Three Billboards (2017)

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Three Billboards Movie Review

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a 2017 crime drama black-comedy film directed by Martin McDonagh and starring Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. It’s fantastic.

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Well, who the hell else would it be?

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Three Billboards Movie Review

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I expected great things from this film judging by the premise and those terrific trailers and for once I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, the film exceeded my expectations and is in my opinion the best film of the year! It is that great and that important so let’s talk about it in length.

The plot is fantastic. This screenplay is very original and very well thought out with no flaws to the story whatsoever. The film is famous for having a lot of twists and turns and although none caught me by surprise too much as I know my movies, they were still phenomenally executed and made the film very exciting and entertaining. I rarely like crime films, but this one is so amazing that I ended up loving it. It is also a strong, moving drama and a terrific black comedy.

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Three Billboards Movie Review

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The character development is superb across the board as is the acting. Mildred is such a great character and one example why this film is so brilliant – I rooted for her at first and actually got her as I think I would react the same, but as the film went by, I started to question her actions and thought that she was going too far. That goes for the whole movie – you never know whether or not the actions are justified and that grey area presented here is like real life so the film is as real as they come.

Red Welby serves his purpose and Willoughby of course is the most likable person here and I really liked his character. Robbie is also quite realistic and likable. And of course Dixon is phenomenal as this racist, redneck, abusive policeman and one of the film’s highlights. Many accused the film for being racist when it comes to his character as he did not get his proper due, but that is a stupid argument and the film is just very realistic. It portrayed policemen as they are and most get away with their hatred. But I really liked his character growth or the beginning thereof.

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Three Billboards Movie Review

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Three Billboards is undoubtedly the best acted film of the entire year. There is just no question about it. It’s the ‘Fences’ of 2017. Everyone did a terrific job with Woody Harrelson stealing the show when it comes to supporting roles. He got a couple of moving moments and he sold them so well with a powerful, nuanced and believable performance.

But its two leads are the big reason why the film is amazing in the first place. Frances McDormand is simply superb. Always believable and nuanced and consistently enthralling, her character is fascinating because she acted the hell out of her. Whether scary and dangerous or heartbroken and confused, she sold all of it and gave what is arguably the best female performance of the year.

Sam Rockwell is just as strong and I did not expect that at all. At first I thought he was miscast and he definitely was miscast as he rarely plays this type of pig character, but his performance is so real and powerful that I ended up believing him in the end. And that is a testament of a great performance. He particularly sold those emotional scenes as well as the humorous one-liners.

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Three Billboards Movie Review

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Three Billboards is brilliantly edited and paced with never a single rushed or prolonged moment. The film is honestly incredibly engaging to watch and for me it just flew by. That’s how involved and invested in this story I was. And I have to congratulate Martin McDonagh who shamefully did not get his Oscar nomination. His direction is amazing. He not only directed all these phenomenal actors to give spectacular performances, but he also directed the whole movie to flow really well and to send its open questions and confusion to the audience successfully.

Speaking of the Oscars, the film received seven nominations but it honestly deserved more. The acting nods are all very much deserved as are the screenplay, editing and picture nods. Just the director nod is lacking unfortunately. As for its score nomination, it is earned of course but I have mixed feelings about the score. On the one hand, it doesn’t quite fit this film and the genre, but on the other hand, it is undeniably memorable and wonderfully old-fashioned in its feel. I also really liked the songs they used in the film.

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Three Billboards Movie Review

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One of the scene highlights is the ending which is one of the best film scenes of the entire year: it is moving, ambiguous and also very funny and emotionally rewarding. It’s a perfect conclusion to a great film. But I also loved the letters scenes as well as the hospital scene which is very emotional and simply beautiful.

Three Billboards is a very funny film which most people have also pointed out. It is mostly a crime drama, but sometimes the humor is pretty evident and the film uses its humorous tone to counteract the more serious scenes so well. It is tonally a very diverse film and thus is like real life – it can be tragic, sad, heartwarming, brutal, hilarious and serious. Its black comedy worked for me stupendously as it made me laugh more than a couple of times with the highlight being that Dixon’s line in the final scene. It’s a very smart, observational humor which I love.

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Three Billboards Movie Review

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The dialogue is stupendous as well. It is very much grounded in reality as is the whole film and it’s believable and sophisticated. The film is not only moving, but also thematically rich and it doesn’t give easy answers to its difficult questions. Life is messy and unforgiving and so is this film which has its many twists and crazy turns which to some may be off-putting but to me felt fresh and they gave edge to the film. I can see how some may dislike the film as it isn’t for everyone but for me it’s the year’s finest achievement.

Dark and violent yet also heartbreaking and sweet, dramatic and serious yet also very funny at times, Three Billboards is such a tonally diverse film which fires on all cylinders and succeeds both as a terrific crime drama as well as an effective black comedy. It is undoubtedly the best acted film of the year with the performances from Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell being the powerhouse standouts. It has a number of memorable scenes, it deals with complicated issues in a sophisticated manner and it’s superbly directed by Martin McDonagh while also being very well scored and brilliantly paced. Consequently, Three Billboards is the very best film of 2017.

My Rating – 5

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Wonder (2017)

Wonder Movie Review

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Wonder Movie Review

Wonder is a 2017 drama film directed by Stephen Chbosky and starring Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts. It is a very good, but overly sentimental film.

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Auggie can’t change how he looks.

Maybe we should change how we see

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Wonder Movie Review

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It follows a child who has Treacher Collins Syndrome and is trying to fit in school. In my opinion, this film is at first great and then it becomes very standard. The first half is fantastic and the second one is so typical. So let’s first talk about the first half.

I absolutely loved the first half of this film and for many reasons. One is that it was subtle and not too sentimental while always being very realistic and filled with a great attention to detail in its character interactions and their problems. But I particularly loved the choice to give us different points of view and the film goes from Auggie to his sister and best friend’s point of view as well. I loved that as it made the film very unique and different.

However, the second half ruined all that owing to its sudden shift into predictable, typical melodrama and sentimental drivel even. The death of a dog was too melodramatic and it did not need to happen as we already had a lot of drama in the family. But the biggest problem is that ridiculous ending which is overly inspirational, so clichéd and the entire film suffered from it which is unfortunate.

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Wonder Movie Review

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Some people with the same condition criticized it for being inspiration porn and I entirely agree with that. Basically the kid is being rewarded for just being himself and being different when he didn’t do anything worthy of an award. If they gave the award to his two friends, it would have been a different story, but in this manner the film became unfortunately clichéd and annoying.

Auggie is likable and well developed with Jacob Tremblay once again giving an excellent performance. Of course his performance in ‘Room’ is so much better, but here he is very good too and further proof that he is a major talent to be watched. I liked seeing Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson for a change as I haven’t seen them in a long time and they are great parents with Roberts in particular giving a strong performance.

The bullying angle is well explored although somewhat mild. Via is very well realized and I appreciated the film for giving us an insight into her problems. She is a neglected child for obvious reasons as they shifted almost their whole focus to Auggie and she suffered because of that. Very interesting and truthful. I also really liked her friend’s story. And Jack Will is such a wonderful soul and a great friend. The Minecraft scene is so fantastic, moving and utilizing on modern technology superbly that it’s one of 2017’s finest movie scenes.

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Wonder Movie Review

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Wonder is well directed, well paced and well structured. As I said, I loved its approach with different points of view and character spotlights. The acting is strong, the film is well shot and of course the make-up is terrific and deservedly Oscar-nominated. In the end, I liked Wonder quite a bit, but I do wish that it was subtler in execution and more sophisticated. It was too commercialized as evidenced by its incredibly large box office results.

Wonder features an outstanding first half and an unfortunate second one. The first half is so well acted, directed and structured with an original approach with more points of view and character spotlights. It features subtle filmmaking and heartwarming moments. However, the second half is the opposite – it becomes very unsubtle, too melodramatic and overly inspirational and sentimental in its ending. It’s a good film, but it could have been much better had it been less commercialized.

My Rating – 4

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The Florida Project (2017)

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The Florida Project Movie Review

The Florida Project is a 2017 indie drama film directed by Sean Baker and starring Brooklynn Prince. It is a very strong, deeply affecting movie.

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I can always tell when adults are about to cry

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The Florida Project Movie Review

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The film follows a 6-year-old girl named Moonee who is living in a motel with her problematic mother near Walt Disney World as they are trying to make ends meet. Finally America made a film about poverty as they quite rarely do that subject matter. The movie showcases so well the hypocrisy of modern America – as rich people with their rich children enjoy their time in Walt Disney World, struggling Latinos, single mothers etc. live in a motel nearby in great poverty.

The Florida Project is not in my top ten movies for 2017. It is close, but not in the top ten for one reason alone and that is its overly detailed approach. Sean Baker did not need to show us everything the kids and their parents do and certainly the middle parts can be a bit boring. The film did not need to have a two-hour runtime as an hour and a half was just enough. That was a big mistake and thus the pacing suffered a bit.

But the movie is still so good that it renders those flaws unimportant. Some scenes in the beginning reminded me of my childhood and I connected with these kids on a personal level. It shows us how poor kids can be just as happy as the rich ones and even happier as without electronics they are bound to go outside, play and explore their surroundings. The film portrayed rebellious, bratty children so well and all of the bad things they did rang true for me as I knew kids like that when I was younger.

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The Florida Project Movie Review

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The characters are very grounded in reality and well developed. Halley is definitely problematic with drugs and her prostitution, but she obviously cares for her child as evidenced by the lovely playtimes that they share. That’s why that ending was so impactful.

Speaking of the ending, of course it stole the show. Moonee arrives to say goodbye to her friend and cries and cries but she takes her hand and the two run and run fast, they come to Walt Disney World and enter for the first time. This kind of ending is perfect. It is deeply emotional and heartbreaking, but also fantastical and unrealistic in a way making it a very cinematic conclusion which I loved.

But back to the characters now. Ashley is memorable and Bobby is very well developed, but I found Willem Dafoe’s performance very overrated. He’s good, but not Oscar-worthy. Moonee is of course terrific and Brooklynn Prince gave one of the year’s finest female performances and she should have been Oscar nominated for this great role. Stacey and Scooty are great and the film is at its best when it shows us the kids playing and sharing ice cream with each other. Those scenes are beyond heartwarming. The film surely does understand children.

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The Florida Project Movie Review

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The Florida Project is weakly paced and edited, but definitely well scored and also very well shot. I found the dialogue believable as well as the characters. The story is in the end too detailed, but highly memorable and very emotionally rewarding. It is such a touching film.

The Florida Project is overly detailed in its characters’ activities and its two-hour runtime was excessive and thus some of the middle parts were a bit boring. However, the film manages to transcend those flaws thanks in large part to its evident understanding of children and their behavior with most of their scenes being heartwarming. The central performance from Brooklynn Prince is outstanding and that ending is so heartbreaking and ultimately wonderfully fantastical and cinematic that it’s one of the best and most unforgettable movie scenes of 2017.

My Rating – 4.5

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God’s Own Country (2017)

God's Own Country Movie Review

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God’s Own Country Movie Review

God’s Own Country is a 2017 British drama film directed by Francis Lee and starring Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu. It is a very strong, effective film.

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I want us to be together

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God's Own Country Movie Review

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It follows a young sheep farmer in Yorkshire who is lonely and thus drinks a lot and has casual meaningless sex. But when a Romanian migrant worker arrives, the two start a relationship and he has to change in order to stay with him. Now apparently this story is familiar and I’ve seen similar films before which is why this one never felt original in most ways.

But it was still effective emotionally speaking because it is so well acted and nuanced in its execution. I definitely craved for more dialogue because I am a dialogue-driven person, but still the calmer, mostly wordless approach worked as the film is meticulous in detail, subtle in its facial expressions and very sophisticated that you do understand everything that is going on between these two without them speaking too much.

Marin and Deidre serve their purpose and are very good, but this is the movie that mostly centers just on its two protagonists. I found both Johnny and Gheorghe to be somewhat typical characters and not all that unique, but their relationship is so well developed, so realistic and even deep that they ended up being very interesting to watch.

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God's Own Country Movie Review

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Alec Secareanu is definitely terrific in his role and very nuanced, but I found Josh O’Connor to be the better of the two and basically the focus of the film is mostly on him. He gave a powerful, very underrated performance that is grounded and complex.

God’s Own Country is a country film and thus it has its gruesome scenes. It’s a very interesting film that manages to be both disgusting and beautiful at the same time. The best example of that is when Gheorghe skins the dead lamb and puts the wool on another live lamb to make it warm. The scene is at first overly disgusting and just horrible to watch but then it quickly becomes sweet and simply beautiful. Very weird and I guess it worked as life can be both wonderful and cruel.

But still those animal birth, skinning etc. scenes were too much for me and they did not need to be that detailed. The same goes for the sex scenes. They are mostly too raw, coarse and unromantic but I guess that was the point – to show us how rednecks have sex. That made the film very realistic. That’s how I would describe it best – a realistic, but sometimes too detailed film.

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God's Own Country Movie Review

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The film definitely showcases what’s it like being a gay person in a small village and it did that in a very subtle manner which I appreciated. The highlights are the romantic moments between the two and the final conversation which is moving. The script is sophisticated and the pacing is very good. The direction from Francis Lee is absolutely superb and for a debut he did a remarkable job and is probably the most promising new director of 2017.

God’s Own Country is too crude and raw at times with some of the animal scenes being too disgusting, but that definitely made the film very realistic. I like more dialogue in a film, but still this calmer, mostly wordless approach worked very well here as the performances from both actors are terrific and their interactions are nuanced and thus you understand everything that is going on without them speaking too much. The film is very well scripted but so superbly directed by Francis Lee in one terrific directorial debut.

My Rating – 4

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Billy Elliot (2000)

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Billy Elliot Movie Review

Billy Elliot is a 2000 British drama film directed by Stephen Daldry and starring Jamie Bell, Gary Lewis and Julie Walters. It is a wonderful film.

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What does it feel like when you’re dancing?

Don’t know. Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going…

then I like, forget everything. And… sorta disappear. Sorta disappear.

Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I’ve got this fire in my body. I’m just there.

Flyin’ like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity

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Billy Elliot Movie Review

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It is about a titular boy who starts to attend ballet classes much to the disapproval of his family. Eventually his father accepts that and even makes sure that he gets to go to the ballet school. I definitely do think that the film is somewhat familiar in its storyline and certainly overly happy in its ending, but still it is such an investing, wonderful tale populated with lovely characters that I just couldn’t resist and I loved its inspirational angle nonetheless.

Billy is such a great central character who is a realistic and well developed, very likable boy. Jamie Bell gave such a stupendous performance here. Gary Lewis is also very good as his father and although Jackie changes too fast, I still loved the relationship between the two as it was wonderful to witness and in my opinion a great lesson to learn for all fathers out there.

His brother is not as important in the story, but still all his scenes are quite memorable. Michael is an interesting character as we learn in the end that he is gay but the friendship between the two still remained so strong which was again inspirational. Julie Walters is the highlight in my opinion as she gave such a wonderful performance in the role of Sandra Wilkinson. I loved her and it’s a shame that she did not get a better ending and closure.

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Billy Elliot Movie Review

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Billy Elliot features a bunch of memorable sequences with one of the highlights being that ending which takes place years later as we see father, brother and Michael all come to see Billy’s performance. It was a perfect ending in my opinion. So powerful and emotional. I also found the departure scenes very heartbreaking and I was even on the verge of crying during those moments which is truly rare for me. And every scene between Billy and Jackie is wonderful as are his scenes with Sandra and Michael.

The movie truly is moving and I was definitely touched and I even felt inspired, but not in a cheap way which I respected a lot. The film never felt cheap in any way and although it is on the surface very familiar and simple, the beauty of it is that it’s simple but still powerful and perfectly executed in most of its aspects. Some scenes I wanted to be a bit different, but most are excellent and very sophisticated with the dance scenes being energetic and passionate.

I got why dancing was so important to him and I got why ballet is great and beautiful to many people. That is the power of this film – it showed me something I wasn’t quite acquainted with or in love with and I ended up wanting to dance myself. It truly has that power to inspire you.

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Billy Elliot Movie Review

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Billy Elliot is superbly edited and paced with never a dull or rushed scene. I did think that the mining scenes were much less interesting than the rest of the film, but still I didn’t mind them. The direction from Stephen Daldry is terrific, the score is of course excellent and the film is very well shot and with great choreography as well.

With highly likable and so well developed characters, superb performances from Julie Walters and Jamie Bell, excellent direction from Stephen Daldry and many fantastic, moving scenes, Billy Elliot is undoubtedly a very inspirational (never in a cheap way), emotional film which is powerful in its message, simplicity and many heartwarming character interactions. It truly is a wonderful film.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Red Turtle (2016)

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The Red Turtle Movie Review

The Red Turtle is a 2016 French animated film directed by Michael Dudok de Wit. An acclaimed film of the year, I myself found it boring.

It tells the story of a man who becomes shipwrecked on a deserted island where he meets a giant red turtle which eventually becomes a human woman. Needless to say, I don’t know what this is all about and to me it felt pointless and I don’t know what is the message here.

It is a French film distributed by Studio Ghibli and is one of the most acclaimed films of the year, animated or not. It has no dialogue, but it features sound and score. I of course don’t mind and actually quite like silent movies, but here the problem wasn’t the lack of dialogue, but the lack of story and the familiarity of the premise. Those led to a very tedious experience for me and I was bored immensely from start to finish.

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The Red Turtle is the quintessential example of a movie that was born to be made as a short and not feature film. As a short, it would have actually been very good and fascinating, but as a feature, it is boring, prolonged and awfully slow.

The reason why you should see it of course lies in its technical aspects. The animation truly is terrific. It is hand drawn and very artistic in style. Every movie should also have a strong plot and characters in order for it to be considered great, but this one only has the animation and that I just find troublesome right there. But at least it was great to look at, very pleasant and very colorful. The designs are good and it seems like a moving painting at times plus some of the imagery here is truly inspired.

Another great thing about it is its sound design. Wow, is it worthy of an Oscar. Everything here sounds awesome and realistic from the animals to the waves. It is another reason why the film would have been wonderful to see on the big screen, but on the small screen it is much inferior and I unfortunately watched it like that. The score is also solid, if not as great as the sound.

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The Red Turtle is technically marvelous with superb animation with some of the imagery being breathtaking plus the score is solid and the sound design in particular is amazing, but the technical aspects do not make movies great and you also need strong characters, message and story and all of those are lacking here. It is a movie that was destined to be made as a short film and to be watched on the big screen, but watching it on the small screen as a feature film was a tremendously boring experience.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Square (2017)

The Square Movie Review

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The Square Movie Review

The Square is a 2017 Swedish drama film directed by Ruben Ostlund. It is one of the most disappointing films of the year.

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The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring.

Within it we all share equal rights and obligations

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The Square Movie Review

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I really disliked this film and that is unfortunate as I like this director, but this is so far away from the majesty and brilliance of ‘Force Majeure’ that I was honestly shocked how bad of a follow-up it is. And the fact that most prefer this one is honestly baffling to me.

So the film tries to be a satire of modern art, museums and their curators. It tries to portray the ridiculousness of some of their actions as well as their pretentiousness and cluelessness. But even though it does have some interesting things to say and a couple of good ideas and conversations, most of the film is very unappealing and too silly for its own sake.

The problem with The Square is that it is overly ambitious and it never really accomplishes its satiric take. I liked the acting, the cinematography and some of the imagery. And as I said, some of the conversations were admittedly interesting and they explored some great themes, but most of them were lacking and the film needed better and much more dialogue.

The main character is unlikable, not at all memorable and all of the others are also very forgettable. The film is tonally very diverse but not in a good way. It is a messy film that is at times funny, at times dark and at times serious, but it never really sticks the landing with either one of those.

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The Square Movie Review

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But it was just too ridiculous and silly in that annoying Fellini fashion which I despise so much. That kind of approach is beneath Ruben Ostlund and I was so disappointed that he went there. The dinner scene is a great example of that – it is an overrated, stupid and pointless scene that everyone loves, but I disliked so much. The same goes for that theft inclusion which was totally unnecessary. Only the relationship between Christian and Anne is a good subplot as all of the others are very mediocre.

The Square is a frustratingly mediocre film from Ruben Ostlund and such a major step back from his last brilliant film. It has some good performances, it is well shot and it has some interesting conversations and themes, but is mostly too ambitious for its own sake, overlong, very messy structurally speaking and annoyingly silly and pointless in some scenes. It is such a disappointing, overrated film and a major misfire in my eyes.

My Rating – 2.5

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120 Beats per Minute (2017)

120 Beats per Minute Movie Review

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120 Beats per Minute Movie Review

120 Beats per Minute is a 2017 French drama film directed by Robin Campillo. It is a flawed, but very strong, emotionally resonant film.

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Either we’re dead or we’re alive

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120 Beats per Minute Movie Review

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The film is set during the early nineties and it follows the HIV activists and their movement while also focusing on a romance between two men and the eventual death from AIDS of one of them.

The problem with this film is that its structure is rather odd, unappealing and it just doesn’t work all that well. Basically you get two movies here as one is about this romance and eventual tragedy so it is a pretty personal story whereas the other is a docudrama which is the opposite of that as it focuses on the whole movement and portrays the politics behind it.

Now I liked that story to a degree, but there is no denying that it was overlong and too much like a documentary. Some of it was fascinating, but some of it was boring. But the romance works perfectly and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Sean and Nathan are such well developed, likable, realistic characters so well acted by their actors and so well written too. Their relationship is stupendously portrayed as you follow it from the beginning to the very end and some moments between the two are highly moving and the final scene is heartbreaking for sure. I just wish the whole film was as personal as that storyline.

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120 Beats per Minute Movie Review

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120 Beats per Minute is weakly paced, edited and with an excessive runtime. That is not to say that the film was boring. Quite the contrary is the case actually as it was a very engaging story for me and quite interesting to watch. But there was no need for two hours and twenty minutes here and those twenty minutes could have easily been cut in some parts.

I really liked all of the performances here and the film is very well shot, scripted and with very strong dialogue. It also gives us a lot of facts about the AIDS pandemic and everything about this disease. It follows a horrible time in history filled with chaos and despair and it does portray it realistically. It is thus a very important history lesson and also a very emotional film to watch.

120 Beats per Minute is basically two movies combined into one. One is a docudrama which closely follows the politics and the organization of the ACT UP activists and that one is overly factual and although solid, it is not as interesting as the second storyline which is a heartwarming and eventually tragic romance which is so well crafted and emotionally resonant from start to finish. Overall, the film is overlong and messy, but very well made, interesting and important in its subject matter.

My Rating – 4

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The Wound (2017)

The Wound Movie Review

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The Wound Movie Review

The Wound is a 2017 South African drama film directed by John Trengove. It is a somewhat flawed, yet very good and authentic drama.

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My friend. You will never change

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The Wound Movie Review

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The film follows the forbidden relationship of two gay men during the Xhosa initiation ritual in South Africa. The movie is thus very interesting in its subject matter and setting as it explores underrepresented people and their culture while still dealing with an LGBT subject matter. Both are really well done.

It was a great choice to showcase a homosexual relationship in this particular culture and tribe which is very macho-oriented and traditional and thus their troubles are much bigger and more dangerous than they are for other gay men.

I definitely had a problem with that overly dark ending and the movie certainly is very depressing and unhappy, but I also liked that as it led to a different, more original story than what you would usually get, especially in American cinema. The film shows us a more realistic, darker outcome and although I did not want that, it was still necessary for them to portray such an outcome.

The major problem with The Wound lies in its character development which is particularly weak for a drama film. Other than that, the film is very strong, but because the characters are quite weak for the most part, they tend to drag the film down for me quite a bit. The acting is very strong and their interactions and relationships are either moving or realistic, but I wanted more personalized, more complex entities which I just did not get here.

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The Wound Movie Review

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The Wound features some very memorable sequences and a couple of highly moving and tragic scenes. The emotional investment is strong here and despite weaker characterization, I cared and rooted for the main characters a lot. The film portrays forbidden love and broken lives so well and how dangerous and tragic it is to be different in an extremely traditional society. The direction from John Trongove is very good and although the film is not too cinematic, it is well shot and particularly well scripted with excellent and grounded in reality dialogue.

The character development is weaker in The Wound plus the ending is overly dark for me, but I still respected the film for going in a different than usual, unhappy and tragic direction and that made its story more original and effective. The film features very strong dialogue, good direction and it deals with an interesting subject matter as well as underrepresented people and their rituals.

My Rating – 4

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Loveless (2017)

Loveless Movie Review

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Loveless Movie Review

Loveless is a 2017 Russian drama film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. It is a very good, interesting, but also somewhat problematic film.

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I have never even loved you

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Loveless Movie Review

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It follows two separated parents who hate each other, but have to put their animosity aside when they set on a journey to find their missing son. The story here is excellent and the execution is mostly really good, but it is just such a terrible, depressing and awfully cold viewing experience for better and for worse.

I honestly found its characters overly terrible. Yes, there are some good people in this film, but most of them are horrible people and that was somewhat unrealistic. The kid is memorable for the short screen time that he got. I really liked both of their partners and they are the only good people in this film.

But the two main characters are awful people. He is cold and uninterested in his own son and this entire terrible situation whereas she is horrible toward him and almost everyone else and is such a major bitch that it was difficult to watch her in this film without wishing to punch her in the face.

Loveless is, well, loveless. That is the point of this film. Nobody here loves anybody and they are all cold, selfish and hollow people. The police themselves are not well organized and the entire country seems to be a horrible place to live in.

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Loveless Movie Review

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That is one of my gripes with this film. I do think that the film is great for the entire cold world, but I am not entirely sure that it was meant for the world or to just portray Russia. If the latter one is the case, I find it unfair and I totally understand why Russians would object to this film.

But as a critique of the entire world and the time we live in, it succeeds in spades. I found its entire second half overly slow and although the first half is also slow, it was very involving to watch still owing to excellent build up, characterization and many fine conversations. But the second half featured too many wordless, somewhat slow sequences and it lost its steam during that period.

But the ending stuck with me nonetheless. Loveless basically showcases how a kid can go missing and nobody can find him as in the end he remains missing and everyone just resumes their lives as if he had never existed. It was a terrible, non-human ending that rings true for this cold, selfish and utterly hopeless world we are living in now and that is why the ending haunted me which was the intention of the director and he succeeded in that quite a bit.

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Loveless Movie Review

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Loveless is gorgeously shot. I loved its very cold, but memorable imagery that accompanied the desperate, hopeless mood of the film remarkably well. The performances from Maryana Spivak and Aleksey Rozin are both excellent, but the direction from Andrey Zvyagintsev is terrific and although his previous film is better, this one also ended up being very good and quite memorable for sure.

Loveless is an awfully depressing, cold and hopeless film for better and for worse. Some of the scenes in the second half aren’t as riveting and the film might be too cold with too unlikable characters who are such horrible people who make this viewing experience rather difficult. However, that is also the point here and that ending in particular showcases hauntingly well how cold this world is. The cinematography is terrific as is its chilly mood, the performances are excellent and the direction from Andrey Zvyagintsev is superb. It is a very good film, but not as great as his previous film.

My Rating – 4

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