Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Celluloid #34


In Home

Doubt (2008) Shanley - A priest takes a young black student under his wing, but the mother superior believes their relationship to be of an improper nature. Throughout the film we are never given hard evidence to prove his guilt or innocence...a greyness that I appreciated. The mother superior represents the old way of the church while the priest champions progressive evolution. She's a huge bitch, but that doesn't necessarily make her wrong. While Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, and Viola Davis all put in pretty great performances, I'm convinced that Amy Adams exists merely to have big eyes and look perpetually on the brink of tears. 4/5

Nashville (1975) Altman - This time Altman's ensemble cast plays country singers (or wannabe singers), politicians, or businessmen surrounding the Grand Ole Opry. It's a typical Altman film where often many people talk all at once and the audience cannot possibly pick up on all of the conversations. The actors wrote and performed their own songs, and throughout the movie, a van painted with "Hal Phillip Walker: Replacement Party candidate" drives around spouting off conservative propaganda and slogans. 4/5

Yi Yi (2000) Yang - For a decade or so, Edward Yang and Hou Hsiao-Hsien pretty much comprised the entirety of Taiwan's New Wave of film. This particular film is a long, serious, family epic. The wife feels that her life lacks meaning, and leaves for a mountain retreat. The grandmother enters a coma. The father acts as the main protagonist and revisits his first love. The daughter feels responsible for her grandmother's condition and suffers heartbreak of her own. And lastly, the young son brims with curiosity and precociousness. A beautiful and melancholy slice of life in modern day Taiwan. 4/5

4 comments:

mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike said...

thanks for having a link to our blog thizz.face.disco.

I can add your blog to our list of links, if you would like.

mike.

The New said...

Doubt isn't out on disc yet, is it?

I saw Coraline last night. I may post on it in the coming days.

raridan said...

Mike - Sure, you can add my blog to your list of links...we're both oakland...

New/Ian - No, Doubt isn't technically out on DVD yet, but for some reason my boss had a screener of it. I'll be interested to see your post about Coraline; I heard it makes kids cry.