Epic – Who knew MBS was so cool

Check out the video. I’ll let it speak for itself. 

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The Artist

This movie is a must see. Not because it’s silent, or novel. It is a movie where the actors rediscover the art of acting once again. Where the subtle is beautiful, where the twitch, the gentle curve of an eyebrow, the slouch of the shoulder and the blink of the eye conveys more than an hour of film. The story line is clichéd to the point of archaic, but that is not the point. The point is these are actors and actresses who are so sure of their craft, and what they are doing that they cannot help but do it.

 

 

The main character, played by Jean Dujardin, is George Valentin, a silent movie star who is caught short when the talking film industry takes over. We follow his struggle, as he sees his young paramour, Peppy Miller, rise from obscurity to superstardom. George is a proud, wonderfully played character who is never seen without his dog, Uggie. Everything you’ve heard about this amazing dog is true. He truly has the emotional range of any human character, and is exceptionally funny. The news that he is to retire should send a collective sigh across the film industry. Ms. Berenice Bejo as the glorious Peppy, is a joy to watch, she is emotional, full of sass, melancholic and beautifully aglow, as she drops straight in from the 30s. A small shout out must be said for James Cromwell, who plays the Butler, Clifton, I’ve seen him in so many movies and in each and every one of them he lights up the screen with his warmth and wisdom. The movie is shot, in firm defiance of all modern convention in a small square box, and is scored brilliantly, with leitmotifs we have heard everywhere and love. 

I love The Artist, not only because it harkens back to a simpler time, but it allows us to rediscover a golden age of cinema. More importantly serves as a timely reminder for us, that words mean nothing when they are not truly felt and deeply conveyed. My only fear is that this film will spawn a series of imitators, that detract from the beauty of this film, but will never capture the perfection we have found here.

4.5/5 Stars – Exceptional film, brilliantly acted, with a cute animal sidekick. 

Coriolanus: Epic, Beautiful, Gritty, Painful, Fantastic

With intense eyes, and an unyielding stare, Ralph Fiennes plays Cais Martius Coriolanus. A powerful general of Rome and glorious victor of many battles. He returns triumphant, to Rome, a man above all. And yet, his flaws, drag him to the bottom. He betrays all, and yet, is brought back into the fold. An act that is ultimately his doom.

This movie is epic in scope and beautiful in moments. The actors bring such reality and yet theatrical gravity to each and every scene. There are so many actors who steal the scene away from Ralph Fiennes. The Mother – Vanessa Redgrave is splendid as the military mother, the woman who loves her son but sends him to fight for his nation, akin to Yue Fei’s Mom, but fiercer and vaguely more sinister. Jessica Chastain with her beautiful range, perfect timing, and looks that mean everything and nothing at once. Brian Cox is phenomenal, and is truly a fantastic shakesperean character. Even the “baddies” played by Gerard Butler and the “other baddies” are truly magnificent. Gerard Butler plays an interesting character, a rougher, less forgiving sort of baddie, who is ultimately an underdog in this fight, but at the same time, a real human being, with the vanities and disappointments of any human being. He plays his role with an aplomb thus far unknown and must ultimately be commended for his incredible subtlety in playing a loud and angry “villian”

Unlike his comedies and earlier work, this play never deals in the absolute. No one is sin free, and no one perfectly tragic or comic, making it a perfect work to survive the ages as a piece for our times. It is ironic of course that Coriolanus is one of Bill Shakespere’s least known works, next to such titans as The Tempest, Lear and Hamlet but with this movie, one hopes things will change and perhaps we shall see Coriolanus being played in more mainstream theatres, as a mature and reflective examination of humanity.

N.B The author has not read Coriolanus, and these opinions are purely from his viewing of the movie. 

4.5/5 Stars – An amazing movie with life, love, war, pain, hatred, reunion, all of life’s trials and tribulation in a neat package. I recommend this movie unreservedly.

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