Archive for December 1st, 2011

A dozen movies seen at the cinema this month, but which is the movie of the month?

Contagion: a multi stranded story based around the spread of an unknown and deadly virus. The ensemble cast is fantastic and the writing and direction are sublime resulting in a perfectly paced and watchable movie.

In Time: Taking the idea of “time is money”, this is a high concept Sci-Fi movie, it has its problems but it also has some great ideas and an attractive and likeable young cast.

The Help: Given the hefty subject matter of race relations in Americas at the time of the civil rights movement it is a surprisingly lightweight movie. The story is highly manipulative and contrived, however none of these things really matter as the movie is highly watchable and entertaining thanks to fantastic performances from the largely female cast.

The Awakening: an old-fashioned ghost story, if you know my thoughts on horror, you will know that “old-fashioned” is a compliment not an insult. There are a few twists and turns in the plot but nothing spectacular, the real draw is Rebecca Hall who caries the movie virtually on her own proving her star credentials.

Wuthering Heights: a dark and brooding movie that reminds us that Emily Brontë’s story is far bleaker and less romantic than popular opinion would have you believe. The photography is stunning and the acting outstanding.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1: Depending on your point of view, splitting the final twilight movie in two is either the only way to do justice to the seven hundred and something pages of the source novel or a cynical attempt to squeeze as much money as possible out of the “Twihards”. Given the way the movie drags I would suggest the latter is true.

Immortals: a silly action movie that comes somewhere between Clash of the Titans and 300. Surprising entertains and with great visuals. It is a perfect example of a disposable popcorn movie, isn’t a great and I’m not rushing to see it again but enjoyed it while I was watching it.

The Rum Diary: A Johnny Depp movie based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel and directed by Bruce Robinson; you can’t help compare it to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Withnail & I. sadly it isn’t as good as either but Depp is as brilliant as ever and I could watch Amber Heard all day long!

Justice: If you have seen the trailer for the latest movie of the Nicolas Cage conveyor belt you have seen the movie, that’s all there is! Predicable and lightweight but not actually a bad film. Guy Pearce makes a great villain.

Moneyball: with a screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin you expect a compelling story and snappy dialogue, I am happy to report both are present and are helped by Brad Pitt’s second great performance of the year. Reminiscent in part to The Social Network (also written by Sorkin) and that has to be a good thing.

Take Shelter: As a regular family man starts having apocalyptic visions he prepares for the impending doom and questions his own sanity in equal measure. A haunting movie that will stay with you long after it ends, elevated by the performances of Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain.

My Week With Marilyn: The true story of 23-year-old Colin Clark’s experience on the set of The Prince And The Showgirl starring Marilyn Monroe and Sir Laurence Olivier (who also directed the movie). Directed with a light touch reminiscent of the best of Monroe movies but the best thing about it is the fantastic acting, Kenneth Branagh is brilliant as Olivier, Michelle Williams is even better as Monroe.

I was still thinking about the film I would name the movie of the month as I was putting this together, eight of the twelve movies were genuine contenders, but the movie of the month is:

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