Saturday, July 25, 2009

Les Films Francaise... and a few more

I happened to get three French films in a row by chance; they offered a range of styles and subjects. Cache was a deathly slow, plodding mystery. What really happened? Who was responsible? Why didn't the ending answer any of the questions? The real mystery was... why they made the movie.

Next up was The Widow of St. Pierre. On a bleak Newfoundland island, a captain's wife is determined to "rehabilitate" Neal, who killed a man in a silly, drunken rage. The townspeople grow to like him so much that they refuse to carry out his death sentence. It was a little grim (and the first few scenes on a fishing boat almost did me in) but I enjoyed it. Ironically, the two lead roles were played by the same couple as in Cache.

Ma Vie En Rose (My Life in Pink)
was a funny, charming, and often painful story about a seven-year old boy who already knows: he's supposed to be a girl.

I learned that The Italian Job with Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg was actually a remake, so I got the original, made in 1969 and starring Michael Caine. The story was completely different; the only common element was the thrilling chase scenes with Mini Coopers. The ending was brilliant.

I've Loved You For So Long, another French film, starred British actress Kristin Scott Thomas. Finally, French spoken slowly enough that I actually understood some of it! It was about a woman getting out of prison after 15 years, and her story was revealed, bit by bit. Those Frenchies, they like a sad story.

I watched a very old (1936) movie starring Gary Cooper, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. An average guy, maybe a bit eccentric, suddenly inherits $20 million dollars. He's surrounded by snakes and thieves and has to find a way to hang on to his principles. Heavy-handed with the morality, but 30s movies aren't known for their subtlety.

Happy Go Lucky is a British chick flick, but it's a cute one. When her bike is stolen, eternally cheerful Poppy decides to take driving lessons., from a surly, imperious and heinously bigoted driving instructor. Eat your heart out, Bridget Jones.

And now for the stink bombs. I was originally thrilled when I learned Dana Carvey had hosted a tv show in the mid 90s. I was excited to see what The Dana Carvey Show, which also featured Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, had been all about. I think it's safe to say this was the low point of Carvey's career. Wendy and Lucy: if you ever want 90 minutes of unrelenting misery and grief, here's your movie. She's broke, her car breaks down, her dog runs away...maybe it should be played in reverse.

2 comments: said...

Wow! Have not seen any of them...but I wrote down mental notes..if I see those titles, I will think of You!

Good Luck!


Jessica White said...

We've watched the original Italian Job; it was pretty good. There are a lot of good movies out there...that's why I like netflix....we find out about ones we never knew existed.