul lui Donnie Azoff. El mi-a ramas pe retina din filmul Superbad (daca nu l-ati vazut, merita timpul dumneavoastra). Omul acesta imi place pentru ca este original, este diferit, nu tine cont de trenduri, are o amprenta ce nu o uiti curand. Este tipul caruia in viata de zi cu zi nu i-ai acorda mari sanse, la prima vedere...(deh! sa nu ma luati acum ca as fi superficiala, probabil sunt) dar aparentele inseala si aceasta se intampla din plin cazul lui. Este tipul ce a luptat sa fie remarcat, pentru ca nu e barbatul langa care majoritatea feminina se vede si este destept in vorbe, te face addicted de prezenta lui. Este flashy, mult si dezinhibat. Face un rol de sustinator si mana dreapta a lui Jordan The Genius. Este umbra sa, ecoul si reflectia gandurilor si actiunilor ''lupului alfa''. Scorsese este the old school, dar este atat de atragator si ''colorat'' in expunere si idei, incat clasicismul sau este dezarmant de catchy. Nu este cel mai bun film al sau, dar este unul dintre cele mai amuzante si mai colorate. Este unul dintre cele mai galagioase si plin de excese...dar ce combinatie reusita! Acest film trebuie vazut, nu povestit, iar faptul ca este facut dupa povestea lui the real Jordan Belfort himself, este un plus... parerea mea.

Sunday, January 12

Close Circuit by Cheltuitus Banus

Close Circuit sau un film despre ce ar fi putut fi great, dar s-a ratat la limita. Un film cu un Eric Banna wonderful as a man and as an actor, Eric Banna at his finest. O Rebecca Hall minunata ca o balerina si un casting ales ''ca uns''. Subiect antrenant si bine sustinut de actori, dialoguri si imagini captivante. Avocati intr-un proces istoric, un inceput de istorie ce se curma in timpul avantului...un film despre '' what might have been'', ''could have been'' ''ar fi putut sa fie, dar...''. Eric Banna, rolul lui Martin Rose avocatul apararii, este impreuna cu Rebecca Hall, avocatul special al apararii, Claudia Simmons-Howe, in pozitia ingrata de a apara un terorist al unor atacuri cu bomba soldate cu 120 de morti. De aici pornind intriga filmului, te astepti sa fie analizata problema in fel si chip, sa se lase cu ''taieri si sfartecari''...dar tu poti astepta in continuare...poti sa iti faci chiar si scenarii proprii, nu cred ca se supara nimeni.... ideea filmului este minunata, atragatoare si plina de resurse...dar ramane la stadiu de idee neprelucrata la maximul posibilitatilor intrinseci.

Eric Banna joaca ceea ce stie cel mai bine sa joace, actiune, adrenalina, roluri de barbat in maximum potentialui sau....Sincer? Nu il vad in roluri ce presupun o prea mare bataie de cap din punct de vedere psihologic. Este omul actiunii rapide, omul lui aici si acum. Dar scena ce m-a frapat cel mai mult este cea in care parca face reclama vreunui trabuc cubanez...Ce pot sa spun? Pare ca stie sa fumeze trabuc si stie sa se uite fix in ochii femeilor, cuvintele putine si mersul apasat fac parte din rol...dar aceasta este parerea mea. Rebecca Hall pluteste prin film si este fragila dar si puternica. Detine o feminitate ce lucreaza in favoarea ei. Nu are nevoie de putere fizica pentru a se impune...are privirea, are mimica si o motricitatea corporala ce lucreaza cu ea. Este o este englezoaica manusa pentru un viitor frumos.

In actiunea si intriga lor, cei doi avocati sunt secundati de niste fenomenali Jim Broadbent drept procurorul general, Ciarán Hinds drept devlin, Julia Stiles drept jurnalista atotstiutoare Joanna Reece si altii...mie acestia mi-au ramas pe retina. Filmul atrage, este catchy si bine realizat, relaxeaza si intriga privitorul. Rolul lui este de a arata si alte fete ale justitiei, de a arata si ''rezolvari'' mai neortodoxe ale unor cazuri si ne reaminteste, daca mai era nevoie, cat suntem de mici in lumea unora, a celor putini si puternici, in lumea celor ce noi, cei de rand suntem un numar statistic, cei multi si consumatori de ceea ce ne dau ei voie sa vedem, cand vor ei si cum vor ei...ei sunt ''the master puppeteer'' iar noi marionetele lor. Ne arata cum galagiosii sunt cei ascultati, chiar daca ceea ce au de zis sunt falsuri si induceri in eroare...uneori in oroare. Sunt ascultati pentru ca tipa mai tare si pentru ca sunt in pozitii inalte. Nu te astepti sa fie atat de...nesimtiti si de manipulatori, de falsi in ochii celor ce ii pun acolo, de fapt.

Saturday, January 11

My movies of 2014

Cu intarziere, dar cu mult entuziasm, preiau de la Anzhela si de la piratulcinefil o leapsa cinefila a filmelor din 2014 care mi-au facut deja cu ochiul si pe care le anticipez cu nerabdare.  

Big Eyes al lui Tim Burton care promite sa ne dezvalui o fateta noua a acestui regizor. Un film inspirat din experinetele personale ale regizorului.  

Far From the Madding Crowd in regia lui Thomas Vinterberg, unul dintre preferatii mei, intr-o adapatere a romanului lui Thomas Hardy si cu o distributie interesanta -Carrey Mulligan si cei trei pretendenti ai ei:Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge si Matthias Schoenaerts. 

The Immigrant care a starnit multa valva la festivaluri, in regia lui James Gray, o poveste din The Roaring Twenties cu Marion Cotillard si Joaquin Phoenix. Fallen women make the most intriguing stories! 

Magic in the Moonlight, caci mie imi place Woody Allen si sper ca si acest proiect sa fie la fel de introspectiv ca si Blue Jasmine. Actiunea se desfasoara in Franta si distributia e pe masura: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Marcia Gay Harden, Jacki Weaver. 

Nymphomaniac pentru ca mi-a starnit curiozitatea si pentru ca Lars asta te cam forteaza sa-ti testezi limitele vizuale si sensibilitatea. Muza lui, Charlotte Gainsbourg, ma convinge mereu asa ca merg pe mana lui.  

The Unspeakable Act - pentru povestea sa controversata si pentru  interpretarea mult-laudatei Tallie Medel, o tanara actrita, prinsa intre realitate si lumea idilica a copilariei.

Her al lui Spike Jonze pentru ca a primit laude pentru regie si pentru interpretarea lui Joaqim Phoenix.  

Inside Llewyn Davis pentru ca sunt cei doi frati patati -Joel & Ethan Coen, care de la Fargo incoace exploreaza in mod magistral valentele chipului uman.  

The Wolf of Wall Street pentru ca un regizor care se respecta are un actor fetis; Leonardo Dicaprio face casa buna cu Martin Scorsese.  

Nebraska by Alexander Payne pentru ca sansele nu tin cont de varsta ci de talentul raw- adica Bruce Dern. 

Unele poate le-ati vazut deja, altele poate v-au surprins. Anul asta merg indie in mare parte pentru ca proiectele independente sunt pentru serile petrecute acasa iar blockbusterurile pentru cinema. Sic! Leapsa merge si ea mai departe, cu drag, la poisonwhiskey si filmsinopsis.

Friday, January 3

The Butler

Instead of brutally forcing his audience to witness abuse as in Precious, Lee Daniels speaks of one of America's most violent times in a very non-violent manner in The Butler. This is a very polished picture, shining as the cutlery or the shoes Cecil Gaines is silently and diligently looking after, in his perfect white gloves. From the cotton fields where he grew up to the refined halls of the White House, Cecil Gaines acts as a damn fine house nigger, able to behave, serve and make conversation with style and in the most comfortable manner possible. Cecil is the man for the job in terms of submission, acceptance, servility, the perfect butler in a racial America that breathes violence and speaks of the almighty power of the white man.

Similar to the character Forest Whitaker is skillfully playing, The Butler is a quiet movie that has not once intended to raise any issue or bring any offence; it is upsettingly nice and well-behaved and although the story is presented from Cecil Gaines' point of view, it still lacks the boldness and the sparkle of an unforgettable movie. That is not to say that there are no moving scenes or passionate moments, especially those focusing on Gloria (Oprah Winfrey), the wife, whose occasional carelessness feels more appealing to the viewers than her domestic attributes. Gloria is a former housemaid turned into a respectable housewife whose passions swing between liquor and amateur seamstressing, her womanizer of a neighbour, Howard (Terence Howard) and her working, yet absent husband, Cecil. Eventually, Gloria grows out of her addiction to be a good mother and a loyal wife, the president of a house where Cecil feels as invisible as he is at his workplace. Yet, her performance is powerful and charismatic, a character that brings force and commitment to the picture.

Serving seven white US President is no easy job, requiring a lack of presence that feels alive and opportune, a perfect face, a fleeting smile, a deaf year and an unopinionated presence. Cecil has learned the hard way to keep his mouth shut -his mother gets raped and his father gets shot for standing up to the white devil- so he slips into invisible clothes whenever around the white man, an attire that becomes his second skin and keeps him away from his wife and two sons. As a father, he brings home the bacon, yet fails to nurture a good relationship with his older son with whom he becomes estranged for most of his life. The younger son is the Uncle Sam figure that sadly perishes in the Vietnam War, whereas the elder son, Louis (David Oyelowo), is the rebel who walks with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, taking defiance from jailhouse to home and back to the streets.

Less language-abusive and less demanding than last year's Django Unchained, The Butler's reminiscent of Forest Gump's travel through history with a different perspective, less humorous and less dramatic than The Colour Purple. Nevertheless, the movie holds a place of its own, with an incredible cast -Eisenhower (Robin Williams), another fellow butler played by Lenny Kravitz, Kennedy (James Marsden), Johnson (Liev Schriber), Nixon (John Cusack) and Reagan (Alan Rickman) and his pretty wife, Nancy (Jane Fonda)- and some great performances. Rhythm may be slow, Hollywood conventions may be abundant, yet the alternating shots of the butler's impeccable work at the White House and his son's radical and revolutionary actions are exceptional. A proclamation of Black history, the movie is also about family tensions and the over-dramatizing of the poetry of life, things that may be to some people's liking or bear too much resemblance to Hollywood mainstream cinema, for others. In a word, a movie that is more about the outstanding performances and less about the sparkling story.