by Nick Vallelonga
Green Book is
one of the best films of the year, much superior to most of those selected for
the Golden Globe awards – for example, in my humble opinion A Star is Born is not
worth anything when compared with this excellent drama.
one of the best actors of the age and not just that, but one who decides to be engaged
with projects that matter, have a meaning and would remain memorable, plays
Tony Lip Vallelonga.
is outstanding, grandiose, sophisticated, majestic, towering, superior and
human….exactly what his challenging part requires, the role of Doctor Don Shirley,
a wonderful pianist
beginning, we watch Tony in his job at a nightclub, where he is a bouncer that
takes out an annoying, insulting customer and beats him hard, but then he is out
of a job, when the club is temporary closed.
This is very
difficult for the hero and his wife, Dolores, and the American Italian has to
take his watch to the pawnshop, to get forty dollars for it, given the
financial straits in which he is.
refuses to work for dubious thugs, seemingly mobsters that wanted Tony to be engaged
in illegal, violent activities, he receives an offer and has to go to meet with
an unknown employer.
This is a strange
character, dressed in the words of the simple Lip as “the king of the jungle”,
sitting on a throne and offering the position of driver to the unemployed white
proposition is attractive, but when the sophisticated doctor mentions that he
would have to take his luggage and shine his shoes, the proud bouncer stands up
meeting, we have seen two African American men in his house – he boasts about
that in front of his prospective boss – but they were there to fix the plumbing
or something else.
Even as he is
financially stressed, the racist, intolerant Vallelonga takes the glasses the
visitors had used and throws them in the trashcan, making more than plain his
The film is
extraordinary as it follows the transformation of this uneducated individual and
the dramatic change, from a man who could not use glasses after they had been
in the hands of another race, into a very sensitive, good friend of the doctor.
rather primitive driver learns, Don Shirley is not a doctor in medicine, but he
is the head of a trio, called the Don Shirley Trio, and he has organized a tour
in the south, where he would perform as a special guest.
Since this is
1962, the Deep South still has segregation in place – indeed, as it would be
explained by the Russian members of the trio, the main reason why Doc has taken
this challenge is to make a point.
paid three times as much if they perform in the North, but Doctor Shirley wants
to show bigoted, racist, rich men of the South that African Americans are not
inferior, they are able to do things that white men cannot do.
between driver and pianist is more than difficult to begin with, given the lack
of manners, education and any hint of style of the man who eats and throws
trash on the road.
tries to educate the bouncer – granted, there is some precious advice coming
the other way too – making him return to pick up the garbage, in a period when
the norm was to care very little, if at all about that.
stop at a shop selling precious or semi-precious stones, jade and the like,
Tony picks up one from near the stand, sitting on the ground and he is made to
pay for it, which he does only after fierce opposition.
cultivated speaker of Russian, Italian and surely other languages sees the
effort it takes the Italian American to write letters and the pale results, he
helps with the composition.
would have such a success that Dolores reads them to an audience of friends,
husbands who are amazed at Shakespeare – this is what she would call the returning
credit, Vallelonga is crucial in a few occasions, one when the Doc went to have
a drink in a bar and he is beaten cruelly by white racists and is saved by the
tough bullshit artist.
the pianist is caught having sex with another, white man and he is handcuffed and
destined to be jailed, when The Lip talks to the police officers and bribes
next time they have trouble with the law, it is because of the violent temper
of the ex-bouncer, who is insulted by other racists, in uniform this time and
he hits one of them.
the acclaimed musician, who has contacts at the highest echelons of power, but is
abused, by local, racist cops and rich Southerners – they want to listen to his
performance but want to make him use an outhouse and prevent him from eating in
the restaurant where he would have to perform- calls Bobby Kennedy.
Green Book is
a wondrous motion picture.
La Règle du Jeu aka The Rules of The Game by Jean Renoir
Another version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
This is a masterpiece that some have listed at number one-
- Others have placed it just under Citizen Kane
It is surely a chef d’oeuvre.
- One cannot simply watch this, one needs to absorb it
- It is so simple and so labyrinthine, so guileless and so angry, so innocent and so dangerous…
Indeed, there are a series of love affairs that mostly go wrong, but otherwise The Rules of the Games seem to involve everyone cheats on everyone else.
And yet it is so much more complicated than multiple, crossing love interests and the jealousy, envy, hate that can be involved therein.
Andre Jurieu opens the narrative with his crossing of the Atlantic, the record established and the consequent media frenzy to cover the story.
But he is very upset amidst his victory, because Christine de la Cheyniest, the woman he loves and for whom he has embarked on the perilous journey is not present there to welcome him and he feels betrayed.
Christine is an Austrian married to Le Marquis Robert de la Cheyniest, who had been involved in an affair with Geneviève de Marras, for three years before marrying his spouse.
To complicate matters in this complicated threesome that becomes a foursome and then more, Octave is a father figure who comes often to see Christine, he tries to protect her, but this affection becomes more complex.
These characters and guests travel to the chateau belonging to the rich marquis and Le Jeu is at its peak.
In this carnival of emotions, betrayal, love and deception we have servants that are involved: Lisette, her husband Schumacher and the would be lover Marceau.
Animosities become friendships, platonic relationships get close to being intimate and there is a Dance To The Music of Time, to refer to another masterpiece.
The Rules of the Game seem to refer also to social standards, etiquette and politeness, even if they appear ridiculous when opposed to real, all conquering love, such as in the instance when there is the question of running away:
- C’est pas comme il faut- ok, but without going as far as saying the silly “all is fair in love and war”, it still appears that if they love each other, they should just run for it, especially since the other parties involved have been having their own affairs
I also thought about the strange perspective that the French have on their personalities and their shenanigans, like in the cases of Dominique Strauss Kahn, Mitterrand and many others, known to have had in cases outrageous behavior and excesses and yet hide them under a thick cover of fog, without a mention in the press.
The complexity of the intimacy, then the distance placed between personages made me also remember the classic:
- Games People Play by Eric Berne
There is a hunt wherein many rabbits, pheasants and other game are killed, but there is also a chase for rivals and human trophies.
The rivals physically fight each other, in some instances try and shoot one another, but then they also become close, in a strange contradiction of the initial conflict.
Just when we expect one hero to become blissfully happy, he ends up on the ground and the reverse is true for others that we thought will reach a nadir and arrive at the finish line walking on their feet and even smiling.
Jean Renoir was the son of the great Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste Renoir, whose other children became artists…indeed, one of the others was an actor playing Octave in this magnificent film.
Robert Altman said about La Règle du Jeu:
- "I learned the rules of the game from 'The Rules of the Game,'„ and Roger Ebert said that this film “was not a million miles off from this plot with his "Gosford Park" -- right down to the murder.”
written and directed by Boris Khlebnikov
an excellent, great motion picture.
as glorious as Leviathan, which is a landmark, a film that would remain in
history, one of the best of the decade, if not the whole beginning of this
century, it is still fabulous.
to the masterpiece Leviathan, it has less for the Russian censors to attack,
but it is still interesting to see the malfunction of a major part of the
system exposed, although it would be attributed to human error
exposed the completely rotten system, from the vile role of the church, which is
patronizing and blessing devilish endeavors, to the politicians who abuse power
and crush the modest man that stands for his property, to the place, who are
there to defend the oligarchs and the apparatchiks and help put people in
In another Russian
film seen and noted on recently here - http://notesaboutfilms.blogspot.com/
- the police attitude is exposed in a brilliant scene, where two cops try to
hustle a woman that has come to the local prison to visit her husband – jailed for
no reason – who is denied access and any information and decides to protest in
front of the prison.
She is told
she needs to take the next train out or else, the consequences would be more
severe – most likely, she would be arrested – and while this vicious, corrupt official
lectures her, some thugs beat a man until he falls to the ground and they still
kick him and we can see that as it happens in front of the car where two cops
deal with a peaceful protester.
Professor walks pout to the attackers and we think well, at least now there
would be some justice, but he looks negligently to the victim lying down,
probably in a pool of blood and discusses very friendly with the attackers that
we now know to be part of the entourage, in cahoots with the law and therefore
with other problems, those of the medical system mostly; the heroes both work
in it, Oleg as paramedic and Katya, his wife, in the hospital emergency
few scenes are also funny, in that Oleg has to attend a case with his team –
there are three working on an ambulance, the medic, his assistant and the
driver –where an older woman is waiting.
She is known
to call the emergency services on a permanent, if futile basis, whenever she
feels like going to the hospital, for which she now has her luggage packed,
aware of the drill.
This is however
a waste of time. Resources and other much more seriously ill patients are
waiting for help, while this figure is keeping trained medical workers
attending to her hypochondria.
envisages a way out of this familiar trap – taking a pretend victim to the
hospital, wasting time with bureaucracy, traffic – and says he would take her,
if she signs the new set of rules…
need to have their hair shaved, to avoid infections, bacteria or something like
return to their duties, after the woman refuses to accept the loss of her hair,
but she would register a complaint, as others do, including a Jehovah’s Witness
who states that they did not take their shoes off…
reproaches are much more important, for the mother of this fundamentalist had a
condition that required an immediate transfusion or else she would die within
the next couple of hours.
think of The Children Act, a fabulous book by Ian McEwan – that has been
adapted for the big screen – where a similar case is presented, with a teenager
who is not of age, but who needs blood to survive.
charge and explains to the victim that she would die without the necessary
intervention, he needs to take her to the hospital and the woman agrees, while
her daughter opposes the move.
She is pushed
and threatened by the paramedic, but this is all justified when the saving of a
life is at stake, as is the case for some thugs who are handcuffed and
transported to the emergency room.
problems are presented, including the role of the bureaucracy, a new boss who wants
patients to survive the intervention of his team, but they may die when others
are in charge, he does not care.
role in the drama is played by the tension in the family, where Katya wants to
stay away from her husband for a god while, even when they still share the same
flat, where he has to sleep on the floor, in the kitchen.
picture is wonderful although it will not resist the test of time in the same
manner as the film that s better than most others made in the past 10, or twenty
the Heart aka Le Souffle au Coeur, written and directed by Louis Malle
of the Oedipus Complex, Murmur of the Heart is a splendid coming of age story.
nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Story or Screenplay and the
even more relevant Palme d’Or at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival and for other
York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made list has included this film:
Ferreux is formidable in the title role of the fourteen-year-old Laurent
Chevalier who is learning about life through books, from girls and a prostitute
–sex worker in the present use of the term.
it is his love affair with his mother that seems to have a serious, ever
lasting impact on the hero.
lives with his two brothers, the gynecologist father, Charles Chevalier, who
has an affair with his employee from the look of it, and his mother, Clara
Chevalier aka the fabulous Lea Massari.
brothers are provocative, nasty to their house cleaner – when they throw a
party, they turn the place upside down and more serious for the devoted woman,
a girl is kissing the innocent Laurent.
visit them, the elder brother takes the rebellious behavior to an incredible
owns a Corot – which could be evaluated today at many millions of dollars – and
they know the value of it.
rude brother asks the guests about the painting and then he states that it is not
He takes to
the tableau and pretends he wants to clean it, and then he is upset and says a
painting is only worth the canvas and the value of the colors.
That is all
there is to it and the rest is just capitalist, malignant speculation with a
work of art.
takes a knife and starts cutting thorough the Corot, making guests and family
background, France had fought a war in Indochina and various opinions are aired
on the subject.
is on the right of the issue – the hero calls him a Nazi – and feels that a
country that loses its colonies becomes irrelevant, giving the example of Great
The elder brothers
take advantage of the absence of three parents one night, loan the car – even if
they have not asked for it and they have no driving license – and take Laurent to
happy, potentially traumatic experience involves Father Henri, portrayed by a
legendary actor, one of the best in the world, Michael Lonsdale – titanic in
the recent Des Hommes et des Dieux.
is teaching class, but apart from the useful information, the education of
teenagers, he is a perverse individual –as is alas the case of so many priests –
who grabs the hero.
health of the hero is weak, his mother takes him to a spa, where he is getting
some palliative treatments.
showers with a pressure hose, they play tennis and people in the resort admire
tells the stories of her coming to France as a refugee, the death of her father
who fought with the partisan, the marriage that took place when she was only
after she has too much to drink, the emotion is increased by a fight between a
two men over who can dance with her; she is taken to her room, undressed and
caressed by her son.
has anyway been very outré, she said she is not prudish and walked around in
underwear, they played with each other, he took baths with her watching and
finally…they have sex.
this is a sophisticated, erudite, philosophical film, with references to artists
and geniuses like Proust and Camus…the latter is quoted with his haunting
“There is only one really serious philosophical
problem, and that is suicide.”
Feathers, based on the novel by AEW Mason
character of this formidable motion picture is a very peculiar, valiant, intriguing
young man – Harry Feversham.
can say that about the fabulous, late actor that portrays him – extremely talented,
but difficult to understand and bent on provocative, self-destructive behavior.
The hero is
an officer in the British Army, in 1884, and he is enthusiastic about his
relationship with Ethne Eustace aka Kate Hudson.
to her that he has gone out of the Army and all he cares about is his love for
his would be wife.
As he tries
to explain further his decision, the fact that they were about to be sent
abroad and he did not want that, in fact, he only joined the army for his
military father, a message come for him.
envelope received in a church, there is a message from his friends, colleagues
in the same regiment…
cowardice and the decision of the hero to avoid fighting is punished in this
by another very strong, important personage about his presence in the desert
and the reason why he had abandoned the British officer corps, the hero says it
was mostly fear…
Feathers have a traumatic, tremendous effect on the protagonist who would act in
an astonishing manner.
Whereas he had
refused to travel in an organized, much easier fashion to the Sudan, on the
front, he now takes extreme pains to reach the same destination.
He pays a
supposed guide to take him to the British forces fighting an insurgency of the
Mahdi – was this the name of the rebellious tribes (?)
proves soon to be a vicious racist who beats and abuses an African woman that
he deems as inferior to him as to allow him all manner of insults and then
blows and disgusting behavior.
One may be
tempted to say that fortunately this villain pays for it, albeit the ultimate
price might be too much.
This is the
moment when the hero joins Abou Fatma, a warrior of great skill, stature,
pride, fidelity and valor, who is puzzled by the presence of this English in
the middle of the desert and his quest for his own troops.
forces hire Fatma and Feversham, although they have no idea that the latter is not
a native man.
soon kills another man who had insulted him and he is taken prisoner by the
Mahdi, who had occupied a camp of the British, took their uniforms and hanged
and killed many.
asks Abou, his new friend and ally, to travel to his friends and alert them on
the imminent danger.
showing his gratitude, taking precautions and preventive measures, the
commander of the forces, Tom Willoughby – one of the Four Feathers initiators –
orders the torture of the messenger.
While Abou is
whipped, the Mahdi attacks, then they pretend they retreat, causing the enemy
to send a force of cavalry, only to fall into a first trap and then the tribes
dressed in the uniforms they had taken from those they had killed already and
so make the English think they have allies to the rescue.
another “Feather” – is killed, while William Trench – Feather three -aka
Michael Sheen is taken prisoner.
is the last feather aka Wes Bentley and he is blinded by own defective rifle
and is shipped home.
In a super
human act of valor which makes one wonder as to why did he refuse to fight ion
the first place, Harry Feversham decides to walk into the enemy camp and get
into prison to be with his Feather Comrade!
Feathers is a surprising drama; with a protagonist that starts by running away
from the war, only to make incredible decisions later, showing a courage that make
Tiffany’s, based on the novel by Truman Capote
aka the aristocratic, fabulous, sophisticated, noble, outstanding Audrey
Hepburn is one of the most delightful, serene, attractive, provocative,
intriguing, sunny and seductive protagonists of a book or film.
has been appreciated; it won two Academy Awards and was nominated for Best
Actress in a Leading Role – the splendid Audrey Hepburn – Best Writing and Art
Direction and some other prizes, including two Golden Globes.
is not just absolutely charming, she has a side that is less bright, given her
superficiality, careless attitude, tendency to get involved in murky, subterranean
arrangements – with Sally tomato – acceptance of 4 50 bills whenever she gets
to the powder room and a rather immoral, materialistic, money orientated
attitude towards life, in spite of the other side of her that ignores almost
anything that happens around, including the manifestations of wealth and power.
accepts to visit the mobster – that would be proved to head a narcotics operation
from prison – Sally Tomato at Sing Sing – with her acute sense of humor, Holly
remarks upon the ironic name of the infamous jail – she insists it was the
romanticism of the proposal, for the one hundred dollar bills she is paid after
each trip to see the gangster is not justification enough, given the ease with
which she gets fifty dollars whenever she walks to the lavatory.
first scenes, the heroine does not have the key for the front door and hence
calls upon Mr. Yunioshi to open it for her – this character is played by Mickey
Rooney and it has made history for the reason that the reputed actor has made a
terrible decision in painting a repulsive stereotype, insulting for Asian
people, a ridiculous depiction of a figure that speaks bad English and looks
moves in the apartment above, Paul Varjak, who has in turn to call upon Holly
Golightly to open the front door for him, since he has received only the key to
his apartment and nothing else – a place that is paid for and decorated by 2E
Failenson, a married woman that seems to support the author.
written a book with seven stories that is now part of the collections in public
libraries, as the heroine would discover when she visits one for the first,
during a challenge to involve in first time events with her neighbor and new
the young, handsome writer has failed to create anything else, suffering from
blockage, lack of inspiration and relying on 2E to provide money, up to the
point where he finds he is in love.
does lead an easy going life as her name makes clear – she has another name,
Lulamae Barnes and her husband appears one day at the entrance of the building,
explaining the situation to Paul, how he had married a girl that was not yet
fourteen – amazingly, many states in America do not consider illegal a marriage
where the girl is under age.
wants his wife to return to Texas, where he is a veterinarian and has four
children and cares for Fred, Holly’s or Lulamae’s brother – this is the reason
why she calls her new friend Fred – but the young woman tries to explain that
she is not the girl he used to know.
She is a
wild thing and he should know better, given the experience he has had taking an
eagle with a broken wing in and a wild cat.
to marry one of the fifty richest men in /America, under the age of fifty,
Rusty Trawler, but he turns out to be a super rat.
does receive many banknotes, but her free spirit, expensive habits leave her
with no more than two hundred dollars in the bank account.
decides to partner with the handsome Brazilian Jose da Silva Pereira, a man who
has problems with the law.
party where he has the chance to meet Holly, the always-aggravated Yunioshi
calls the police.
be president of Brazil is so worried that he finds his escape through the fire
when Holly is under scrutiny and suspicion in her turn, because she had been visiting
the mobster and the police think that she offered help in contraband with
narcotics, Jose abandons the woman he claimed he wanted to take to his country.
was reading books about South America, listening to tapes to learn Portuguese
and then she is disappointed.
have seen that she has the most deserving knight in writing armor near her, all
is much more deserving than any of the claimants, suitors, rich useless figures
that populated the life of the protagonist.
to see the obvious, the light, the good, and the worthy and in a scene-taking
place in a taxi, the hero is finally overwhelmed and disgusted by this
permanent refusal and throws a ring down.
at Tiffany’s is a rewarding, wonderful motion picture, a classic one could say
The Legend Continues, by and with Will Ferrell
Ferrell in action is a pleasure…for most of the time, in the majority of his performances.
was surprising to find that he did not make the list of the highest paid
comedians in 2018:
consider the other top actresses and actors that are part of the cast of
Anchorman 2, then the expectations become ever higher:
Carell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd and Kristen Wiig, to name just a few and
not mention the small part played by Harrison Ford.
the film is forgettable.
reason for watching it is to make the wrong yoga exercise – in the sense that
in yoga they request one to eliminate all thoughts…
what this comedy can help accomplish?
If we watch
it with a critical eye, then we would not enjoy it.
The plot is
not interesting, although Ferrell is amusing when he finds out his wife is promoted
and he is fired.
at the same television station and their boss, Harrison Ford, decides to sack
the man and keep the spouse.
A team of
ridiculous, sometimes funny, often absurd men gathers to join a new Cable
Global News Network
around the obvious reference to CNN are sometimes working.
Burgundy aka Anchorman laughs at the idea of a continuing, 24 hours per day
News Channel we see how silly he can be…
whole world does, except for the fans of the silly orangutan, glued to Fox
Not on the
level with Top Secret, Dr. Strangelove, Life of Brian, Airplane, Something
About Marry, but amusing at times.
of Strangers, screenplay by Harold Pinter, based on the novel by Ian McEwan
All the premises
are in place for this motion picture to be a brilliant, outstanding work of art…
is the author of the screenplay that sends the novel to the big screen and he is
the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature…
are other arguments in favor of The Comfort of Stranger, one of them referring to
the director of the film, an accomplished writer of scripts for Raging Bull,
Taxi Driver, and Affliction among others.
not least, the cast has none other than Christopher Walken, Academy Award
Winner Helen Mirren, Natasha Richardson and Rupert Everett to take the feature
to divine heights.
does not happen!
Rupert Everett seems to confirm the serious misgivings expressed recently after
watching his performance as an actor and his directorial blunders on the making
of The Happy Prince
It is nevertheless
hard to decide which acting affects more, in a negative way, the end result…
His or that
of his partner, Natasha Richardson
very beautiful, sensuous, apparently confident – maybe too much so? –probably talented
actress, Ms. Richardson is too artificial, unfeeling, remote and unsuitable for
the role of Mary.
remarkable, outstanding presence remains that of Christopher Walken as Robert.
If we jest,
it could be argued that Christopher Walken does not need to make a special
effort to handle the part of a maniac, abusive, playful, obsessive, stalking
and murderous Robert.
bizarre personages are part of the immense panoply of the astounding, fabulous
Hunter for which he has won a well-deserved Oscar, Catch Me if You Can –
surprisingly, only his second nomination for the coveted Academy Award Seven Psychopaths
and Pulp Fiction
name just a few memorable characters
spend a vacation in Venice – a destination that is revealed in the film
adaptation, but not mentioned in the original material – where the malignant
Robert spies upon them.
pretends that he wants to help Mary and Colin to have a meal late in the night,
after they have lost their way and are invited to a bar where the bizarre
stranger starts a long story.
be told at least in part three times, in the opening scenes, when the apparently
hospitable man is at the table with the couple and then when he is requested to
explain what happens, at the end.
invite the visitors to his house, where they meet the Canadian wife – part of
the explanation for his excellent English – Caroline aka Helen Mirren – not overwhelming,
told by Robert and his wife are more than eccentric, although they appear to
fall somewhat flat in the movie – the book is strongly recommended though – and
contain a story of rating on sisters who then take revenge by placing laxatives
in the drink of the young Robert, then tie him up in the office of the monster
father, where he shits over the carpet, walls and seemingly everything else.
father is probably part of the reason for the viciousness of the don, who has
such violent sex with Caroline that she becomes challenged, almost disabled,
sharing in turn his liking for violence in a Sadistic and Masochistic
relationship and furthermore, a psychopathic, morbid obsession with Robert.
One wall of
the bedroom of the Venetian couple is covered with photographs of Colin, who
should have known better – that goes for Mary too – when he was first invited
at the residence and their clothes disappeared, then the host declared she had
been in their bedroom and watched them sleeping for a long time…
was the punch in the stomach…what more did they need before running away from
written and directed by Robert Bresson, based on the short story by Leo Tolstoy
has benefited form an extraordinary positive critical acclaim – it has a
Metascore of 95 out of 100, which is phenomenal.
It has also
been nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival and this is nec
Festival prize confirms the value of a film much more than the Oscars or Golden
Globes. At least in the opinion of the under signed.
the writer – director of the motion picture has won, tied with Andrei
Tarkovsky, the title of Best Director at the prestigious cinematic celebration.
not least, L’argent is included on The New York Times ‘Best 1,000 Movies Ever
the film that has made critics ecstatic and exuberant can leave an ordinary
viewer less than elated.
could object to the manner of acting, which seems to be outré, detached, artificial.
it is intended to be exaggerated, probably the idea is to abandon the pretense
that this is acting with the notion to make the audience believe the characters
are “real people”
the artificiality the cast – most probably instructed by the director – is meant
to make a point.
Only in the
case of this cinephile, it works backwards.
appreciating the plot, the idea after all comes from one of the greatest
authors, Tolstoy, it puzzles and annoys.
with, a young man pays at a shop with banknotes and one of them is a false one.
discover the fake, instead of taking the trouble to alert the authorities, the
manager and owner of the shop just pass it on.
A young man
unsuspectingly takes the false notes and when he tries to pay in his turn, the
police take him into custody.
he is innocent; he had no idea about the forgery and takes a detective to the
shop where he was given the false notes.
is a chance for redemption of some kind, but instead of repentance, the clerk
pretends not to know the accused.
the suspect who has had only to lose from this incident, losing his job, is sent
As we very
well know from research on this matter, life in prison makes things worse and once
out on the street, former inmates use what they have learned in jail and that is
how to become repeat offenders.
In the case
of the protagonist, it would not be repeat; if we consider that his first alleged
offence was in fact a case of injustice.
he is provoked into conflict and then he ends up in the most terrible of
– better said art of the message – being that we can all fall from grace, given
Stan Lee, creator
of Superheroes, has said, when asked what the ultimate super force is is…
If you have
it, everything works.
In the case
of the unfortunate hero of this story, it was an extreme case of bad luck,
which has calamitous consequences.
something he has not done to begin with, he ends up committing atrocities.
then might be that this was a rotten individual anyway, if not for the Forged
Money, he would still show his true colors, sooner or later…
written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron
of this extraordinary film has one of the most emotional, tense, dramatic
scenes from the script and some quotes from reputable, established media
exquisite and artistic film of the year” The BBC
picture of the year” – TIME, Rolling Stone, Variety, Vanity Fair
the Metascore – the average rating of the critics – is an astonishing 96 out of
100, a spectacular achievement that may have not been seen before, while the
audiences have sent the feature to the list of Top Rated Movies, most popular
of all time.
Golden Globes, Roma is nominated for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language,
Best Director and Best Screenplay.
and white film tells the story of a family and their house help, living in a neighborhood
of Mexico City in 1970 and 1971, where tragedy strikes, an infant dies, a
husband abandons his children and wife, while some violent men attack and kill
civilians on the street and in shops.
to be the heroine of the motion picture, a modest, innocent – even if she is pregnant
at one point – nice, kind, brave young maid that would run into the waves of
the ocean when the children she has in her care and she evidently loves are in
danger, although she cannot swim.
The house belongs
to Antonio and his spouse, Sofia, and they have four children, two servants, and
a dog and live a life almost without adversity, until the doctor travels to
Up to that
moment, he used to have a regular schedule, driving the car in the courtyard
where their dog spends all his time, and defecates around, making the master of
the house complain.
not return from Canada.
tries to keep the news away from the children, but the elder son is listening
at the door, while his mother discusses the subject.
comes out and sees the boy listening at the door, she first slaps him and then
regrets it and asks forgiveness.
shouts at Cleo, who has seen the child and did not know how to take him away,
causing her employer to say in her anger that she should have prevented this
and then to shout that she should be doing work in the house.
Cleo has a
relationship with Fermin, a personage with an outré, bizarre behavior in the
are in the same room, the naked man starts making martial arts movements.
that these exercises and the philosophy attached have saved him, for he had
been drinking, losing his way and he would have died without his change in his
when he finds that his lover is pregnant, during a film at the cinema, he
pretends he needs to use the rest room and disappears.
traces him, he is joining training with more than one hundred other men, led by
a man who is able to keep his foot in balance with closed eyes – an impressive feat
that is used to measure biological age by scientists – and she approaches the
father of the unborn baby, there is a scene.
violent Fermin threatens his former partner, makes some martial arts moves and
the runs away!
when the poor mother is in a shop with Seniora Teresa, a group of violent thugs
enters the premises and they shoot dead a protestor, who has tried to find
refuge inside, running from the demonstration taking place on the streets, where
many others have been murdered.
Fermin is part
of the band of killers…so much for the effect of martial arts on the new breath
In order to
allow Doctor Antonio to get “his things” from the house, the family travels to
the coast, where they luckily take Cleo with them.
Sofia walks to the house to prepare for the return journey the next day, the
three elder children enter the ocean and disregard the rule to stay near the
shore or they are simply carried by the waves, forcing Cleo to walk into the
ocean and attempt to save the children who seem about to die for quite a few
This is when
the simple woman bursts into tears and confesses that she had not wanted her
dead infant to be born.
The new populist
Mexican president, AMLO, has organized an evening around the projection of what
is indeed, one of the best motion pictures of the year.
at the El Royale, written and directed by Drew Goddard
This is a
very interesting and probably underestimated motion picture, which the critics
have largely rated as mediocre, with a Metascore average of 60.
Jeff Bridges portrays what seems to be a priest in the opening scenes, Father
Daniel Flynn, but we would later understand that he is actually a criminal
called Dock O’Kelly, arrived at the El Royale, a motel near Lake Tahoe, which
has one side located in Nevada and the other in California, with different prices,
even separated as they are by line drawn through the construction.
Flynn – as we know him early in the film – meets with Darlene Sweet aka the
excellent Cynthia Erivo, an African American singer that has had to face
serious adversity and is moving to start on a rather unattractive singing job
at nearby Reno, even if she should get outstanding offers to match her
incredible skills and voice.
guest waiting to get a room near the reception is Laramie Seymour Sullivan aka
the forward Jon Hamm, who is outspoken to the point of being obnoxious and who
also has a hidden agenda, given that he is in fact an FBI agent, Dwight Broadbeck,
who is checking at the El Royale in an official, if undisclosed, capacity.
As he looks
through the honeymoon suite he had insisted he must have, the agent discovers
first a series of tapping wires, in the phone, the walls, the mirror and then
he finds that a surveillance corridor is in use next to the rooms, where the
mirrors are used to spy on clients and there is a camera to film what happens
in one of the rooms and then blackmail victims.
As he walks
the hidden corridor, special agent Broadbeck finds that in one of the rooms,
the fourth guest to arrive that day, Emily Summerspring, who has signed the
register with “fuck you”, has brought in an apparent victim of a kidnapping, a
girl that is tied and placed on a chair.
FBI man talks with his superiors – J. Edgar Hoover himself – he explains about
what he has found, that an abduction is under way in the place that has been
budded by the owners and he is told to mind his own business, continue with his
assigned task and “not to interfere”
Dwight Broadbeck disregards the orders – which we anyway wanted and perhaps expected
him to do – and knocks at the door of the woman who seemed to be a violent,
there is an emergency, then he kicks the door and knocks Emily Summerspring
down on the carpet, near the bed and then unties Rose Summerspring – the public
finds the stories of the different guest in the different rooms, then that of
Billy Lee aka Chris Hemsworth.
of the special FBI agent is eliminated quite early, for Emily takes a shotgun,
stands up from the floor, tells her sister – that is the connection that the
unfolding of the tale reveals – to move away and blows a large hole into the
chest of the man who had pretended to be a vacuum cleaner sales representative.
shot, she has also blown away the double mirror and into the corridor, she has
injured Miles Miller aka the very good Lewis Pullman, the man who is receptionist,
housemaid, bar tender and more importantly for the owners of the hotel, the one
who operates the surveillance system and sends the films to an address where
the vicious patrons take them and blackmail visitors with compromising
Father Flynn drinks a lot at the bar where Darlene Sweet joins him, refusing in
the first place to have drink, talking about her singing in the room, then
accepting to have a whisky after the priest insists moves away and then smashes
a bottle on his head, just as he was preparing to put narcotics into her glass.
wakes up when Miles Miller comes at the bar and he wants a master key, escorts
the receptionist – Man For All Seasons to look for it, and discovers the
corridor, where the young man is severely hurt by the shot that killed the
special agent and then is tied up by Emily Summerspring.
trying to get away in her car, without success for Broadbeck had made the
vehicles unusable for the purposes of his investigation, when she saw the
killing of the agent, then she is faced by the priest who comes at her car.
explains that he is actually a criminal who has managed to take away a
considerable sum, when they were cornered and has decided with his partners to
come to this hotel and meet.
was to hide the money in a room at the El Royale, but he had been diagnosed
with a deadly disease while in prison and he forgets things – indeed, at one
point he forgets his own name.
the first instance, when asking for a room at the hotel, he forgot the correct
number, the place where the money would be.
meantime, he knows that the room number was actually five and he needs the help
of the singer to get the big prize.
get half the money and that would represent a new start in life, if she
believes the new story and accepts the proposal.
evidently more complicated and another vile character enters the stage – Billy Lee
aka Chris Hemsworth.
picture is more than satisfying, although it was passed at the Golden Globes
nominations and may miss on Academy Awards as well.
Heaven Allows by Edna Lee
film has been included on The New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made list:
seems to be clear, simple and almost universally known and accepted, in the
modern age at least.
even if it works in this romantic drama, there is something to say in favor of
relationships between men and women, same sex bonds as well, that are based on
similar backgrounds, education levels and interests.
Yes, it is evident
that we must decide based on class and other such artificial labels, but
psychological and other studies have indicated that we get along best with
others who share the same penchant for reading, to give one example.
likes to read a lot, the likelihood of his or her getting along with someone
who makes a point to avoid reading – like the American simpleton who incredibly
leads the world – is slim, to be optimistic.
In All That
Heaven Allows, Ron Kirby aka the refined, excellent Rock Hudson is a gardener,
working for Cary Scott aka Jane Wyman.
is not an uneducated, unsophisticated blue-collar worker – a situation that I maintain
that in most cases would not favor a relationship with another who has studied
much more to further his or her education.
The man who
cuts branches in the garden of the widow who has two grown up children aspires
to a better status.
is somewhat strange to see him always dressed – perhaps with the exception of
the night where he has to punch a rude, abusing guest at a party – in a red
invites the widow to a water mill, to see and learn more about trees,
This is when
and where they realize that they share an attraction for each other and decide
to meet again.
the fact that Cary Scott belongs to the “upper class”, a better off community is
a block for their bonding.
Ron Kirby to come with her to a party where the guests and host are pretentious,
arrogant and relatively wealthy people.
their noses at the intruder, who is only a gardener and therefore destined to remain
“inferior” to them.
When one of
them sees the audacious Cary and the man she has brought along, he thinks this is
a signal of her libertine concepts and he is offended that she had refused his
man tries again to force himself on the woman who must accept him, since she
had come with someone so obviously less significant than he thinks he is,
pushing and trying to kiss her.
into the room when he sees the scene and promptly knocks the abuser, who seems
to be in serious danger.
The rest of
the party, instead of perceiving the reality and condemning the real
perpetrator, concentrates on the one who is different, an outsider and hence blame
from this stupid, preposterous society, the family of the heroine is also against
daughter and son are aghast at the perspective of being close to such a humble
the town who claim her mother had had an affair with Kirby, even before her
late husband was dead insult the girl.
Cary Scott is
sure she has to give up her happiness for that of her children and thus
separate from the man she loves.
idea that love conquers all could be the mantra of this good film, perhaps one
of the best 1,000 ever made.
it has not convinced the under signed that this is true, especially if we
consider another psychological, perhaps two effects:
Effect and The Coolidge Effect
one purports that at the end of a period of about two years of relationship,
most bonds would face a challenge and even if one is married to one extreme
beauty – the example of Hale Berry has been given – a wonderful human being,
there is still the attraction, the impulse to have an affair with someone else –
The Coolidge Effect – even if that is not necessarily what would happen…people
remain married and in love with each other for decades, while others divorce…
written and directed by Gustav Moller
The Guilty is
a formidable film.
One of the most
remarkable features is that this is a one-man show, for Jakob Cedergren is the
only one that matters in the script.
He is police
officer that has done something very wrong, indeed, terrible, as we would learn
and has been sent to Emergency Services.
This is where
he first gets a call from a man who had been mugged; his computer and wallet
had been taken.
The way the
hero handles this request already suggests that this is a complicated
On the one
hand, the caller is somewhat obnoxious, but on the other, the fact that Asger
Holm suggests leaving him to steam for a while appears exaggerated to some extent.
To say from
the start, in a recent poll, it was discovered that the citizens of Denmark are
the ones that like my compatriots the least in the European Union and that has
created a bias.
I am not
sure if I had loved them before – there are issues that have no place here, but
can be checked by possible interested parties here http://realinistories.blogspot.com/
- but after that poll was published, there is no affection lost for these
rather superior men and women…
The man who
calls to complain about the mugging was in the Red District and seemed to have
been looking for paid sex, which at least in one Scandinavian country is illegal
for the man, not the sex worker.
country might be Sweden, not Denmark, which is the place where The Guilty is set.
call is much more serious and whereas in the first place it looks like a
mistake, it then seems to be an abduction.
main attraction of this feature is that although it has a familiar development
for about one hour, there is an original, different path form that moment on.
Iben, is forced to talk without giving details, transported as she is in a vehicle
by a man who has kidnapped her.
for support in the region where the call is located, on a highway going north
from Copenhagen and gives the details he has extracted by asking the caller to
pretend to speak to her daughter.
the police would be looking for is a white van, but when they stop one, they
find it is not the man they are looking for, Michael.
then calls the house of the woman and talks to her very young daughter,
Mathilde, who relates the visit of the father who is separated from the wife,
who had taken the mother and a knife.
to talk to Michael and convince him to stop, convinced that this is The Guilty
party and as he says at one stage –
certainly dealing with a complicated protagonist – we would slowly find that he
had been involved in a very serious event and wants his friend Rashid to testify
in his defense, telling a lie to support his claim and get his acquittal – although
at a later stage he admits his Guilt and appears prepared to face the
the children, he requires a police presence at their home and the officers
dispatched discover the gruesome murder of the infant boy, brother of Thilde.
Asger summons the help of his partner, Rashid, even when he finds that the
latter has been drinking alcohol, four glasses.
his friend to find information about Michael, breaking in his flat, to see what
his destination might be.
he has a communication with Iben, who is in the van and is instructed by the
hero to put her seat belt on and seeing as the husband who drives the car does
not wear one, to pull the hand brake.
that and then she is in the back of the van, where she is told by Asger to look
for a weapon.
finds is a brick that the police officer insists she must hit her abductor
with, when he stops the van.
Then there is
an incredible twist to the story and The Initial Guilty One becomes the
innocent and it all proves how easy it is to make a mistake.
there is the question of what Asger Holm had done and his apparent philosophy
that The Guilty must be punished very severely, killed if the blame is large