Monday, December 19, 2011

Movie Monday - 12/19/2011

The race to the Oscars is gaining speed.  There are so many movies out right now that I have not seen, and more are being released weekly.  I will do my best to catch up...

The Descendents, starring George Clooney and Beau Bridges, is garnering Oscar buzz.  Matt King (Clooney) is a descendent to one of the first white land-owning families in Hawaii.  He is the trustee of a large piece of property on Kauai.  Many of his cousins want to sell it off to developers, and while he plans to take their wishes into consideration, the ultimate decision rests in his hands.  The natives are not happy that the land may be sold.  Meanwhile, Matt’s wife is involved in an accident and is being kept alive artificially.  Not only does he have the weight of the future of Hawaii on his hands, but he is now a single parent to two girls in whose care he has been absent up to now.  It was a comedy with a deeper message.  I really liked it.

In 50/50, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, a guy in his twenties that finds out he has a rare form of cancer.  Seth Rogen plays his best friend Kyle.  Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston also star in this movie that is intense at times, but definitely heartwarming.  The medicine is not always true to life, but it was a good story and the acting is very good.  I liked it.

A planet named Melancholia is hurtling towards the Earth on a collision course.  Kirsten Dunst plays Justine.  She and Michael (Alexander Skarsgard) get married and her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg and brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland) offer up their estate for the reception.  But Justine starts acting a little off and soon, it is evident that she has a mental illness and is falling apart.  Claire is the steadfast one.  By the end of the movie, as the deadly planet nears, it is Claire who cannot handle things, while Justine knows exactly what to do.  Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgard and Udo Kier also star in interesting look at the world coming to an end.  It was entertaining, but weird.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is an older film (1972) that is named in a list of twenty-five foreign films that we must all see.  I don’t remember who made up the list.  The movie is in French with English subtitles.  It is difficult to follow, and it seems that the story unfolds in bits, both in dreams and the experiences of each of the six main characters.  Basically, it is supposed to be a satirical view of society.  Interestingly, the sextet is always supposed to share a meal, but something always happens and they do not actually eat.  It was different.

In A Better World won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film last February.  It has been described as a cautionary tale. It is a story about bullies – on many levels. Two school children become friends.  Both come from homes with issues.  One is rather passive, the other is rather angry.  The two together are not a good combination.  Meanwhile, one of the dads is a physician who goes on mission trips to Africa and treats women who are victims of the local thug. The film is in Danish with English subtitles.  I didn’t recognize any of the actors, but they all did a great job.  It was very good.

MK out.

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