Notes on a Scandal is fascinating right from the start. I had the big fortune of not knowing what the movie was about at all. In fact, I was under the impression I was watching Veronica Guerin and was waiting for Cate Blanchett to become involved in politics and spies. This way, the movie surprised me several times because if you really have no clue, you don’t expect many things that happen. The main drive comes from the incredible performances by Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett who are really as good as any review says. In a way, it doesn’t matter what they are talking about because they inhabit their characters so perfectly that anything they do would be interesting to watch. The direction by Richard Eyre is also excellent and Philip Glass’ score is breathtaking (again). It is a captivating movie that forces you to keep watching the disaster unfolding.Read More
(no real spoilers)
Was bleibt (Home for the Weekend is the English title) is another good movie by Hans-Christian Schmid who, in my opinion, has not even made an average movie yet. It’s a family drama about a son coming back home to his family and his mother who announces she has decided to live without her medication, which upsets her husband and her other son. It is really fascinating how the drama unfolds, how the family constellation is shifting and how Marko, the homecoming son, tries to remain as a good a man as possible throughout. And even he is not perfect, which makes him all the more relatable. The film challenges us to work through all the family problems and does so very effectively by making all the relationships authentic and not painting anyone as particularly good or bad. The last ten minutes or so didn’t really work for me because the movie sets us up for a more satisfying conclusion we don’t get and the last line is too much on the nose. Apart from that, this is a really intriguing and well-made movie.Read More
Ordinary People is an exceptionally observant movie about families, psychological problems and relationships. It shows hard truths about people and is not idealizing anything, which is not what I had expected from a 1980 movie. Its screenplay (by Alvin Sargent) is excellent in its dialogue and structure. Robert Redford’s direction is so deliberate, his touch is almost too visible (not for me, but I assume some people might be bothered by it). The acting is flawless throughout, it’s almost impossible to pick anyone. But overall, the movie is just good in the things it has to say and how it says them. It obviously worked in 1980, but I think it’s just as relevant today.Read More
It’s 1980 Week! What does that mean, you ask? Well, I decided to try out doing theme weeks from time to time, dedicating each post during that week to cultural artifacts (movies, comics, books, music) or historic events from one specific year. In the future, I will pick those years randomly, but for a start I decided on 1980, the year I was born, because, well, today’s my birthday. I don’t know how this will work out, so it’s an experiment. But I like experiments, obviously, which means I’m very excited!
To get an overview of this particular year, I thought it would be nice to look at its movie posters. I looked at all the posters of 1980 that can be found on IMP Awards and picked out the ones I found interesting. Which is still a lot (49). But because there are so many, I grouped them in categories, because many things repeat themselves. Without further ado, let’s give it up for 1980!Read More