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Added by johanlefourbe on 23 Dec 2022 12:17
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A Complete Review of Alejandro G. Iñárritu's work

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Cast : a bunch of unknown actors

What was it about?
An acclaimed journalist-turned-documentarian goes on an oneiric introspective journey to reconcile with the past, the present and his Mexican identity.

My two cents:
Well, even though the guy had pretty much a flawless track-record so far, I’m afraid this movie turned out to be his first misfire. It’s not that it was bad, basically, it was some kind of supercharged Felliniesque jigsaw puzzle and, if you are into this kind of movies, you might end up really enjoying it. On top of that, it’s not surprising that Iñárritu has won 2 Academy Award for the Best Director as the directing was here really strong and the damned thing was visually pretty neat. However, as far I was concerned, it turned out to be a long indulgent and rather pretentious ego trip. I mean, there were some bits and scenes which did work fine. For example, it has been a while since I have seen such a sweet and convincing middle-aged couple and some scenes seemed to have been plucked right out of my own dreams. Unfortunately, there were also many scenes for which I didn't care much for or even at all. For example, all the scenes involving this CGI baby were just rather cringe-inducing but, above all, it never really worked as a whole. It didn’t help that, in spite of the rather extensive running time, you learn pretty much nothing about the characters, even the main character. Basically, the guy was pretty much a pretentious film director (I wonder why he kept saying that he was a ‘journalist’) going through a middle-life crisis and feeling a lot of self-pity. With such a gorgeous wife, some really bright kids and a seemingly really cool job, you might wonder why the guy kept whining all the time.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1191 Average listal rating (846 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8
The Revenant (2015)


Cast : Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Lukas Haas

What was it about?
A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

My two cents:
To be honest, even though I really enjoyed this movie, it didn’t really blow me away though. Basically, the first issue I had is that I heard so much about it before watching the damned thing, I already knew about the bear attack, about his son being killed, about the main character left behind and coming back for his revenge… Seriously, nothing happening in the first half was really surprising. Then, the 2nd issue I had is that I’m afraid I didn’t really care much about this story. I mean, sure, it was entertaining but it was not really original and it was certainly nothing really groundbreaking. Still, I really loved this movie above all because the whole thing just looked really amazing. Unsurprisingly, visually, it was highly influenced by Terrence Malick’s movies (Emmanuel Lubezki, who won his 3rd Oscar in a row for his work on this film, also worked for Malick on some of his movies). Concerning DiCaprio, sure, he was pretty impressive but, to be honest, I’m not so sure if it was really his best performance. Still, the work done on this movie to create something so realistic and so believable was quite amazing.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:


Cast : Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough, Edward Norton, Amy Ryan

What was it about?
A washed-up superhero actor attempts to revive his fading career by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway production.

My two cents:
Through the years, the Academy has made some poor choices but, this time around, I have to admit that they finally got it right and this movie was definitely a worthy winner. Eventually, I still think that 'Boyhood' was in fact a better choice but this flick was really not far behind and I liked it a lot. To be honest, I thought that the actual play would be in fact about Birdman so I was expecting something slightly different but that wasn't a big deal, in the contrary. What we got here was a very smart, very well directed movie with some really impressive performances. Indeed, it was filled with some very long takes and you can imagine that it must have been rather daunting for the actors involved (apparently, Iñárritu was actually eager to shot the whole thing in one single take but the actual merit of this rare technic is rather questionable if you ask me). For Iñárritu, it was the crowning of an already impressive and pretty much flawless career and he probably delivered here his most complex movie so far. Indeed, it was basically some kind of intoxicating mix of dark hyper-realism with magical fantasy with so many fascinating layers. For all the actors involved, it was a definitely a very high point in their career. The only critic I might have was that the damned thing was actually so sophisticated that there was barely enough room to really develop the story and the characters involved but it was only a minor issue.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 722 Average listal rating (364 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
Biutiful (2010)


Cast : Javier Bardem

What was it about?
A man dying of cancer tries his best to leave the world on his own terms.

My two cents:
First of all, I thought it was such a depressing movie... I mean, there was absolutely no joy but only total despair in the life of Uxbal played by the always brilliant Javier Bardem. Still, I must admit that, even though I did enjoyed this movie, it is probably one of the weakest movies I have seen so far directed by Iñárritu. Maybe it had to with the fact that there was too much material to explore. I mean, they gave us a look on criminal life, homosexuality, marital issues, illegal immigration, bipolarity and even some psychic paranormal stuff. Still, it was far from being a bad movie. Indeed, Iñárritu’s directing was as usual really strong and Bardem's performance was quite impressive. Seriously, the guy definitely carried the whole thing on his shoulders. This movie also reminded me of 'Gomorra', in the sense that they completely removed all the glamour surrounding this kind of criminal life style. Indeed, even though Uxbal seemed to have some contacts with the police and every layers of the criminal system, he didn’t have a fancy car or much money and he even lived in some shitty apartment with his kids. Anyway, all in all, even though it was not really fascinating, it was still a very well made drama.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 3163 Average listal rating (1948 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5


Cast : Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Elle Fanning, Gael García Bernal, Clifton Collins Jr., Rinko Kikuchi

What was it about?
Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.

My two cents:
I had some rather high expectations for this movie and, fortunately, it didn't disappoint me. It is rather interesting that out of the 3 major Mexican releases that came out in 2006 (this movie, 'Children of Men' and 'El laberinto del fauno'), Iñárritu's movie turned out to be my favorite one whereas 'Children' and 'Labyrinth' got more love from the rest of the world. Basically, it was once again another hyperlink tale (multiple & parallel story lines are linked with each other) written by Guillermo Arriaga (who also wrote 'Amores Perros' and '21 grams' which were also some hyperlink tales). You could fear that the gimmick was getting a little tiresome at this point, but it wasn't, at least, not for me. Indeed, the directing was awesome, the cast (including Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in top shape) was really good and, above all, the story was just fascinating to behold. In the contrary to many other hyperlink movies, there were only 4 storylines, they were all very well developed and they all worked so well together. In my opinion, the damned thing was just fascinating to behold.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2569 Average listal rating (1526 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6


Cast : Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Melissa Leo, Clea DuVall

What was it about?
A freak accident brings together a critically ill mathematician, a grieving mother, and a born-again ex-con.

My two cents:
In fact, I used to have this movie on DVD for a while but I sold it at some point following one of my brilliant cleaning-up plans. It was kind of stupid because I really liked it a lot but, fortunately, I still managed to rewatch it at some point anyway. Anyway, since I really loved ‘Amores Perros’, I was really eager to check this flick and Alejandro González Iñárritu certainly didn’t disappoint me. Indeed, for his follow-up, Iñárritu already left Mexico for the US and made another hyperlink tale also written by Guillermo Arriaga and, this time, he had quite a neat cast at his disposal. It was rather impressive that even though he actually used a similar gimmick as in his previous movie, he still managed to reach such a spellbinding result. On top of that, to make the whole thing even more complicated than it already was, Iñárritu went also for a random chronology which can be a rather useless annoying approach but this movie is one of the very few where it actually worked very well. Eventually, even if it might not belong Iñárritu's best movies, it is still a really strong drama.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:


What was it about?
The effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks are told from different points of view around the world.

My two cents:
In fact, I saw this movie in the movie theater when it was released. To be honest, I wonder how I actually ended up watching the damned thing but I guess it was because there were several directors I admired that were involved. On top of that, if I recall it correctly, it was one of the first movies I saw in the movie theater when I moved to the Netherlands and I assumed I wouldn’t need to read the subtitles (it took me a couple of years to master the Dutch language and when I just arrived, my Dutch was not so great, I’m afraid). It turned out to be a miscalculation from my side since the movie was not only in French and English but also in some other languages like Arabic and Japanese. Still, I thought it was indeed an interesting movie. I mean, as usual with this kind of anthology features, the segments were not all really amazing but it was still pretty impressive to see this movie just a year after this terrible tragedy took place. Concerning Iñárritu's bit, it is usually considering one of the best in this film and it is indeed rather heartbreaking to behold, even if you re-watch it 20 years later. Still, there were too many black screens for my taste but, on the other hand, without these black screens, this short movie might have been otherwise unbearable to watch.

My rating: 07/10 (for the whole movie), 07/10 (for Iñárritu's segment)

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 112 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.6


Cast : Clive Owen, Stellan Skarsgård

What was it about?
Times war photographer Harvey Jacobs is wounded while witnessing a massacre at Nuevo Colon by terrorists. In a desperate effort, the United Nations sends a vehicle to get him out, a BMW driven by the mysterious Driver.

My two cents:
Even though it is probably not one of my favorites among these BMW commercials, it is still definitely one of the best though. Indeed, with its typical gritty realistic directing style, especially back then, it was unmistakably a Iñárritu feature. I also enjoyed the fact that they really managed to tell an actual story within only 10 mins and it clearly stood out from the other BMW commercials by sending the Driver to such an exotic and politically charged location. Eventually, the only thing preventing this movie to be the best of the bunch was the fact that the car chase, easily one of the biggest appeal of these commercials, was just rather pathetic here, I'm afraid. With an awesome car chase, it would have been really awesome but it is still a fine little movie.

My rating: 07/10
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1648 Average listal rating (1008 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1


Cast : Gael García Bernal

What was it about?
A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love.

My two cents:
I remember very well the 1st time I saw this movie. Indeed, back then, I was living in England and, I think after seeing the trailer, I thought it could be a cool movie. Eventually, it turned out to be even better that I expected and I was really blown away by the damned thing. Basicallly, it was some of the most amazing directing debut I have ever seen and, from this point and I became a huge fan of Alejandro González Iñárritu's work, In fact, even though Iñárritu became one of the most interesting directors at work nowadays and even though he kept making some great movies, this movie is still my favorite one. Indeed, the story was just spellbinding, the acting was pretty good (It was one of Gael Garcia Bernal's first acting jobs) and of course, the directing was really impressive. For a directing début, Iñárritu displayed some amazing confidence. Concerning the 3 tales displayed, the 1st one was by far the best and they could focus the whole movie on this part. The 2nd was the least effective but the final part was really neat as well. Anyway, back in those days, there was not yet this overdose of hyperlink features and, at the time, I thought it was just a spellbinding gimmick. Anyway, to conclude, I think it is really a masterpiece, one of the best movies ever made and a must see for any decent movie lover.

My rating: 09/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

Since I have finally managed to watch all the movies directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, I thought I should make one of these lists for this guy as well.

Enjoy!


Added to

43 votes
A Complete Review of various directors' s work (68 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 11 years, 8 months ago 8 comments



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