Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Fifties for 2012: Best Arguments for Second Helpings

A new category with two goals: to honor movies distinctive and compelling enough that I'm curious to re-explore them, and to confess where my memories have gotten least reliable in one way or another, meaning these movies may be cropping up in fewer categories than they deserve to.

Best Arguments for Second Helpings
Attenberg, because I saw it almost 18 months ago, and since its oddness is so total and its landscape of feeling so mysterious that I wonder what I saw;

Corpo Celeste, because this barely-released Catholic coming-of-age tale from Italy really got me at last year's Chicago Festival but I recall few specifics;

The Master, because as sure as I feel that the reception has been overweening, the construction is so elliptical that I know it would shift shapes on me;

Moonrise Kingdom, because I had the most pleasant time watching it I've ever had at a Wes Anderson movie, yet I remember few of the scenes my friends mention; and

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, because I watched it in flagrantly sub-par conditions (on an Amtrak!) and it clearly deserves better, no matter my usual qualms about Ceylan.

Honorable mentions pretty much limit themselves to The Deep Blue Sea, because it makes me nervous how much thinner the production and the acting seemed to me than they did to almost every film critic I follow, and 21 Jump Street, because I was so disarmed by how funny and charming it was that I wonder if it's also even better than I thought it was.

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Anonymous BVR said...

I feel exactly the same way about "21 Jump Street." After watching it, I kept resisting--purely on genre bias and the fact that Tatum was involved--that it was a great film (I never thought it was less than good but it's grown on me over time).

"The Master" definitely requires multiple viewings, and like Mulholland Dr., I believe that I'll react differently every single time I watch it--although I love Mulholland Dr. infinitely more.

Then I would add "The Deep Blue Sea" and Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights," which you should definitely see.

9:28 PM, October 03, 2012  
Anonymous goran said...

I never really got Ceylan but Anatolia floored me. It played like a Chekhov story elegantly, hypnotically coming to life. I would definitely encourage a second non-Amtrak viewing.

Though I did overall enjoy The Deep Blue Sea atmospherics, I found Weisz's performance vacant. In fact I am yet to find a Weisz performance anything but. I guess in The Constant Gardener she was more strained-poor-man's-Winslet than vacant..

There are certain actresses I find overappreciated (hello Meryl!) but where I just don't understand the reputation or the worship. I was particularly thrown by Weisz's sudden ascension to goddess status around 2005. I know people fell hard for her in Gardener, but had she done anything else to warrant the breathlessness?

2:09 AM, October 04, 2012  
Anonymous goran said...

The sentence above was meant to read 'There are certain actresses I find overappreciated (hello Meryl!) but *very few* where I just don't understand the reputation or the worship'

Much as I remain cool to Meryl's charms outside of acceptance speeches, I'm not mystified by her reputation

2:13 AM, October 04, 2012  

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