December 28th, 2015 (Christmas edition)

I have been off for a week and catching up on my films.
I also saw a couple Shakespearian plays on film:
A Winter’s Tale is a play by Shakespeare performed on stage in London and then shown in theaters.  It stars Judi Dench and Kenneth Branaugh.   It was a story that I was unfamiliar with to begin with.   There are elements of Othello here where the King protagonist is seeing his Wife (pregnant) with another man and friend and thinks she is untrue.  The story evolves from there with tragic elements.   I enjoyed the performances and remain in awe of those who can memorize the soliloquies.   It was worth watching.

Then I saw Carol.   Two nominated performances with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.  It is a simple story of a woman in a repressive time (late 50s) who is a socialite and married with a child.  She is having marital trouble likely because she loves women.  In a time when lesbianism was considered deviant behavior.  Blanchett is the real story here and performance.  This was slow.  Plodding along with very little really said.   Much left unsaid.  Very little action.  This is not the best film of the year.

Bridge of Spies was a good film that the lawyer in me liked more than some I think.  A co-worker thought it too much Spielberg.   I disagree.   This is the story of an accused soviet spy who is defended by an Insurance lawyer (Hanks).   Then later Frances Gary Powers a U2 pilot is shot down over the USSR and they are looking to make a deal.   Trading spies.   It is an interesting case study in negotiations.   I enjoyed it.

Macbeth was the second Shakespearian play I saw and enjoyed.  Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard were both very good.  This is a very bloody interpretation with some really good cinematography.  Slow motion shots with great colours.   I also thought the addition of the death sequence early for Macbeth and his wife burying a child was new.  And it made sense.   I liked this and was glad I saw it.

I also sent to see Room.  Much of this is filmed in Toronto (CN Tower included) but the film insists on calling it Akron Ohio.   Apache Burger front and centre.  I thought that was cool.  Anyway, there are two really good performances here.  The little boy is excellent.  5 year old little boy does an amazing job.  Brie Larson too is very good as the Mom under horrific circumstances.   But she makes the best of it.  There is tension and a story that moves along well.  I was engaged and cared.   This won the TIFF people’s choice award but I don’t see it as the best film of the year.   Still it was good.   Carol and Room are not big screen films really.  Nor Bridge of Spies.


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