31 October 2014

Words and Pictures [SQ Inflight Entertainment]

A more matured-directed rom-com that had its heart in the right place but the soul itself fleeting in and out. Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche are great in their own roles (come on...a Brit as a literary supporter and a French as the snobbish artist - Perfect!) but together their chemistry was stronger when they started out as frenemies than when they became lovers. 

The concept is strong and the material funny, and using a rom-com as a premise to discuss the age old question of words or pictures was a smart decision. A more intellectual discussion would not be very fitting to a movie structure. However, they may have answered their own debate with Music; first there were neither words or painting but sound. 

The Immigrant [SQ inflight entertainment]

An achingly sad yet paradoxically hopeful period drama about one woman's struggle to survive wrapped enigmatically in an unlikely love story. Excellent and touching performances by both Marion Cortillard and Joaquin Phoenix, with Jeremy Renner in an outstanding supporting role. 

Director and co-writer James Gray (the latter with Richard Menello) painted a portrait of a bleak and desperate woman but also one who has immense strength in character and faith. Well directed with a good pace and sharp focus on characters. Interesting themes explored particularly sin and survival vs salvation, and forgiveness. 

Cotillard was outstanding as the titular main character: raw, fragile yet her steely gaze can stare down the hardest man. In this case, we have Phoenix giving us another one of his brilliant character creation as the anti-hero that you are secretly rooting for even if pretty boy Renner came in and swooned you/us over. 

Cinematography by Darius Khondji was equally as bleak as the story needed but the moments of light and salvation was equally as measured. Gorgeous use of lights and shadows in certain scenes. Music by Christopher Spellman carried a Polish theme and was similarly bleak with tinges of hope. 

Stephen King's Doctor Sleep

This was unexpectedly good. It was not Oscar-winning good, but it was a thoroughly entertaining horror-thriller. Kudos to writer/director...