Thursday, August 5, 2010

Return of the Quickies

Yesterday (2004)****

Yesterday is a simple, quiet and delicate film about a young Zulu family ravaged by HIV. There are a number of wonderful moments but, as you would expect, this is ultimately a very sad and emotionally challenging experience.


Solaris (2002)****

A bit draggy in the middle, but overall a decent and respectful revamp of the Tarkovsky sci-fi classic. Features the same Zen-like atmosphere of the original, and manages to be equally haunting. This is a film that you'll be thinking about for a few days. Excellent performances from Viola Davis and Jeremy Davies.


Heaven (2002)***

Well produced thriller that’s a little too clever for its own good, but some beautiful Italian landscapes nearly make up for it. Will appeal mainly to ardent fans of Cate Blanchett.


The Last Station (2009)****

A glorious chance to watch a pair of old pros at work. This examination of the tempestuous relationship between Tolstoy and his histrionic wife Sofia earned richly deserved Oscar nods for Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. The film gets a bit too cute in spots and the ending drones on a bit, but overall the proceedings are a pleasure to watch. Paul Giamatti is refreshingly restrained for much of the film.

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