Jan 31, 2012

January recap

January has been a good month for me, but I wish I would have done more and seen more movies. You'll see I like to count and take into consideration more cultural aspects of my previous month, so you'll get the numbers for TV shows, books, audiobooks, and other similar interesting experiences. I am going to start counting BBC series as movies, because the length and quality of the story and production fit into a movie category, from my point of view.

Film&TV shows: 
Animal Kingdom[2010]
L'amour fou[2010] documentary
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo[2011]
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy[2011]
Bill Cunningham New York[2010] documentary
War Horse[2011/2012]
The Artist[2011/2012]
Sherlock[2011-2012]- BBC series- seasons 1&2
The Skin I live in [2011]
A separation [2011]
Birdsong- BBC series [2012]
Sirens- Channel 4 series [2011]

Extra: Misfits season 3 [2011] - all night marathon at a local cinema theatre (a great experience and very cool TV show)

Books: 3
Audiobook: 1 "Casanova" read by Benedict Cumberbatch- the voice that man has....wow!

New blogs I discovered (you should check them out)
Sati at Cinematic Corner
Wilde Dash- she has her own music blog http://popcandyarcade.blogspot.com/, showcasing great and new music to me, but also contributes to the film blog http://www.loveandsqualorfilm.com, which is very good!

Oh, and I just surpassed 5000 views on the blog- crazy! :)

I hope you all had a great January and I wish February will be even better for all of us!

Jan 30, 2012

Birdsong- BBC series 2012

Birdsong, the novel by Sebastian Faulks, has been recently adapted into a miniseries by the BBC, with a screenplay written by Abi Morgan (Iron Lady, Shame) and directed by Philip Martin. As usual, we can expect great things from it, and it truly is a beautiful work of art, although it has certain flaws.

Episode 1
The story follows Wraysford, a young British man, through two different periods of his life: the first, set in 1910, is the short, but memorable time spent in the house of a French family, where he meets Isabel, and the second, set in 1916, is the world war.

Eddie Redmayne, as Stephen Wraysford, is good, but he does annoy me with some of his manners and gestures; if you have seen My week with Marilyn, you know what I mean: his eyes. I'm not saying they are not beautiful, because they are, but his glance, the way he looks at someone or something, even if it's Isabel, the love of his life, or a random tree in the woods, it's always the same- his starring eyes are becoming a signature move/look. He is quite a character and I loved him in Pillars of the Earth, but he relies too much on his pretty eyes, which is not good- the British film industry is growing day by day, showcasing younger, attractive, talented men like Harry Lloyd, Douglas Booth, Jeremy Irvine or Richard Madden, and in a few years, those eyes of his won't be enough.

Speaking of attractive British men, we also have Matthew Goode and Richard Madden in the cast. While the Single Man star is briefly seen in some scenes of the episode, The Game of Thrones resident King plays Weir, the nice guy with knitted sweaters who is, probably, the only friend of Wraysford on the battlefield. Joseph Mawle also gives a heartwarming performance and it should be interesting to see how his character evolves in second part.

Clemence Poesy portrays the young French woman who falls in love with Wraysford, and unfortunately, the only thing I saw in her was beauty, that's all. Effortless elegance and grace, lovely features and great style, but nothing more. She acts her part, but brings nothing new; it's like she is keeping a distance between her and Isabel, and you, as a viewer, cannot feel the connection, which is too bad, considering the interesting part she was giving.

As for the actual filmmaking aspect of it, BBC has, yet again, outdone itself- the sets are fantastic, the costumes, lighting and cinematography-breathtaking, and the direction beautifully highlights the story and its characters; absolutely nothing bad that I could comment on.

The series is off to a good start and I am curious to see what episode 2 brings to the story and the characters.

p.s. Sometimes, I just hate accents, I cannot understand what they are saying- case in point, Madden's Scottish one.

Episode 2
The second episode continues in the same rhythm as the first one: transitions between the past (Isabel time) and present (war time), excessively using the slow-motion shooting style (one of the film's major flaws). Apart from a few resurrections (of Wraysford) and far too many violent, unnecessary deaths (SPOILER-Weir, Firebrace, soldiers), there's not a lot of action, and I think that is the series main problem: although the story has a fluent and visually attracting pace, in the end, it is not satisfaying for the viewers. Maybe it's the book, maybe it's the script (but I doubt that, Abi Morgan has done a wonderful job), but something doesn't click- in the end, we get too much visual and too little action- it can get a little bit boring.

But the again, the cinematography is stunning and I love the difference between the two storylines: going from the light, bright tones of the Isabel time, to the dark, shady colors of the war time. The direction is good, but I do think they overused some techniques to create the dreamy, remembering state of the film.

Performance-wise, all actors have improved, Redmayne showing a little bit more the second time around. Madden is just as good and I loved the sensitivity of his character, although his ending was stupid. Joseph Mawle shines and Matthew Goode shows that he does have a leading man potential (he is a fantastic actor and a personal favorite).

Overall, Birdsong is a good, beautiful miniseries, but I am sure we can find better ones out there. I really hope you are interested in these type of TV shows, because I plan on seeing and reviewing more of them! :)

Do you usually watch miniseries? What other similar shows do you recommend?

Jan 29, 2012

IMDb's top 10 from the last decade

As you all know, IMDb is the place to go whenever you need to look up a director, a quote, a review, actor names and so on. It is heaven for film lovers and provides crucial information for and of the entertainment industry.

Short history: IMDb was launched in 1987 by English film enthusiast Col Needham; first post talked about actresses with beautiful eyes. It later started forming the data base and encouraged the users to contribute- in late 1990 it already had 10.000 movies and television series. Bought in 1998 by Amazon, IMDb faced an interesting challenge last year, as it was sued by an unknown actress for more then 1 million $ for revealing her age(40).

Yesterday, I stumbled upon an interesting article about IMDb: they have just released its top 10 most viewed actors, film, TV shows and in production movies of the last decade* and there are some surprises. 

Top 10 Stars of the Last 10 Years*
  1. Johnny Depp
  2. Brad Pitt
  3. Angelina Jolie
  4. Tom Cruise
  5. Natalie Portman
  6. Christian Bale
  7. Scarlett Johansson
  8. Jennifer Aniston
  9. Keira Knightley
  10. Emma Watson
*Highest average IMDbPro STARmeter ranking over the last 10 years.
Ok, I can complete understand the top 3, but Tom Cruise on the 4th position? Besides his reappereance in 2011 with Mission:Impossible 4, the man has been MIA for at least 4 or 5 years before that, not having any big, influential parts! Maybe I am wrong! Continuing, we have an undeserving number 5 for Natalie Portman, but justifiable 6 and 7 for Bale and Johansson, but number 8 for Jennifer Aniston? Again, it's beyond me why this woman is still famous- her career choices in the last 5-6 years have been horrible. 9 and 10 are also normal, considering the love that Pirates and HP got in the last decade. 
Where are Robert Downey Jr, George Clooney, even Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart?- I was sure either one of them would make the top 10. 

Top 10 Films of the Last 10 Years*
  1. The Dark Knight
  2. Donnie Darko
  3. Pulp Fiction
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  8. Twilight
  9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  10. The Godfather
*Highest average IMDbPro MOVIEmeter ranking over the last 10 years.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 are understandable choices, but Donnie Darko? On the second position? Am I missing something this huge, should I see it right way? 

Top 10 TV Series of the Last 10 Years*
  1. Lost
  2. House M.D.
  3. Grey’s Anatomy
  4. Heroes
  5. How I Met Your Mother
  6. 24
  7. Glee
  8. True Blood
  9. Dexter
  10. Gossip Girl
*Highest average ranking over the last 10 years.
Lost, Grey's Anatomy, How I met your mother, 24, Glee, True Blood- all obvious choices, but I am a little bit surprised to see Heroes so high up on the list; maybe it's due to the fact that it was a huge international success and continues to be one of the most illegally downloaded TV series out there. 

Top 10 Most Anticipated In-Production Movies*
  1. The Dark Knight Rises
  2. Men in Black III
  3. The Dictator
  4. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  5. The Expendables 2
  6. Battleship
  7. The Avengers
  8. Rock of Ages
  9. The Hunger Games
  10. Prometheus
*Highest average IMDbPRo MOVIEmeter rank of all films currently in production.
First and foremost- where is The Hobbit? Other than that, why is The Dictator on 3rd position and Avengers on 7th- it should be the other way around, considering the large fanbase. Also, are people really that desperate to see Battleship and Rock of Ages? Why?

Top 10 Highest Rated Films of the Last 10 Years*
  1. The Dark Knight (8.8) – All-Time Ranking: 8
  2. The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King (8.8)  - All-Time Ranking: 10
  3. Inception (8.8)  - All-Time Ranking: 13 
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (8.7) – All-Time Ranking: 15
  5. City of God (8.7) – All-Time Ranking: 18
  6. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (8.6) – All-Time Ranking: 29
  7. Memento (8.6) – All-Time Ranking: 31
  8. Toy Story 3 (8.5) – All-Time Ranking: 42
  9. Spirited Away (8.5) – All-Time Ranking: 45
  10. Amelie (8.5) – All-Time Ranking: 51
*Highest average rating /10 as voted for by IMDb’s most regular voters.
Only surprise for me was Spirited Away (again, a movie I haven't seen and don't know too much about it), and I am kind of sad to see all of the Lord of the Rings movies on the list- I am sure there are better films that could have occupied at least 1 or 2 of those spots. 

What do you think about the list?

Jan 28, 2012

Easy going Saturday: 2 in 1 edition!

Since it's Saturday, a day in which we all should just relax, I decided to recommend two movies, two sweet Romantic Comedies, from different eras, with totally different actors and storyline, but equally charming and sweet! I always think that too much drama can wear you down, so, from time to time, I prefer these kinds of movies and you should give it a try, too! 

I saw Sabrina and Morning Glory a long time ago, but I still have some of the things I wrote down after viewing them, so here you go!

Sabrina [1954]

„It’s all in the family”

Sabrina, the 1954 version, is such a lovely film, mostly due to its beautiful scenery, the music, the direction and most of all, the actors.

There aren’t words to describe my admiration or love for Audrey Hepburn: she is the incarnation of imperfect perfection. So beautiful, elegant, graceful, sweet, but determined and displaying amazing talent every time she hits the screen, you can’t help fall in love with her. I love the fact that you can tell every emotion on her face; you can understand her and what she is feeling just by examining her posture, her manners, and the way she talks and looks away. She does that so effortlessly that I wonder if anyone can top that. Here, as Sabrina, she lights up every scene and moves you in which way she wants, playing the part of a shy, lonely girl to the T.

Humphrey Bogart is a wonderful actor and no one can say otherwise, but for me he is always so tight, so stiff. I understand, he is a real man, with posture and grace, in control of everything, but I wish I could see more of him, different reactions.  He, as well, gave a great performance and made us understand his character, but I wasn’t convinced. Maybe it was just this part...I don’t know!

As I remember other classic 50s movies I saw, I can’t help realise that it is all about the performance and the actors. In those times, you didn’t have much to go by, in terms of special effects, scenery etc, so the screenplay and the director had to relay on the actors....and in so many ways, it made the movie more interesting, at least for me, it did.

Sabrina is a beautiful movie, and I am sure the Audrey Hepburn lovers and the romantics will love it even more! Enjoy!

Morning glory [2010]

Morning Glory is a beautiful, simple, smartly written romantic comedy in which Rachel McAdams stars as a young workaholic woman who has to deal with the problems that her new job throws at her.

Simple, yet not entirely predictible, it captures the viewer by its fast pace, funny situations and loveable characters. I admired the fact that it wasn’t all about the girl who ends up with the boy, it was much more about the development of the characters, their interaction, especially the non-romantical ones (Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford are especially entertaining). 

It’s an easy choice for a late afternoon or girls night. You should give it a shot, it’s worth it!

What other romantic comedies or nice, normal, entertaining movies do you recommend? What have you seen lately?

Jan 25, 2012

The Skin I Live In [2011]

Almovodar's latest movie, La piel que habito- "The Skin I live in", is quite remarcable. I think it is one of the best I have seen in the last year and it's curious not to see its name mentioned on top 10 lists or award nominations; but then  again, I don't think a lot of people saw this movie.

The story is about Robert Ledgard, a brilliant plastic surgeon, who creates a new type of skin that resists any kind of damage. His guinea pig happens to be Vera, a mysterious and volatile woman, who is part of his troubled past. As the plot thickens, we learn the shocking truth about her identity, one that will heavily influence the fate of both the doctor, and her life. No spoilers here (I learned my lesson), but trust me when I say it is very interesting.

The main thing that makes this film so good is the perfect combination of the filmmaking elements in all the right amounts. Fast-moving, intricate, shocking storyline, with complex characters, realistic dialogue, a touch of science fiction, mixed with a lot of mistery, told in Spanish, a sensual, dynamic language; appropriate music to every scene, highlighted by the fantastic orchestra, especially violin, in key moments, accompanied by beautiful cinematography- all wrapped up nicely by clean editing and visually interesting shooting style. You can't wait to see what happens next, you are fascinated by the story and where it's going and the end just leaves you breathless- hours pass, but you keep thinking about the movie you just saw. All of the above are signs of a very good feature.

As for the performances, I was pleasantly surprised by Antonio Banderas, who is fantastic as the surgeon, and offers us the correct amount of crazyness, genius, love, desperation and determination. Elena Anaya is, also, very good as Vera, his misterious patient, and steals every scene with her unearthly beauty and calm. Jan Cornet (Vicente) is another standout, although he is not featured too much, while Marisa Paredes delivers every time you see on screen- you can see she is an experienced actress.

All in all, "Skin I live in" is fantastic and I highly recommend it, whenever you will have the chance to see it!

I am not very familiar with Almovodar, as I have only seen 2 or 3 of his movies! What do you recommend I should see next?

Jan 23, 2012

Random recommendations post

Hey guys!

Since it is Monday and I know most of you, like myself, love discovering new films, tv shows, music, magazines and so on, I decided to share with you some all-time and/or current favorites:

TV Show- Sherlock

The fantastic TV show follows Sherlock, a modern day wacky detective in his journey through misterious cases and inmaginable villains, accompanied by Dr John Watson, his loyal friend and partener. I can't write a full review or objectively say what is good or wrong about this show, I can only tell you that it is fantastic and that you should see it right now- it is worth your time! There are 2 seasons released, each one having 3 episodes of 90 minutes each, so basically you have 6 mini-movies to warch! Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as John Watson are perfect and their chemistry is dynamite. Actually, mister Cumberbatch has been on my mind lately and I find him fascinating for different reasons, I might write a post about him soon!
Please do see Sherlock!


I'm not a big house/electronic/disco or...well, whatever Lana del Rey's music genre is, but these two songs are pretty good! Lana Del Rey is an interesting case- her voice is so special, sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't, but it is something out of ordinary!Too bad her SNL performance was that bad!

Magazine-Vanity fair

In the last couple of years I've been constantly buying Vanity Fair- the American magazine is a great read for many reasons, in my opinion! Firstly, it covers a large array of domains, from celebrities (their usual cover subject), to sports, economy, society, trends, and unsolved cases. It has profiles of known individuals, but told from a different perspective or with untold stories until now; it highlights new talent and gives credit to the ones who deserve it. Second of all, the articles are very well-written, well-researched and easy to read! I must admit, not all of the numbers are great overall, you should check the content table before buying!

Film Website

David Bordwell's website is perfect for film fanatics and theory lovers- not only does it feature a great number of articles on history and movies, it also has many analysis posts on scenes, characters, shooting styles and so on. An interesting read! http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/

Sundance related articles

As you may know, Sundance is in full swing in Utah right now and these articles should help you understand and learn more about the film festival!

What about you, what have you been reading/listening/watching lately? Let me know in the comments!

Hope you all have a nice day and a great week!

Jan 21, 2012

The Artist[2011/2012]

Wednesday night, with an Orange code in hand, I went to see The Artist! It tells the story of silent movie star George Valentin, who wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion; meanwhile Peppy Miller, a young dancer, starts her journey in Hollywood, gaining new friends and fans on the way.

Whilst watching the film and, especially at the end, I kept getting back to an idea, to a feeling that it gave me. 

I couldn't shake off the feeling that this movie was a metaphor for Hollywood- let me explain. George Valentin, the famous silent movie actor, can be compared to any A lister in modern times: talented, with a bucket full of charm, attractive, loved and envied by everyone. For some years, he is the star of the game, the man of the moment; people can't get enough of him. But when the rules of the game change, or better say, evolve, there is time for new talent to emerge and, slowly, the A lister is no longer considered the hot commodity of the town, and that's the natural rhythm of things-- it's an ongoing cycle. Peppy Miller represents the upcoming artists, the youngsters who may not have the talent of people like Valentin, but they sure do have the charm. And so, George loses steam, Miller rises from the ashes, and therefore, a new star is born.

Valentin does not go down without a fight- he directs his own movie, in hope that it will be a hit and people might still like silent movies, in the meantime losing all his money, passion and ambition (does this situation ring a bell to anyone?). He surrenders to failure and has a meltdown, all ending with a big fire- because you already know Americans are so dramatic and overreacting- they were back then and they still are even now. As all Hollywood movies and, sometimes, real life situations, there is always a happy ending, with the obligatory nice girl and sweet moment of "Oh, I never stopped loving you, I am here to save you exactly before you do something stupid". They quickly make up, move on and start living a great life together on and off-screen.

Although some might say it is an ode to silent movies, I say it is more than that- it is an ode, sometimes parody, to Hollywood, to its system, to its scripts, its charm and attractiveness. It's a story we've seen many times before, with different characters, different actors, in all periods of time, showing the natural order of things- we rise, we succeed, we fall and suffer, but we eventually get up and move on. And while this happens everywhere around the world, Hollywood will always have an upper hand in transforming this type of story in a full-out romance or drama, because that what it does: it creates characters, magnifies the story and makes it more approachable, yet still more attractive and appealing to the mass than your usual drama on the street. The happy ending doesn't always come in real life, but in movies, in Hollywood, everything is fine at the end- hopeless optimistic, these Americans (and I personally love it)! I don't know if you understood what I meant when I said it was a metaphor, it seemed clearer to me when I got out of the cinema theater, but I just couldn't write this review until now, the words just didn't come out.

Coming back to the movie, the great thing about The Artist is the fact that it managed to portray Hollywood, to portray life, in a very simple, yet extremely effective, entertaining, charming way. The lack of dialogue wasn't an issue, as the sets, the costumes, the music and the acting were more than enough to please the audience. Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo light up the screen and make you fall in love with them at the first sight, giving fantastic performances all the way through.

The Artist ticks all of boxes, but still, it's not enough, maybe because it does not have the shock factor- it is not memorable. It's something we've seen times and times before, but translated in the 20s, with a more musical aspect to it.

Bottom line, I will tell you what I keep saying to my friends when they ask how the movie was: "Sweet, entertaining, charming, but not mind-blowing. You should see it, it's fun!"

Jan 20, 2012

Favourite Scene 1: Fight Club- This is a chemical burn

Now, I know this kind of feature or post has been done numerous time by different bloggers, but it's nothing wrong if I do my version as well, right? We are all intitled to our opinions bla bla! :) Kudos for the one who first started, sorry I don't know your name!

Anyway, to start with, just a light, bad-ass ascene from Fight Club, one the best films out there! It's big, powerful, raw, with a lot of action, witty dialogue and no-bullshit attitudes. It's probably one of Brad Pitt's best performances to date(in my opinion) and the next scene is a perfect example of that:

For no particular reason, I just love it! The pain and the desperation of Edward Norton's character, as he tries to shut out the pain through meditation, the speech/ philosophical shit Tyler says ("without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing"), the gestures(*slaps Norton* "this is the greatest moment of your life, and you're off somewhere, missing it"), the attitude, voice and interpretation delivered by Brad Pitt- I can't see anyone else pulling off that scene and those lines- everything fits.

And the end has the best line and a personal favourite quote: "It's only after we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything"

I want to hear from you guys- what is your favorite scene? Please let me know in the comments and link it, as well, if you can!

Jan 18, 2012

War Horse[2011/2012]

First thing I said after I saw this movie, and I think I actually tweeted it, was: Steven Spielberg is stuck in the 90s! If he would have released this movie 2 decades ago it would have won every award and it would have made millions. Just think about it: sobbing story, horses, beautiful scenery, war, handsome and brave men, funny one-liners, and of course THE ORCHESTRA (is it safe to say this kind of music was overused? that's what I thought). It reminded me of those types of movies like Braveheart, or Legends of the Fall- am I the only one?

Now, in some ways, War Horse is a good movie- it is made in a visually attractive way, the characters are approachable and you can't go wrong with a story about war or animals, can you? Both in one film? Perfect. It was nicely directed and I loved the sets, but then again, I do have to repet myself, the music killed me- I understand the need of classical pieces and, in some scenes, the orchestra worked, but mister Spielberg, must you use it almost all of the time? The script is cheesy and tries to mix some comedy with drama, but doesn't quite succeed (men running away from a duck?), and so, the actors weren't allowed to shine too much, as everything seemed a little too forced, too dramatic.

I admit it- I was bored, for about a half of the movie- I think it got interesting when Albert went to war, but until then, the only things that got my attention were the brief appereances of Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch (seriously, Britain, do you even have an ugly or not-charming man in your region?). Speaking of men, I thought Jeremy Irvine, beside the fact that he is, indeed, a handsome young man (girly comment), was pretty good and showed a certain spark that can definitely raise up to be a star in a couple of years- the boy has got potential.

I can't really say more, as it didn't really stir up anything in me. I do not like animals, in any shape or form (shocker, I know, I have been told), so the horse part didn't get to me! Some moments were nice and I am sure, heartbreaking for some (Joey stuck in wires, Albert whistling Joey in the "hospital"), but overall I wasn't impressed.

Sorry mister Spielberg, nice try though! Thanks for Cumberbatch, Hiddleston and Irvine!

Jan 16, 2012

...and the Golden Globe goes to:

As I did in the last few years, I stayed up and watched the Golden Globes. Although I said I wouldn't tweet about it, I broke my rule for about 6-10 times, but below is my...how to say it?.."full coverage"? "semi-live blogging"?

My comments and notes from this year's Golden Globes:

Red carpet
- Charlize Theron is absolutely stunning and her dress is beautiful!
- Was it just me or did Angelina look nervous whilst being interviewed by Seacrest? She looked stunning, she always does!
- Too many interviews with Glee stars and D-listers! Bring on Clooney and DiCaprio
- Jenna Dewan is wearing a Romanian designer dress- I'm proud :)

Best dressed list: Julie Bowen, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Tilda Swinton, Emily Blunt, Reese Witherspoon

Award show

Supporting Actor Motion Picture: Christopher Plummer- well deserved and I love him; he is a fantastic person, an elegant, adequate, stylish man and his speech was very sweet, mentioning Ewan McGregor

Actress-TV series Comedy: Laura Dern
Miniseries/TV movie: awkward intro of Julianne Moore(stunning, and she is 51!!)&Rob Lowe for Miss Globe, then winner Downtown Abbey
Actress Miniseries/TV movie: Kate Winslet- great speech, but too long

Totally useless speech by HFPA president- but then again Jeremy Irons was there, and he is always charming

Actor- TV series drama: Kelsey Grammar- uhm, wtf?
TV Series Drama: Homeland- nice surprise, Game of Thrones would have been nice, too!

Best Score: The Artist. Surprising, NO trent reznor?, also"I'm sorry, I'm french" genius quote
Best Song: Masterpiece-Madonna- of course she won, she had to be there; "Uhm, uhm, I'm not French, I have no excuse"- you got that right. Long speech!

Another useless speech  by a turkish actress

Actor miniseries/tv movie: Idris Elba- Rock'n Rolla badass, good for him!
Brad Pitt introducing Ides of March - of course the camera were on Clooney  and Jolie, who was looking beautifully to him, as he was the only man in the world- perfect performance or true love?

Actress Comedy: Michelle Williams- obvious choice; I loved her speech, she has very sweet and charming, sincere and short.

*Fashion note: what is Sarah Michelle Gellar wearing? oh my god- horrible
Supporting Actor tv series: Peter Dinklage- obvious choice, I love him and the show
Clooney introduction of Pitt movie, just like Pitt introduced Clooney movie- smart move, charming men

Animated Feature Film: Tintin- Spielberg had to win, right?

Clive Owen *swoon*
Screenplay: Midnight in Paris- Woody Allen

Felicity Huffman&William H.Macy introducing through one cute song- nicest couple ever
Supporting Actress tv series: Jessica Lange
Madonna comes back with a mean comment to Gervais- funny?!?!!?
Foreign language film: A separation- considering the love for certain Hollywood celebrities, I was sure Jolie's film will get it, but I guess I was wrong
Actress Tv drama: Claire Danes- Homeland
Actor TV comedy: Matt LeBlanc

Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer- hello fruntrunner, goodbye Jessica Chastain- sweet woman, too many names

Reese Witherspoon is hot- she is, what? 40? kudos to her

Cecil B.Demile: Introduced by Sidney Potier and Helen Mirren, the award went to the fantastic Morgan Freeman- he deserves it and I am glad to see him in so many great movies (Seven, Shawshank Redemption etc, but Casket video was one of funniest thing I have ever seen). His speech was surprisingly short and sweet and funny!

When Angelina Jolie comes in, you can see Brad Pitt is one proud man, and he should be, AJ is flawless!
Director: Martin Scorsese- Hugo- hmm, interesting! Oh, and Leonardo DiCaprio just smiled- for the first and probably last time tonight- he's too cool for school, but nothing beats his BFF Marty
Comedy TV series: Modern Family

Actor Comedy: Jean Dujardin- The Artist- he is even trying to joke, gotta admire his french charming style

Actress Drama: Meryl Streep- Iron Lady- a little surprising, but I loved her impromptu speech, naming all of the great performers.

Comedy: The Artist

Oh come one, so many Smash and The Voice commercials, they are made up to be the God of television

Actor Drama- George Clooney- not surprised, but i'm not happy! Got to give him credit for Fassy and Pitt appreciation!

Picture Drama: The Descendants- no surprise for me here, but I doubt it will win the Oscar, just a hunch! Remember Social Network win last year?

Overall, I thought the pace was great, I wasn't bored, but I was dissapointed by Gervais, he was softer than last year! Who is willing to bet that Crystal is going to outperform him?

Congratulations to everyone! Bring on the Oscars!

P.S. Read my Shame review, I spent a lot of time on it and the movie is really good! This is the 4 am tired and hungry?!? Diana doing shameless promotion for her blog!

P.S.2. In a naughty, shameless game of Fuck, Marry, Kill, as I said on twitter, I would Fuck Fassbender, Marry Pitt and Kill Clooney! What about you?

Thank you and good night!

Jan 14, 2012


[SPOILER ALERT- I discuss most of the important scenes, but don't give out the ending]

Today I finally saw Shame- I have been anxiously waiting for it for over 6 months and now, that my wait is over, I can actually talk about it and say my opinion, I don't have to read about it anymore (so many articles and spoilers out there, I stopped reading after a while).

First of all, let me just say this is a very good movie- quality and beauty in every aspect of it: acting, music, directing, cinematography etc. Yet again, Steve McQueen takes this movie ten times over its potential and it's old news to me now the absolutely fantastic way he directs movies- Hunger was a perfect example and Shame is not only a great follow-up, but you can also see the improvement, the progress he has made. The scenes are much clearer, with more substance and visually more attractive (not that Hunger wasn't, it's just this one is better). I loved the fact that the talks between Brandon and Sissy are mostly shot from behind, the camera over their shoulders, it feels like an intrusion into their conversation, like you are watching a couple fighting in front of you in line. I like the sex scene at the end where he shoots the women and Brandon from completely unusual, different angles, or the way he shot the subway parts. On an end note to the technical, filmmaking aspect of it, I have to mention the use of music or lack of it- the soundtrack and sound editing were appropriate to every situation and gave it more power and sensibility in some cases (the beginning and end part, Brandon's song by Harry Escot, or the New York interpretation of Carey Mulligan's character).

There is so much depth and tragedy in this story and movie that I could talk about. Where should I start? Let's talk about his sex addiction- the thing that struck me is that, not for one moment, did I see pleasure or happiness in his eyes or expression; it felt like a burden, like a automatic thing he is used to do every day, a thing that he can not control and that he needs to do, like eating or drinking. I think one of the main problems of Sissy's appearance is the fact that he can't continue his usual, secret, yet very addictive way of life; that, plus his past relationship with his sister, cause him to derail, to go in such state of misery and desperation, that he gives into all of his fears, in one night of destructiveness that nearly kills him, physically and mentally.

It all started with a failed attempt of having sex with a woman at work he liked; the same one who, 30 minutes before, tried to have normal dinner and conversation with; but he couldn't, because he can't relate to someone, he can't get attached to a human being. Most would say it is because of his addiction, I say it all goes back to his childhood and his family problems. Funny how, after she leaves, the hooker can immediately take him to the edge. He can't get off a possible sentimental fling, but a complete stranger can- after all, he just craves for the act itself, not the person who is with him.

After that failed attempt, he decides to go out and that's when all of his world goes down and we witness one of the most dramatic and disturbing meltdowns in film- some where shocked by the way he blatantly touched a woman in public, others by the gay action in a underground club, but I was surprised by the three-way in the apartment. At first, I was a little disturbed not by the actual scene, but the length of it, I thought it was too much, but it all made sense when he saw Brandon's expression- that pure state of despair, of craziness and loss of control over his body and urges. It looks like it almost hurts, like it could kill him. That was, indeed, shocking and it wrapped up his whole character, finally showing us what he is going through.

The last minutes of the film, of the night, the passing back and forth between his apartment, the club, the subway ride, it was masterfully shot and edited, one of the best scenes I have seen. Kudos not only for McQueen and the cinematographer, but also for Michael.

Because, honestly, you can't say that Fassbender was anything short than fantastic, it was like nothing I have ever seen. At the beginning I was a little skeptical, but that was because of the ordinary, quite boring actions he was put through (the script allowed it), but the second part of the film is truly a work of art. I believe, understand and sympathize with everything he does, I worry for him, I feel his desperation, or his anxiety when he runs for Sissy, and I am 100% with him on the rainy day, near the water. Fassbender deserves a Golden Globe, a Bafta, an Oscar and more. Will he get it? Probably not, the Clooney and Pitts of Hollywood have more charisma and apparent value on the market, but he should be recognized, at least at one of them (probably Baftas).

Another surprise for me was Carey Mulligan- the part of Sissy is very different from what we normally see of her, but she nailed it and gave it so much substance and power. The lovely scene where she sings New York was revealing, at least from my perspective- I felt like her life, personality and story just translated through her eyes and that song, it has hauntingly beautiful. Brandon's relationship with Sissy is hard to define, you can't really tell if he actually loves her, or cares about her, or is afraid. There was definitely something going on between them, but the closest thing to really discovering the truth was the discussion they had on the couch, near the end, and that didn't reveal too much, either. There is tension, there are repressed feelings, and probably love, as well, but Brandon is uncapable of showing his real emotions. It's like he is almost imune to all that is happening in his environment, to his world.

There are so many other things worth mentioning that I probably forgot, little details that made this movie better in so many way- script-wise, performance-wise or something else entirely. I can't disect all of it, but I am sure you will find other blogs who have noticed different aspects of it. After you read this review, go check out the others.

In the end, Shame is the kind of movie you don't like or appreciate immediately after the credits start rolling. I didn't. But then, you start thinking about it, remember certain scenes and then it hits you- that movie was great.... Fassbender was perfect...the subject was interesting and dramatic....the situations were extreme and sometimes pornographic.....but then again it's about sex addiction.....which is almost like a disease, a terrible situation to be in.....wow, that was powerful! I know I wasn't the only one, my friends got out of the theater rather disappointed, but afterwards, we started talking about it and we all realized it is a great movie!

Shame is worth your 10 pounds or 10 dollars or whatever currency you have! Believe the hype! Go see it!

Jan 12, 2012

Bill Cunningham New York [2010] documentary

The first few shots of the Bill Cunningham documentary tend to push you away, to make you think "why is this creepy old guy stalking girls on the streets of New York?".

This creepy old guy, this sweet, energetic, full of passion guy is Bill Cunningham, a world known photographer who has 2 columns in the New York Times newspaper. His speciality? Street Style- what he basically does is go out every day (or night, in some cases) and shoot random people he finds interesting or fascinating. It can either be because of the shoes, or the funky clothes, or just because the shot might be good (he loves taking photos during a storm or bad weather).  Yes, he is quircky, but his passion is admirable; he is happy with a camera in hand.

The documentary doesn't show too much of his private life, with the exception of his apartment and some close friends- maybe because his story is not interesting, maybe because he doesn't want to share. Bill Cunningham lives in a very small apartment in Carnegie Hall (a building who is currently occupied by offices); he has one bed, a few clothes on hangers spread all around, a lot of fashion books and cabinets, cabinets full of negatives- oh, and the bathroom is on the hall.

At the age of 80, he has something that most people in fashion desire from the first moment they start- respect, admiration and a lot of event invitations. Icons like Anna Wintour talk about him in very high terms: "I said many times that we all get dressed for Bill", and former business partners (like Details founding editor and art director) admire his devotion and passion for passion.

Bill Cunninhgam innovated, he took risks and, not even knowing, he observed and, more importantly, created trends- in fashion and in photography. His street style column forged the way for the thousands of fashion bloggers all around the world today. He is always guided by amazing work ethics and never gives in- for example, he doesn't drink or eat at the events he is invited to.

Along the way, we get to witness some beautiful, but also funny scenes: Editta, his longtime neighbour, trying on hats and talking about her work, the story of the blue jacket he always wears, the constant bantering between Bill and the current Art editor of New York Times, and so on.

He is a sweet man, but you can't help feeling sorry for him, especially at the end, when he responds to a question about his private life by saying that he hasn't had romantic relationships in his life, he just always had clothes on his mind- you expect it, but it is sad; don't people need love to survive? The last question from the reporter was, surprisingly, the one that proved to be the most difficult one to answer: are you faithful? do you believe in God? to which he gives a truly genuine, honest, moving reaction- it got to me. I won't say, that's the beauty of watching the movie for yourself.

Which you should: watch Bill Cunningham New York, especially if you are interested in the fashion industry, or just like interesting characters, cause he sure is one! A good documentary overall!

Jan 10, 2012

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [2011]

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (from now on called TTSS) is a classic British spy thriller set in the 1970s. It has all the right elements: bleak atmosphere, silent, monotonous characters, grey colours, cigarettes and secrets. A lot of secrets, well-hidden and carefully guarded.

George Smiley, played by Gary Oldman, is forced back from his retirement, to find out who the mole in the Circus is. Alongside Peter (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Mendel (Roger Lloyd-Pack, who I immediately recognized from Harry Potter), they start the search inside the "company", rulling out one by one.

Now, as I said, it can be a rather dull movie for some- for me, it was the first part, but right around the middle, or even before that, when Tom Hardy comes back into the picture and talks about his long lost Russian love and Cumberbatch steals information, I am sucked into the story and guess what? I am starting to enjoy myself- the plot thickens, the characters get more shadier, the secrets start pouring over, the music ascends....and in the end, we get our mole, all wrapped up with a bow. I have to admit it wasn't perfect and there are some loose ends, but overall, for a spy thriller, it was pretty damn good- well executed, great performances, fantastic sets and costumes and an interesting premise.

Acting-wise, you can never go wrong with Brits- they always seem to be on point. Colin Firth offers a swift change and a shocking turn in actions, Tom Hardy is convincing as a spy who falls in love with a Russian diplomate and tries to save her (I am starting to like him, I didn't before) and Toby Jones got my attention, he always surprises me. As for Benedict Cumberbatch- what can I say? This is was the first time I have ever seen him in a movie, and I actually loved him- although he has such a weird appeareance, not very attractive to say so, he is still very charming and has an appeal some work on for years; it's effortless, just like his performance.

Last, but not least, Gary Oldman- the man, the legend. I usually consider the wild, unpredictable, maniac performances to be the best, as they are rare to find in the real world, but mister Oldman proved me wrong tonight. He showed not only me, but everyone, that control is sometimes ten times harder to perform then a wild act. He played Smiley with such restraint and calm, that I do believe he deserves a lot more attention for this part that he is given now.

Overall, I think TTSS is a good movie and you should see it, if you have the chance! Brits rarely mess up and they didn't this time, either! Enjoy!

Jan 8, 2012

L'Amour Fou[2011] documentary

L'Amour Fou is a 2010 documentary about the life and work of famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Depicted with the help of Pierre Berge, his love partner, we learn more about the man, this character and his love for fashion and art.

The film, made by Pierre Thoretton, takes us from the beginning of his career at Christian Dior to his retirement in 2002 (his speech during the announcement is actually the first scene of the documentary and a beautiful one, that sheds light on his beliefs and passion on fashion), lingering much more on his private life then on his business.

In short episodes, the documentary mentions some of YSL most memorable moments of his career: his first collections at Christian Dior, where each one had more then 150 dresses, the Mondrian-inspired dress, the Opera and Russian Collections in the 1970s, his invention of pret-a-porter (ready-to-wear or street clothes), and random images and clips of his fashion shows, all sporting the elegant, classic sign YSL at the beginning of the runway.

One of the major topics discussed is his art collection. Yves Saint Laurent was a true lover and admirer of art, in any form, and together with Pierre Berge, he collected fantastic pieces: paintings from Andy Wharhol, Goya, Mondrian, sculptures by Constantin Brancusi and much more. Each with a beautiful memory attached to it, his partner tells the story of some of the most important ones, everytime shedding more light to the sensible, timid, poetic Yves. After the designer's death, Pierre decides to give their incredible collection to auction and the end captures the grand event that took place in Paris, at the Grand Palais, organized by Christie's. Just to give an example of the earnings and of the valueable items sold, the Brancusi sculpture was sold for 26 milion euros.

But the main aspect that this film ilustrates is the love between Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge. They met in 1958, a couple months after Christian Dior's death (a mutual friend) and they remained together for the rest of their lives (with a brief separation in the 1980s due to the designer's addiction of alchool and drugs). Whilst Yves was the artistic man, the poetic, sensible man in the relationship, Pierre was always his rock, being the pragmatic individual that he needed to survive and make his business florish. They worked together perfectly, complementing each other in business and in love.

From the film-making aspect, it is beautifully made, having photos and footage of past collections interwined with interviews with Pierre and other close friends. The soundtrack, containing mostly melancholic piano parts, has some surprising songs, but stays in tune. The editing, or montage, could have been better, but still managed to capture the true essence of the era.

L'amour Fou is a soft, lovely homage to the great designer that Yves Saint Laurent was. If you like fashion, you should give it a try!

"fashion's role was not simply to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence and allow them to assert themselves." Yves Saint Laurent

Jan 6, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tatto[2011]

Usually, I am a big fan of David Fincher's work- I haven't seen everything, but most of it (or what I managed to watch) is really good: it's obscure, the shots are great, it always has a dark, twisted plot, a great soundtrack and the performances are fantastic. This movie fits into those lines.....and that's about it. For me, this experience was underwhelming and I must admit, I was a little dissapointed.

Now, I admit, it's not entirely Fincher's fault. The script, albeit good, with twists and turns, an almost replica of the book (but with the necessary cuts), still feels too much. As a reader of the book, knowing what to expect, I was patient enough to sit through it, but I must imagine that for the first-timers, the first hour was a little boring and afterwards, the unveiling of the actual truth and mistery, during the second hour, was stretched out too much. After Mikael finds out the names and numbers are biblical and asks for Lisbeth's help, things get interesting, but not quite; I was still expecting for a faster pace, a change in dynamics, but all I got was louder, more somber music and the usual scene A, cut to scene B reel- the only good parts where the one where the story of Mikael interwines with the one of Lisbeth, seeing what they were doing in the same time. Maybe it's not the scriptwriter's fault, maybe I should just criticise the book, who knows, but that aspect really bothered me.

As I said, in theory, you could still see and have Fincher's trademark characteristic. The soundtrack was very good, intense and perfect for the movie, the special effects were great and I loved the opening sequence- different from the movie, but still special and very interesting. The cinematography and the directing style were appropriate for this kind of movie and it did gave it an extra edge, but I still wasn't impressed.

One thing that I have to admit whole-heartly- Rooney Mara owned that part. From the simple, almost boring girl in the Social Network, to Lisbeth Salander, that was a huge transformation and I am sure that road was a journey she will not forget. Knowing that David likes to do at least 20 takes of every scene, the rape part must have been horrible- her performance during that moment was hard to watch and listen. As I said, she completely transformed herself in Lisbeth and seeing her latest appeareances, I guess she hasn't managed to shake her off.

Daniel Craig also delivers a very good performance, cold, but entertaining and unique. Christopher Plummer and Stellan Stargard, as grandfather and nephew, are superb, especially Stellan, who gives Martin just the right attitude, not too maniac, but with the right amount of craziness and intelligence.

Overall, although I admit, it is a good movie, I just didn't feel it, I was never in awe, it didn't made me flinch, I wasn't eagerly waiting for the next shot, I wasn't surprised, and no, I don't think it has to do with the fact I read the book, it was just not perfect. I left the theatre saying "yeah, it was ok, but nothing special" and the people around me agreed. My sister says it was too creepy and sadistical for her taste (she is more of a Breaking Dawn girl) and my mother, who has read the book, said it was good, but also too dark and violent, but she liked it overall.

What did you think of it? Am I wrong?

Jan 4, 2012

Animal Kingdom[2010]

The first movie I saw in 2012 was Animal Kingdom. It wasn't an obvious choice, but I am glad I saw it, because it is a good film, a well-thought, shocking in some parts, tough film. It tells the story of Josh, a teenager who has to survive through the troubled times his newly acquired family puts him through.

In the first scene, J (James Frecheville) idly watches Deal or No Deal as his mother is laying unconscious on the couch next to him, and even when the paramedics arrive and he coldly replies to them that she took heroine, you know it's not your typical movie. Josh's numbness creates and drives the film forward; the lack of emotion in most of the situations he is faced with, transcends to the movie, as well, giving it a similar vibe.

After his mother's death, he moves in with his grandmother and uncles: Baz (Joel Edgerton) is the one everyone respects and likes, because he cares about them and wants to make things better and easier; Craig(Sullivan Stapleton) is erratic and sells drugs,whilst Darren(Luke Ford), the youngest one, is a quiet figure. They all survive by breaking the law, but they stick together and help eachother. As, for example, Baz tries to do, one day, in a supermarket, when he gives money to his brother Pole, the oldest one, who is currently hiding from the cops. Baz is smart and wants a better future for his family, he even suggests switching to more legal actions, like the stock market. But just when you thought you have found your good guy, BAM, he gest shot and there goes Edgerton and all of the love from this movie. This sets off a chase between the cops and the brothers (they kill two officers out of revenge), as Craig is the next one to be put down by the authorities.

But this story follows Josh, a young man who is trying to survive in a strange world, with a violent, out of control family, who forcefully involves him in their business. The grandmother tries to keep the clan together, but there is not much she can do; Darren is useless, Pole is acting strange and Josh is way out of his element, just trying not to piss off anyone. It doesn't help the fact that a detective(Guy Pearce) is pursuing J, asking for informations in exchange for protection.

The second part of the movie picks up the pace, as Pole's behaviour and actions move the film into a different direction, one that is overwhelming for Josh who swithches from one side to another. The end is a bit confussing, surprising and shocking at first, but then you could understand the reason behind it. I keep asking myself: whose side was Josh really on?why did he changed his mind so suddenly and radically to go from ratting out his uncles to conspiring with his grandmother to kill Pope? Was it his girlfriend? But it's the family's fault that she was dead and that he was in such a deep shit! Maybe it was the faked attack on the house that triggered his change! I don't know, but I like the fact that it made me wonder!

I thought Josh's numbness and lack of emotion will slow down the movie for me, make it boring, but it didn't.  Yes, you are shocked to see a scene like the one where the special agent points a gun at his head and he doesn't react in absolutely no way- it says everything. He went through so much shit as a kid growing with a heroine-addict mother, and more so now, with his family of criminals, that a gun does not even cause a reaction. He is not scared of anything, because he can't find a reason to live properly, to enjoy life. Getting out of that car or getting shot a second after is the same thing to him. He is numb.

But then again, we do see he is alive, that there is something kicking inside him, in some scenes, especially in the one where he cries in the bathroom of his now-dead ex girlfriend; is that girl the only thing able to make him flinch? or was he just fed up with everything? James Frecheville's performance is fabulous and shows so much depth, as he peeled off layers and layers of his characters throught the movie. He suffers the most and has the most remarcable change in character at the end.

Another interesting characters is uncle Pole; since the very first moment, you know something is not right, he is not right. His mood swings, his behavious, his stare, the way he tries to connect with his brothers, everything scream WRONG; you could see it in everything, in his eyes, in his manners, it was just a vibe. He is instable and inpredictable and you know something will happen...and it does. I thought Ben Mendelsohn was fantastic and played the part so well, that I was creeped out from the beginning.

Janine Cody, the grandmother, the Smurf, the matriach of the family, is always on top of the situation, affectionate and supportive all of the time, but shows her true colors in the car scene, showing us a cruel side, but a very smart one. She is the boss and she will have her way, one way or the other. Jacki Weaver is outstanding, her performance is smooth, natural, caring, yet very controled and knowledgeable; the Oscar nomination was rightfully deserved.

The script was very good, with twists and turns and appropriate pace, with distinct, interesting characters who develop throughout the movie in some way or another, great dialogue, and the direction was in point- kudos to David Michod, who achieved both.

Overall, I think it's a very good movie that you should see if you have the chance. It's a more subtle, raw, indirect film about crime, one that creeps up to you and surprises you in many ways.

Jan 2, 2012

Great Expectations[2011] BBC

BBC1 has unveiled another great miniseries, this time adapting Charles Dicken's classic novel, Great Expectations. The 3 episodes aired on the 27th, 28th and 29th of December 2011.

Episode 1

The story follows Pip, a boy who, in his way back home from the cemetery where his parents were burried, is attacked by an escaped prisoner and forced to help him; Pip obliges and brings the man food and tools to set him free, but the man is caught, and when it's time to admit, he does not reveal his "angel". After this incident, Pip is called at the house of miss Havisham, a peculiar lady who lives in strange conditions with her adopted daughter, Estella. The three of them spend time together, but after a while, the boy is bought off and restricted from the house. The first part of the miniseries ends with the surprising news that Pip, now a young man, has a benefactor and was rewarded with a fortune; he must leave for London immediatly and live a proper young man's life.

This episode set the mood of the film, a dark one, but fascinating and beautiful none of the less. The cinematography is spectacular, the costumes are perfect and the performances are, quite possible, among the best I have seen- everyone delivers, although Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham looks like she is trying too much; I think Helena Bonham Carter will slay this part when the big screen adaptation comes to cinema. Young Estella is intriguing, but a little odd-looking for her age, and Oscar Kennedy as young Pip is adorable and rightfully portrays the part. Also, a nice surprise seeing Mark Addy as Pumblechook (all hail King Baratheon). I do think some parts were a little rushed into and out of, but overall, it is a lovely start of the adaptation of this classic English novel.

"Your eyes have been opened and now you cannot close them"

Episode 2

The story:  Pip arrives in London and Mister Jaggers installs him into a new house, having Herbert Pocket introduce the young man to the customs of London. After a while, as Pip settles in, he even receives a visit from Joe Gargery, his uncle, wanting know more of him and we are first introduced to Drummle, during a visit of Pip to mister Jaggers. Several key situations occur: the young man visits to miss Havisham with Estella, where he learns more about the family and the women, he helps Herbert to get a job without him knowing, his relationship with Estella becomes much more interesting, and, in the end, he finds out who his benefactor is, after he receives an unexpectated visit from him a night before reaching his age: it is Abel Magwitch, the man he helped rescue all those years ago.

I must confess I am loving the characters and the actors portraying them, so far. Grown up Herbert Pocket shows up and Harry Lloyd plays him- I love Harry, he has such a pleasant, yet powerful presence to him; one other spectacular part from him is in Game of Thrones. Clara, his fiancee, is a familiar face, but I can't say where from exactly. As for Gillian Anderson, she gets better and better with every scene and I am really starting to like her as her character slips into madness more and more.

One special mention has to go to the lake scene: everything was perfect- the costumes, the lighting, the direction, the performances, absolutely beautiful.

The second episode, as a whole, is as superb as the first one, but I keep hoping something great, some action will occur. If episode 1 was about introducing Pip and his family, now episode 2 is about introducing the London crowd. Maybe, with the appeareance of Magwitch, things will change.

Episode 3

The third episode begins with Pip desperate try to prove that Magwitch is not his benefactor- he goes to Satis House, only to find out that Estella is about to marry Drummle. The next 40 minutes contains so many beautiful, unexpected situations, full of twists and turns; I don't want to ruin the fun for you. I will just say that it is worth your time and the two episodes that I said were preparing for something bigger, proved their importance.

As always, there were some memorable moments:
- the scenes between Pip, Estella and Miss Havisham- the dissapointment, learning that not only Estella was just "practicing" on him, but also that Miss Havisham never had his best intentions- the moment where he calls him "a mere boy from the forge" is heartbreaking. Evrything about those scene is stunning and almost perfect
- Miss Havisham  (in horrible conditions both physically and mentally; after the last meeting with Pip) ending her life
- Pip confessesing the truth about his daughter to Abel
- The very last scene, at the Satis House, between Pip and Estella

"I told you I can make you cry...if only you'd listened"

To conclude, I must say that I was mesmerized by this adaptation- it almost achieved perfection in every category and I loved it! It is a true work of art and you should see it, even if you don't like period drama. Watch it for the performances, for the beautiful cinematography, for the costumes, for the story, for Gillian Anderson and Douglas Booth, just do it!

Jan 1, 2012

2012 Resolutions

2012 is here- the year of The Hobbit for some, the TDKR for others, even the "Apocalypse" one for a few.

For me, I hope it is the year of growth, of new opportunities, the year where I finally become a proper adult and get a good job in my field of choice and start a career.

But I am not going to bore you with my personal resolutions, but I do want to lay down on this page, my New Year's resolutions concerning movies (thanks Scott from FrontDoorCinema for the idea)- blog included!

1. Watch at least 150 movies

2. Out of those 150, at least 60 will have been released before 2010

3. At least 15 will be foreign movies

4. Review or summarize/write about every movie I see

5. Do 2 marathons based on a director's portfolio

6. Mantain my 18 posts/month for the blog

7. Have more then 20.000 views by the end of the year 2012

8. Rely less on piracy and more on cinema and festival viewings

9. Improve my writing (Longer reviews, with more depth and a better vocabulary)

10. Diversity for the blog posts  (more essays, special features, monthly round-up etc)

And so, at the end of the year, I can check my resolutions and make a proper balance of 2012!

What do you think of them?Are they accomplishable? Am I aiming too low or too high? What do you wish for?

Happy New Year everyone!