Nothing Is Invisible

……….Cultural Kaleidoscopy………..

Posts Tagged ‘Drama Films’

* The Constant Gardener – Starring Ralph Fiennes & Rachel Weisz

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Constant Gardener (2005) Directed by Fernando Meirelles ( City of God (2002)), starring Ralph Fiennes  (The English Patient (1996)) and  Rachel Weisz (The Lovely Bones (2009), The Bourne Legacy (2012, filming)), with Danny Huston (Children of Men (2006))Bill Nighy (Love Actually (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)) and others.  This outstanding, award-winning dramatic thriller, a condemnation of corruption in government and the pharmaceutical industry, follows a soft-spoken and sensitive low level British diplomat, Justin Quayle, played to perfection by Ralph Fiennes, as he investigates the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death.  Quayle’s wife, Tessa, a passionate and, at times, overbearing activist, is portrayed by an excellent Rachel Weisz, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her efforts.  Danny Huston, son of legendary director John Huston and half-brother of actress Anjelica Huston, is also very good as Justin Quayle’s (Fiennes) deceitful immediate supervisor, as is Bill Nighy, as the corrupt head of the Africa Desk for the British Foreign Office.  Magnificently filmed, from the vast and spectacular plains of Africa, to the squalor of the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, to the intimacy of a loving couple with an excellent screenplay by Jeffrey Caine based on the eponymous novel by John le Carré, and superb music by Alberto Iglesias, The Constant Gardener is, in both a large scale and personal manner, a critical look at Western liberal conscience, ethical and moral responsibility, personal virtue, courage and devotion, as well as being a finely honed, complex adult thriller.  Definitely a must-see film. (PR)

See our posts of the films Sunshine, starring both Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, and Spider, starring Ralph Fiennes, directed by David Cronenberg.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

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A Bronx Tale – Directed by & starring Robert De Niro

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A Bronx Tale (1993)  Directed by and starring Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, who also wrote the screenplay based on his play of the same name, Lillo Brancato, Jr., Francis Capra and others.  A Bronx Tale is a bildungsroman of a film, following the life of a young Italian-American, Calogero Anello, from the age of about 8 to 16 years old, who looks up to both his father, Lorenzo (De Niro), a bus driver, and Sonny (Palmenteri), the local Mafia strong man, the two often in counterpoint, but not as entirely as one may imagine.  Though the setting is the Bronx rather than downtown New York City’s Little Italy, there are, quite understandably, echoes of Martin Scorsese‘s Italian-American mobsters, met in his iconic classic Mean Streets, and in his film Goodfellas, and so much the better.  Funny, touching and sad, filled with colorful characters and fine dialogue, A Bronx Tale is set in the 1960s, notably from 1960 to 1968, starting with a-capella do-wop and ending with, among others, the Beatles classic Come Together and passing through Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, John Coltrane, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s rendition of All Along the Watchtower, a wonderful musical context, indicative of the social changes at work in the epoch.  De Niro is excellent, subtle, solid, sensitive and modest both behind (A Bronx Tale is his first film as director) and in front of the camera, Palminteri’s writing and acting are inspired as well, as is the strong yet sensitive performance of Lillo Brancato Jr., and, as the young Calogero, Francis Capra; in fact the entire cast offers commendable performances.  A Bronx Tale is a gangster film, yes, in a way, but much more a film about the choices and values at work in a young man’s life.  Definitely a must-see film. (PR)

(Note: A sad, and ironic note, Lillo Brancato Jr. is currently in prison, convicted of armed robbery, narrowly escaping murder charges.  He is up for parole in 2014. The Editors.)

See our posts on the films The Good Shepherd, directed by, and with, Robert De Niro, Mean Streets, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel, and Guilty by Suspicion, starring Robert De Niro.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

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nothingisinvisible@live.fr

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Spider – Directed by David Cronenberg, Starring Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson & Gabriel Byrne

Posted by the editors on Friday, 13 January 2012

Spider (2002) Directed by David Cronenberg (Crash (1996), A History of Violence (2005), Eastern Promises (2007)), starring Ralph Fiennes (Sunshine (1999), The Constant Gardener (2005), The Hurt Locker (2009)), Miranda Richardson (Damage (1992), The Hours (2001))and Gabriel Byrne (Miller’s Crossing (1990), The Usual Suspects (1995), The End of Violence (1997)).  Spider, a psychological drama, superbly directed by David Cronenberg, from a screenplay written by Patrick McGrath, based on his own eponymous novel, and brimming with excellent acting on the part of the entire cast, but especially on the part of Ralph Fiennes and Miranda Richardson, is, frankly, brutally bleak.  The film follows the attempted social re-insertion of Dennis “Spider” Cleg, a patient recently released from a mental institution, where he has spent the last 20 years, since the age of about 12.  Twisting marvelously and very grimly through the maze of schizophrenic realities and delusion, Spider is, in fact, a murder mystery.  Or is it?  Exceptional acting, inspired directing, powerful cinematography and story, Spider is harsh, very harsh, and a difficult must-see.  But must-see, it is. (PR) (Note: there are no spiders in the film.)

See our posts on the film Sunshine starring Ralph Fiennes and Miller’s Crossing written and directed by the Coen Brothers and starring Gabriel Byrne.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have an excellent personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

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nothingisinvisible@live.fr

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Babel – Starring Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Posted by the editors on Monday, 2 January 2012

Babel (2006)  Directed by Alejandro González Inarritu ( Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Biutiful (2010)), starring Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys (1995), Burn After Reading (2008), Moneyball (2011)), Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth (1998), The Aviator (2004), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)), Gael García BernalKoji Yakusho, in an outstanding ensemble cast, written by Guillermo Arriaga (Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2004), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), The Burning Plain (2009)), with Academy Award-winning music by Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain (2005), Into the Wild (2007), Biutiful (2010)).  This drama, in which a tragic event links multiple interwoven story lines, two in Morocco, one in Japan, and one in California and Mexico, is the poignant story of north, south, east, west, parents, children, love, loss, anguish, trust, hope and tragedy. As befits its title, Babel is about language, of course, and its diversity; among the languages present in the film are English, Spanish, Japanese, Berber and sign language, and the diverse cultural and environmental contexts are wonderfully present through richly visual characterisations, from the vast, natural rugged terrain of Morocco to the dense, man-made mass of urban Japan, and through powerful and evocative sound and music.   The biblical story of Babel is, in a nutshell, that as punishment for trying to build a tower that would reach heaven, the human race was scattered over the face of the earth, dispersed, divided and unable to communicate.  And, in the film, communication is indeed very difficult, not only across languages and cultures but within them, between individuals.  However, through the powerful and sensitive use of close-ups, the exquisite writing and the purity of the acting on the part of virtually the entire cast, it is very much the case that, beyond words, or perhaps beneath them, human emotion is very much something we all share, we can all understand.  Children are extremely important in the film, from a lost child, to the two young Moroccan brothers, to the two young Americans brought to Mexico, to the distraught teenage Japanese girl so powerfully portrayed by Rinko Kikuchi; Inarritu has dedicated the film “To my children…the brightest of lights in the darkest night..”  Babel is not an easy film; it is filled with tragedy and near-tragedy, yet through its inspired writing, outstanding directing, humble and beautiful acting, it is a truly excellent film, contemporary and yet perhaps timeless, and most definitely a must-see.  And if you’ve already seen it, see it again, it is only that much richer an experience. (PR)

See our posts on the films Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, written by Guillermo Arriaga and directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, where available):

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Language, Movies, music, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mean Streets – Directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro & Harvey Keitel

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 31 December 2011

Mean Streets (1973) Directed by Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), and many other excellent films), starring Robert De Niro (The Untouchables (1987), Cape Fear (1991), Meet the Parents (2000) and, of course, many other excellent filmsand Harvey Keitel (Bad Lieutenant (1992), The Piano (1993), U-571 (2000) and many others).  This truly outstanding film, at the time of its release and still today, follows Charlie, portrayed with endearing clarity by Harvey Keitel, a young, up and coming mafioso, confused by the failure of his Catholic religious morality to have credibility in the mean streets ruled by the hard cruelty of gangsters large and small, who, at significant risk to himself, is in love with a young woman ostracised for her epilepsy, and is, as well, and at even greater risk to himself, the grand protector of her cousin, Johnny Boy, portrayed by an inspired Robert De Niro,  a maniacally self-destructive young man in deeper and deeper trouble with loan sharks.  Mean Streets is a gripping and truly original tour-de-force of film-making, shot in New York’s Little Italy, there is a vibrant, fresh, honest immediacy, to the film.  The writing (co-written by Scorsese and Mardik Martin), the light, the color, the grainy quality of the images, the captivating camera movement and excellent editing and, of course, the superlative acting, all unite to put you with the characters, in their actions, in their world; there is no explaining, there is no need, you are there.  Bursting with a physical, visual, cinematic sensuality, Mean Streets, is a masterpiece and not only worth watching, and re-watching, but a film that you simply must have in your own film library. (PR)

See our posts on the films Guilty by Suspicion and What Just Happened, starring Robert De Niro, The Good Shepherd, directed by De Niro, and City of Industry starring Harvey Keitel.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

top image: Wikipedia

nothingisinvisible@live.fr

Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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