#298 – Blue Valentine

Drama

Blue Valentine illustrates love – its shame, glory and pain – in magnificent colour thanks to Ryan and Michelle, who without song and dance are becoming names that must be watched.

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#297 – Biutiful

Drama

Oh my, if you like the sight of people pissing blood, then Biutiful is going to be your thing. Aside from this, Iñárritu’s essay on fatherhood and death is savagely poetic, aesthetically and emotionally, conjuring up in the viewer all manner of morally ambiguous dilemmas about Bardem’s superbly played protagonist Uxbal.  Don’t be fooled by my flippancy in talking about broken kidneys, this is cinema.

#296 – Ping Pong

Drama

Ah, ping-pong, the game of kings and as such, Ping Pong tells us a mighty story of friendship that hinges on this glorious sport. Yes, it’s a sport movie and adheres to the formula (a formula I can’t resist it must be said), however it might not be a cut (or chop) above the majority, but there is something about the bowl-headed Peco that does elevate this paddle laden fare – a sort of Karate Kid without the physical contact.

#293 – Blue Crush

Drama

Admittedly Blue Crush may well have been called Kate Bosworth in a bikini, and as such it is as you expect, a fairly simple story of a northern shore local over-coming her own fears to attain the heights of Billabong sponsorship. Actually it really isn’t that bad, though the big climatic moment at the finale falls horribly short as for the first time in a film that is full of surf photography, CGI is employed to clumsily superimpose Bosworth in front of a big wave – it’s a decision that undoes any semblance of credit the film might have achieved.

#292 – The King’s Speech

Drama

Despite the superb performance of Firth it is Rush and Bonham-Carter that make the The King’s Speech as good as it is. Rush as the quirky antipodean speech therapist Lionel, and Bonham-Carter as the compassionate wife, Queen Elizabeth. Although not as emotionally engaging as expected the film cannot be begrudged it’s accolades.