Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My must see films for summer

I don't get to the movies very often, but I've got my short list ready in case I get a chance over the next month or so, failing which I'll have to wait for DVD. Here's three of my top picks (I may put up more if time permits) ...

Babel - from the same director as the brilliant 21 Grams, this film apparently has a similar, non-linear style, jolting between four different narratives involving different characters, but all intertwined. It takes its inspiration from the biblical account of the Tower of Babel and the confusion of languages throughout the world, with the different sub-plots peopled by characters of different nationalities and tounges. Probably not your movie if you like pretty conventional storytelling (21 Grams was often difficult to follow, with its jumbled-up chronology, but it was worth the effort). Apart from anything else, it has the fabulous Cate Blanchett in it! Can't wait to see this one. Top of my list.

The Queen - this is getting rave reviews. One interesting aspect of it is that it recounts a period of history so recent we can all remember it like yesterday, the time when Princess Diana was killed in a car accident, the film dealing with how Queen Elizabeth reacted to the event. The whole film, including the script and performances, is being praised, but particularly attracting attention is Helen Mirren's performance in the title role. Even just seeing the photos and movie stills, the way in which she has completely embodied Her Majesty is just amazing. Watch this space for Best Actress at next year's Oscars!

Happy Feet - something a bit more lighthearted perhaps than my other two picks. This looks great. From the pictures I've seen, the animation looks like it will be stunning. And it's a musical too, so sounds like some good old entertainment. The other exciting thing about it is that, although I think financed out of Hollywood (to the tune of $100million or so!), it's essentially an Aussie production - it was directed byGeorge Miller (of Mad Max and Babe fame), the animation was done here in Sydney and many of the voices are supplied by well known Aussiewood stars. I may even take my four year old along to this one for her first ever cinema experience. Warning: may cause toe-tapping!

Some others in brief ...

Flags of Our Fathers - a great war story from Clint Eastwood (Clint Eastwood's last 2 films, Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby were both brilliant, so I'm willing to watch anything by him). This one tells the story of the American soldiers featured in the famous photo where they raised the US flag on the island of Iwo Jima during the war with Japan. (Is this one even still on at the movies??)

Letters from Iwo Jima - this is the companion film also made by Clint Eastwood, but telling the flipside of the story from the Japanese perspective (including being shot in Japanese). It's getting even bigger reviews than Flags. This one doesn't come out till some time early next year.

Casino Royale - the new James Bond flick of course. Apparently quite good.


At 11:02 pm, Blogger Ruth said...

I took my four boys to see 'Happy Feet' and was quite disappointed. I loved the music, the animation, even most of the voices...but there was a distinct anti religion subplot that offended me, mainly because it is a children's movie and completely uneccessary. Thankfully my boys didn't get it! One of them enjoyed the dancing, one enjoyed seeing a penguin(random - the whole movie was about penguins - but he maintains it was just the one), one enjoyed the aliens (?) and the other hated it stating it was just too scary.

I have met George Miller, and used to teach his son music lessons - my brush with fame (of course someone had to tell me who he was at the time!)


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