Saturday, February 13, 2010

Berlin: Days 1+2

Apart Together (Quanan Wang, China: official competition) C+
Too much on-the-nose reminiscing, and the static style gets mannered

The Ghost (Roman Polanski, France/Germany/UK: official competition) B–
Frisky and wittily played, if limitingly lightweight as a political thriller

Beautiful Darling (James Rasin, US: Panorama Dokumente) B
Good for this overplayed genre, thanks to some piercing archival finds

Howl (Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman, US: official competition) B
Animation (and poetry) aside, it's a thoughtful and touching portrait

Perfect, rapt, quiet, mundane poetry with sullen soul -- lives up to its rep

Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, US: out of competition) D+
Why, Marty, why? Loony, gimmicky and pretentious -- it's like Gothika


The_Source_of_All_Evil said...

Could you elaborate on the Shutter Island pan?
How were the performances?

tim r said...

They veer between the committed/confused (Leo, who I think Marty leads astray quite badly here) and the deliberately overwrought (almost everyone else). I did not envy Michelle Williams her particularly tough job. Many of the others (Haley, Clarkson, Levine, Mortimer) get single set-piece scenes (more or less) which feel indulgently stretched-out, kind of looney-tunes monologues which outstay their welcome; Kingsley's enjoying himself too much to make his role passably persuasive; and Ruffalo is weirdly off-key in ways I'd like to find cleverer or more cunning than I did. Still, my response is definitely on the low end of what everyone thinks out here, and I'm hearing good noises from people who have tried it a second time: so don't despair! I'll certainly give the movie this: it's often a kick to watch even when it's going haywire.

tim r said...

PS. I missed John Carroll Lynch. He's great -- maybe best in show...

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! Bill Douglas Trilogy! It has a rep? I thought no one else had seen it in the past 20 years.

But otherwise, absolutely: perfect, rapt, transfixing, breathtaking. I don't have much to contribute beyond mad gushing praise.