Monday, October 04, 2010

Monday Reviews: Leap Year

Finally, a full review cranked out for one of the films I've been screening in the weeks leading up to the official launch, this coming Friday, of the 46th Chicago International Film Festival. The movie I picked is the first one I screened, and one that is bound to enter discussion at the "Sex on Screen" panel that CIFF has invited me to join on Saturday: it's Michael Rowe's Leap Year, a prizewinner for Best First Film at last spring's Cannes Film Festival. More than one colleague has described Leap Year to me as a kind of shabby shocker, almost obnoxiously lacking anything to say and putting its female lead in needlessly compromising positions. I can't defend the fully from having fewer ideas at its core than it seems like it ought to, but I think the direction is refreshingly unhysterical given the premise and trajectory, and I was altogether impressed. Full review here, and thanks for waiting well past the usual midnight posting hour!

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Evanderholy said...

Nick- the whole Roger Ebert thing was very cool. It's exciting to think that he could very well become a fan of yours.

It's also exciting to see how high your grades have been for so many of the films you've seen at the CIFF. I just hope some of them make it to theaters for the rest of us to see.

I also didn't get to comment before about how much I enjoyed your new pages for the Cannes and Venice film festivals. I'm always curious to see how you grade and rank older films. Your "Personal Oscar Ballots" in particular have provided much entertainment. I'm already starting to make guesses on which movies might crack the newest edition of your Top 100 films list.

Looking forward to more reviews soon!

6:00 PM, October 04, 2010  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@Evanderholy: You're always so encouraging and generous. I really appreciate it, as always! The grades have averaged fairly high so far, and I'm hoping that continues. Housemaid didn't help today, but there's some strong-looking stuff coming up soon, right at the top of the weekend. Some questionable stuff, too, but we're accentuating the positive!

6:49 PM, October 04, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review. I passed on getting tickets to this one since I'm scheduled to see Revolucion and We Are What We Are and wanted to make sure I tasted a little bit of other national cinemas.

Are you gonna find room to see Rabbit Hole? I ran over to get those tickets after missing out on a couple of high profile films because I waited too long.

-CCH

9:34 AM, October 05, 2010  
Blogger DVious said...

I think that you missed a few, very important points to the film, and this is reflected in how you considered the film's ending.

I am convinced that Laura had been abused by her father - she evidently felt more for his memory than her mother, who had moved on and got a boyfriend.

Laura's telephone conversation with her mother implied that she had been promised land by her father. The truth was that the land was left to his wife, as it should be, so why did Laura think differently?
Another clue. Laura went about living and working, and having sex. She even arranged a new job, as she still planned on living. Once her plans changed, she ditched the new job.
Another clue, that I really hope wasn't in my mind alone - Laura was, let's say, 'bushy', throughout the film but, come February 28th, Laura shaved her pubic area. In preparation for whom, considering that it was going to be her last night on earth? She didn't feel to prepare for any man that we saw her meet.

Her virgin white dress, also implied a return to a girl-like state. I put it to you that the darkest element of this film is that Laura was preparing to be reunited with her incestuous father.

Because the review didn't acknowledge this darker truth, the review missed the point that Laura is a predator. She was seeking a certain quality in a man, that she found in Arturro. Once she found 'the right man', she groomed him.

Their S&M antics were at her behest, as she sought to programme Arturro to respond sexually to violent acts. Effectively, she aimed to blur Arturro's moral vision, and make murder a sexual act, not a criminal one. Laura prepared Arturro to reunite her with her father by killing her.

Final clues - Laura cried on being faced with a day on earth, that she didn't anticipate having to live through. Laura was un-reunited.

That bedroom photo of Daddy? Clues abound!

Laura was consummate at lying to everybody but, when Arturro asked who she lost her viriginity to, replied 'none of your business'. Too near the truth, Arturro.

These assertions are what I found, when watching this amazing film. It is almost non-verbal, which is to say, its language is almost universal.

8:16 AM, December 12, 2012  

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