In addition to my regular posting schedule, to kick off December and get this blog rolling, I am going to post a movie review a day for 31 days! Each of these movies will be a film I saw this year, not necessarily in theaters. I will rate it and provide a few comments and also let you know where you can find it! I’ll post two today, since I missed yesterday! If you want to see all of the movies I’ve seen this year, check out my IMDb and GetGlue profiles! Are you guys ready?
These first two films fall into the romantic drama category…
December 1: Leaving (Partir)
Rating/Synopsis: I give this movie a strong 3/5 (more like 3.9)! This was my guilty pleasure film for the greater part of the year. Anytime I was in the mood for romance or drama it was my go-to option. I’ll get the weaknesses out of the way first: the audio, sound mixing, and editing aren’t that great. There are shining moments when each of these things are good, but overall this is where it loses the 1.1 star! Now for the pluses: the glue that brings this entire film together is the acting, pure and simple. If for nothing else, you have to watch this movie for Kristin Scott Thomas. She does a phenomenal job playing her character and her acting is absolutely mind blowing! This film has everything: sex, murder, drama, love, passion, chemistry, desperation, romance, suspense…you name it. The basic premise is rich, unhappy wife falls for poor guy, but the story line and chemistry between Kristin Scott Thomas and Sergi Lopez is overwhelming. This film is powerful and gut wrenching and the last 30 minutes will leave you speechless. While it is not a family film in any way, if you are looking for a solid foreign film, you’ve found it!
Country of Origin/Language: France-French w/English Subtitles
Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Sergi Lopez, and Yvan Attal
Where to watch: Netflix!
December 2: 28 Hotel Rooms
Rating/Synopsis: 4.5/5 This movie is very hard to categorize and summarize. It did not receive favorable reviews on IMDb, much to my disappointment. Downsides: the female protagonist has very little dialogue, there are only two characters, and there are “holes” in the plot. That being said, I think these “holes” are purposeful and add an element to the film that allows the viewer to interpret the story in many different ways, depending on his or her experience with the topic at hand. Pluses: This movie is great because it has something that everyone can relate to: that one partner that you can’t ever forget or “get over”. While my previous criticisms may paint the picture of a shallow film, with little character development, that is far from the case. This story follows the lives of two people that are in love, through a chronology based on their encounters in hotel rooms across the nation. Their lives change individually, yet when they are together in these rooms, they are just a couple in love with one another, in the face of immense challenges at times. I love the color spectrum in this film, as well as the writing, but similar to my previous review, one thing outshines all the rest: Chris Messina’s character. There is one scene-“Room 1103”- that is one of the most intense, real scenes I have ever seen an actor perform (room 527 is also a great example of his abilities as an actor-truly astonishing). This movie is very deep, very serious, and very emotional. It also has something you don’t find often in modern American cinema, a male character showing true vulnerability. It’s so refreshing that this film breaks away from the macho, unemotional male character mold, all the while somehow allowing the protagonist to remain perfectly masculine. True to form, the ending leaves it up to the viewer to interpret what happens, but in the end this film is a snapshot of the human condition that is worth viewing. Definitely a rainy-day, contemplative type of movie!
Stars: Marin Ireland and Chris Messina
Where to watch: Netflix
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