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Zettel Film Reviews » Romance

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Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody’s sexual wonderland. Fantasy rules OK?

Tweet Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody Allen Woody Allen doesn’t simply film women: he makes love to them with the camera. I don’t really know how healthy this is or even by what criterion of health one should judge it. Cinema is irreducibly voyeuristic so we are complicit. If you doubt me consider this: by […]

Slumdog Millionaire – a chicken tikka masala of a film

Tweet Slumdog Millionaire – Danny Boyle Slumdog Millionaire is like a shot of bad tequila – feels great as it goes down then begins to burn at your gut and eventually makes you feel queasy. ‘Slumdog’, for it already has an abbreviated nickname; is a nice, naïve, pacy little romantic fairytale knocked up inexpensively by […]

The Reader – compassion not forgiveness: a moral dilemma

Tweet The Reader – Stephen Daldry This is a morally complex film: which probably explains why it has polarised critical opinion. The Reader demonstrates better than any recent film I can remember, the vital importance of what the viewer brings to the artistic experience – both to the quality of that experience and the value […]

The New World – New? New to whom?

Tweet The New World – Terence Malik Critical response to this movie beggars belief. If he had just made the dullest movie ever (people walked out of my showing), Malik could be forgiven. But this empty, patronising, sentimentalised farrago of historic lies is scandalously ethnocentrically, totally white European. It perpetuates the worst form of a […]

Nights In Rodanthe – the love story – toughest genre in movies

Tweet Nights In Rodanthe – George C Wolfe Women aren’t romantic. That’s why they love romantic men. Women are far too sensible to believe either that love ‘conquers all’, or is “all you need.” It’s genetic and evolutionary: being responsible for bearing, giving birth, protecting, nurturing and raising the children of the next generation, gives […]

The Other Boleyn Girl – two women, two sisters, two outcomes

TweetPicture to follow The Other Boleyn Girl – Justin Chadwick Robert Bolt and Fred Zinneman set the bar high. A Man For All Seasons won 6 Oscars in 1967 – best Picture, Director, Actor (Paul Schofield) Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design. Although set in the same chaotic period of English History, the special angle of interest […]

The Island – give the brain cells a night off – pure Hollywood

Tweet The Island – Director Michael Bay Pure Hollywood. With all that means. Good and bad. A good idea, pared down to the bare essentials; razor-sharp editing, some of the best choreographed action sequences to date; and good performances. May knows how to make a satisfying commercial product. Thankfully this is more The Rock than […]

In Good Company – business as unusual

Tweet In Good Company – Paul Weitz They say many movies nowadays are pitched on a 5 line synopsis. It is beginning to show. In Good Company is a pleasant, undemanding, night at the movies. But it is a slither of an emotional idea whose uncomfortable facile build-up takes longer than its more satisfying, though […]

Pride and Prejudice – Rach 2 or almost

Tweet Pride and Prejudice – Director Joe Wright Not quite Rachmaninov but close. Matthew MacFadayen’s Mr Darcy emerging from the early morning mist to open his passionate heart to Elizabeth Bennett runs neck and neck, or rather chest to chest, with Colin Firth’s wet shirt. It’s the surging sub-Rachmaninov score that perhaps gives it the […]

The Lake House –

Tweet The Lake House – Alejandro Agresti Disbelief is protective. Darwinian almost. A sort of emotionalised doubt. Doubt and disbelief are connected with our desire for evidence, truth. Challenging, testing things out so we get them right and are not misled or deceived. Thus protected. Suspending our disbelief therefore is a gesture of good will. […]