Posts Tagged ‘Kate Winslet’

Heavenly Creatures – Minute Movie Review

Mittwoch, Mai 12th, 2010


In 1954, a brutal murder shocked New Zealand. Two teenage girls killed the mother of one of them, in the hope of removing one of the obstacles keeping them apart. The film adaptation follows the diary of the daughter and tells the story of their friendship and love, that soon turns to obsession. Darkly poetic, the film manages to have the viewer root for the girls before the shocking ending to their story exposes the folly of their way. It’s a powerful story, masterfully told, that lives through the performance by the two leads, then-newcomers Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet. Ultimately, it’s a little too rambling with too many loose ends in the narrative to be perfect, but it’s still a very good film.

Random Observations:

Heavenly Creatures at the IMDb

You may have heard of director Peter Jackson. He went on to adapt a quite popular trilogy of fantasy books, creating the most successful films ever made in New Zealand.

There are certain parallels to Jackson’s latest film, The Lovely Bones, in that both blend fantasy and reality through the use of great special effects.  In this case, however, the effects actually advance the story and do not detract from it.

Much of the film has an almost dream-like tone, which makes the realistic ending all the more powerful.

It has been extensively debated whether the two girls were “just” friends or actually lovers. A moot point in my opinion, as the obsession with each other that lead to the tragic ending, can support both ideas. The parents’ fear that their children may be lesbians, however, should not be discarded and is adequately shown in the film.

Avatar – Minute Movie Review

Donnerstag, Januar 21st, 2010


How do you judge a movie like Avatar? The answer to that question says probably more about you than about the film. After finally having seen it, there is no doubt in my mind that anyone will (seriously) debate that it is a technological breakthrough. The CGI, the motion capture, the 3D – it’s all very impressive. In the right theatre (i.e. a big screen with digital 3D technology), the film is a joy to watch. But is that really what a film should be judged for? What about story, originality, acting or just a unique world filled with awesome ideas? If those things matter, then Avatar is a horrible film. The story is about as new as a love story between two members of feuding families. The acting in this film would embarrass amateurs. The film is filled with many pretty pictures, but none of them is new, there is nothing that hasn’t been seen before. And that is why I hate myself for actually enjoying the film. Because I care about story and about ideas – and the film had none of that. But it was just so gorram pretty, so much fun to look at. So in a way, this film is a spectacular success. Just don’t ask me to join in with the idiots who call it a great film. Visually, it’s breathtaking, but film is a storytelling medium and there the film, as per usual with Cameron, fails.

Random Observations:

Avatar at the IMDb

James Cameron is a great technical director. He would be great as the SFX director on almost every film. But he is horrible at directing people. Just look at Titanic – there he managed to extract horrible performances from two of the greatest thespians working today – Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. Here, he works with far less talented people – and the results are disastrous to behold.

The film may be unique in the history of cinema in that it manages to include every single cliché possible. In fact, the whole film is one big cliché.

I just realized that I haven’t mentioned anything about the plot of the film in my “review”. But seriously, people, you aren’t going to watch it for the plot. Nevertheless, here a one word summary: Pocahontas.

I know, my slights about the film are about as original as the film itself. I’m influenced by my betters, what can I say.

Little Children – Minute Movie Review

Dienstag, September 1st, 2009


Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta – and never betraying it’s origins (largely superfluous voice-over narration!) – the film shows the intersecting lives of a mother and father who are unhappily married and engage in an affair, an out of work cop and a registered sex offender. The film is well-made and well-acted (even though the Oscar nomination for Kate Winslet was, as usual, undeserved) and in some scenes a brilliant study of suburban life, marriage and what it means to grow up and accept responsibility. At other times, though, it is completely ridiculously over the top and so far removed from reality that it is impossible to suspend disbelief and stay in the moment. Luckily, those instances are few and far between, making for an overall good film.

Random Observations:

Little Children at the IMDb

One of very few films where it is really hard to find a character to sympathize with. All of the leads are far from good people – which makes them embarrassingly easy to relate to.

Jackie Earle Haley and Patrick Wilson easily steal the movie from the better known Winslet and Jennifer Connelly. Two excellent performances.

There are also some storylines that never get resolved, especially the one concerning Winslet’s husband.

The Oscars are today! Did you know?

Sonntag, Februar 22nd, 2009

Later tonight, the prestigious Academy Awards will be handed out at the 81st Oscar ceremony. After the dismal television ratings last year, the Academy promised to revamp the show this year, make it more interesting for “common” people. So they got rid of a comedia hosting, who would only crack inside jokes that nobody not obsessed with Hollywood would get. So they promised to reduce the running time from three and a half hours to under three hours. So they got rid of the ban for commercials for upcoming movies. And then they completely forgot to nominate the most popular movie of the year.

Ever since The Dark Knight was wrongfully overlooked by Academy members, the predictions have been that nobody would care about the Oscars anymore. And to some extent, that is true. Advertising rates in the US are significantly lower than last year and for every Oscar buffy predicting a better show you can find three predicting that nobody will see that show.

For my part, I have kept mostly quiet about the award season, which comes to a close today, this year. Not because I didn’t care, but because there are so many people writing about it on the internet that I didn’t feel a need to write more of the same. So this is just a quick note to offer some of my predictions for tonight – that the Oscars are all about politics and not about quality should be universally known already. How else would The Reader have gotten in?

I would also like to offer my thoughts on who *should* win, but I can’t. There is only one category where I have seen all nominees and I would consider it unfair, just for example, to Mickey Rourke if I said that Frank Langella should win Best Actor. So now, without any further ado, some predictions:

Slumdog Millionaire is going to sweep the awards. Best Picture, Best Director (Danny Boyle) and Best Adapted Screenplay(Simon Beaufoy) are sure to win – Cinematography, Score and Original Song also seem likely. Maybe they all deserve it, but I would bet my life that the movie wouldn’t have stood a chance of even being nominated without the current economic climate.

Mickey Rourke will win Best Actor for The Wrestler. The only other nominee given serious chances is Sean Penn for Milk, which didn’t impress me and hence will also not impress Academy voters. And besides, the comeback of the year wouldn’t be complete without this win. Golden Globes and Independent Spirit Awards be damned.

Kate Winslet will win Best Actress. And sadly, not for Revolutionary Road, but for “The Reader”. And even though I have seen neither film and thus can’t really judge the performances, I strongly feel that this is wrong on too many levels. But hey, at least Winslet finally gets an Oscar.

Heath Ledger will win Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight. I think if you were to bet on this, you would not make any money – everybody expects this. Heath Ledger was great in the film and the nomination is certainly deserved, but one cannot help to feel that it is also an award for all the movies he will never make.

Penelope Cruz will win Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Nothing to say here, except that this is apparently the consensus.

Man on Wire will win Best Documentary. It’s the only one I and the rest of the world have seen and this is one category, where Academy members have to see all five nominees to vote, so a surprise is not unlikely, but which film would win instead nobody can say.

WALL-E will win Best Animated Feature. For sure. They even tried to get it nominated as Best Picture. Almost as certain as Heath Ledger’s win.

Waltz with Bashir will win Best Foreign Language Film. Certainly better than The Class and The Baader Meinhof Complex. Better than the Italian entry Gomorra and not nearly as good as the Swedish film that wasn’t eligible, Let the Right One In.

I have no idea who will win in the technical and shorts categories. I’m not that obsessed…