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The Tree of Life (2011)
Note : Many people won't get this movie and will loathe it. It is definitely the least accessible movie directed by Mallick and I'm not sure I did get half of it but it doesn't matter. I touched me very deeply and many times, I thought I was watching myself when the father was messing up his familly or when the older boy was getting messed up. If you're looking for some deep and meaningfull movie, you should definitely have a look to this one.
Note : This time, Steve McQueen gave us a rather painful portrait of a man driven by his obsession and how his life constantly revolves around this obsession and nothing else. Since I’m a rather obsessive person (the most obvious would be my compulsive movie watching with more than 5000 movies watched and around 3800 reviews written on this website), it was rather confronting and I could definitely relate with him on the way that, even though his constant search for sex gives him a purpose, it also makes him emotionless and completely unable to connect or socialize with other human beings. Once again, Michael Fassbender who is obviously one of the greatest actors of his generation gave a fearless performance and it is really astonishing that he wasn’t even nominated at the Academy awards.
A Separation (2011)
Note : This movie was quite compelling to watch and it was quite a masterstroke from the director that even though I, and many viewers I guess, have very little knowledge of the Iranian culture and, still, I could really identify with most of the characters and I was able to understand most of the struggles they were facing. And that’s the other amazing thing about this flick is that you don’t only identify with the main character, you are able to understand all the other characters involved in the story and their motivations which was something quite unique and remarkable.
The Descendants (2011)
Note : I wonder why it took Alexander Payne 7 years to finally come up with a new director effort. Anyway, it was definitely worth the wait, that’s for sure. Indeed, I thought it was a very good drama with a perfect pace (probably the best directing by Payne so far) , some more than solid performances and some of the best written characters I have seen lately. But the movie is not only about a family tragedy, it is also about the fate of an aristocratic family and what they should do with their land. That part of the story was also quite fascinating and it is quite amazing that they managed to balance such diverse topics in one movie.
The Kid with a Bike (2011)
Note : Within the first minutes, I was completely fascinated by the tragedy lived by this troubled young boy. Basically, you witness this 11 years old boy mentally melting down in front of you and it was just heartbreaking to behold. On one hand, he is a resourceful kid who knows what he wants and how to defend himself but, on a psychological level, he is a total mess but, considering the circumstances, it is not really surprising. At the center of this tragedy, you have this young boy played by an unknown called Thomas Doret and it must have been one of the best child performances I have ever seen. Completely amazing and mesmerizing to watch.
Margin Call (2011)
Note : Not so long ago, I saw ‘Inside Job’ which was a really praised documentary about the same subject and it was great to see a fictional take on those events. First of all, there was a great cast, they all gave some really good performances and I enjoyed the fact that there was no main character and no real bag guy either. Anyway, I thought it was a fascinating story. I mean, maybe if you don’t care about economics, about the process behind speculation, it might be dull for you but, personally, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next even though I already knew how it would end up. The most brilliant thing is that, even though some characters might come over as despicable, their behavior, actions and words always made sense which made for some really interesting situations. Eventually, at the end of the day, it gives another example that the whole stock-market system was (and probably still is) rotten to the core.
Note : Basically, it is a really solid and satisfaying mix of comedy and drama. To be honest, not everything did work. For example, Bryce Dallas Howard's character was just terribly annoying. I mean, I don't think we should blame Howard, she was just as charming as usual, it's just the way this girl reacted was so predictable, it was just a drag everytime she was involved and it was just a relief when he finally got rid off her. Concerning Anna Kendrick, I'm still not sure. I mean, she gave a fine performance but it is as if the main character absolutely needed another love interest, some kind of substitute for the other bitch when it was clear that the movie was actually about something else. Indeed, it was above all about the bromance between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen and that worked like a charm thanks to some really strong performances by those 2 guys.
Note : Eventually, I wasn't disappointed. Indeed, I thought the whole thing was just hilarious and it has been a while since I laughed so much at the movie theater. Roman Polanski always impressed me in the past but I didn't expect him to make such a funny dark comedy. And the cast was just awesome!
Note : First of all, congrats for Rooney Mara. I was really skeptical when I heard which she would portray Lisbeth Salander but her performance was more than convincing. So, even though it is a completely unnecessary remake, even though it is not better than the first version, Lisbeth Salander remains one of the most fascinating characters in a motion picture and the story was still really spellbinding.
The Artist (2011)
Note : Even though I liked it, I can't say I was blown away by the whole thing. Indeed, I always had a hard time enjoying silent dramas and this one was not an exception. Still, it remains an original and inspiring experiment. The directing was really exquisite and really gave a good feeling about this time period and the performances were really good, especially by Jean Dujardin who was just amazing.
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