Sunday, January 04, 2009

Still Opening Presents

After a Kate Winslet double-feature—I thought The Reader had much more integrity and credible artistry, but it's Revolutionary Road that I'm thinking about more—I only have one more gift to unwrap from 2008 before I can finalize my Top Ten List for the year and get cracking in some other categories. I'll still be missing some titles that haven't hit Chicago yet (The Secret of the Grain) or that departed too quickly (Momma's Man), plus a few more peripherals from Tuya's Marriage to Pineapple Express, but one has to draw the line somewhere.

In Bruges shows up on both of my favorite Top Ten lists that I've read so far, from Guy and Nathaniel. I love the detail and personality of the choices and the write-ups, and they sway me to try to reconsider the films on which we disagree. And I feel even worse now for falling asleep a half-hour into Heartbeat Detector. I had moved the day before, and I shouldn't have been sitting before a slowly-building French drama. I'll track it down eventually.

Another film that Nathaniel and Guy both endorse on their Top Ten lists is Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky, which got a fabulous boost from the august National Society of Film Critics. I love the Hanna Schygulla prize for The Edge of Heaven; I loved that performance, which is currently short-listed for my own Best Supporting Actress list, and I loved it especially because a) I had no idea while watching the movie that this was Hanna Schygulla, b) I had no idea it was a performance that anyone else was clocking, and c) I actually thought at some point in the film, "This amazing actress has a sort of Hanna Schygulla quality." It's a lovely bit of acting in a fabulous movie, but I wonder if the performance will work as well if you head into the movie expecting a standard "critics prize" sort of performance. If you see it, let me know. Hopefully, I'll have more to say about supporting actresses later today for Stinky's Blogathon.

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Blogger Guy Lodge said...

Such kindness! Returned home from vacation today (sigh) to be greeted with frozen bathroom pipes and your considerably warmer praise for my list. Oh, that the one could thaw the other.

You're forgiven for falling asleep during "Heartbeat Detector" because you made such a valiant attempt to see it in the first place -- so few did. Do see it (and hopefully like it) if you can... I'd love some company on this one!

6:39 PM, January 04, 2009  
Blogger RC said...

i like terming these films as presents...i too have more to unwrap.

11:57 PM, January 05, 2009  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

i am dying to hear what you thought of IN BRUGES

come back to the five and dime nick davis nick davis

I sense a new semester of classes has stolen you from us for another month or two

9:35 AM, January 08, 2009  
Blogger tim r said...

Knew you wouldn't like In Bruges! I'm hugely in the pro camp, but interested in this perfidious verdict all the same. Sad -- it's a bit like opening your last present, saying a polite thank you, but secretly wanting to exchange it...

6:35 AM, January 11, 2009  

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