The highlights of my final selection of films were The Host and The wind that shook the barley.
The (many) Koreans in the audience started laughing within the first scene--it took me until scene three. Nevertheless, this was thoroughly enjoyable in a really crazy way. The film was spectacularly schlocky yet also had some fantastic comedic set-ups that would have done Joss proud. It has to be seen to be believed, but suffice to say that the movie involved bio-chemical warfare (Agent Yellow!), a very well-animated monster, a narcoleptic idiot father, a wise old 'grandpa' figure (whose speeches put the other characters to sleep--literally), an Olympic archery champion whose Achilles heel was her inability to fire quickly (?!?!) and a university graduate with no career... they all chase around after the cute-as-a-button monster-bait schoolgirl, while being pursued by the authorities. There's some nice commentary on US foreign politics, and part of the movie was clearly a satirical take on SARS... so really, there was something for everyone. *g* It's going to hit the midnight movie circuit in no time...
The wind that shook the barley
I like Ken Loach's movies. He's a master at understatement and realism. He has coaxed some incredible performances out of actors, and his films steer well away from simplistic messages or sentimentalism. Land and Freedom was one of my favourites--it's about the Spanish civil war--so I was all there for him returning to similar themes in The wind. It definitely measured up well. This is by far the best performance I've seen Cillian give and I think he was very well cast here. He oscillates between fragility and terrifying hardness in a confronting role. As in Land and Freedom, Loach shows the way politics when pushed to an extreme end under the pressure of civil conflict can result in horrific acts that further scar and divide people. He also shows the passion that lies inside people when they fight for what they believe in, even when, as in Cillian's character's case, it drives them to turn against their own brother. It's not an 'easy' movie. But it feels gut-wrenchingly real. The world ain't pretty and there's no simple solution.
On a lighter note: EYES! Good god, that man's eyes! There is one moment (I won't spoil) when he looks up and holds his gaze straight at the camera--and, eek, it sent chills down my spine and my heart thumping for him at the same time. Eerie.
So now that that's all over, I'll have more time to play. *waves*
I missed talitha78's birthday!! WOE. I hope you got many lovely things and had a great day. You are my fandom hero, sweetie! Best wishes for the year ahead.
I probably missed a bunch else besides... feel free to fill me in! *g* And yes, I may actually be around a leetle more now. And will stop posting about boring movies you have no intention of seeing. I promise the next post will be fannish-ish. ;-)