Breakfast on Pluto (2005) » One of the most adorable, quirkiest films I've ever seen! Cillian Murphy is, along with Michael Fassbender, my favourite Irish actor and he really amazed me as the naïf tranny Patrick "Kitten" Braden, a young lovely creature whose story brought tears to my eyes. In the 1970s, he/she leaves a small town in Ireland, heading London, looking for his biological mother and some answers from the past. The soundtrack is groovy and I can assure you it's impossible not to empathize with the protagonist. I wonder why I haven't seen this film before.
Michael Collins (1996) » Here's one hell of an epic biopic! For those who never heard of Michael Collins, well, let's just say he played a major role in the freedom of Ireland, even if it was only partial. I actually visited his grave when I was in Dublin this month. He was the intelligence of the IRA, leading it against British rule and established the Irish Free State in the 1920s but soon became a threat for those who dreamed with a completely independent Irish Republic. Neil Jordan's depiction of the life and death of "The Big Fella" is pretty accurate, entertaining and dramatic, with a balanced amount of action, politics and romance. Liam Neeson's charismatic portrayal of Collins is compelling and thrilling - and you know that I'm crazy about Liam, don't you? Julia Roberts, on the other hand, wasn't convincing at all - absolute miscast.
The Crying Game (1992) » Three Neil Jordan's films in a row! This one is a film to remember. A British soldier is kidnapped by IRA terrorists and befriends one of them. An unlikely friendship develops between Jody the soldier and Fergus the IRA volunteer. The hostage goes terribly wrong for both sides and next thing we see is Fergus escaping and going to London, where he looks for Jody's lover, an exotic hairdresser named Dil, as he promised Jody to find her. What happens next is the most unpredictable thing... I kinda forsaw it, but that's just me being hyper-observant.
We'll Take Manhattan (2012) » Photographer David Bailey met it girl Jean Shrimpton in the early 1960s and their love affair gave birth to a new concept of pop culture, young icons, fashion and beauty standarts. This partnership epitomized the beginning of the Swinging Sixties at its coolest. Bailey and Jean were sent on a photoshoot to New York with Vogue's old fashioned editor, Lady Clare Rendlesham, who dislikes Bailey's innovative photos... Well, her loss. I just can't see Karen Gillan as Jean Shrimpton... ever!
Burton and Taylor (2013) » The lives of Richard Burton and Liz Taylor in 83 minutes of brilliance! Helena Bonham Carter steals the show as the 50-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, capturing the essence of the boozy diva with a turbulent soul. Burton attends Taylor's 50th birthday party as her recovering alcoholic ex-husband, asking her to star in a stage play with him. The setting for this TV movie is 1983, a year before Burton's death. Not to miss.
Liz & Dick (2012) » Forgettable version of one of the most passionate love stories ever born in front of the cameras: the torrid relationship between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood's most scandalous couple. Most of you already know that but... They divorced and married twice! Anyway, I can't take Lindsay Lohan seriously but in this film someone did a fantastic job on making her look almost exactly like Liz Taylor! Still, Helena Bonham Carter wins.
Hunger (2008) » This is not a film for the weak of stomach. It's a raw, shocking and dramatically powerful masterpiece. What struck me the most is that I was witnessing something that actually really happened. Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender are fucking brilliant whenever they work together. It took me a while to "digest" this film... Fassy got so thin to play the role of Bobby Sands (google him if you don't know who he was), you can see his bones, like some sort of ghoulish walking corpse. His performance still haunts me! Hunger follows life in the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, during The Troubles. You can't possibly imagine the conditions in that prison in the 1980s. It also takes a closer look to what happens when body and mind go through a ruthless hunger strike - it's beyond martyrdom, beyond sacrifice, beyond honour and even beyond the cause itself.
Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013) » A man meets a wounded woman in an alley and brings her home, where she reveals her story of life, lust and nymphomania. Their conversation is intellectually stimulating, wandering through subjects like Literature, love, instinct, death, Art, philosophy, music, etc. Von Trier digs into human sexuality and psyche with a brutal and poignant honesty that surely isn't everyone's cup of tea and possibly makes the audience feel uncomfortable. Also, Uma Thurman's performance was outstanding!
Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013) » In the second part of the latest Lars Von Trier's film, we witness Joe's obsession with sex spiraling down into self-destruction and her tormented struggle. Her erotic experiences explore other concepts and sources of pleasure and her own persona dives into the underworld of depravity. It's very depressing. What I loved the most about the second volume of this film was the way it ended: totally unpredictable yet quite relatable to reality... You'll understand what I mean if you watch it. I won't spoil it but all I can say is that has a feminist undertone condemning patriarchy and hipocrisy. By the way, I loved the chemistry between Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jamie Bell.