I love my iPad...
The Secret of Kells is an animated feature about a mythical book that must be completed, an Abbey that must be fortified against the Vikings and a little boy at the center of it all. It was really good.
Tilda Swinton stars in I Am Love, about an upper crust Italian family who made their fortune in the textile business. The patriarch of the family dies suddenly, and it is interesting to see how the next generations take on the responsibilities of running the firm, but their own philosophies. The cinematography is beautiful and it is well acted. It is in Italian with English subtitles. Who knew that Tilda Swinton speaks Italian? I liked it.
Bright Star, with Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish, is based on the true story of the love between Fanny Brawne and John Keats. The two were kept apart by Keats' lack of money and by his writing partner. It was pretty good.
Because I seem to gravitate towards the Nazi movies, Katyn found itself in my queue. In Polish, with English subtitles, it is a true story about the circumstances surrounding the murder of thousands of captured Polish officers by the Russian army. Interestingly, the Russian government denied any part in the matter, also known as the Katyn Forest Massacre, until 1989. The end of the movie is very hard to watch. They show the murders, and the mass graves in which the bodies were buried. Very intense…
The Messenger is a gritty movie about a pair of war vets whose job it is to notify the NOK (next of kin) of soldiers killed in Iraq. Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Jena Malone, Samantha Morton and Steve Buscemi star. Woody was nominated for Best Actor for his role, but I think Ben Foster did a much better job. It was pretty good.
Ajami is set in a city in the West Bank where Jews, Christians and Muslims live uneasily side by side. Mostly in Arabic, but also in Hebrew, with English subtitles, it’s about a group of people whose lives become intertwined after a gangster is accidentally killed, and whose family means to exact revenge. It was alright.
127 Hours with James Franco is a very hard movie to watch, even when you know what is coming. It is based on the true story of Aron Ralston, a hiker/climber young man, who went on a rock climbing expedition on his own and he didn’t tell anyone where he was going. He fell down a crevice and was stuck for about five days with his hand wedged between a rock and the wall. His will to live was so strong that he cut off his forearm, got out and was soon found by some hikers and rescued. It was definitely a cautionary tale…and a little graphic in parts. It’s also a mother’s worse fear – that her kid gets into a jam and there is no one around to help. The scenes in which he was taping messages to his parents were really powerful. Most of the movie is just James as this kid in a horrible situation, and it was pretty realistic. I sat on the edge of my seat with my gut in knots. If you are up to this kind of ride, this movie is for you, but it is not for the faint of heart.
If you are old enough to remember all the hoo-hah when Secretariat won the Triple Crown, you will love going back down memory lane with the movie, Secretariat, starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich. Even if you weren’t alive yet, you will love this movie. It is a feel good, warm and fuzzy film and quite entertaining. The races were difficult to watch, even though everyone already knows the outcomes. I say, see it!