I saw 4 films again…which makes a grand total of 20 so far!!
First I saw SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN with Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas. A woman beside me loved it. Another woman at a different screening later in the day started gushing about it. So perhaps this film was specifically made for a female audience age 45-60. I certainly did not like it!! Though it had a couple moments that reeled me in, it’s ultimately the most uneven and slight film I’ve seen so far. It’s a romantic comedy & ecologically/socially conscious (though full of negative stereotypes), terrorist thriller…about salmon being introduced into the Yeman. Cutesy one minute – terrorists the next. AKA – A Gigantic Mess, in my opinion. Below is a clip.
Next off, I saw ALBERT NOBBS – starring the absolutely incredible Glenn Close. This film was a little more whimsical than I suspected. That said, the film does tackle some interesting ideas – and all the more interesting is the fact that the film is based on a short story from the early 1900’s. It’s about a woman who presents herself as a man in order to gain employment as a butler in the late 1800’s. The film reminded me, in tone, of CRANFORD or MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS. Relatively jovial (at first) – but with big undercurrents of sadness and yearning. The set design, costumes and score are marvelous…and I should hope that Ms. Close gets an Oscar nomination (though some of the other performances are also quite wonderful). Below is a clip.
MONSIEUR LAHZAR was the next film I saw. I saw this film because it was directed by the same man who did IT WASN’T ME, I SWEAR (which I saw a few years ago and loved) – Philippe Falardeau. This French Canadian film is about a man who comes to teach in a classroom in which the former teacher had committed suicide. He’s got his own baggage…but lots is gained from both students and teacher alike. The frustrations of dealing with parents and administration will certainly be empathized by many of you who have taught in the public school system. The film is very good. The trailer below is not yet available with subtitles…as it has not yet found a distributor in The States.
Lastly, I saw Christophe Honore’s new film – BELOVED – starring Chiara Mastroianni, Ludivine Sagnier, Catherine Deneuve, Louis Garrel, and a handful of other familiar faces. First off, the film is much too long. That said, I still loved so much about it. If you’re familiar with Honore’s earlier film LOVE SONGS, this is similar (meaning there are several musical numbers – but almost presented as dialog (if you think, “Sounds like UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG” – we’re on the same page.). The film spans several decades and is a candid and emotional look at contemporary sexual politics. The opening scenes in the 60’s are delightful…and get heavier (though still with some moments of great joy) as the film progresses. Because the film was in a smaller venue tonight, I decided to pack light and not take my camera with me. I was surprised (but bummed that I didn’t have my camera) to find out that Honore and Garrel were present for an introduction and Q&A. (I did manage to get a cell phone pic after the screening in a better lit space…though not a great picture, I have posted it at the end of this post.) Below is a trailer.
(I didn’t make it. Already after 1:00am…need to be up by 6:00. Oh well. I’ll sleep in October.)