HUGO (2011) by Martin Scorsese: 6/10
24 Words or Less: I’d seen this before but forgotten what happened–not a good sign. All the ingredients are there, but somehow not a good bake.
Best bit: Getting to see some of George Méliès’ films.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (2002) by Steven Spielberg: 9/10
24 Words or Less: Cinematic entertainment par excellence. A funny and charming cat-and-mouse game with two great leads and several moving moments, based on a true story.
Best bit: Honorary mention for one of my favourite John Williams scores, which is little known and frustratingly difficult to get hold of.
N.B. When you inevitably want to do some extra-curricular research on the real Frank Abagnale, I highly recommend the talk he gave here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlQ5tyHLBRc, continued https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFtxf2gZSY0.
1984 (1984) by Michael Radford: 6/10
24 Words or Less: Slow and uninteresting. Orwell’s novel is accurately reflected by the grey colouring of the film, but not by Smith’s (Hurt’s) persistent vacant stare.
Best bit: There’s a long dialogue between Winston Smith and O’Brien which probably explored the important subject matter, but somehow it was so quiet and mumbled I couldn’t hear it.
BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD (2011) by Liz Garbus: 7/10
24 Words or Less: The sad life of a true ‘stereotype’ troubled chess genius. Spends an hour building up to championship victory then rattles through his subsequent breakdown.
Best bit: Wouldn’t be the film it is without Harry Benson’s beautiful photographs (LIFE magazine).
AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000) dir. Mary Harron: 9/10
24 Words or Less: Blackly funny, horribly graphic, but so clever and such an interesting exploration of self-esteem and character in a postmodern context.
Best bit: The business card scene. ‘Look at that subtle off-white colouring. The tasteful thickness of it. It even has a watermark.’