2011 so far: the year in review

So yeah. I should be ashamed of myself. AND I AM.

But really my latest entry is four and a half month ago so it’s not that long?

So I’ve decided to come up with a quick and efficient way of reviewing all the films I’ve seen since the beginning of the year –not by awarding rates or stars or anything, but by writing five-lines review. What do you mean it’s still lazy?

Here we are.

Okay so January was pretty meagre.

* Somewhere, directed by Sofia Coppola. Disliked it in its entirety. The pretentiousness of it all makes unbearable and it is literally impossible for the viewer to empathise with the main character. As shallow as it pretends to be deep, it is void of emotions, except for a few scenes which allow Elle Fanning to display her talent. Harris Savides’ photography saves the day. But really Sofia, stop with the minimalist bullshit, we get it.

* How Do You Know, directed by James L. Brooks. A film that goes from the overly dramatic to the oddly comedic in seconds, without ever really working. Acting performances are top notch (I went to see this for Paul Rudd, who I adore) but there’s little substance for them to get going. Formulaic directing and screenplay amount to what I’d call a mediocre film.

February was off to a good start:

* The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper. Although in hindsight the thought of this film beating the Social Network at the Oscars still disgusts me, it remains thoroughly enjoyable, a fact largely due to the fantastic performances of its two lead actors, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Well-intentioned as he may be, director Hooper falls short of expectations, although both the art and costume design are impressive. But there’s no denying that the film is funny, moving and endearing: probably what Academy voters were looking for, then.

* Black Swan, directed by Darren Aronofsky. As disturbing and astoundingly beautiful as you expect it to be, Black Swan is the very embodiment of its director’s tortured mind and filmography. Visually arresting, executed with impeccable precision, it is Aronofsky at its best. But the wide array of psychological issues at stake here makes it suffocating, sometimes too intense for its own good. And also includes horror elements which are sickly surprising and hard to watch. It is a wonder Natalie Portman made it out alive. Portman herself is utterly convincing, costume design by Rodarte is absolutely beautiful.

* True Grit, directed by the Coen brothers. Yet another immensely successful Coen film, True Grit is a remarkable entry in the modern western genre. Dialogue is excellent and sharp and the characters are simply delightful. Hailee Steinfeld, in a breakthrough performance that no viewers will forget, brings a much-needed humanity to an otherwise rather dry universe. Jeff Bridges is cast to perfection, and supporting players are also very good (Matt Damon, Josh Brolin). All in all, a grand entertainment with a lot of heart and plenty of laughs.

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