I attended the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival and reviewed a number of movies for Awesome Friday!
The Face of an Angel
A few years ago a young British woman was murdered in Sienna, Italy. The case gained worldwide attention as the girls American roommate and friend was accused, tried, and convicted of the crime and then later acquitted on appeal.
The Face of an Angel is a fictionalization of this case. Sort of. Rather than going for the true crime, based on a true story type film director Michael Winterbottom and writer Paul Viragh instead opt to tell the story of a washed up film director in Sienna trying to find a story among the city, the massive media presence, and local characters during the appeal trial.
Yes, we’re basically talking about a director making a film about a director trying to make a film about a real life story. And also using Dante’s Inferno as a frame for the story. Yeah. It’s a bit weird. Not what I’d call bad, but definitely weird.
It’s important to remember for a moment that this is based on a true story, too. I say this because though I didn’t know all the details I was familiar with the story going into this movie. There’s an event at the films climax that –even though I knew it was coming– was entirely effective and affecting. I don’t know if she knew it was coming but one woman in my screening actually screamed when it happened, that’s how well directed this movie is.
I’ve said before that one of the things I love about movies is those few occasions when I get to witness one of the great performances of our time; when an actor disappears into a roll completely and I can forget even the most familiar of faces as belonging to an actor I’ve seen before and instead see the character that they are playing.
This doesn’t happen quite as often as you might think but it happened today when I saw Mr. Turner in which Timothy Spall played famed British painter J.M.W. Turner.
Pulp is an easy film to recommend. If you’re a fan of the band then you should definitely want to check out the story of the bands final concert –played in their hometown of Sheffield– and if you’re not a fan of the band then you should check out the story of a band winding down, getting ready to stop playing, and wanting on last great night of rock and roll before they go.
Miss and the Doctors
You know what’s refreshing? A movie about romance between adults, made by adults and for adults. Miss and the Doctors, or Tirez la Langue, Mademoiselle (Stick Out Your Tongue, Miss, roughly) if you prefer the original french title, is just that. It’s a romantic drama about two brothers, opposites dependant on one another, who fall for the same woman, and how their relationship changes as a result.
What I liked most about Tirez la Langue is that it’s a romantic movie but not a romantic comedy. It has moments of humour but the story is grounded in believable characters behaving in believable ways.
All of these reviews, plus a few more and a few news items, can be found on Awesome Friday!