#652 – Silver Linings Playbook

Romance

There is in Silver Linings Playbook despite the troubles of the characters an inherent if mostly restrained joy. It seeps from the script and performances, before being released and bursting forth in the unlikely yet unbelievably well judged climax.

Lawrence and Cooper excel and De Niro beside the ever capable Weaver delivers work that is close to his best. And who’s in charge, David O. Russell. By many accounts he sounds like a bit of a tool, but one thing is undeniable, he is great director, dare I say auteur.

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#651 – Woman In A Dressing Gown

Drama

If you’re feeling a little trapped and sad don’t watch Woman In A Dressing Gown. It has all the makings of classic 50s ‘everything is lovely’ family melodrama and then in an instant turns devastatingly grim. An astounding piece of cinema.

Woman In A Dressing Gown

#650 – Stay Hungry

Drama

Every so often when watching random films you discover a gem. It’s rare, but it happens. What’s even rarer is for that gem to star Schwarzenegger, Bridges and Field. Ladies and gentlemen Stay Hungry is that film. It’s absolutely superb. Admittedly bizarre in places but with a cool and hip essence that’s undeniable.

There is a scene in a hill billy joint out in the woods where, I shit you not, Arnie plays country fiddle, while Bridges and a very old guy with no teeth dance. It’s a sort of hick shuffle clog dance. It’s magic.

Stay Hungry Arnold Schwarzenegger

#649 – Flight

Drama

Denzel is always so much better as a flawed character. Think American Gangster and Training Day for example. Flight sort of falls into this type of film, he’s a good guy mostly but he’s also a drunk womaniser and when you’re flying a jumbo jet full of passengers that isn’t great, or is it? Compelling might be going too far, but it’s not far off.

Flight Kelly Reilly Denzel Washington

#648 – Django Unchained

Action

There are some moments in Django Unchained where Quentin really pissed me off. However, for the vast majority, he’s on song. Really on song. It’s his best work for a long time. The characters are so strong, so well written and then made bigger than life by the actors given the privilege of playing them that the film bursts forth from the screen. Smart, sharp and super bloody, it’s what Tarantino does best.

And if there is a top ten of ‘reveals’ in existence anywhere the moment where Foxx as Django is presented after being at the tailors should be very near the top. Genius!

Django Unchained Jamie Foxx Christoph Waltz

#646 – 8 Seconds

Drama

Rodeo is awesome and 8 Seconds sort of knows it. It does it’s best to pull the viewer into the world in which it sets it’s story and succeeds to a degree. Unfortunately Perry’s teen idol association does cost the film a little of it’s credibility. Nevertheless the true story it’s based on is a poignant one and the bucking action is extremely well dealt with.

8 Seconds Luke Perry

#643 – Sightseers

Horror

Director Ben Wheatley does something magical with Sightseers. He places a disturbingly dark and violent Bonnie and Clyde story into a caravanning holiday in middle England. This should be hilarious, and it is. The genius of it though is it loses none of it’s horror in the process. Both Alice Lowe and Steve Oram in the leads become steadily more terrifying by degrees as the film moves toward it’s grim conclusion. Genuinely brilliant.

Sightseers Alice Lowe