Monday, March 02, 2009

February Films

Director : Peter Sollett
Genre : Comedy, Music
Rating : 3.5/5

This is a lovely, quirly Indie film with a great soundtrack in the style of films like Juno and Garden State. Nick (Michael Cera) has recently been dumped by his girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena) and is pursuaded to go out to play a gig with fellow bandmates. He is mostly talked in to it as his favourite band Fluffy are playing at a secret location somewhere in New York. Norah (Kat Dennings) has been ssecretly keeping the mix cds that Nick has been making for Caroline which she was throwing away and is now also really into Fluffy. She goes out with her drunk friend Caroline (Ari Graynor) and ends up seeing Nick's band.

Norah doesn't realise who Nick is and in trying to fend off the verbal blows of Tris pretends he is her boyfriend. From there events are set in motion that take Nick and Norah on a journey through music and self discovery. Nick is trying to get over Tris and Norah also has an ex who isn't quite an ex who may just be after her music connections.

I really enjoyed this, it's just my kind of film. My one criticism is that I would like to see Cera play a different kind of role. This is the third film (Superbad, Juno) he has played the same type of character and I am interested to see what else he can do. I bought the soundtrack and the novel and am looking forward to the dvd release.

Director : John Patrick Shanley
Genre : Drama
Rating : 3.5/5

Set in the 1960s, the plot revolves around two nuns, Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep) and Sister James (Amy Adams) who suspect that Father Brendan Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is having inappropriate relations with a young black student and altar boy. It all begins when Father Flynn preaches a sermon about doubt and the head nun (Streep) tells the others to keep an eye on him and see what sparked this.

Sister James is quite naieve and innocent, seeing only the best in people. She comes to doubt what she sees when small things start to bother her. The boy is called to the priests quarters and returns smelling of alcohol, the priest is seen putting a shirt back in the boys locker etc. She reports it and Streep goes off in search of evidence. In the end she gets the priest to resign his post at their church and school and ironically he gets an even better position.

The performances from the three main actors are riviting. There is one scene in particular where Streep and Hoffman really battle each other verbally which I couldn't tear my eyes away from. The best thing about it was that at the end you are left with doubt. Did he do it or not?

Director : P.J. Hogan
Genre : Comedy
Rating : 3.0/5

Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) is a shopaholic. She has 8 credit cards and has thousands of dollars worth of debt. When the magazine she writes for goes bust she pursues her dream of getting into fashion journalism. Things don't quite go to plan when the job has already been filled, but she ends up working for the same comapny on a different magazine, ironically writing about finance and how to be better with money.

Her boss Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy) has a lot of faith in her, especially when her first article under the pen name "The Girl in the Green Scarf" about credit card debt becomes a worldwide success. As Rebecca and Luke start to fall for each other, can Rebecca fend off the debt collectors and keep her secret hidden as well as become the fashion journalist she has always dreamed of.

Sex and the City but with a reality check. I enjoyed this much more than I was expecting, great escapism, fun and with a heart. I am not sure if I will go as far as to read the novel, but I would be happy to watch the film again.


Kim L said...

LOVED Nick and Norah's infinite playlist. Great movie, great soundtrack, funny and witty and wise. Glad you like it too!

Ladytink_534 said...

I'll probably watch all of these at some point because I've heard a LOT about them.

Anonymous said...

I found Doubt so fascinating - I'd be interested to know, did you think he did it, or not? I read an interview with Philip Seymour Hoffman where he said that he and the director both agreed about whether or not his character was guilty, and that's the way he played it. But of course, he didn't say which it was, guilty or not.

(I thought he did it. But on the other hand my father works in child protection, so my view of the world is a little skewed.)

Rhinoa said...

Kim - It's great to find someone else who has seen it. I am really looking forward to reading the book soon too.

Ladytink - Let me know what you think when you get around to it.

Jenny - I thought he acted guilty. If he was innocent why would he stand down. It's so hard though without proof as to accuse someone of something like that follows them around forever and if you make a mistake it can ruin lives unnecessarily.