The Angel's Share (2012)
"What did he just say?" (BPG)
The Angels' Share (2013) is a film by Ken Loach, famous for subtitling a film or two of his as their regional accents make them mostly incomprehensible for anyone not from England, or not even from the region. This movie is set in Scotland, and I wish they'd subtitled it. The Glaswegian is such that I got about 20 percent of the words but comprehended about two thirds of what was being said. A young man, at serious risk, fathers a child and tries to go straight... with the help of single malt scotch. Enough said. I suggest renting this on DVD and using the subtitles, which are always included in English to help those with hearing trouble. This will help! On the acting side, it's all excellent, with special stand outs being John Henshaw and real-life scotch guru Charles MacLean as... a scotch guru.
Only Film of the Year I Watched Twice in the Cinema
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
"Damn it, man, I'm a doctor, not a torpedo technician!" (Karl Urban as Bones)
I saw it again after the 3D disaster. This time it was in 2D. Ahhhhhh, much better. LOVED IT.
Most Incredible Waste of Talent, Money, and Two Hours I'll Never get Back
Now you see me (2013)
"The more you look, the less you see." (Jesse Eisenberg as J. Daniel Atlas)
I don't have enough time left on this planet to figure out what went wrong with this one.
Movie in Which Brad Pitt Makes me a Fan at Last
World War Z (2013)
"If you can fight, fight. Be prepared for anything. Our war has just begun." (Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane)
The AMC series Walking Dead gave me a certain vision of zombies and how they might operate. World War Z blows that shambling, groteque nightmare out of the water, with a portrayal of super-zombies who move fast and furious. They are TERRIFYING. I screamed out loud at least once during this movie. No, I`m not talking about a little squeak, I mean a scream. My friend Barbara and I were clutching each other`s hands more than once. The cast is all excellent, and Brad Pitt of course single-handedly pretty much saves the world (what, really, you needed a spoiler warning? OF COURSE HE DOES - THIS IS HOLLYWOOD... and he looks weathered and strained, rather like Harrison Ford used to before he just got sort of grumpy). I was too busy being frightened to notice if there were any holes in the plot of inconsistencies. Come on! It`s a zombie movie! Perfect movie if you like a clingy date, like yours truly.
Most Poetic and Haunting Film of the Year, and of Many Other Years
Wings of Desire (1987)
"Last night I dreamt of a stranger... of my man. Only with him could I be
alone, open up to him, wholly open, wholly for him. Welcome him wholly
into me. Surround him with the labyrinth of shared happiness. I know...
it's you." (Solveig Dommartin as Marion)
I was well overdue to see this again. Angels over Berlin listen, unseen, to the thoughts of people of the city. One angel (Bruno Ganz) yearns to be mortal, to feel physically and emotionally what it is to be human, and to love the object of his devotion, an unhappy trapeze artist played by Solveig Dommartin (who died tragically young in 2007 at 45). The film was shot by Henri Alekan, who made - among other films - the breathtakingly beautiful and surreal La Belle et la Bête (1946).
Most Haunting Score
The Woman in White (1948)
Based on Wilkie Collins' 1860 mystery novel, this film distinguishes itself for me by the most haunting score. Composed by the legendary Max Steiner, it incorporates English melodies, including the gorgeous Pavana: The Earl of Salisbury by William Byrd (which is uncredited). The impressive cast includes Alexis Smith, Eleanor Parker, Gig Young, Agnes Moorehead and a deliciously evil Sydney Greenstreet.
Most Very Overdue to be Discovered
Before Midnight (2013)
"Well, it must be one hell of a night we're about to have." (Juliette Delpy as Celine)
For years, family and friends whose opinions I held dear had told me about the first two films in this trilogy, Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004). This now-trilogy is a project that has developed over 19 years with director Richard Linklater and actors Ethan Hawke and Juliette Delpy (both actors are credited with co-writing the last two films with Linklater). So what's it about? In the first film, Jesse (Hawke), a young American man, boards a train travelling to Prague, and encounters a young French woman (Delpy), Celine. They begin talking. They get off the train and keep talking all night. I won't say anything else, just that these three films are uniquely fresh and captivating, with all the charm of discovery and youth in the first, and... well, I just don't want to say anything else. Just that I hope you'll see them if you haven't. The films have been made nine years apart, and so we are growing with those characters. It's reminiscent of the brilliant Up series. Hawke and Delpy are phenomenal. I just hope there'll be another one... I think.
Film That Made me Most Want to go Back to one of my Motherlands
The Trip (2010)
"Death is but a moment... Cowardice is a lifetime of affliction." (Steve Coogan as himself)
Deliciously funny, as everyone probably already knows (I'm often behind the times), British comics and impersonators Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel around Britain out-impersonating each other, trying out restaurants and hotels in the Lake District and other gorgeous parts of England, and being generally brilliant. I read they're doing another one in Italy... this time I won't wait three years.