Monday, March 31, 2014

What I've Been Watching #4

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) » What a great masterpiece! It won the Palm D'Or for Best Film at Cannes for some reason. This is a story about two brothers in 1920s Ireland, the O'Donovans, who join the IRA brigade after what their families suffered at the hands of the Black and Tans. The violence is achingly convincing and the powerful sense of patriotism and sacrifice makes any viewer looks at the Irish (and the British) from a different angle. The performances are visceral - Cillian Murphy never disappoints (and those cheekbones...!). I urge you to watch this moving, devastating film. And yes, I cried.

Summer in February (2013) » If you are a fan of Downton Abbey (or any other British period drama), please don't miss this film. A tale of love, scandal, passion, romance and art set in the years approaching the Great War. Based on the book which is actually based on true events, this film is sometimes muted but always enrapturing. Edwardian bohemian artists gather in the Cornish coast and emotions begin to unfold. Expect superb scenery, tragedy and poetry. Dominic Cooper is just brilliant as AJ Munnings, he's so talented! The ending stayed with me for a while... That's a good thing, I suppose.

The Invisible Woman (2013) » Directed by Ralph Fiennes, this is a film I have been waiting for - because I am a Literature enthusiast and also quite curious about his secretive liaison with Ellen Ternan aka Nelly (much younger and more intellectually stimulating than Mrs. Dickens) at the peak of his career. Ralph's portrayal of Charles Dickens is ravishing! This 19th century affair was kept top secret for a long time but it couldn't be a secret forever. The literate's heart struggles with a dilemma between the feelings of the two protagonists and the fact that no one can escape the moral consequences of certain actions, considering the social and moral structure of Victorian England and also the standarts imposed by society. If you are in the mood for a slow-paced movie that has nothing to do with the mainstream Hollywood standarts and want to know more about the secret life and lover of Mr. Dickens... Watch it!

Cadillac Records (2008) » This movie follows the rise of Chess Records and the turbulent lives of America's iconic musical legends: Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry and Etta James. After the blues blast, rock and roll soon takes over Chicago in the 1950s and Leonard Chess discovered and recorded all those great voices in his studio. Yeah, I forgot to mention but this is based on real events. The rags to riches journey brings along, of course, self-destruction but you all knew about that part. Beyoncé steals the show, I kid you not! She played Etta James and I'm not sure what struck me the most: her powerfully dramatic performance or her soulful voice.

Amelia (2009)» Amelia Earhart has to be an all time inspiration to women all over the world, not only because she was a brave pioneering woman pilot who went missing in 1937 but also because she made other women believe in themselves and in their own dreams. Hence, I couldn't possibly miss this biopic, obviously. I think everyone should watch it; Miss Earheart was surely an interesting individual and I respect and admire everything she did. Hilary Swank did a good job as the legendary Kansas girl whose attempt to make a flight around the world made her become a myth.

Kill Your Darlings (2013) » Columbia University, 1940s. Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs - these men ignited the Beat Generation with their intoxicated/intoxicating ideologies, transgressions and unconventional creativity. However, this film fails to offer a refined depiction, which is a shame, because the potential is there. And Daniel Radcliffe's dull performance doesn't really help. I suggest you keep your expectations low, really. However, I really liked the first half of it. And hey, somebody gets killed - murder is always a tonic.

Albatross (2011) » In this British film we witness the way Jessica Brown Findlay brights our day. The chemistry between her and Felicity Jones is tremendous! The story follows Emelia befriending Beth and getting involved with Beth's dysfunctional family in every sort of way. This refreshing film has an awkward tone and alternates between comedy and drama brilliantly. The cast is first rate and the performances are sensational. Delightful indie film, indeed.

Trance (2013) » Another film that did not live up to my expectations. Danny Boyle can do better than this. James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel are amazing actors so I can't complain about the acting. The memory loss, the heist, the missing painting, the gang of criminals, the hypnotherapist... The concept is alright but not enough to fascinate me. However, the plot twist impressed me more than the plot itself.

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman (2013) » Here's a vibrant, raw and cool movie about the power of love. A crazy love story intertwined with the underworld of crime, with amazing cinematography and Mads Mikkelsen *sigh*. An adventure in Bucharest, filled with moments of technical and visual brilliance, in which even Rupert Grint appears to make us laugh at his character. For some reason, I can't stand Shia LaBeouf. I feel like punching his face. Bottom line: worth watching because it's an enrapturing experience to the viewer's senses.


  1. essa primeira selecção é divina! da terceira ainda não vi nada, mas da 2ª vi o cadillac records e adorei :D

  2. albatross e trance. fiquei curiosa!

  3. Fazes críticas soberbas aos filmes!

  4. More movies to add to my list, except for Amelia. I already watched that one :)

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