A Man and a Woman (1966)

A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

A Man and a Woman Movie Review

A Man and a Woman is a 1966 French romance film directed by Claude Lelouch and starring Anouk Aimee and Jean-Louis Trintignant. It is a solid and beautiful, but very problematic film.

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If I had to go through this again, what would I do?

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A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

The film is about a young widow and widower who meet by chance at their children’s boarding school and whose budding relationship is complicated by the memories of their deceased spouses. Now to me it is obvious that this premise is great and pretty interesting as I have never seen a similar plot in a romance flick before. I thought that definitely made the film feel original.

However, the execution is quite troublesome. Mostly the director Claude Lelouch is here to blame as this is an excessive movie with obvious style over substance problems. Everything is polished, beautiful and artistic to the point that it becomes too much and even overly abundant, especially because it hurts the plot as it rarely focuses on it. But mostly the structure with the flashbacks was incredibly off-putting as I personally dislike such an approach in a movie. Yes, it benefited from it a couple of times, but more often than not, it was hurt by it.

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A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

The character development is okay, but having in mind that this is in a way a chamber piece, it definitely needed to have been much stronger. Both of them are quite likable, but not as interesting as they should have been as they never quite carried the movie. But I liked the performances as Jean-Louis Trintignant is quite good and Anouk Aimee deserved her Oscar nomination as she had some great, emotional scenes in the third act.

Of course A Man and A Woman is a beautiful looking movie. The cinematography is magnificent and I loved its experimental approach to it as it regularly shifts from color to sepia to black-and-white. That is rarely done in cinema and here it was executed wonderfully. It made the movie much more special. The score is also superb and naturally its theme song is beautiful and I loved that it was used often.

The film features a couple of solid and definitely interesting discussions, but the dialogue still left me unsatisfied as it wasn’t as sophisticated or as involving to carry the entire movie. But to me those flashbacks are the major reason why it disappointed me a lot as they were excessive and sometimes honestly quite boring with all of those racing scenes being just so dull and overabundant.

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A Man and a Woman Movie Review………………………………………………..

The highlights are certainly the beginning and naturally its entire third act which was just beautiful to behold. I loved the sex scene – so emotional, dramatic and ultimately an important plot point. There you see the best examination of this particular subject matter. But the ending itself is where the movie shines as it uses its superb score and cinematography to sell that beautiful ending where they reunite at the train station and the results are so stellar that they elevate the overall movie to much greater heights. But still it is an overrated film that is solid and never great. It did not deserve its four Oscar nominations and two wins and only the actress nod was deserved in my opinion.

A Man and a Woman is a solid, but deeply troublesome film that is ultimately a quintessential example of style over substance. It has a great and interesting premise that is unfortunately well utilized only in its couple of scenes, the flashback structure is quite off-putting at times and the dialogue and characters are never as great as they needed to have been. The cinematography is magnificent as is the score and the ending is definitely beautiful, but the entire film is inherently flawed and in the end overrated.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Shop on Main Street (1965)

The Shop on Main Street Movie Reeview…………………………………………………….

The Shop on Main Street Movie Review

The Shop on Main Street is a 1965 Czechoslovak war drama film directed by Elmar Klos and starring Ida Kaminska and Jozef Kroner. It is such a good Oscar winning film.

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I’m your Aryan and you’re my Jewess… understand?

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The Shop on Main Street Movie Review…………………………………………………….

It is about the Aryanization program during World War Ii in Slovakia. The plot is in my opinion very strong, but not as well told. Let me explain. It has way too many characters and a clear lack of focus as it shifts from one supporting character to the other and only around the half of the movie starts the real story and the most important one.

I really liked the scenes between the protagonist and his wife, but of course the major strength of the film lies in its third act where he is conflicted whether or not to hide or expose an old Jew lady to the authorities because he would otherwise be proclaimed a Jew-lover. Those last moments were so dramatic, so difficult to watch and heartbreaking that they stay with you after you’ve seen it.

The Shop on Main Street is of course stupendously well acted. It was nice seeing that Ida Kaminska was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards for a Slovak film as that would never happen these days. And she deserved it as she was magnificent here. But Jozef Kroner is very good as well in a very difficult main role. I liked his character a lot as he was sympathetic and I liked his wife, some of the scenes between the two were very charming. But other characters are all forgettable and not well used in the story unfortunately.

The Shop on Main Street is very well directed and very well scored. The score is repetitive, but definitely memorable. Some of the shots are marvelous and I really liked the fantastical sequences too. Those were quite memorable with their white coloring. The same goes for the romantic scenes which are wonderful.

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The Shop on Main Street Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The editing is not good as some scenes are prolonged and the film doesn’t run smoothly. But even though it could have been much better executed as a whole, it is still a very good, respectable film that deserved its Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for sure. It is also one of the better films of a very weak year for film.

The Shop on Main Street isn’t well paced and it lacks focus as there are too many characters and subplots in it, but the film is otherwise very strong not only in score which is good, acting which is terrific and cinematography which is quite polished, but also in its main characters, some very charming scenes and the third act which is very dramatic, unforgettable and quite heartbreaking leading to one of the better war dramas.

My Rating – 4

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The Painting (2011)

The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The Painting Movie Review

The Painting is a 2011 French animated fantasy drama film directed by Jean-Francois Laguionie. It is a solid and respectable, but flawed movie.

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A simple drawing can be more elaborate than an elaborate painting.

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The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

A painter has left a work incomplete and that causes a conflict between the three groups – ones who are entirely painted, ones who lack some colors and those that are only sketches and looked down upon. Three friends, one from each of three classes, go on a quest to find the painter so he can finish the painting and bring peace.

That is the plot here and of course you’ve got some ‘Toy Story‘ in it, but to me it still felt authentic as it dealt with paintings and the painted characters and that was interesting and somewhat original. I liked its adventurous spirit and the film is engaging to watch. But the message of the film and the entire political conflict here is fairly predictable and familiar.

The characters are very problematic. Some are more memorable than the others, but most are very weakly realized and frankly not at all interesting. That was one of the biggest problems of this movie. But the voice acting is quite the opposite as it is actually very good and professionally done.

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The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The Painting is one of those French animated films that are very artistic both in their approach and execution. I am of course talking about the animation. It is so artistic in style. Now this is a two-edged sword and let me explain. The scenery is gorgeous and some of it is undoubtedly breathtaking. There are a couple of sequences here that are just beautiful to witness. I loved that the movie that featured paintings also felt like a painting in and of itself with an animation done in watercolor and it fits into the overall storyline so well.

It is a very colorful and wonderful movie. However, the character design is to me very troublesome. I just disliked it as it felt odd and very unappealing in its rough style. Of course, some characters had to look like that owing to the story, but it still could have been done better and more appealing. It is a movie that looks great as a whole, but the characters in it look rather odd.

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The Painting Movie Review……………………………………………………..

The Painting has its great moments such as that ending which is somewhat expected, yet very well done and animated. I really liked some scenes here, but it still disappointed me as it wasn’t as entertaining or as exciting as it needed to be. It is very well directed, but not that well paced and overall it should have been more complex in terms of characterization and storytelling. In the end, I did like it, but it is a lost potential as it could have been immensely better.

I really liked the animation in The Painting which is so fittingly artistic and sometimes quite beautiful to witness, but I disliked the character design which felt rough and odd to me. The story is solid, but too simplistic, the characters are entirely forgettable and although the film is very well made and sometimes inspired, it could have been much better anyway.

My Rating – 3.5

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Your Name (2016)

Your name Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Your Name Movie Review

Your Name is a 2016 romantic fantasy anime film directed by Makoto Shinkai. It is his weakest film so far without any doubt.

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Your name is…

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Your Name Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

It tells the story of a young man living in Tokyo and a young woman living in the countryside who suddenly start switching bodies on a regular basis. The premise itself was awfully weird. Odd actually as it isn’t particularly appealing. It led to a lot of overly sexual and typical teenage humor which I did not appreciate at all.

But the major problem here is most certainly the romance. We’ve seen this type of romance countless times before as Makoto Shinkai is basically repeating himself here. We’ve seen the theme of star-crossed lovers and beautiful, distant romance before and done much better, especially in his ‘5 Centimeters Per Second’. This is basically a rehashed idea with only the switching of the bodies part being new. But because I found that aspect to be too odd, I ended up not really liking the overall story.

But there are some exceptions to that. Certainly some scenes were way too good that even a non-fan like me has to admit their greatness. Some of the dreams were quite moody and intriguing and the last sequence in particular is very charming and a sweet and romantic way to end the movie.

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Your Name Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

The characters are solid, but not as great as the script demanded them to have been. The supporting characters are all forgettable, but the central duo is likable and their romance is sweet and emotional, albeit not nearly as well developed as I would liked to have seen.

The animation in Your Name is definitely its strongest aspect. The overall animation is so polished and professional, but the scenery is the highlight. Some of the imagery at display here was just gorgeous to behold and I loved the use of both country and city in its settings. That was important for the story and really well utilized visually too. I especially liked its pleasing color palette and a couple of sequences were even jaw-dropping in their beauty.

The soundtrack is pretty solid. The songs aren’t well incorporated whatsoever into the story, but they are catchy and memorable. But they added to this movie feeling like a TV show instead of a film and that feeling I just could never shake and it really bothered me.

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Your Name Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

The voice acting is good and the directing from Makoto Shinkai is pretty good as usual. He does repeat himself here, but at least the film flows well and is well directed as a whole. I found the film’s structure to be naturally important for the film itself, but it was still awfully annoying at times as I strongly dislike the dream structure as a whole. That is why I just could never connect and get into this movie and even some scenes felt boring to me. I definitely can see the appeal here as some scenes are very strong, the romance is pretty memorable and it can be quite sentimental and epic at times, but neither of those aspects were particularly well developed to me personally which is why I found the movie to be just solid and nothing more than that. It is certainly his weakest film so far.

Your Name is by far the weakest film from Makoto Shinkai so far. Yes, the animation is beautiful, its romance is memorable and a couple of sequences are certainly charming and moving, but even though I can definitely see its appeal, I could never get into it personally. The film is way too derivative of his previous works, the dream structure is annoying, the plot as a whole is pretty uninspired and it never felt like a movie to me, but rather like a rushed anime TV show. In the end, it is one seriously overrated anime film that hugely disappointed me.

My Rating – 3.5

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My Life as a Zucchini (2016)

My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review

My Life as a Zucchini is a 2016 Swiss animated film directed by Claude Barras. It is such a pleasant, yet dark film that is one of the best animated films from this year.

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No one wants to adopt kids as old as we are

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My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

It follows a boy who accidentally kills his mother and is sent to orphanage where he is bullied at first, but eventually forms friendships and falls in love with a newly arrived girl. Now this is a very interesting film, I have to say that it surprised me with its content. It is basically a film that is not for children aged nine or less as it might be too dark for them, but it is still light enough that older children may enjoy it.

I liked that duality present here. The film deals with a lot of important and tragic issues as each and every one of these orphan kids either lost their parents or were neglected and abused. I surely did not expect to see such frankness and raw emotion when dealing with this difficult subject matter and was thus pleasantly surprised by it.

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My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

It also has some quite mature sexual conversations between the kids. To me they were overwhelming and somewhat out of place here, but they still felt realistic as this is how kids talk in real life. But the inclusion of such suggestive dialogue in a supposedly children’s cartoon was quite unexpected.

But on the other hand, My Life as a Zucchini also manages to find light in the vast areas of darkness and that I not only respected, but I found it to be a perfect approach for this kind of film. It is both light and dark with an ending that is so sweet and triumphant that it never felt cheap, but rather earned as the emotion and characterization were more than competent for such an ending to work. It surely is an immensely enjoyable and charming film that is awfully dark and mature in some areas and that juxtaposition was quite innovative in my opinion and mostly handled in a very smooth manner.

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My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

The characters are superb, all of them really well developed and they all left an impression on me, each and every one of them and that was tremendously commendable. Camille is quite likable and a very strong female character. Courgette is overly typical, yet well realized. Raymond the policeman is such a sympathetic, wonderful man and I was so happy that he chose to be the guardian to those two.

I liked that all of the kids had their quirks and especially their problems, that was realistic and also quite tragic to witness. Simon is such a familiar, yet so well utilized bully character and I liked his arc quite a bit. But Camille’s aunt was just way too over-the-top and villainy in my opinion.

The animation in My Life as a Courgette is splendid. It is the kind of stop-motion that doesn’t rely particularly on detail, but it is so well designed in its characters and so polished as a whole that it was beautiful to watch. I found some of the imagery here to be quite memorable and even delightful. The colors are also very well incorporated with some excellent choices. And I admired how they managed to tell this story with minimal dialogue and sometimes being told by visuals alone. That is what film and especially animation is supposed to do which is why this film succeeds entirely on both storytelling and technical grounds.

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My Life as a Zucchini Movie Review…………………………………………………..

My Life as a Zucchini does have sometimes too on-the-nose dialogue and those sex conversations weren’t my cup of tea, but most of the dialogue was surprisingly sophisticated and it felt real to me. The script is great, the direction is very strong and the editing is particularly effective. The film is so well edited and paced that it was never rushed despite its very short running time. But this run time was just enough and fitting for this material and the film succeeds because it never prolongs its scenes. It also features one of the best adapted screenplays of the entire year. In the end, I found this flick not only to be one of the year’s best animated movies, but also one of the best foreign films of 2016 as well. It is that good and a perfect example of a seemingly simplistic film that is actually very complex, emotional and even deep.

My Life as a Zucchini is one of the year’s finest animated as well as foreign films. The script is very strong, the editing is superb, the dialogue is mostly realistic, the characters are so well developed and its animation is charming and wonderful. It is a film that is both light and dark, funny and emotional, childlike but also adult and that juxtaposition of humor and joy with tragic faiths and deep moments led to such an interesting, quite unique and rich film.

My Rating – 4.5

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The Salesman (2016)

The Salesman Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman is a 2016 Iranian drama film directed by Asghar Farhadi and starring Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti. It is one of the year’s best films.

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They ruined this city once.

They built it again and now this is it

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The Salesman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………..

I found the film’s premise to be awfully specific, yet it is executed in the best way possible and it leads to a lot of fantastic and thought-provoking conversations. The film also very smoothly transitions from a family drama to an almost thriller-like movie with an intense scenario. It does feel like two different movies, but both are great and again the transition is very good and that helps lead to a well structured, polished film.

The characters are terrific and so well developed and they feel real owing to great characterization and a smart script, but mostly because the acting is so great. This is easily one of the year’s best acted movies with two of the best performances given here. Shahab Hosseini is amazing. He is so competent and subtle in a very difficult role. But Taraneh Alidoosti is also fantastic as she sold all of those emotional scenes. The two carry the movie on their shoulders with two masterful performances.

But of course Asghar Farhadi is the biggest reason why this film works. His direction here is probably the year’s best and again a proof that he is one of the best directors working today. Such a superb, visionary director. And the fact that he wrote the screenplay too only further underscores his immense talents.

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The Salesman Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

The Salesman features fantastic dialogue. It is so realistic in its conversations as it feels as if watching real people talk. The dialogue is both realistic and clever as the film deals with a lot of thought-provoking ideas. The man’s wife is attacked and he yells at her that she is overly paranoid and that she needs to get over her fears. Is she too paranoid or is he overly harsh to her wife in need of emotional support?

But of course the major question is asked in the film’s last, prolonged sequence. He finds the attacker, but he turns out to be old. He wants to humiliate him in front of his family, but eventually gives up on that idea. But because the man has heart problems, he eventually collapses and the film ends ambiguously. He committed a crime, but he apologized and Emad still tortured him psychologically and thus he eventually hurt him.

 That whole sequence is so intense and so difficult to watch and sometimes even unpleasant, but it still showcases how strong the film is as a whole that it can get to you and produce such an emotional reaction as it did to me personally. That is because all of these people feel real and also relatable and even though the situation is difficult to happen in real life, it led to so many interesting discussions that it was worth it. The conflict that arose between the two spouses is strong enough on its own, but the whole attacker/cheater aspect led to this film being such a richly layered, incredibly sophisticated drama.

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The Salesman Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

The editing is fantastic and it is one of the year’s tightest and most polished features as it is never rushed or slow. The use of the famous play by Arthur Miller is also solid and well incorporated into the narrative. The film is well filmed, well scored and so well scripted and directed. It is one of those movies that are difficult to watch, but are worth it in the long run as you end up with one of the best foreign films of 2016 and one of the most complex and smartest recent films from any country. Farhadi is a talent to watch and I am looking forward to his next film.

The Salesman is very difficult and even unpleasant to watch at times, but it is worth it as it is such a powerful, deep and richly layered picture that fascinated me and engaged me emotionally. The performances from Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti are absolutely fantastic and the direction from Asghar Farhadi is simply brilliant. He is definitely one of the best and most talented directors working today. This film is so well written with great dialogue, but with the last, prolonged sequence being the highlight; it is complex and thought-provoking in its difficult situation. It is undoubtedly one of the best films of 2016.

My Rating – 4.5

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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.

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These are my children,

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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I’ve noticed the more we doubt,

the more we cling to a false lucidity,

in hope of rationalizing what feelings have made murky

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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The Eagle Huntress (2016)

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress is a 2016 Mongolian documentary film directed by Otto Bell and telling the story of Aisholpan Nurgaiv. It is a pretty good, if inherently flawed flick.

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This is no ordinary bird.

This was a tough endeavor

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The Eagle Huntress Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

It is about a 13-year-old Kazakh girl in Mongolia who became the first female eagle hunter in her generation and country. Naturally it has a feminist message, but that message is conveyed in a good instead of overly aggressive or expected manner. She truly is an inspirational person and that is why she was a great center of this fascinating story.

The movie is controversial for supposedly featuring staged sequences and events and many even question whether or not it is a true documentary and whether it is factual or exaggerated. In my honest opinion, there are definitely some forced scenes here and I agree that it should have felt more like a documentary, but more on that later. However, I still think that those criticisms are a bit unfair and I choose to believe that the film is factual. And whether or not it is real, it still remains an inspirational story for women everywhere.

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The Eagle Huntress Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

There is no denying the film’s technical aspects. The Eagle Huntress looks amazing. Its cinematography is so good that it is one of the best shot movies of the year. Its crane and aerial shots are absolutely gorgeous and watching the snowy mountain imagery was beautiful. The film is also well directed and edited and although it should have been shorter, it is mostly really entertaining and interesting to watch.

It was to me interesting because I didn’t know anything about Mongolia and eagle hunters before and now I am acquainted with it quite a bit so the film did its job and succeeds as a good documentary. The highlights are definitely those hunting sequences which are phenomenal and so fascinating, if brutal to watch. I thought that the film explained to us the viewers everything we need to know about this interesting Mongolian tradition.

Where the film isn’t as great is in its interviews. As I said before, it isn’t much of a documentary because it plays too much like a live-action film and that wasn’t the problem, but my biggest issue was the lack of more interviews. I think the film does have enough of Aisholpan and her family, but the interviews with the other people are sparse and lacking.

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The Eagle Huntress Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

But it is so well made and it looks splendid. It deals with an interesting subject matter and was thus intriguing and always engaging to me personally. That is why I honestly think it was snubbed for Best Documentary by the Academy as its inclusion would have led to a much diverse list than the one we unfortunately got. Overall, I really liked this film and even though it is filled with some pretty big issues, the overall experience is wonderful, fascinating and ultimately emotionally rewarding.

Regardless of its controversy which is unfortunate, The Eagle Huntress is still such a good and mostly satisfying documentary. It needed to have more interviews, but it tells us everything we need to know about this Mongolian tradition and it is always fascinating and very involving to watch. It is also emotional and its biggest strength is the cinematography with aerial shots which are absolutely stunning leading to one of the best looking films of the year.

My Rating – 4

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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