Sunday, January 2, 2011

Recently Viewed...

Poison Friends (2006)****

Nicely done college drama about a group of young men who fall under the influence of a charismatic senior with a life story a little too good to be true. The film accurately captures the atmospherics and social dynamics of life at an urban university, with an excellent performance by Thibault Vincon as Andre.

Broken Rainbow (1985)***

This stylistically dated documentary concerns the outrageous efforts by the US government to move Navajos off their tribal lands in order to create higher profits for the Peabody Coal Company. Worth watching for the bonus material, featuring an update filmed in 2006 showing many of the original subjects still passively resisting the government. Today's audience may take some solace in the fact that the US Senate was also full of corrupt corporate toadies 25 years ago

Mademoiselle Chambon (2009)***

I loved this film until I watched the deleted scenes, which showed the original screenplay going down a sleazier road. The final cut of Mademoiselle Chambon is a delicate, in some ways heroic, film about a family man trying awfully hard to do the right thing in the face of powerful temptations. Vincent Lindon is terrific as the beleaguered and confused husband/father in question. Enjoy it for what it is, and don’t watch the deleted scenes…

Accomplices (2009)****

Sharp, tight police drama starring Gilbert Melki and Emmanuelle Devos as detectives charged with determining just what happened to a young man whose body was fished out of the river. The stories of the investigation and the original crime are told as intercut, concurrent narratives. Melki and Devos are excellent as they slowly uncover the facts and find chilling parallels to their own lives.

The Girl Cut in Two (2007)**

The first half of this film is smart, brisk and engaging, and then it devolves into something like a bad Lifetime TV movie. The script can’t decide if Ludivine Sagnier’s character is a strong, ambitious young woman or a naïve, immature girl. And worse, it doesn’t seem to care. Chabrol was always better at setting up dramatic elements than resolving them, and the ending here is about as hyperbolic as it gets. For devoted Sagnier fans and Chabrol completeists only.

1 comment:

Missy Plath said...

David, wonderful selection and comments!!! I haven't watched most of these ones. I will add the movies with highest rated reviews to my wishlist. :)

Elevator to the Gallows Turns 60

Louis Malle’s Elevator to the Gallows is a stylish and seductive thriller about a murder plot gone terribly wrong. But unlike most th...