Film 2009: quickies

Because we don’t always have the time and energy for full-length reviews and because some movies just don’t offer enough material for a long review, here’s three mini-reviews. From best to worst, here we go…


As mentioned in the introduction, sometimes a mini-review is sufficient. Partir is a French movie about a woman who feels responsible for a builder’s accident (well, in a way she is) and eventually ends up madly in love. She wants to leave her rich husband and two kids from the poor Spanish builder, but her husband doesn’t really like that idea and uses his influence to make sure that she doesn’t get a penny and that she loses her job (which she managed to get thanks to her husband). Life ain’t fair and this movie is keen to show that. So what’s stronger: being in love or being able to pay for your life? Find out in Catherine Corsini‘s Partir. And yes, Kristin Scott Thomas speaks French throughout the film, in case you wondered.


The Dutch movie De Storm (yes, that does translate as The Storm) is all about the Dutch storm in 1953, which cost thousands of people their lives. The storm itself looks visually impressive but suddenly the focus moves to a young unmarried mother (Sylvia Hoeks, left on the photo) who was separated from her baby boy during the storm and who obstinately goes looking for her child. Oh, and this being the catholic 50s, the village is very much against her being around. She’s a loose woman, after all.
All this leaves you with the feeling of “so what’s the point?” and the quite lame start of the film is no help either. Sylvia Hoeks has to act like a stubborn young woman in shock, which led many to claim she didn’t act too well. Our opinion: the last thing the film needed was an overacting actress, so we’re not complaining. Well, apart from the overall blandness of the film. For all that’s good about it, there’s something bad about it, so 5/10 seems like the perfect neither fish nor flesh score.


Away you go? Please do. Prepare for 90 minutes of “ooh, look at me, I’m smart”. The only thing good about this film is how supple it is: it incessantly manages to lick its own arse and achieves lots of pleasure from that. For the first time in five years I left the theatre for a bathroom break, which for me was the highlight of the movie. (Though I was shocked to find out only 35 minutes had passed since the beginning of the film… surely my watch was broken and more than an hour had passed… no? Bummer!)
The film is about a pregnant couple who go and meet some people all over the United States. The scene in the nightclub is the only one that has some depth and marks the only highlight. Atrocious anti-folk songs are played throughout the film, annoyingly loud so you’ll really notice them. Basically, Dave Eggers (writer) wanted to redo Juno for thirty-somethings. The result is an absolute triumph in pompous and redundant filmmaking.  The director is one Sam Mendes, whose first protagonist (Lester Burnham in American Beauty) was dead by the end of the film. It seems the killer also managed to shoot Mendes’s talent. Go away!


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