Jan 162016
 

Carol---2015-009

Veteran American independent filmmaker Todd Haynes (Safe, Far From Heaven and Mildred Pierce) doesn’t make many films, but the master of precision is consistently fascinating on an academic level, and because he works outside of Hollywood, must work hard to source funding. He is celebrated for his cinematic representation of gay people, authentic period reproduction, experimentation with gaze, and his fascinating female characters, whom he offers point-of-view and agency. They are always examined in thoughtful and complex ways, making Patricia Highsmith’s groundbreaking source material, The Price of Salt, a perfect fit for his sensibilities. Haynes has worked with in the past and drawn stunning performances from Julianne Moore (Safe and Far From Heaven) and Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce), and this is second collaboration with Cate Blanchett (who takes on one of the portrayals of Bob Dylan in I’m Not There).

His exquisite and elegantly restrained romantic drama Carol, which has been on every film buff’s most anticipated list since its première at the Cannes Film Festival (where it won the Queer Palm), is an enchantingly beautiful production. With striking 16mm film compositions, an authentic recreation of 1950s Manhattan, and a lovely score from Carter Burwell – it is a moving adaptation of Highsmith’s transcendent, heart-swelling tale. She is perhaps best known for writing The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train (which have also been adapted for the screen), but due to the book’s homosexual relationship, she wrote The Price of Salt under the pseudonym Claire Morgan. Written for the screen by Phyllis Nagy, it has gone on to be a multi-BAFTA and Academy Award-nominee. The two lead actresses, the faultless Blanchett and the astonishing Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Side Effects), are absolutely radiant, but every frame of the film is a work of art. Continue reading »

Nov 162015
 

knight_of_cups2

The Knight of Cups is a dreamer. He is amiable, but easily bored. Artistic and refined, yet in constant need of stimulation. The Knight here is Rick (Christian Bale) a successful, yet unfulfilled player in the movie business. He does not know what he seeks, but whatever it is, he’s having a hard time finding it. Knight of Cups is reviewed after the jump.

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Dec 162014
 


 
I’ve watched this trailer half a dozen times today. I am intoxicated by its photography – so utterly Lubezki, so completely Malick. Without knowing who was behind this film, you would surely pick these two names. Just from the trailer it feels like some sort of Tree of LifeWolf of Wall StreetSpring Breakers mash-up. How great is the music? I can only imagine how intense, how energetic the score might be, particularly in the clubbing scene(s).

Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep.

Written & Directed by Terrence Malick, the film is set to première at the 65th Berlin Film Festival in February 2015. The impressive cast (including 3 Australian actors) is as follows: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas, Teresa Palmer, Imogen Poots, Armin Mueller-Stahl and the voice of Ben Kingsley.

Sep 082013
 


Woody Allen (although through genuine sadness), once again tells a story from the basis of a joke, to which Cate Blanchett’s Jasmine is unaware of; “At a cocktail party, one woman said to another, ‘Aren’t you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?’ The other replied, ‘Yes, I am, I married the wrong man.” The joke is concise, the punch line effective, yet why aren’t we laughing? My review of Blue Jasmine after the jump.
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