Review: The Bling Ring (2013)

The Bling Ring

Acclaimed director Sofia Coppola, known for depicting the lifestyles of the rich and famous through films such as Lost In Translation and Somewhere, uses her new feature The Bling Ring to tap into the obsession modern day teens have with celebrity culture. Potent in its candid and uncomfortable subject-matter (the script is based on real life events as recorded in Nancy Jo Sales’s 2010 Vanity Fair article The Suspects Wore Louboutins), the film finds itself being necessary despite its issues. Continue reading “Review: The Bling Ring (2013)”

DVD Releases: April 4, 2011

Megamind

Director: Tom McGrath

Starring: Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt

The American

Director: Anton Corbijn

Starring: George Clooney, Paolo Bonacelli and Violante Placido

Somewhere

Director: Sofia Coppola

Starring: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning and Michelle Monaghan

Miral

Director: Julian Schnabel

Starring: Freida Pinto, Hiam Abbass and Willem Dafoe

For Colored Girls

Director: Tyler Perry

Starring: Janet Jackson, Anika Noni Rose and Whoopi Goldberg

My Soul To Take

Director: Wes Craven

Starring: Max Thieriot, John Magaro and Denzel Whitaker

Feature: Top Ten Films Of 2010

In total I’ve seen a lot of films in 2010, but here are the ten I consider my favourite:

1. The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech is an altogether clever, humorous and emotional film, supported by tremendous performances from it’s central cast. A must see, by all accounts.

2. The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right a fantastic film, exuding charm, wit, love, insecurity and anguish at every appropriate corner. In essence, it’s a film about the struggles of human relationships, and shows a family’s love has the potential to overcome any obstacle.

3. The Social Network

The Social Network is a film that deserves your attention. It’s not only a film about Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook, but also one of morality. One that requires your full attention and questions your beliefs and values;  but also one that rewards you with its passion, attention-to-detail and humourous nature.

4. Another Year

Mike Leigh’s measured, and scarily realistic human nature drama is impossible to dismiss. Leigh’s laid-back approach let’s the characters and on-screen drama speak for itself. The central leads invite you into their lives and take you on a emotionally and wholly real journey through old-age. Lesley Manville, in particular, is breathtaking.

5. Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone is a film of true craftsmanship. Haunting, gritty, yet oddly inspiring, featuring a nuanced and captivating performance from newcomer Jennifer Lawrence.

6. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Edgar Wright stepped up his game with this genre-crossing comedy film. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is a zany, mis-construed film that explores deep, poignant ideas, inter-cut with lots of crazy, heart-pounding action scenes, hundred of popular culture nods and hilariously odd performances from its central cast.

7. Toy Story 3

Defying expectations, Toy Story 3 proved sequels can be successful. Directed by the incredibly talented Lee Unkrich, the film manages to be a fitting, touching and honest conclusion to one of the most beloved, and inspiring, franchises of all time.

8. Inception

Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending science fiction, Inception is a singular accomplishment from an extraordinarily talented and game-changing director. It’s a visually stunning, intellectually challenging and emotionally engaging triumph, one that truly exemplifies modern filmmaking.

9. Monsters

Monsters is an incredible achievement in more ways than one, showcasing fine performances, an afflicting narrative, wholly real character interactions and special effects that rival those used on Blockbusters

10. I Am Love

Possibly one of the most overlooked films of the year, I Am Love is an incredibly well shot, acted, portrayed and directed. Tilda Swinton provided a flawless, and incredibly raw performance. One to seek out.

Honourable Mentions:

Easy A, How To Train Your Dragon, Four Lions, Kick-Ass, Piranha, Lebanon, Despicable Me, Bad Lieutenant – Port Of Call: New Orleans, The Runaways, Please Give, Cyrus, Splice, Mary & Max, The Hole, Exit Through The Gift Shop, The Killer Inside Me, The Illusionist, Whip It, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, Somewhere, Dogtooth and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Review: Somewhere (2010)

After the candid and poorly-recieved Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola returns to familiar ground with her fourth feature Somewhere, a low-key and heartfelt exploration of love and atonement.

The film is a portrait of Hollywood actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff), who has settled into a life filled with booze, pole dancers, sex and reliance on prescription drugs.

When his daughter, Cleo (Fanning), is thrust into his protection, he’s forced to re-examine his life and find a way to take care of his daughter.

Almost the entire film is set at the famous Chateau Marmont in California. A character in itself, the hotel can be interpreted as a type of purgatory. Johnny’s desires are so easily gratified that he’s left with no inclination or need to leave it’s confinements. It’s almost a metaphor of his own uncertain place in life.

Stephen Dorff delivers a nuanced, troubled performance as off-the-rails Johnny, something that is exemplified in the scenes with Fanning’s Cleo.

Futhermore, Fanning is wonderful as the devoted and fragile daughter, providing a wholly astute and bewitching performance that compliments Dorff’s absolutely.

The immediate lack of on screen tension and any real progression towards an absolute end in the narrative may unfortunately dispel some movie-goers but, then again, Sofia Coppola’s style has never been for everyone.

For those, however, who do admire Sofia Coppola’s attention-to-detail – highlighted perfectly by Harris Savides’ mesmerising cinematography – Somewhere is a powerful, well-directed piece that, despite it’s slow-burning pace and lack of finite conclusion, deserves attention.