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.
LA VIE EN ROSE (2007) by Olivier Dahan: 7/10
24 Words or Less: A bleak story of a bleak figure who was in turns demanding, impossible, desperate and vulnerable. Eyebrows pass without comment or explanation.
Best Bit: The continuous “grief” shot from Marcel’s arrival to Piaf’s singing on stage.
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.’
LIFE 2.0 (2010) dir. Jason Spingarn-Koff: 7/10
24 Words or Less: One user remarks that Second Life is ‘the best and worst thing that ever happened to me.’ This film fascinatingly illustrates those extremes.
Best bit: The story of a relationship breakdown really impresses on you the fallibility of relationships that start online.