- Atonement - The book is a writerly conceit and the film is very close to the book. Just as manipulative as the most trite Hollywood schmaltz only dressed up in cut-glass vowels and fancy frocks. However, Keira Knightly does deserve some kind of award for really, really wearing that green dress.
- Michael Clayton - The one I haven't seen. Looks worthy but dull.
- No Country For Old Men - Gut wrenchingly riveting and gripping on the first viewing. Desert landscapes, silence, stolen money, cattle guns, Tommy Lee Jones, what could go wrong? Well, on a second viewing the whole thing falls apart. I just didn't buy it, especially the Chigurh character, a figure of death and destruction but one without context. Matthew and I have argued long about this but suffice to say, I'm right.
- Juno - Brilliant! Funny, intelligent, non-judgemental, unpredictable and with great performances all round. Seen this three times now and it just gets better and better.
- There Will Be Blood - I may embarrass myself here... Quite simply one of the best films I have ever seen. Paul Thomas Anderson, the director, made Boogie Nights, Magnolia and the much underrated Punch Drunk Love. He hasn't made a picture for 5 years and I think in that time he's been to the crossroads and made a deal... An allegorical and symbolic history of the twentieth century no less this extraordinary film taken in part from an Upton Sinclair novel starts with men literally pulling oil out of the ground with buckets and ends with an act of unparalleled madness and brutality. The film is apocalyptic and visionary and I have no problems comparing it to Bosch or Grunewald in its intensity and beauty. The performances are all excellent but Daniel Day-Lewis is just an elemental force of nature. I've seen this three times also and different parts of Day-Lewis's character reveal themselves on each viewing he simply is Daniel Plainview. It's a genuine delight to come across a work of art in your lifetime that you just know will be considered as one of the greats across time. This film should win everything it's up for, which means, of course, it won't.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Oscars! (Writers Guild permitting)
The nominations for the oscars were announced yesterday. Unusually for me I've actually seen 4 out of the 5 best films so here goes my best 5 in reverse order:
Posted by Adam