Thursday, May 31, 2012

Monthly Round Up: The Best Films I Saw in May

Anyone who has been following the focus on female directors will have recognised that I had a couple of guest reviewers this month. Personally I reviewed Sophia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides, Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher and Kathryn Bigelow's Point Break. Maiwenn's Polisse and Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz have June releases, but they also fit in very well.

In addition, I watched Jane Campion's Bright Star, Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar, and Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank. I enjoyed the latter two, but have not had the energy to share my thoughts on them. Sam McCosh, who runs An Online Universe, reviewed Morvern Callar, while Chris Elena reviewed Jane Campion's In the Cut. Reviews can all be found below.

The nominees for the 2012 LAMMY Awards were announced over the LAMBcast on Wednesday. Congratulations to everyone who received nominations, and thank you to everyone who has voted so far, and for those who voted for me.

I was lucky enough to receive nominations in two categories: Most Prolific (along with Never Too Early Movie Predictions, Dan at Fogs' Movie Reviews, Castor and his team at Anomalous Material and Ryan at The Matinee), and Best Movie Reviewer (along with Ryan at The Matinee, Dan at Fogs' Movie Reviews, Dan at Dan the Man's Movie Reviews, James at Cinema Sights and Sam at Duke and the Movies).

I am humbled by the recognition amongst the peers who I admire and respect and who inspire me to maintain this site. A win in either of these categories would be an honour, but I am nominated with some very talented individuals and they all run fantastic sites. However, I hope that the amount of time and work I put into this site is clear in the regularity of my posts and the length of some of my reviews. This is my 997th post on this site (My 1000th may be my review of Prometheus, actually) and I usually surpass 40 posts a month. Only about half of these are reviews - but I cover regular segments, incoming news and other film enthusiast articles. My reviews - new releases, festivals, classics and those selected to accompany a chosen director/theme -  can be found all over the site. I'll leave that decision up to you. Thanks in advance to everyone who throws a vote my way. Good luck to everyone nominated, and here's to another rewarding year as a member of the LAMB. 

Looking ahead to June, my attention will be focused entirely on the Sydney Film Festival. Of course, there might be a few reviews early in the month and following the festival, but between 6-17 June I am going to be watching a lot of films (26 on my schedule, here) and trying to blog about as many as I can. Films like Amour, Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, On the Road, Killer Joe, Monsieur Lazhar will be reviewed - or at least have an opinion documented. So, for extensive coverage on the SFF be sure to stop by regularly.

I watched a total of 31 films in June. Only a couple of re-watches, which shows that I had a lot of new films at my disposal. Though I ended up seeing more films I enjoyed than I didn't, it was a pretty weak month, especially for cinema releases. I have marked the essentials. Find out after the jump...

New-to-me Films: Cinema/DVD (In Order of Preference)

————Essential Viewing ———— 

Ratcatcher (Lynne Ramsay, 1999)

The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)

C.R.A.Z.Y. (Jean-Marc Vallee, 2005)

Morvern Callar (Lynn Ramsay, 2002)

Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki, 2003)

The Host (Bong Joon-ho, 2006)

Polisse (Maiwenn, 2011)

Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)

Joint Security Area (Park Chan-wook, 2000)

Take This Waltz (Sarah Polley, 2012)

  The Way (Emilio Estevez, 2011)

Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow, 1991)

The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 2000)

————Essential Viewing———— 

Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii, 1995)

Bunny and the Bull (Paul King, 2009)

Pusher (Nicolas Winding Refn, 1996)

Pusher II (Nicholas Winding Refn, 2004)

Shiri (Je-kyu Kang, 1999)

Dark Shadows (Tim Burton, 2012)

Pusher III (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2005)

The Five-Year Engagement (Nicholas Stoller, 2012)

Men in Black III (Barry Sonnenfeld, 2012)

Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009)

What to Expect When You're Expecting (Kirk James, 2012)

Trishna (Michael Winterbottom, 2012)

Safe (Boaz Yakin, 2012)

The Woman (Lucky McKee, 2011)

Rewatches: Cinema/DVD (In Order of Preference)

Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)

The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011)

The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012)

Year to date: 122 + 31 = 153 films viewed. 14 reviews in May.


  1. Congratulations on your Lammy nominations Andy! They are both very well deserved.

    Although I am kicking myself for having nominated you in the category where we are now up against each other!

    1. Thank you very much. Haha. I am glad to see you also pick up nominations, and that my votes contributed :-)

  2. Congrats on the Lammy nominations!! Seems like a great month for movie viewing too (the number of films I watched this month dropped, but I had a lot of good ones to make up for it!)
    Did the Tree of Life stand up on a second viewing? Considering rewatching that one myself soon.

    1. Thanks Ruth!

      Yeah, it did. While not the same experience in a living room it is still a beautiful and powerful film. Brimming with memorable moments.

      I saw some BAD films ugh. But, re-watching ToL, Dragon Tattoo and Alien certainly helped.

  3. Congratulations, very well deserved! I can't wait for your review of Prometheus, hope you'll enjoy it more than some critics :(

    1. Thanks Sati. Congratulations on yours too. Very well deserved. I did enjoy PROMETHEUS more than most, but its far from flawless..unfortunately.

  4. Congrats on the Lammy nominations Andrew. You are certainly being one prolific blogger, it's like you never take a day off!

    1. Thanks Castor. Great to see AM nominated multiple times again. I take days off occasionally, but there is always something to write about :-p

  5. Congratulations on the well-deserved Lammy noms! Looking forward to your coverage of the Sydney Film Fest!

    1. Thanks Pete. I hope you stop by during the SFF coverage and find something of interest. Usually my traffic takes a dive because I am reviewing films few people have seen yet. I will try and keep it regular and interesting.

  6. Congratulations to your nominations! Very well deserved and I had some part in it.

    1. Thank you Jessica! Some congratulations are in order for yourself, too.

  7. Congratulations on the nominations. You always post at an awe inspiring rate, so you've got my vote for most prolific.

  8. Thanks a lot BT. Post #1000 coming tomorrow haha.