Thursday, December 29, 2011


My Top Ten
I will use the excuse of making this list of Top Ten films of the year as a final post for 2011, just not to call myself another idiot nerd doing “lists”.
It was hard and I will explain why – as a European, most of the time I need to wait for the films' releases. I should make a list the day after the Oscars. That’s where one season finishes and a new starts. In this logic many films I’ve seen in 2011 are from 2010 like The King’s Speech, Blue Valentine, True Grit, Black Swan and half the films from this year, the majority of them actually, will be seen next year. So, no Moneyball, The Descendents, The Artist, Pariah, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Shame. 

Blue Valentine
When I watch this little great American indie, it makes me believe in films all over again.
Win Win
I just wanted to scream out loud how much I love Thomas McCarthy films and how perfect this one was. The screenplay is so good, just so good. The humanity and the way the story reflects these people’s sense of right and wrong. It’s impressive how he represents ordinary people. It’s extraordinary how he balances the drama and the comedy, when a scene where the character is crushed by a disgraceful hopelessness and he still manages to make us laugh. The simple moments, they are miraculous.  
The Tree of Life
It clearly didn’t win the first spot in My Top Ten, just because the poetic narrative doesn’t win over standard one. I can’t even begin to express how I felt when I watched this film; I didn’t want to leave the theater. I think this is a universal story; it’s hard to explain because with this film you can reach the author’s intention and you can adrift from it and still find a meaningful reflection. I’m not a religious person and I still managed to find something I identified with because The Tree of Life is about just that, your own interpretation (or, is it?). And it is undeniably a cinematic beauty. It’s in the cinematography; it’s in the actors’ direction, it is especially in the ability to create this inexplicable and overwhelming experience once you see it.
Black Swan
This film blown me away, I saw it one hundred times already. It’s thrilling, it’s shocking, and it tells a story with great control and power. It is one of those experiences, mind blowing.
Another Earth
One of the reasons films are in my list is for its unexpected surprise. Mike Cahill co-writes the film, directs, does the cinematography and edition and he’s always consistent. He’s able to create this tone so specific to the story. It isn’t a masterpiece; there are some weak moments when the drama is a bit forced but I still think Another Earth is a win win. Brit Marling comes out of this as a leading actress.
Midnight in Paris
Besides saying it’s every inch Woody Allen I was simply amazed by the wisdom expressed in the story. His willingness to talk about art and marriage and to portray the snob lives of wealthy people only Woody Allen can and the references between the past and present. It’s his world and I believe in him.
I get lost for words.
The film tells us the story about a man’s strength, willingness and joy for life even if he doesn’t have much time. It tells us about a young couple with a life ahead of them and unwilling to live it because they’re too afraid of getting heart. There’s intimacy, there’s loneliness, there’s quietness, a film overflowing emotion and affection in the most beautiful and plain way.
The Kid with a Bike
It all comes down to the story.
I say confidently that Drive is a good movie. And why do I say this? Because this is one of those films that goes from being an overrated piece of crap to a masterpiece.
It is a minimalist story about a driver who barely speaks. There are much more dense stories out there but Drive wins for the whole film. The director Nicolas Windind Refn rules and Ryan Gosling dominates. The film composition in the cinematography, editing and in the music department is so focused, makes the film quiet, intense and exhilarating. The film ended and I desperately wanted to see it again, not to mention you’ll get addicted to the soundtrack.
Little White Lies
The reality and fiction balanced in this story is really good, with believable performances. And it’s so entertaining.

Only a confirmation that can't even fit in any Top: A Separation.

You think about it and you think.

You surely think about these characters as 'real' humans.
Then you think how they portrait them with such authenticity. 

Another mention (documentary) - Pina.

A film by Win Wenders dedicated to Pina Bausch.
“Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost”.
Pina was this wonderful experience. We are introduced to Pina Bausch but in fact the entire film it’s a representation of her person and of her art and of her dancers. It is a hard Art form to follow, these abstract and theatrical dances, but has the film moves forward you emerge yourself into it. It becomes a hypnotizing experience. I don’t understand what they are doing, I don’t understand those skinny and naked bodies but I understand their effortless moves. Their unique passion for something they believe in. 

Due to my young cinema knowledge I tend to interpret films as an individual piece. I see a good film by its consistency in tone throughout every department; the performances are always crucial and must take me on an intellectual emotional state.  But most of the time, when I have these reactions the screenplays are really good…just making a note. Like Win Win. 

Ok, I’ll never do this again. It’s agonizing.

By the way.
Performer of the Year
What else can be said about this woman? 
She’s heartbreaking in The Help.
She’s too human, sensitive and intuitive in The Tree of Life.
She’s both strong and fragile representing a woman’s figure in The Debt.
I didn’t even see half of her films and that’s why she’s in here, because I fell in love with every role she played and I’m really looking forward to see all the others. She had seven films this year. Not two or three like Ryan Gosling, she even beats Michael Fassbender, who had five.

Soundtrack List
Black Swan
The Kings Speech


Is there a space for favorite trailers?

Looking forward to watch some pretty amazing films early next year (or a few days from now)......

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


He says 'Oh, God."

(And holy shit she's in trouble, she fall for another serial killer and shit how long I'll be waiting until next season.)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I love his hair. What else can I say? 

I don’t know any other person (maybe David Beckham) who can have absolutely any hair style and always look extremely good. Other thing I could mention is the fact that he’s also able to be the most famous Star around the World, no, maybe second, being his lover in first place, being constantly named hottest man alive and other sentences related to it and still manage to bring this heartbreaking-hilarious-magnificent-beautiful-stupid-crazy roles into life and working with the best in the field, from David Fincher to Terrence Malick. 

It’s so ridiculous but I remember the first time I had internet in my house I went to Google, clicked Images and typed in my keyboards Brad Pitt. That’s the first thing I did. I don’t even know why, I just wrote Brad Pitt. I don’t remember if he was my favorite actor, I don’t even remember if I had seen many films with him in. It just was Brad Pitt. Something I didn’t know was that I would be watching him in theaters many times only for being absolutely amazed by his performances and incredible films they turn out to be. This also explains how I got into films and my film culture until a few days ago. No, I wasn’t looking for the composition of the image and how the lights were being used. I clearly don’t have any interest in being a cinematographer, I looked at the actors. See, there you go. I confessed. Now you know everything. Ahhhh.

Brad Pitt, despite his looks, manages to have this unbelievable career with acclaimed films like Fight Club, Inglorious Basterds and Babel to period pieces like Troy to Ocean’s Saga to a romantic comedy like The Mexican and back to a Palm D’Or winner The Tree of Life. 
So let him be a lesson to all the kids out there - it doesn’t matter how handsome you look (you’ll never be has handsome has Brad Pitt) all it really matters is your integrity and attitude towards your work. And that’s what you should learn from the actor Brad Pitt, that you need to have a brainy and strong head to distinguish what’s real and what’s not and to deal with the Hollywood crap (which includes being named Sexiest Man Alive, tabloids and paparazzi, girls, old ladies and men screaming at you like there’s no tomorrow and journalists with irrelevant and private questions), and still manage to have a life (I forgot to mention that he also has six children and does charity work) at the same time that you decide on a challenging role.

Anyway, what am I talking about? Yes, being nice to other people even if you are the biggest star. Oh, I wasn’t talking about that? I got lost. 
After all this years since I Google him, here he is with a Golden Globe nomination ahead to an Oscar nomination, in other words, being recognized by his job
Ok, I say it. He’s a legend, in other words, a rarity.

He’s 48 years old. It’s ridiculous. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jolie's In the Land of Blood and Honey

These days we have Jolie who gives interviews about her film but always ends up focusing on her famous face, famous children, famous husband. I was hoping it changed a bit and it is. I read about her Press Conference being a truly inspiring one, rocking the world of feminist women making their day dream come true. She's also coming in The Hollywood Reporter issue about Female Directors.

Now Angelina Jolie's film will be receiving the Stanley Kramer Award from Producers Guild which was created to "honor a motion picture, producer or other individual, whose achievement or contribution illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion." It couldn't be more appropriate. It equals Angelina Jolie's work. It's what she did in her film and it's what she does on a regular bases. 
I absolutely trust her story; she knows what she's saying because she gets to people and talks to them, she interviewed them. Her actors were part of that story too. And the fact that she directed a War film in 41 days with no rehearsals it's incredible. 
I hope her film gets praise from critics to the audience and to anyone else. I'm counting the days until I'm watching her film in theaters and I hope lot of people are in the same position. 

She's Angelina Jolie, of all the people, why would she need me campaigning for her debut film? This is part of the reason why. She's Angelina Jolie. People forget about what's beyond that. I like to remind people she's this human being who grew up to be this special woman with privileges and decided to learn more about the world around her. She also has the capacity to reach millions of people and tell them the stories she learns. (She could just decide stay at home and buy jewels as a hobby, but no she goes to refugee camps, makes films and buys the jewels.)
I can say I'm still that genuine girl completely in a state of admiration for her. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Slow it or not slow it

It's been crazy these days, always the same faces coming around every time I watch a movie. It's Michael Fassbender, it's Mia Wasikowska, it's Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard (I see The Help and then I go see 50/50 and there she is again) and it's Ryan Gosling. Now every time I went to the theaters there he is, with these long wide shots on him. The protagonist. (The Ides of March and Drive).
Anyway, I wanted to mention something else - the use of slow motion through Ryan Gosling.

With Crazy Stupid Love he plays this metro, ladies man; with this exquisite wardrobe, a tremendous 'photoshopped' abs and irresistible charm. We catch all that pretty quickly. We didn't need the slow motion. It's already a romantic comedy so there will be at some point some clichéd moments.

No no no. It made me scream (not really scream, 'cause I don't scream) at the screen - 'Oh please, really??'.
Why the hell do a slow motion here? It's Ryan Gosling, why would he need a slow motion to make him hotter? Anyway, I still enjoyed the film, made me laugh.

Now, with Drive. He's a much quieter character. I wouldn't consider this film artsy. I think it's a really good film. I left the theater and I couldn't stop thinking how tense it was, it's stillness and composition. Like this really consistent frame. Look how they use the slow motion. The word cliché didn't even cross my mind. And they used it more than once. 

Wow, it was awesome and it worked (at least with me).
Awesome film, awesome performance, awesome to watch in a big screen.

Albert Nobbs

Directed by Rodrigo Garcia.
Written by Glenn Close, John Ban ville and Grabiella Prekop.

The story about this film started a long time ago and it started with Glenn Close about thirty years ago. She did the play and since then she felt the need of adapting it to the big screen. She started working on the production ten years ago, then again time passed. Five years ago she started working in the script and this year, finally, she gets to premier her so called beloved film.
The story is set in Ireland in the 19th Century in a Hotel, his workers and his guests. Albert Nobbs is a woman passing as a man; he lives this very controlled life until a painter called Hubert comes along and finds out about his secret. Suddenly he finds himself exposed, but something else happens, he's a woman. Albert realizes, through Hubert, how closed and trapped he is and how he can change that condition.
I was surprised with the comic timing of this film, suddenly I find myself laughing in the middle of it. For instance, the scene when Hubert, played by Janet Mcteer, reveals herself, literally, to Albert. It is a pleasant film and yes, I confess Glenn Close' performance is extremely touching. There’s also Oscar talk around Janet Mcteer for a supporting role, which makes sense because her character is the ideal representation of the sentence ‘supporting actor’, because she’s there to support the protagonist, she’s the one responsible for Albert Nobbs strength to change his life, so yes it makes sense. But the other supporting roles are good too. This film was also a great effort because only coasted 8 million, which is really surprising for a period film.

Resuming this film’s story, this is, as everyone says, including Glenn Close, her labor of love and life time performance. In my opinion, I honestly disagree with all the hype around her. Yes, she does an amazing portrait. She searched and studied Albert Nobbs deeply. From Charlie Chaplin inspired looks to the way he moved. The way Albert Nobbs talks, expresses his feelings, his voice. The way she used and wear the prosthetics and make up. Albert Nobbs is a rich character and it was clearly extremely dear to her. But the thing is, Glenn Close, like Meryl Streep, is one of the most solid and respectful actresses of Hollywood and I’m sure she can manage to bring even greater performances in the future. They are here and they still have a lot of life and experience to bring into a performance. Look at Christopher Plummer and Vanessa Redgrave. It is amazing that they receive recognition but I don’t think they need Oscars.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Kid with a Bike

A film by
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

These stories amaze me. It’s their willingness to not tell everything in one story (and five different things in only the color of the t-shirt the character is wearing). It’s about focusing on one simple journey about a kid who is left by his father.
The kid, Cyril, searches desperately for his father. In this search he meets Samantha and asks her to be his foster family to be with him on weekends and she accepts it, this being probably another way to help him get to his father because he desperately wants to be with him. But as he finds him his father simply doesn’t want him. So then we are presented with his struggle to balance his sadness and hopelessness towards his father and the kindness of Samantha.

I think it’s genius because at the end of the day we all want to say much more in our screenplays, we all want to represent how unfair our world is, how better people should be to each other, how their selfish acts leads to a bunch of crap, how should you know more about the world around us but you’ll find how hard that it, you can’t tell all that at once. But curiously, wasn’t what they just told me with this The Kid with a Bike? I felt it was. They absolutely did. When I wrote my first screenplay, with nothing else written before, I end up writing more than 120 pages, I couldn’t possibly had more opinions to say; it was a complete mess. So I come to admire these stories because they’re the hardest to be written. Then there’s the actors’ direction. Who knows how tough it is to direct young kids. Then there’s Cecile De France (love her), I think her performances are so authentic. And Jérémie Renier whom I just had seen the day before in Potiche, a complete different person! It was really interesting to watch  this film, even tricky because as it was approaching the end I was afraid of the worst, I was afraid the film would end let’s say, with an open situation, so I was killing myself. It’s not as easy catching the climax in an European film as it is in an Hollywood typical narrative, because they’re not to be trusted, because we never know (they’re not being said what final they must have). But then I breathe again.

Someone said that has filmmakers get older and mature their projects become less complex, simpler. Even though I don’t know their previous work, their age and clear wisdom assures that idea. This film its one of a kind, even if some may argue with its minimal ways which I think it’s bullshit. Let’s not be judging according to the filmmakers’ previous work and everything else attached. At the end of the day a film stands alone, as individual. And this is one beautiful, kind and emotional film. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shooting Star

Adele Haenel was named one of the fifteen European Shooting Stars 2012 by European Film Promotion. Here's what they say about her: 
Coming from a country renowned for producing great screen actresses, Haenel still stands out as a true original. Whether playing tomboyish, spiky, fragile or misunderstood, she is always daring and hypnotic, vanishing into her characters with unabashed fearlessness. 
I agree.

Here's the entire list.

On Set

Gemma Arterton on the set of Neil Jordan's vampire tale I talked to you about some time ago, also starring Saoirse Ronan called 'Byzantium'. It just got more exciting...

 Wow, wait...

...oh fuck...

Oh shit fuck, that's too much cleavage.
So dramatic.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Five Year Engagement

Oh my god, I can't wait. It looks so fun.
I love Emily doing comedies. Love it.

Actors Acting

Every year The New York Times gives us this Hollywood Issue. It also marks a year since I decided to start wasting my time in this Blog! Sometimes I really think it's a waste of time but other times I wish I had time to post much more. Anyway, I think I'll be around here so if you're interested keep coming and I hope you enjoy it.
Last year was a Black and White edition and in this year's issue they take inspiration from iconic dark roles or in other words, creepy stuff! And yes, like I said in my first post, actors keep surprising me, exciting me and I still find him extremely brave.

Guess who?

 Actress of the Year equals Jessica Chastain.

Kirsten Dunst equals Melancholia.

Mia Wasikowska equals Rising Star.

Now, this is just awesome.

See all of them here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quote It

Ron Swanson
"For what it’s worth, I think you would make an incredible brunette. Ron Swanson." 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Oscar Season

Judd Apatow thinks comedy should have its own Oscar category. I would also say that in a few years from now there will be a category for Performance Capture, this way Andy Serkis will be the Meryl Streep Oscars' dominator!


This year’s Oscar Race I’m paying special attention to what critics say. I’m going on their Oscar Road. What I can say is, there’s no such thing as Oscar Buzz anymore, because it’s wrong. What critics say is one thing then what the members of the Academy will vote is another. I get to this point where I’m asking, what is an Oscar film?

The discouraging side of my involvement is that it all comes down to the ‘campaign’. It’s all about promoting you. It’s about the screenings, it’s about going to the parties and it’s about giving awesome speeches (and at the same time has nothing to do with this). There’s also something else about this race, is that how many actors and creators aren’t being recognized. But let’s not think about that. Because this year there’s this awesome tendency and it is its unpredictableness. It’s anyone’s game. ‘Beginners’ wins big at Gotham Awards. The New York Critics chooses The Artist then National Board of Review chooses Hugo. In the Independent Spirit Awards leads Take Shelter, The Descendents and The Artist. 

Feminine Roles

It seems that this year we knowledge the fact that in order to women portray beautiful, intriguing and individual roles they have to write it. It happened with ‘Bridesmaids’, it happened with ‘Albert Nobbs’, it happened with Brit Marling. She even mentioned the fact that there aren’t many representations of women. Rashida Jones also mentioned earlier this year how upset she was there wasn’t enough feminine roles that she even wrote a screenplay. The thing is, there are no strong women driven stories in this year's Oscar race and cases like The Help only prove its rarity. Women are a wreck. Even Jessica Chastain in ‘The Tree of Life’. What’s intriguing is the role of Keira Knightley in A Dangerous Method. She happens to be the core of the story. She plays a mentally ill girl due to a sexual repression caused by her father but who grows to be not only a crucial patient to Carl Jung but also part of these men's studies, developing work of her own, which in the period, was a rarity. She’s this feminist character with power, with constructive thoughts, with decisions of her own, with respectful attitudes and yet she’s living in the twenties, between two World Wars. 

The Contenders

Is it Streep vs. Close?

They both play characters with an inability to express their feelings, they’re neither warm nor fuzzy. The thing is, even if some people still think Meryl Streep is underrated, I think everyone knowledge at the end of the day that she’s ultimately the best American actress of all time. She already won two Oscars and was nominated one hundred times. Glenn Close, also one of the most serious actresses, never won one.
But the one that really shines is Viola Davis. And yet I don’t have a clue if she even gets a nomination. If Viola Davis won, it would be the second Oscar given to a black actress.
Then we have the dark roles – Tilda Swinton, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara. Then there’s Jessica Chastain category. If I could I would push Chastain to a supporting role in at least three of her films this year. She deserves it.  There should also be a category for the Hit girls that came out of Sundance and a roundtable between them should be interesting. 

About Supporting roles – Vanessa Redgrave, Octavia Spencer, Shailene Woodley, Jessica Chastain, Melissa McCarthey, Carey Mulligan…who knows?!

Here’s part of the Actresses Roundtable – Charlize Theron is back and ruling the show! Michelle Williams and Carey Mulligan are always a consistent present in these areas. We have Glenn Close, nominating her role as Albert Nobbs the most significant. And Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer.

The actresses Situation
The Dark Characters – Rooney Mara, Tilda Swinton, Charlize Theron, Keira Knightley.
The Prostetics – Meryl Streep vs. Glenn Close.
Indie Girls – Elizabeth Olsen, Felicity Jones, Carey Mulighan, Ellen Barkin, Olivia Colman, Adepero Oduye, Shailene Woodley.
Jessica Chastain Category.

I’m looking at it this way – Viola Davis, Meryl Streep and Gleen Close are in. Now the question relies in this two spots. Is it Theron? It is Michelle Williams? Mara?
Next time I’ll come with actresses that will not be around this year’s Oscar Spot but deserve as much recognition as the others. This is actually my favorite part. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Girl Fight

Hilarious scene...because the way they look and the way they dress and have a cleavage while beating each other...The real fighters are clearly their cleavage. There is at least eight protagonists in this clip - the actors, their doubles and their cleavages.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Another Earth

Written by Mike Cahill and Brit Marling.
Directed by Mike Cahill.

The story written by Brit Marling and Mike Cahill is so will driven that makes you believe that there’s another earth. It utterly let us take our minds into this story. It’s so deep and consistent that we believe it’s possible. The story involves us in these feelings that as the protagonist closes her eyes, me as deep in this world, feel the need of closing my eyes too. But I didn’t because I didn’t want to miss a second of this film. I started loving it from the first moment and then growing and growing until the last breath. As the credits started rolling I was sort of hit deep down, I was so involved with the story that I had this slight emotional break down! This is been rarer and rarer, these days.
The thing is, I was expecting something special but I didn’t have any idea it would be this beautiful. It caught me off guard, so I was astonished.
Brit Marling is indeed a discovery. I pray to the Hollywood Gods to let her be, to let her stay around for many years exactly who she is, to let her do this for many years. I pray she won’t go away.

Beautiful performance.

Here are other reasons why we should praise her:
We're all drinking from this cultural milk in which there are not many stories of strong, powerful, sexy, entitled women because there are not yet that many female writer-directors, but that's changing. That confusion-that oh my God she writes!-is so strange. It's funny. I just think there aren't many representations of how to be a girl or woman in the world. 
Another heartfelt Indie gem.

It is getting really difficult to choose my favorite indie of the year. I will probably have to do a Top Ten!

Picture Moment