Winter’s Bone

January 18, 2011 at 12:38 am | Posted in Film Review | 1 Comment
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Went to see this the other day and was very impressed by the tight story and sparse feel of the film.

Winter’s Bone follows Ree – an Ozaks teenager, played by Jennifer Lawrence – as she looks to find her father, so that the she can keep the family home. Her father has put the family home, no real palace, but better than a cave, up as surity for him appearing in court.

Ree navigates the male oriented, closed society, in the hills looking for her father. Her father is no real gem, as he is more often away, living at the edge of the law. Indeed, many of the people Ree encounters are to some degree living on the edge of the law.

People are unfaillingly polite, and direct, and everyone stands by their word – if you don’t want to, don’t say anything. A place of walk softly and be prepared to use the big stick you carry, or be prepared to be hit by the stick the other person is carrying.

Much of the people people petitions – she has no stick and no man to front for her – are related to her. Family mean obilgations, not necessarily warmth. Her uncle and cousins at times seem as brutal towards her as non-family members.

As the film develops, we see that really tricky problems are dealt with by the women – often in the shadows.

Ree needs to hang onto her home to raise her two young siblings and look after her mentally ill mother. Even the army – escape route for many in poor circumstance – is not a way out: she is too young; and the large sign-up bonus doesn’t come through immediately.

In the end her courage impresses everyone – those watching and those in the film.

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The Tourist

January 5, 2011 at 12:24 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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You are sitting on the train to Venice and a beatiful women comes up and down opposite you; she engages you in conversation and next thing you know you are having dinner with her. When you get to Venice you find yourself in the most amazing hotel. That is pretty much how the Film begins. You are Johnny Depp, and the women is Angelina Jolie.

Timothy Dalton, as Chief Inspector Jones, comfortably plays an ‘M’ like character – which created amusement everytime he was on screen.

Paul Bettany, as Inspector John Acheson, had the more difficult role of the Inspector obsessed with catching some tax dodger – over 780 million pounds! And Acheson will risk anyone’s life to do it – including yours.

The film has a nice role reversal of the ‘male agent uses innocent women as cover’ with Jolie doing the using and Depp the innocent.

Venice looks picture perfect – tempted to visit Venice on the strength of it being such a wonderful backdrop.

I can’t go into the plot much more as it would give it away. But don’t worry, only the very bad characters get killed.

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