October’s movies reviewed, part two

Continuing from where we left off:

Woodstock (The Director’s Cut, Michael Wadleigh, 1970) is quite the experience. Almost 4 hours long it’s the closest we born-a-few-decades-too-lates will ever come to have actually attended the legendary 1969 festival. The music is just as amazing as the glimpse into the people, the culture and the life of that generation is fascinating. (A)

Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011) continues Allen’s misty-eyed view of Europe that was apparent in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” but becomes almost offensive here. Highlight is Corey Stoll’s delightful performance as Ernest Hemingway. (B-/C+)

THX 1138 (George Lucas, 1971). Wow. I was seriously surprised at how great this little film is, how good the performances are. Even the commentary track with Lucas and co-writer Walter Murch is one of the more interesting ones I’ve heard. (A)

Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009) for the first time since I saw it in theaters two years ago and what I said then is still true now: Great film, great music, great acting (Hello, Michael Fassbender!) and Diane Kruger’s horrible fake accent almost ruins the entire thing. (B-)

Last Night (Don McKellar, 1998), as recommended by Andrew Haigh, this movie takes place over the last six hours before the end of the world and it’s not at all what you might expect from that description. It’s thoughtful, fun, touching, philosophical, and, all in all, beautiful. (A)

Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971) is weird and quirky and lovely and I can’t believe that I hadn’t seen it until now. (B)

Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2008). Now, here we have something special. The comparisons to Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” are apt and obvious. This is an exercise in style (“fetish filmmaking,” as Refn (“Drive”) calls it) and could be dismissed as that, if it weren’t for Tom Hardy’s outstanding, outlandish, bold performance. I don’t think I ever had as much fun watching an actor work as I did here. (B+)

Les diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955), is pure Hitchcockian genius, aside from the fact that Hitchcock had nothing to do with it. I’m still fairly unfamiliar with Clouzout’s body of work, but what I’ve seen (this, “Le salaire de la peur” and what can be glimpsed at in “L’enfer d’Henri-Georges Clouzot“), I liked. (B-)

J’ai tué ma mère (Xavier Dolan, 2009). Hated it. (D-)

Dreiviertelmond (Christian Zübert, 2011), a sweet little culture-clash tale with a moving, honest performance by Elmar Wepper. (B)

Romeos (Sabine Bernardi, 2011) tries too hard but ultimately fails. Sub-par directing and acting. (C-)

Margin Call (J.C. Chandor, 2011). I had no idea what’s going on, but I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Great acting all around. (Tucci! Spacey! Bettany! Quinto! Baker! Irons!) (B+)

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