An Education

Archive for February, 2010

An Education

Title: An Education
Year: 2009
Director: Lone Scherfig
Lead: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard
Rated: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexual content, and for smoking.

A coming of age story of a girl growing up in England in the 1960’s and how her life changes when she meets a man nearly twice her age.

I was very into this film. It caught me in the opening scene, it just has its own tone, and it owns it. Its a great story that we can all really relate to in some form, she questions the value of education. I know that I do that every morning when I wake up to go to school. This is a very good story, very well written. This film is so good that its hard to pin down exactly what makes it good. The acting is great, the cinematography is great, and the story is great, if you hit those all well, you really have something special on your hands, and that’s what “Education” is, special. I really liked how the director filmed this movie, every aspect that Carey’s character found boring in her life, had very gloomy lighting, but when she did something with Peter’s character, it was very vibrant and lively. Then after everything happened to Jenny, and she went back to her old professors house things were vibrant there too, almost like she realized the value of an education (pun intended). I really liked the last scene in this film, when she said “…I was asked to go to Paris, and I said, ‘I would love to go to Paris.’ like I had never been there before.” It kind of let the viewer know that she was starting over, and forgetting about the things that had happened to her in the past, it really closed the film up well for me. An Education is a great coming of age story, it will break your heart, but will seal it up at the end. This is a very fulfilling film, you wont regret seeing it by any means. Its fantastic, I went in with no expectations, and was more than satisfied, I was very into this film. It really illustrates that things are rarely ever what they seem, so back up everything with a good education. This film was nominated for 3 Academy Awards including, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress in Carey Mulligan, and Best Picture. 8 1/2 out of 10

Up in the Air

Title: Up in the Air
Year: 2009
Director: Jason Reitman
Lead: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick
Rated: Rated R for language and some sexual content.

Ryan Bingham lives a lonely life, out of a suitcase, traveling the country firing people, until his company grounds him.

This film is very good, Jason Reitman does a great job making this film feel lonely. You feel bad for George Clooney’s character, he seems to have a disorder that makes it impossible for him to form a human connection, until Anna Kendrick’s character comes into the film and brings a new idea to the business that would eliminate George Clooney’s job. Everything becomes more personal for him, he starts to form a connection with Vera Farmiga’s character. And then things get kind of weird. I really liked the story, but things got kind of weird 3/4 of the way through. This film was well acted, well directed, and well shot. the cinematography was brilliant, I really liked the long master shots, that was rad. I liked how the film ended. you’ll have to see it. This movie is really good, its nominated for a bunch of Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Actor in George Clooney, 2 Best Actress in Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. I give it 8 out of 10

Reservoir Dogs

Title: Reservoir Dogs
Year: 1992
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Lead: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, and Michael Madsen
Rated: Rated R for strong violence and language.

After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

Quentin Tarantino’s first film will knock your socks off. Reservoir Dogs is awesome, extremely brutal, but like Tarantino’s other films, its funny too. The swagger that the criminals in this film have is like no other. Ive heard people say that “this film is the film that Tarantino hadn’t seen yet, so he made it”. It’s seriously one of the coolest movies Ive seen, its just got something that other films don’t have. Almost the entire film is shot inside a warehouse which is awesome, and the criminals dress is rad. They all wear black suits with white shirts and skinny black ties, and they re wearing shades, they are the coolest guys ever. Another cool part about this movie is that the actual heist is never shown, which leaves some sort of mystery to everything, like, you don’t have a piece of the story, which makes it a little more exciting. Let me warn you though, this film, like Tarantino’s other works, is very brutal and unsettling in some parts, the language is so brutal and pervasive, but it kind of adds to the film, if it wasn’t there, honestly, the Reservoir Dogs wouldn’t be Dogs, if you catch my drift. 8 1/2 out of 10

Inglorious Basterds

Title: Inglorious Bastards
Year: 2009
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Lead: Brad Pitt
Rated: Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality.

A band of Nazi killing, Jewish American soldiers spread fear throughout the Nazi army with their brutal tactics.

Quentin Tarantino’s fictitious end to WWII; Inglorious Bastards hits the Nazi.. I mean, nail, right on the head. Tarantino mixes the blood with the smart in this horror/drama/action/comedy film, and yes, this film is all of those. This film is great, Brad Pitt is hilarious, and everything seems to fall right into its place. Let me warn you, this film is brutal, and very gory, however, it seems to be hilariously disgusting. Its very light spirited gore (if that makes any sense). I seemed to laugh a lot at most of the killings. This movie is like a “Saving Private Ryan” comedy, there is almost equal the amount of blood, but Bastards is funny. Now it would be extremely uncharacteristic of me to not mention cinematography, so, Bastards has some of the best shooting of the year, I really enjoyed everything I saw, great angles that built emotion, that’s what I like to see. Inglorious Bastards has won 41 awards this year, and is nominated for 8 Academy Awards for cinematography, directing, editing, sound, sound editing, actor in Brad Pitt, actor in a supporting role in Christoph Waltz, screenplay, and Best Picture. It was good, go buy it.. I bought it on Blu-Ray without even seeing it in the theaters and I am not at all disappointed one single bit. Bastards is brilliant! 8 1/2 out of 10

Crazy Heart

Title: Crazy Heart
Year: 2009
Director: Scott Cooper
Lead: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal,
Rated: Rated R for language and brief sexuality.

An aging, out of shape, alcoholic, chronic smoking, country musician loses everything before he finds a reason to make something out of himself.

I went into this movie with no expectations, and I left this movie as a huge fan. Jeff Bridges will win an Oscar for Best Actor. This movie is a great country movie, the music is great, the story is great, and the cinematography is grade “A”. Plenty of gorgeous shots of the country. Crazy Heart is a very bittersweet film, its sad that Jeff’s character has to lose everything before he realizes that he needs to quit his bad habits. The story is very good, Maggie Gyllenhaal is fantastic alongside Jeff Bridges, the two make an unstoppable acting duo. Both are likely to walk away from the Academy Awards with an award. I’m a little bit disappointed that Crazy Heart wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, it was fantastic, everybody should catch this one while they still can, especially before March 7th. Crazy Heart has won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in Jeff Bridges, and Best Original Song in “The Weary Kind”. Jeff Bridges has also won a SAG award for Best Actor. Crazy Heart has been nominated for 3 Oscars including Best Original Song-“The Weary Kind”, Best Actor in Jeff Bridges, and Best Supporting Actress in Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Go see it! 8 1/2 out of 10