Three Films

Or how films really do get better towards the end of the year and we need to continue to support the British film industry at doing what it does best.

Atonement sets its stall out early on as one of the key oscar runners for next year. Everything about it screams quality but if I’m honest about it it’s a little too clinical in its pursuit of shiny little statuettes. It is however a fine film.

Two things jump out about it, the quality of the acting across the board is absolutely superb with not a single bad performance and an astounding five minute tracking shot across the Dunkirk evacuation that is just staggering to look at. It’s also one of the most beautifully shot films I’ve seen for a long time.

But before I finish recommending it I’ll just give a word of warning; if you didn’t like The English Patient you won’t like this – it shares a similar pedigree and makes a good companion piece to that film, consider yourselves warned.

Control is another British film, although it couldn’t be more different from Atonement. A small scale bio-pic of Ian Curtis of Joy Division its unlikely to receive as many plaudits as Atonement which is a shame as it is the better film. Again the quality of the acting is superb with special mention for Samantha Morton as his wife Deborah. Even more astonishing is the fact that it manages tomake Macclesfield look beautiful.

However the reason that anyone who had an interest in Joy Division needs to see this is the concert footage. All original footage of the actors performing it takes you a minute to realise that it isn’t archive footage. Of course it helps that it is directed by the man who took the photographs we now associate with the band so he really has an insiders account of what happened.

Lastly, The Darjeeling Limited is the latest film from Wes Anderson and is the very definition of a love it or loathe it film. I loved it (with some severe caveats) but it would seem that the rest of the audience hated it and didn’t know what to expect. It’s a comedy about three brothers trying to reconcile their lives after the death of their father but that only gives the bare bones of what the film is about. I think the rest of the audience was expecting a wacky comedy due to the presence of Owen Wilson, instead they got a gentle character piece.

However it is also the most willful film I’ve seen all year, things happen for no rhyme or reason other than it makes sense within the context of the narraitive. If you’re willing to accept it (or have seen and loved other Anderson films) then come the end you’ll have seen a startlingly beautiful film.

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