Saturday, September 08, 2007

Better Late Than Never

Said I'd be back later with some film reviews. Hadn't really thought it might be two weeks later.
Oh well.
Edinburgh followed by a week of intermittent internet followed by new job has meant I haven't been online that much recently, so I have mucho catching up to do with everyone's blogs. I'll get there, I promise.

Anyway, back to Best of the Fest, a day where it is possible, if you are so inclined, to see 6 films in a day. I saw 5, and in order of seeing them, they were:

Ever since reading Billy's review, I've wanted to see this film. And despite the build-up and the longing, it didn't disappoint. I completely loved this film. The story is simple - guy meets girl, stuff happens. The story is told partly through song, but (and I speak as a musical-hater here) it works. the songs are integral to the story, and utterly endearing, the sort of songs that play in your head til you manage to get the soundtrack from Amazon even though Borders and tell you its unavailable. Written and directed by John Carney, starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, its a wonderfully engaging film that's won all sorts of awards from festivals around the world. The characters are so real, and the story is so simple but so sweet and true. At the end, I had big fat tears rolling down my cheeks - not just damp eyes and a sniff, proper fat tears. Go and see it.

Skills Like These
Lots of low key publicity round the Delegate Centre and Filmhouse box office for this film - badges and postcards that make you think "hmmm - what's this about?" - which is good publicity, I suppose. Shame the film doesn't live up to it - quite. It has a basic premise which is quite good - bloke discovers he has a knack for stealing - but despite the laughs there was something lacking - heart, endearing characters, I'm not sure exactly. There were some laugh out loud moments but the characters just didn't make me care enough.

And When Did You Last See Your Father?
Adapted by David Nicholls from Blake Morrison's book, this stars Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent and Juliette Stevenson, which should result in some kind of cinematic release - one would hope so, at least. Not the most obviously cinematic book, yet it actually turns out pretty well as a film. Colin Firth is a master when it comes to showing repressed emotions, he must have one of the best faces ever for expressing everything while saying nothing, and he has a central role in the film as the adult son coming to terms with the passing of his overpowering, domineering father, played by Jim Broadbent. This is another film that had me in tears at the end. Its very English, and very resonant of a period of English life (ie if you're my age or thereabouts you'll recognise lots of it), but that shouldn't restrict its audience. Its lovely. Take tissues, and go see it.

The Waiting Room
According to its own website, The Waiting Room is a "riveting, sexy and insightful drama".
No it isn't.
"Riveting" rarely equates to getting to the end of a film, turning to your companion and going "god, how long did that go on for?" And if this was supposed to be a romantic comedy, then perhaps someone should have put some comedy in there. Oh, and some romance too. Unless you think Ralf Little's willy (he's misnamed, btw) and Rupert Graves's bum count as romance (I don't). A film that made me think "at least my screenplay has some funny bits in it". Worst film of the day. Actually, worst film of the festival.

The Hottest State
And finally. Written and directed by Ethan Hawke, this is the sort of film where you wonder just how much is autobiographical - a Texan actor goes to New York, tries to make it, falls in love, is estranged from his father - its a lovely, meandering, laid back film in just the way you would expect. Richard Linklater has a cameo, and Ethan Hawke shows up as the bad dad, but the film belongs to Mark Webber as the young actor. If you liked Before Sunrise/Sunset, you'll like this.

Next year Edinburgh FF moves to June. Can't wait.


Blogger Lianne said...

I can't wait to see Once. My sister in Dublin recommended it ages ago and I've been impatiently waiting for it to be released here ever since.

2:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading your review of Atonement when you've finished with your Edinburgh experiences. Personally I loved it - and you just know I cried even though I knew the ending. Would be interested to read your views on KK's performance cf her co stars...

3:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Have to do this as anon, as blogger won't let me sign in. Grr). Ralph Little's willy is misnamed. *snigger* You know I'm not going to pay attention to the rest of the reviews after that !

9:05 pm  
Blogger Sal said...

Amanda, just got back from "Atonement" - review will follow when my bum and brain have recovered from numbing boredom.

Anon#2, you can always put your name, or give me a little clue - I'm guessing you're Liz or Nez. And I said Ralf Little was misnamed, not his willy - I don't know what his willy's name is (cos all men name their favourite things, don't they?!)

11:56 pm  

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