Anne here, talking about a few movies I’ve seen lately. Since I’ve taken to working from home, I don’t go out to see movies nearly as regularly as I’d like to. I used to have a bit of a routine of going out to dinner and a movie with friends, but slowly that fell by the wayside as the demands on people’s time grew. Often I’ll see or read some review and think “I’d like to see that movie” and then life will catch up with me and by the time I’m ready to see the film, it’s no longer showing in cinemas.
And yes, there’s the DVD or the download available, but for me, going to a cinema adds an extra layer of magic to a movie; it makes an event of the experience. There’s something about the ritual of sitting in a darkened auditorium, staring up at a big screen in the company of a bunch of strangers, with the scent of popcorn teasing my nostrils as I’m swept into the world of the movie. It’s almost like being a kid again, and for that reason I don’t think I’ll ever go for a big-screen home cinema.
I’m also very lucky in that the cinema complex closest to my home shows a great variety of movies, from mainstream blockbusters to imports and art-house movies from other countries, all in a dozen small cinemas with comfy chairs and lots of leg room.
So the first movie I saw this month was a French movie called The Intouchables. It’s a wonderful, feel-good, funny movie that’s broken box-office records in France and across Europe, and if you get a chance to see it, do. It’s about a young black tearaway, just out of prison, who against all the odds, is hired to be a carer for a millionaire quadriplegic — he’s hired on a whim, almost as a joke, and nobody expects him to last in the job more than a day or two — least of all him. On the surface, these two men — one poor and wild and uneducated, the other rich, sophisticated and urbane— have nothing in common, but an extraordinary relationship develops between them. “An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility.”
The next movie I want to recommend is a Ken Loach film, The Angel’s Share. It’s a Scottish movie, a bitter-sweet comedy heist caper, about Robbie, a young no-hoper from a terrible background who is trying to make good — against all the odds—for the sake of his girlfriend and newborn son. But a little kindness and acceptance from his community service supervisor sets Robbie on a new path and he hatches a plan to get himself and his little family a fresh start in life.
There’s whisky and kilts and a wee bit of violence here and there, and some people might find the accents a little hard to follow in places, but it’s a lovely feel-good movie with a nice twist at the end.
The main character, Robbie, was played by a first-time actor called Paul Brannigan, whose real life was much like that of his character. He gave an extraordinarily assured and intense performance and he’s definitely an actor to watch.
Actually, we had a funny experience the night we went to see The Angel’s Share. We were running late — a little matter of a very delicious spaghetti marinara — and we slipped into the cinema late. Did I mention there are twelve small cinemas in this one complex? Mmmm, yes, you’ve guessed it . . .
We crept into a dark cinema with the movie already started. We knew we had seats 2 and 3 in the back row, and we could see three empty seats on the other side of the cinema, so we shuffled and squeezed across in front of all the other people in the back row, trying not to step on any toes, whispering apologies as we made our way to those seats. And we sat down and watched. And watched. The main character’s accent was Irish, not Scottish, and there was no sign of any kilts and it seemed to be set in the US. After a few minutes, the penny dropped. So then we had to sneak out the way we’d come, trying not to giggle, whispering more apologies. It looked like a good movie, too — in those five illicit minutes, it hooked us in, so for the record, it was The Seven Psychopaths, and I’ll be going to see it soon.
Finally, there was the latest Bond movie — Skyfall — and of course, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I really love Daniel Craig’s Bond, though Sean Connery still has my heart as the best Bond ever. But Daniel Craig is the best after Sean, and this story had it all. I like the way the characters have more depth and complexity — Bond actually has feelings and cares about people, yet he’s still very much 007 and the stories retain all the action and glitz of the early films. And I loved the way Judi Dench played a bigger role in the story. Have you seen it? Isn’t she marvelous?
So, do you attend the cinema often or do you prefer to watch films at home? What movies have you seen lately? Any that you’d recommend? And who is your favorite Bond?