Monsoon Wedding (2001)

Monsoon Wedding Movie Review…………………………………………………

Monsoon Wedding Movie Review

Monsoon Wedding is a 2001 Indian film directed by Mira Nair. It is a pretty good, but still flawed movie that could have been much better.

…………………………………………………

These are my children,

and I will protect them from myself even if I have to

…………………………………………………

Monsoon Wedding Movie Review…………………………………………………

We follow an Indian wedding in New Delhi and all its traditions as the cousins from all around the world come to attend it. I liked that the film realistically portrayed one Indian wedding and everything that comes with it. It was well executed and the film works as a strong, sometimes even emotional drama. There are some discussions and conversations that are so good here.

However, what I didn’t like is the film’s lack of focus. Having in mind that it has such a large number of characters in it, I guess I should forgive them for that. But still I wished for a clearer and more focused narrative. For example, the sexual abuse that happened in this family came out of nowhere and although it does have its tragic effect, it was still thoroughly underutilized and needed much more screen time just for itself.

…………………………………………………

Monsoon Wedding Movie Review…………………………………………………

As for the characters, they are mostly really well developed for the short time that they received. I loved the parents, they are the most memorable and well realized of the bunch and the scenes between the two were very strong. Of course everything surrounding the marriage with the daughter was also well executed. But everything with the wedding planner was frustrating to me as he is such an annoying, pointless character and I disliked that part quite a bit.

Monsoon Wedding isn’t an Indian film, but it is a coproduction between different countries and that is evident in its execution and tone. The film is certainly very Indian in the wedding scenes and especially in the music as it utilized on their traditional music and dances, but it is quite American in its characterization and especially in the dialogue which contains more curse words than you would expect from India and its erotic sequences and talk about sex and abuse.

…………………………………………………

Monsoon Wedding Movie Review…………………………………………………

It is very well directed by Mira Nair and is so well acted. The acting is strong across the board with each and every performance being satisfactory. The script is also pretty strong and I liked that it dealt with a lot of different things such as arranged marriage, the costs of a traditional marriage, the future of the children as well as sexual abuse. The film works as a pretty solid and sophisticated examination of its subject matter and I guess that it is immensely relatable to Indians in particular. But it still feels universal enough in its themes and emotion that everyone from all around the world should enjoy it like I did. Some scenes were even touching and romantic. Overall, I really liked Monsoon Wedding, but I just wished that it was less convoluted, more focused and it would have been much better. Some scenes were also too laidback owing to its slow pace.

Monsoon Wedding executes its subject matter really well with a strong script filled with many interesting themes. The performances are very good across the board and most of the characters are well realized. The film definitely lacks focus and is filled with too many characters and subplots, but it mostly managed to make use of them all with some scenes being quite emotional and powerful and the overall film being very dramatic and ultimately satisfactory.

My Rating – 4

…………………………………………………

Share

Moonlight (2016)

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review

Moonlight is a 2016 drama film directed by Barry Jenkins and starring Andre Holland, Naomi Harris and Mahershala Ali among others. It is a flawed, but ultimately very good film.

…………………………………………………………………….

You’re the only man who ever touched me

…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

It is a coming-of-age story concerning growing up of a gay black man who is shy and bullied at school while also having problems with his mother who is a drug addict. Now the film is acclaimed but is to me just good and never great mainly because of that drug subplot. To me it had that great, emotional scene between adult Chiron and his mother, but other than that, it was thoroughly underutilized and just took away the running time needed for its first and more important story.

Another problem is that the first half or so, especially its first vignette, felt way too conventional. The film is said to be unconventional and unique, but I never saw that as the first vignette felt clich├ęd and like a typical coming-of-age flick adding nothing new to the table.

…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

But the second vignette is much better and it featured a good intimate scene between Chiron and his friend. The bullying aspect was also well done and it was overall much more memorable than the first part. But the third vignette is easily the standout one. It is the part where the film truly shines. Watching the two reunite after ten years was just so emotional to watch. It featured a couple of memorable lines, it was so well filmed and the ending and the entire part was so tragic, yet subtle. It definitely elevated what was otherwise a standard picture.

This film is light in characterization, maybe too light, but it still manages to make this characters feel real mostly thanks to its great attention to detail and excellent, subtle work done in dialogue and script. That was best exemplified in the last part where we get to know both of them really well despite only being with them for a short time.

…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight is naturally very well acted. Naomi Harris did a very good job and she deserved her nomination. However, Mahershala Ali really disappointed me. I do not get why he was Oscar nominated as the role itself was very weak. He was good in it, but the role was so typical and the character was forgettable. To me Andre Holland is the true standout here and he deserved a nomination for sure. His facial expressions and eye contact is phenomenal and he helped elevate an otherwise strong material even more with his excellent performance.

Moonlight is technically well made. The score was forgettable, but the direction from Barry Jenkins is strong and the editing is really good. It is well edited for sure, but the film’s structure isn’t as terrific as everyone said it is. It felt unoriginal to me personally. But the dialogue is fantastic, truly accomplished because with a few lines, the characters said everything we needed to know. That is because the script is clever and understated. But some things still felt unexplained with him being bullied because of his sexuality never being properly established.

…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Moonlight is really well shot with good cinematography. And it was very realistic in its characters and story. The film is also very sentimental, but in a good way. “You’re the only man who ever touched me” is the highlight in terms of the quotes, that moment was so powerful in its tragedy and it is the highlight and the most fantastic thing about the entire film. To me, just that line lifted the film to a much more accomplished status. Overall, I found the film to be superb in some areas and truly special, but overall it is not great and is a bit overrated.

Moonlight is quite a good, but honestly a bit overrated film. It features excellent performances from Naomi Harris and Andre Holland, it is very well edited and directed, the script is excellent and the third vignette was just fantastic, so tragic and wonderfully conveyed as a whole, but the first two vignettes (especially the first one) felt overly conventional, the drug addicted mother part was never utilized properly and was rushed and the entire structure of the film was typical to me. The film is clever and sometimes with just a couple of lines it perfectly explained everything we need to know about its characters, but sometimes because of its structure, it skipped too many things and definitely felt underutilized.

My Rating – 4

…………………………………………………………………….

Share

Contempt (1963)

Contempt Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Contempt Movie Review

Contempt is a 1963 French drama film directed by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli. It is such a good film that left a big impression on me.

…………………………………………………………………..

I’ve noticed the more we doubt,

the more we cling to a false lucidity,

in hope of rationalizing what feelings have made murky

…………………………………………………………………..

Contempt Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

It follows a dissolution of a marriage because of lack of trust. Now the reason why I liked this movie is that it is both a talkative and a visual experience and I love both. There is a conversation between the two that lasts for more than thirty minutes and that is probably the highlight of the entire film, so realistic and natural that scene felt. But there is also a sense of space as it is so well utilized in every scene and objects almost became characters in their own right.

I found the film’s parallel to Odyssey really well done. Contempt has such an overwhelming melancholy tone to it that it does leave a big impact on the viewer, at least it did to me. It is even artistic at times and surely it is one of the rare Godard films that are less pretentious and more engaging and truly artistic. His direction here is very strong.

…………………………………………………………………..

Contempt Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

The film does succeed as a romantic tragedy and I really liked both of the protagonists. It seemed at first that they argued over nothing, but because I myself can be very jealous, I understood her character and why she acted that way. It was a great showcase of how jealousy and lack of trust can ruin an otherwise strong relationship.

Of course the film is phenomenally acted. Everyone did a good job, but Michel Piccoli and Brigitte Bardot carry the entire film on their capable shoulders. He is very good, subtle and his performance is strong and realistic whereas she is so charismatic and memorable in possibly her greatest and most famous role. The film showed her naked butt too much, but despite me not liking nudity in a film, this was mostly well done and more truly sensual than overdone. She is a beautiful woman, but she also could act and her performance here is a proof of that. And she was definitely very endearing in some sequences.

…………………………………………………………………..

Contempt Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

Contempt has its problems. It is overall too slow and seemingly about nothing. And the first fourth or so is very mediocre. I really disliked that beginning as the shooting of the movie proved to be a bad way to start the film, cold and unappealing. But thankfully those kinds of scenes became much better later on.

Contempt is beautifully made. The score is very strong and its theme repeated throughout the whole picture is fantastic and so melancholic, perfectly fitting its tone. The editing is also pretty good. The film is slow, but it is paced well and it is actually the kind of slow movie that isn’t boring, but that just demands patience and it rewards you afterwards with an emotional ending. It is a film that is layered and that becomes much better after you’ve seen it when thinking about it thoroughly.

…………………………………………………………………..

Contempt Movie Review…………………………………………………………………..

The cinematography is also superb. Everyone talks about the colors used here that represent the colors of the American and French flags and certainly that was an interesting choice, but I myself admired its scenery the most. The Italian seaside brought a lot of memorable imagery to it, the one that is fitting to its story as it felt again poignant and also timeless, fitting to Homer’s work. The film sounds and looks great and its camera movements are so polished. Overall, I really liked it and it is one of the films that surprised me how good it is as I didn’t expect much going to it.

Contempt is a rare Godard film that is less pretentious and more truly artistic which is why I liked it quite a bit. The camera movements and the imagery are stunning, Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli are charismatic and memorable leads, the film’s parallel is well incorporated and the overall story felt at first simplistic, but is actually poignant and clever. It has a very weak beginning, but it is mostly a wonderfully melancholic, sensual and frequently beautiful film that stays with you long after you’ve seen it.

My Rating – 4.5

…………………………………………………………………..

Share

Lion (2016)

Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Lion Movie Review

Lion is a 2016 drama film directed by Garth Davis and starring Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar and Nicole Kidman. It is one of the year’s best films.

…………………………………………………………….

Every night I imagine that I’m walking those streets home

and I know every single step of the way, and I whisper in her ear – I’m here

…………………………………………………………….

Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

It follows a true story of an Indian boy from a small village who, while waiting for his brother on the street, boards a train and accidentally ends up in Calcutta. Eventually, he gets adopted by an Australian couple and he decides to search for his village and his mother with the help of Google Earth.

The story is so powerful, human and extremely emotional that I was blown away by it. The fact that it is real and that it did in fact happen only bolstered its power to me. Those final images of the real people were so moving to watch. This is one of the rare movies that made me cry and I almost never cry watching movies. That’s how powerful it is. But the reunion scene just made me tear up how wonderful and emotional it was. Truly one of the best scenes of any 2016 film.

…………………………………………………………….

Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

I loved the film’s structure. Some may say it is problematic that the second half is more dramatic and slower than the first one, but I liked that quite a bit. To me the second half is even stronger than the first one as I thought that his journey as a small child maybe could have been trimmed down a bit. But I still was fascinated watching it. He truly had a crazy, difficult life and following him from one city to another, encountering many bad people and terrible poverty and situations on the street was devastating to behold.

But I loved the second half. It featured excellent dialogue and it just phenomenally put into perspective the issue of adoption. When Kidman’s character makes that speech why she chose to adopt, well, that is probably where the movie shines the most in terms of sophistication and message. She tells us that having biological children is actually a very selfish decision as you bring a child to an overly populated planet when you can help a child that is already born and struggles in poverty and is parentless.

…………………………………………………………….

Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

The movie showcases how difficult and emotionally exhausting adoption can be which is here best exemplified in their second adopted son Mantosh who is very problematic as he has self-harm and anger issues. As Saroo states – by adopting them, she also adopted their previous, troubled and difficult histories. Yes, the movie truthfully showcases both the pros and cons of adoption, but it still ends it on a positive note, by telling us that it is still a beautiful, human thing to do and I was just inspired by that sentiment.

I loved the characters, so well realized and having read the interviews, it is evident that real Saroo and others are happy with this adaptation which is another proof of its greatness. It is faithful. He was great here, but I liked his girlfriend quite a bit too and their relationship was well developed. Everyone else was excellent, but the highlight is Sue naturally as she is such an inspirational person and a beautiful sole whom I respect a lot.

The acting in Lion is as great as the various accolades have been telling us. Rooney Mara and David Wenham are quite good, but Priyanka Bose was superb in the mother’s role. I dislike Dev Patel personally, but I couldn’t deny how superb he was here, delivering a very good, respectable performance.

…………………………………………………………….

Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

However, Sunny Pawar is so underappreciated here. He gave such an amazing performance for a child actor and he even stole the show from Dev Patel as he was more memorable in the first half. A very underrated child performance once again. But to me Nicole Kidman is easily the standout actress here. Wow, she was fantastic and she probably delivered the year’s finest supporting performance. She was subtle when needed and emotional when the dialogue and the scene demanded. Her speech sequence is really something special.

Lion is also beautifully made. The cinematography here is absolutely stunning and is probably the year’s best looking and best shot movie. Whether in India or in Australia, it was beautiful to witness, but also realistic in its sequences. I loved that it didn’t shy away from Indian problems such as child sex trade and slavery, both presented here.

As for the direction, it is very good and especially great given that it is a directorial debut for Garth Davis. The film features a terrific script which is not only moving, but thematically rich and it features realism and a great message regarding adoption. It truly is an inspirational movie, but also a universal one as almost anyone can relate to the search for parents, coming from a poor area etc.

…………………………………………………………….

Lion Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

I found the dialogue to be terrific as well with a couple of excellent lines and many thought-provoking discussions. The film is also very well edited which was quite an accomplishment having in mind its difficult to adapt structure. Lion was always riveting to me and never at all slow. It is almost perfectly made and I rarely say that. Really, there is nothing wrong with this movie, at least nothing comes to my mind right now when writing this review, though that may change upon second viewing. But for now, it is a great movie that deserved much more accolades than it got and it is quite possibly the best 2016 has to offer.

Emotional, smart, realistic and just so powerful, Lion is a masterpiece of a film. It features such terrific performances with Nicole Kidman being particularly outstanding, it is beautifully shot, so well edited and directed and it features excellent, thought-provoking dialogue and a great message. It showcases both pros and cons of adoption, but that eventually it is a beautiful decision. Everyone can relate to this movie as Saroo’s journey is amazing and heartbreaking and it is all the more powerful having in mind that it really happened. It is one of the rare movies that made me cry and it is quite possibly the very best film of 2016.

My Rating – 5

…………………………………………………………….

 

Share

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals is a 2016 thriller drama film directed by Tom Ford and starring Amy Adams, Jake Gylenhall, Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It is a surprisingly solid film.

………………………………………………………..

Susan, enjoy the absurdity of our world.

It’s a lot less painful.

Believe me, our world is a lot less painful than the real world

………………………………………………………..

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review………………………………………………………..

I liked the plot here quite a bit. It was a very original concept and idea to do a story within a story and this explains the relationships of its characters in the main story. Although that story within a story definitely felt too thriller and gangster-like to me personally, it started off in a really interesting manner and was overall solid. And the main story is the highlight, very well done.

However, the film is a mess regardless of its originality. The film is a giant wasted potential as the execution of its ideas and its concept is never great and is at times even quote mediocre. The editing in particular is very poor and the stories do not mash well together and the transitions are never as smooth as they should have been.

I respect Tom Ford for his idea, but I found his direction to be problematic. It lacked sophistication and the film is never as polished as it should have been and it thoroughly lacks focus. That is why the film is ultimately very flawed, but because I had very low expectations for it to begin with and I dislike thrillers, it was still a pleasant surprise that I liked it as much as I did.

………………………………………………………..

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review………………………………………………………..

The characters are good, but not as great as the plot needed them to have been. I found the main relationship to be solid at best. And I have to say that all of the characters in the story within a story felt somewhat archaic in their presentations and ultimately uninspired.

The acting is one of Nocturnal Animals’ strongest attributes. Everyone speaks about Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Michael Shannon’s performances and they are fine, but they aren’t the highlights here, at least not to me. The highlights were Amy Adams and Jake Gylenhall, both giving very underrated performances. She is quite good, although she was better in Arrival, but that just goes to prove what an incredible year she had in 2016. But Jake is really good and his character I found to be the most likable and relatable.

………………………………………………………..

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review………………………………………………………..

From a fashion designer’s point, I expected the cinematography to be much better as the film was overly dark looking. The editing is awful as previously stated and although the dialogue is solid, it was typical at times. The film also needed to be more emotional as I never really connected with either of its characters. Yes, the elements for a strong drama were there, but the film ultimately never succeeds either as a drama or as a thriller as it is only somewhat successful at both of those things. But because the film was so original and because some of its scenes were quite memorable and very interesting to see, I found it to be a pleasant surprise and a solid attempt overall. I think that Tom Ford is talented, but definitely needs more experience.

Nocturnal Animals is an immensely original idea with an intriguing concept to it, the acting is all around superb, some scenes are quite interesting and it is ultimately a solid film, but it is a wasted potential as it could have been much better as the editing is quite mediocre, the film lacked focus, the transitions were poor and its characters are typical.

My Rating – 3.5

………………………………………………………..

 

Share

Loving (2016)

Loving Movie Review……………………………………………………….

Loving Movie Review

Loving is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga. It is a pretty good, albeit not great film.

……………………………………………………….

Tell the judge I love my wife

……………………………………………………….

Loving Movie Review……………………………………………………….

It tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving who fought hard until they won the right to marry and thus entered the first interracial marriage. The story is naturally important and it should prove immensely relatable to anyone belonging in any kind of minority for sure. I liked that emotional tone to it and I liked that it was a very understated drama which I really appreciated along with its accurate portrayals of real-life people and situations.

The characters are solid and I liked both of them quite a bit. They were endearing together and you naturally root for them. However, although some scenes are wonderful, most scenes between them left me cold and I found the film to be sorely lacking in terms of romance. It needed to be very romantic to sell this important couple and their suffering, but I just never got that from these two unfortunately.

But the acting is terrific and both of the actors deserved all of the received accolades. Ruth Negga is as good and as subtle as critics have been saying all the time. She sold those more intimate and moving moments superbly. But I also really liked Joel Edgerton in this movie because he had to play a physical performance and he totally became this redneck from South which was commendable. But he was also great in his smaller moments. Both are so good and they put those supporting actors to shame.

……………………………………………………….

Loving Movie Review……………………………………………………….

Loving is very well directed by Jeff Nichols and it is actually one of his better movies and much better than his overrated Midnight Special from the same year. I also found the editing to be pretty good, though not great. The film was also pretty well shot and overall it looked great.

But Loving is one of those movies that are more important in plot than truly great and it certainly didn’t deserve those great reviews. It is a good movie, but never great. It is actually very engaging for its long running time which is long for this pretty simplistic story. I was never bored honestly. But I found the film’s lack of better character development problematic as we just never really meet those other people and family members properly and we never really meet the two protagonists quite well and they are actually quite weakly developed. Very well acted, but weak as characters.

It should have been more emotional. I liked its subtle approach, but in terms of their relationship, it was too subtle and it needed to be more overt in order for us to see the importance of their case and how strong their love truly is. But I liked its realistic approach in terms of the costumes and places and it looked like a real 1960s picture which was great.

……………………………………………………….

Loving Movie Review……………………………………………………….

To me the highlights were all of the sequences between the two as the court and overall politics scene wasn’t the most interesting. And I wished that we got more from these two together. But overall it is a pretty relatable, emotionally strong film that succeeds as a pretty good, even today relevant historical drama.

Loving is pretty good, but far from great. I found that the film needed to be more romantic as it was sorely lacking in that area and it was overall more important than great, but it is very well made, actually commendably subtle and understated in its approach, its subject matter is still relevant and it features very good performances from both Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton who entirely carry this movie on their shoulders.

My Rating – 4

……………………………………………………….

 

 

Share

A Monster Calls (2016)

A Monster Calls Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls is a 2016 fantasy drama film directed by J. A. Bayona and starring Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver. It is one of the year’s best films.

……………………………………………………………………

Because humans are complicated beasts.

You believe comforting lies, while knowing full well the painful truth that makes those lies necessary.

In the end, Conor, it is not important what you think.

It is only important what you do

……………………………………………………………………

A Monster Calls Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

It follows Conor, a child whose mother is terminally ill. One night, he is visited by a giant monster who begins to tell him stories that serve as life lessons and help him cope with his pain. This film surprised me because it started off in a regular manner, but ended up being very original and smart. It is one of the most sophisticated films of its type I’ve seen recently.

It deals with a subject matter of cancer which is overdone by now, but finds a new way to approach it like all the best films do. It shows us how it is okay to accept death of your loved ones and even wish it to come sooner in order to stop the pain. That emotion makes us human and it shows that none of us is perfect and we are all complex beings. I loved that statement and it was so clever and thought-provoking.

……………………………………………………………………

A Monster Calls Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Rarely have I seen a more emotionally raw and dark film. That is why this film is certainly not for children and even not for teenagers. It is adult and mature and intended only for that audience in my opinion. It is actually so dark that it was overwhelming at times, but it was mostly pleasantly serious and in the end emotionally rewarding, even if it can leave you in a depressed state afterwards.

I really liked the characters. Conor was great and such a realistic and complex kid. His mother is sweet and I really liked his strict grandmother too. And even the father had his moments. All of the performances are excellent with the exception of Sigourney Weaver whose accent is just so bad and it took me out of the movie whenever she talked. But Felicity Jones is terrific in an underrated performances and Lewis MacDougall is absolutely fantastic! Wow, I don’t know where Hollywood suddenly manages to find all these incredibly talented child actors, but his performance is once again (after Jacob Tremblay in ‘Room’) one of the best male performances of the year. So strong, so believable and so emotional. He was great in an extremely difficult role which is so commendable.

……………………………………………………………………

A Monster Calls Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

A Monster Calls was obviously based on a book and sometimes it was too evident and at first I thought it didn’t translate well into the big screen with those three stories, but I changed my mind after witnessing those story sequences. The visuals there are absolutely amazing owing to some artistic and wonderfully moody animation. And they all served their purpose and actually were very well incorporated into the overall picture leading to one of the best adapted films of the year.

The editing is excellent and the direction from Bayona is expectedly great. I loved its cinematography as well, some shots were terrific. Even though I loved the dark visuals overall, I found the design of the creature to be overly bland and familiar. I just didn’t like it, though Liam Neeson naturally did a great job voicing the character.

……………………………………………………………………

A Monster Calls Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

So the film sounds great and it looks really good, but it also has a great script, characters and acting and it is uncommonly clever for this type of movie. But it also possesses a big heart and truly its last sequence is emotionally powerful and just heartbreaking to witness. I loved it so much. This is clearly a drama instead of fantasy. It has fantasy elements, but they are obviously not real and that was a very interesting development. I found the film’s realism commendable and its dialogue is also surprisingly strong and again very down to earth. I would even call the movie artistic in its storybook sequences which felt inspired even. It is a film that has it all and I am so sad that it was such a huge commercial failure and even the critics didn’t appreciate it as much as it deserved, not to mention that it didn’t garner a single Oscar nomination which is just a travesty.

A Monster Calls features a very bland creature design and a pretty bad British accent from Sigourney Weaver, but Felicity Jones was great and Lewis MacDougall gave one of the year’s best performances as he was so great in a very difficult role. The story is intriguing, the tone is admirably dark and although it is difficult to watch and depressing, it is ultimately emotionally rewarding and it has such a great message and is overall stupendously sophisticated. It is one of the year’s finest and most underrated films.

My Rating – 4.5

……………………………………………………………………

Share

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review……………………………………………………….

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea is a 2016 drama film directed by Kenneth Lonergan and starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges. It is a very good, but not great movie.

……………………………………………………….

I said a lot of terrible things to you.

My heart was broken, and I know yours is broken, too

……………………………………………………….

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review……………………………………………………….

It is about a man who becomes a guardian to his teenage nephew after his father’s sudden death. That major storyline at the core of the film is great. I loved it. It was realistically portrayed and emotional in their relationship. However, what I didn’t like are some of the other subplots. I usually love these melodramas and tragedies, but this was too tragic and melodramatic even for me.

I loved the relationship between him and his former wife, but having him accidentally burn the house down and all their children die except her was just awfully convenient in terms of the plot and conflict as well as just plain unrealistic as that kind of tragedy almost never happens. They should have chosen a better death and the film would have been much better.

……………………………………………………….

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review……………………………………………………….

But I liked the characters quite a bit. Lee is pretty good, albeit typical with his anger issues. I loved his road of becoming a parent and then eventually realizing that the boy is better off with someone else. That conflict and drama was emotionally engaging and hard to watch, in a good way. Randi was also really good and the one major scene that they got near the end was of course the highlight of the film, emotionally raw and just tragic and so heartbreaking.

I liked all of the other characters that were sparingly used, but I have to say that I thoroughly disliked Patrick. He is one of the reasons why the film ultimately disappointed me as a whole. Of course their relationship was great and the heart of the movie, but he is such a bad person and one of the worst teenagers in a film I’ve seen so far. My main issue was his cheating as he has two girlfriends simultaneously here. These cheaters exist, but the movie is so problematic as it just basically takes his side as Lee also takes his side and was even supposed to help him have sex with one of them. That was just very unlikable to me and it made the whole movie morally questionable.

……………………………………………………….

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review……………………………………………………….

The acting is of course great in Manchester by the Sea. It is not only great, but it is one of the best acted films of the year as truly all of the actors did a great job and you have three great performances that definitely deserved their Oscar nominations. Lucas Hedges is surprisingly good at times and Michelle Williams was amazing in a couple of scenes that she got and she definitely gave one of the best supporting performances of the year. Casey Affleck wasn’t as great at first, but he eventually progressed and ultimately gave a very good, worthy performance in a not so difficult role, but some of his emotional scenes he did sell pretty well.

Manchester by the Sea is technically polished as it features excellent direction from Kenneth Lonergan and some fantastic shots owing to pretty confident cinematography. The score is forgettable, but I have to say that it is one of the year’s best edited films as it is never slow or prolonged despite its excessive running time and that really says a lot.

……………………………………………………….

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review……………………………………………………….

The dialogue is also excellent. I liked its realistic approach and I respected the film for being a character-driven, emotional drama as I love those. I love that it had fewer characters as well. It was also very emotional at times, but as I said before, some of its emotion was excessive and not as earned as it should have been. Overall, I liked it quite a bit, but I expected much more from it honestly.

Manchester by the Sea is a very good, albeit not great movie. The dialogue is terrific and it is one of the best edited films of the year as it is never slow despite its excessive running time. It is also one of the year’s best acted films with Michelle Williams, Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges all giving deservedly Oscar-nominated performances. The relationship at the center of it was great and the film is quite emotional at times. But it disappointed me as its other subplot with flashbacks felt overly tragic and the emotion there was not earned plus the boy was awfully unlikable.

My Rating – 4

……………………………………………………….

Share

A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review

A Boy Named Charlie Brown is a 1969 animated comedy drama film directed by Bill Melendez. It is the first Peanuts feature film and actually one of my favorite animated films period.

……………………………………………………………..

Well, I can understand how you feel.

You worked hard, studying for the spelling bee, and I suppose you feel you let everyone down,

and you made a fool of yourself and everything.

But did you notice something, Charlie Brown?

The world didn’t come to an end.

……………………………………………………………..

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

I love this movie so much! To me it was such an almost perfect way to transition from specials to a feature and surely enough, this film is better than the majority of specials themselves, at least when it comes to my opinion. They managed to include as much of the classic Peanuts characters and humor and situations as possible and thus becoming a quintessential Peanuts outing.

I loved that it focused on the spelling bee instead of sports as that made it much more enjoyable for a non-sports fan like me. Every spelling bee scene was just terrific. Another highlight is Lucy’s scene in psychiatric booth, that was genius. To me this film is far from perfect and surely it does have too much musical numbers in it and the first act is sorely lacking in comparison to the rest of the film, but the rest is so great that I forgive those flaws.

……………………………………………………………..

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Of course the ending makes this movie. Wow, rarely have I seen a better conclusion in an animated film. Charlie Brown loses the game and closes in his room and refuses to ever come out. Linus comes in and tells him that he failed, but the universe didn’t come to an end because of it. That line in a nutshell is the reason why I respect this series as a whole. It never sugarcoats, but actually truthfully explains to children that they may continue losing and that winning is uncertain, but it isn’t the end of the world if you lose and that you should continue trying. A fantastic message in such a brilliant, wonderful ending.

Let’s talk about the characters. Charlie Brown is excellent! Rarely has he been this good in a special before or after. I loved that Peter Robbins voiced the character and I loved that he was at his angriest and most depressing mood here. He was relatable and you root for him throughout the entire movie.

……………………………………………………………..

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Peppermint Patty was surely missed here, but all of the others are here thankfully. Lucy is as hilarious as ever and some of her lines and moments made me laugh out loud. Snoopy was solid, but not as great as the others were. But thankfully this time around his scenes did not take as much screen time as they usually do. Schroeder and Sally are well used, but Linus is one the highlights in one of his best roles ever. I loved the emphasis on his security blanket and he is so endearing here, but he is also there for his friend which made him even more lovable.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown has a couple of songs in it so let me touch upon all of them. The Star-Spangled Banner was out of place and Failure Face is forgettable, albeit being a great scene, but I Before E is very catchy and a great way for children to learn spelling, Champion Charlie Brown is solid and the titular number is certainly quite charming and endearing. The songs are actually quite solid here, at least half of them are.

……………………………………………………………..

A Boy Named Charlie Brown Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

The animation is really good and as pleasant as usual with the character designs being faithful and top-notch. The voice acting is of the best variety and using the best of the earlier voices. The score is quite good and the film is stupendously well made in terms of the technical aspects. It is not only well directed, but also polished in its shots and so deft in its editing as it is never slow and never rushed, it lasts for just the right amount of running time. It is always wonderful to watch, the dialogue is as clever as you would expect from the series and the humor is some of the best of the entire series as it made me laugh more than a couple of times with many hilarious parts. I loved its skillful tone too as it balanced light tone with humor and serious tone with drama and messages beautifully. It is overall a tremendously well realized movie and one of my favorite Peanuts stories and one of my favorite animated features as a whole.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown managed to bring everything you want from Peanuts to the table and it did that beautifully. The humor is excellent and some of the lines were hilarious, the characters are superbly utilized with Charlie Brown, Lucy and Linus being the highlights, the film is very well made technically and of course the standout is the final scene which features such a respectable, truly great message for children and it was a beautiful, brave way to end the movie.

My Rating – 5

……………………………………………………………..

Share

Ilo Ilo (2013)

Ilo Ilo Movie Review………………………………………………………

Ilo Ilo Movie Review

Ilo Ilo is a 2013 Singaporean drama film directed by Anthony Chen and starring Yeo Yann Yann and Angeli Bayani. It is such a great, emotional film.

………………………………………………………

Why you do that to me, huh? Why you do that to me?

I don’t care if you like me or not.

You don’t like, I don’t care. But your mum, she employed me.

I’m here to do my work properly.

I am your maid, but I didn’t come here to be bullied

………………………………………………………

Ilo Ilo Movie Review………………………………………………………

It follows one Singaporean family who hires a domestic helper Teresa or Terry who is from the Philippines. She at first struggles with their problematic son, but afterwards the two form a strong connection and thus causing jealousy from the mother. But when the father goes broke, they have to fire Terry and say goodbye in one heartbreaking sequence.

Yes, the plot here is very strong with a script that was so well written and deep. I loved its various themes. It perfectly showcases how wrong and problematic hiring a domestic helper can be as the child can start to love her more than his biological mother. It is naturally a good showcase of the class divide in the country and it shows how ethnically rich Singapore is. Another strong subplot is the mother’s jealousy which was very well handled as well.

But of course the heart of the film lies in the relationship between Jiale and Terry. I would have liked to have seen a smoother transition in their relationship, but still watching them bond and later separate was emotionally rewarding and that final sequence was just tragic, yet it was never overstated which again goes to show the strong subtle work from the director.

………………………………………………………

Ilo Ilo Movie Review………………………………………………………

The acting is terrific. Everyone praizes Yeo Yann Yann and yes she is very good, but to me Angeli Bayani gave a more memorable, powerful performance and stole the show in a difficult role. But Chen Tianwen is also good and Koh Jia Ler also gave a respectable performance, especially for a child actor.

Ilo Ilo has its problems. One of them is the very short running time as the story demanded much more in my opinion. And another problem, which stems from the previous one, is that sometimes the film tried to handle too many different things and it felt rushed and there just wasn’t time for all of them to be properly explored. It is a deep movie, but I thought it would have been even deeper had it had more time to breathe.

Ilo Ilo is phenomenally well made. The critics pinpoint the overabundance of detail in its production and yes, the film is detailed and does look and sound realistic. It is very well filmed and it features such a strong, simplistic, yet realistic dialogue with all of the lines sounding natural. It is one of those dramas that favor realism and are thus all the more powerful emotionally speaking.

………………………………………………………

Ilo Ilo Movie Review………………………………………………………

To me its rich detail and emotion can be traced mostly back to its director. Yes, the performances are so good, but it is Anthony Chen who elevated this movie with his amazing directing, very polished and so well crafted. He absolutely deserved his Camera d’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival as this is surely one powerful and very admirable directorial debut from a director who may give us even more great movies in the future if he continues to make them. Overall, I really liked this film and it was one of those moving and realistic dramas that I just love.

Ilo Ilo should have been longer in its running time, but other than, it is great. It features a terrific directorial debut from Anthony Chen who deserved his Camera d’Or for it, but it also features excellent performances all around, deft editing and above all a superb script. It is an emotional and heartbreaking, but subtle and never overstated film and such a powerful realistic drama.

My Rating – 4.5

………………………………………………………

Share