Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pithy Reviews (2)

All you need to know about the movies you should see, in under 45 seconds...

A Separation / Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
Having won the Golden Bear and two Silver Bears for the male and female performers at this year's Berlin Film Festival, it already comes highly recommended. It's a powerful drama about divorce, class divide and justice in contemporary Iran. The character of the young girl is the pivot of all that goes on, even though the film seems to sometimes forget about her, in favor of the endless conflicts between the adults.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005)
Speaking of bears, here's a documentary that will leave you speechless. Herzog comes closest here to actually making a documentary, as most of the movie is edited from footage shot by Timothy Treadwell (the Grizzly Man himself), blissfully ignoring the "chaos, hostility and murder" going around him in the Alaskan wilderness. Powerful, pessimistic and uncompromising. 
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

A Star Is Born (George Cukor, 1954)
Changing the tune a bit, here's a true classic. A musical centered around a has-been (James Mason) and a rising star in Hollywood (Judy Garland) impresses with its striking portrayal of their failed marriage, with rather long takes and shot in Technicolor. The best scene is the production number to end all production numbers from her last movie, recreated by Garland for Mason in their living room.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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