Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Links (09/01/12)

Well, here we are, the first Monday Links of 2012. How is everyone's New Year so far? The first film I watched in 2012 was Animal Kingdom - influenced by Simon Columb (Screen Insight), who named it as his #2 film of 2011. Since then I have been catching up on some 2011 films I missed - British hit man chiller, Kill List and Abbas Kiarostami's widely praised Certified Copy, but not before introducing myself to the Iranian master with his Palme d'Or winner, Taste of Cherry. Also, the PGA and WGA have announced their nominees - set to be announced later in the month. The trends suggest that most of the Oscar nominees in the key categories of Best Picture, and Original/Adapted Screenplay stem from these nominees. Lets hope not. If you have missed some fellow bloggers' 'Best of 2011' lists, I hope you can find it amongst my collaboration.

I also watched Albert Nobbs, but have not written a review for it. I didn't find it to be a particularly engaging story, never delving deep enough into the intriguing central protagonist or justifying her motivations, while straying too often to an unnecessary subplot involving Mia Wasikowska and Aaron Johnson. Also, a couple of cinema guests came in the other day and asked for 'Mrs. Nobbs'. This is exactly why this film is automatically problematic. We know that it is Glenn Close, and that it is obviously a woman pretending to be a man (and quite poorly too, I felt). The fact that the characters buy it for the duration of the film is difficult to accept. I must say though, Janet McTeer stole the show and had a disappointingly small amount of screen time. The film was so much better whenever she was on screen. A Supporting Actress nomination should be coming her way and it is thoroughly deserved.

Over the next week I will be watching Weekend (today), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo and Buck. The former and latter are screenings, while Dragon Tattoo and Hugo joins The Muppets, The Descendants and The Secret World of Arrietty (Studio Ghibli's new film) in cinemas from Jan. 12. I have already watched The Muppets and The Descendants, but looking forward to visiting them again.

So, on with the links. Just a few this week:

Andrew @ A Constant Visual Feast also reviews Certified Copy, and it is a fantastic read.

Alex @ And So It Begins checks out Rampart, the film Woody Harrelson is in contention for a Best Actor nomination for.

Nick @ Anomalous Material lists the Performances from 2011 That He Loved

Hugo opens in cinemas this week. If you need convincing on whether to see it or not, check out Thomas Caldwell's review @ Cinema Autopsy.

James @ Cinema Sights has been catching up on 2011 films. He reviews two this week - Warrior and Another Earth.

If you wondered what happened in The Contest between Sam Fragoso and his mates, he has posted the results @ Duke and the Movies.

John @ John Likes Movies included How To Die in Oregon in his Top 10 of 2011. He shares his thoughts on the film in detail.

Jessica @ The Velvet Cafe has unveiled her Top 10 Films of 2011. I'll be adding it to my collaboration. There are some very interesting selections. Be sure to check it out.

I had a Tarkovsky marathon last year. It's tough going, but Tyler @ Southern Vision is tackling it. He starts with Solaris.

So, there you have it. Hope everyone has a great day.


  1. Thanks for the link Andy. Sorry for this weeks edition - forgot to include you (I think it's the first time)

  2. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who's tried a Tarkovsky marathon. How did yours go?

  3. @ Sam - That's alright dude. No harm done...this time ;-)

    @ Tyler - Yeah, pretty good. Solaris was one that I missed actually. Went with Andre Rublev, The Mirror, Stalker and The Sacrifice. All of them are amazing, though I watched the first three in the same week. Tough going that's for sure. Have you seen any of them before now? You've seen Stalker at least right?

  4. Thanks for the link love! So what did you think of Animal Kingdom? I really loved it, made it into my top 10 for 2011 despite fierce compatition.

  5. Thanks for the link, Andy! And thanks for adding your own performances at the end!

    Can't wait to hear your thoughts on "Dragon Tattoo" and "Hugo." I feel like there's a lot to discuss with those two.

  6. @ Jessica - I really liked Animal Kingdom - more than I did the first time. I went in with really high expectations the first time round, and I thought it was very good, but not the masterpiece many had claimed. But watching it the other day, it floored me. I actually removed the review of the film I had written back in 2010 because it didn't reflect how I now though about the film.

    @ Alex - No worries my man.

    @ Nick - It's tough to choose just a few performances - and many of your picks I am yet to see - but those were the ones that stood out. I actually re-watched The Descendants last night - and Clooney and Shailene Woodley are both wonderful. I really paid attention to their work, and though Clooney doesn't have a big dramatic moment, almost every sequence involves some intricate balancing of emotions - either letting out frustrated exasperation, or holding it all in. But, I think he has a real shot. Also, Woodley was exceptional. Clooney holds the fort until she arrives but immediately the film gets not only better looking, but now has two actors absolutely nailing their characters. She turns in a superb portrayal of a messed-up teenager who realises her priorities and re-learns how to respect her father. Look forward to discussing Dragon Tattoo and Hugo with you in the next week or so.

  7. Thanks for the link Andy! I have been very much out-of-touch with linking and commenting but I tell you now that I have your blog on my regular read list so I am reading ... just not managing to comment! Thanks again and, indeed, ANIMAL KINGDOM, is awesome. 2nd Best Film of 2011 though?

  8. @ Simon - No worries, and thank you! That's great to hear. It's an honour to have you stop by. Animal Kingdom really hit home hard on the second viewing. I was a little disappointed on my first viewing (not really sure why). You named it as your #2 on the MatineeCast didn't you?