The Past: This is a superb film. What I liked best was its sublime moral consciousness. There is no villain in this story. Small moral problems — like chaos theory’s butterfly-flight effect on the atmosphere — create ripples that have big effects. The film is a masterpiece, in this sense, of moral analysis. Loved it.
The Lunchbox: Small film about an East Indian wife who’s prepared lunches end up mistakenly going to someone other than her cold and distant husband. A correspondence emerges. The film is most notable for its wonderful restraint — it in effect confines its exploration to minor detail and subtle nuance. I was reminded a little of another very good correspondence-driven film, 84 Charing Cross Road (1986), with a youngish Anthony Hopkins. The lunch-eating character’s decision about his would-be future relationship with the beautiful lunch-making wife was, I thought, a crowning achievement for this film.
The Great Beauty: What would a film be like that revisited the hedonism of the 1960 film, La Dolce Vita, in the present decade and with the old film’s characters now flirting with the solemn realities of advancing age? The Great Beauty is arguably that film. It develops slowly, but by the end I thought it overall a very good film.
Tim’s Vermeer: Loved it! Especially (1) because it deepened my sense of just how miraculously accurate Vermeer’s paintings actually were and (2) because it showed a rich guy using his wealth to a very, very good leisure-time purpose — namely, solving a wonderful mystery in art history. Not for everybody however.
The Lone Ranger: More interesting than I thought it would be — particularly with its redrawing of the relationship between Tonto and our masked hero.
Love Bird: Charming New Zealand film about a guy taking care of an injured duck and his crossover from a girlfriend who dumped him to a new love interest who is wonderfully played by a not-so-pretty actress who is really cute all the same. Great watching with kids, BTW!
The Sapphires: Like this very much. Brought back to me exactly why I liked girl-group music in the ’60s so much. Also, the film offers an interesting subtext on racial statuses in this era in both Australia and the U.S. For these aboriginal girls, being defined as (U.S.) black was seen as a step up from being defined as aboriginal in Australia. Also liked the romance between the semi-alcoholic manager (who wonderfully played the Irish-origin cop in Bridesmaids) and the oldest sister.
BTW, need recommendations of new films to watch! Please send!