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Zettel Film Reviews » Hollywood

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Disappointing Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen. Woody was, is and always will be more a Lubitsch than a Bergman

Tweet          Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen Woody Allen is blessed. He has a God-given gift. That gift is to make us laugh: with an articulate wit, incisive irony, and a delicious sense of the personal and metaphysical absurdity of life. Camus in drag. His gift as an artist, is not to […]

The Bling Ring – Sofia Coppola A waste of space movie about a waste of space lifestyle

Tweet     The Bling Ring – Sofia Coppola A rarity: a movie without a single genuine emotion throughout its full 90 minutes. The unspeakable ersatz world of celebrity slavishly but pathetically emulated by a bunch of young people descending like a plague of designer-brand locusts to strip celebrity homes of every famous named product […]

Before Midnight – Linklater, Delpy and Hawke – an exploration of Love for grown-ups

Tweet        Before Midnight – Richard Linklater Simone Weil – “Perhaps love is an attempt to make permanent that which by its very nature is transient” Celine in Before Sunrise: “You know I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us; not you or me, just this […]

Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow. The assassination of a terrorist

Tweet    Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow Lincoln could be described as portraying the unprincipled pursuit of a principled objective, in conflict with the principled pursuit of an unprincipled end. It is a tragic lesson of history that when old men possessed of power talk with passion about principles – young people die. No […]

Lincoln – Steven Spielberg. The past is another place….

Tweet    Lincoln – Steven Spielberg “The past is another country. They do things differently there.” L P Hartley’s now almost proverbial opening lines of The Go-Between constantly resonated in the back of my mind throughout this powerful, accomplished, superbly acted film. With typical authority and characteristically meticulous attention to detail, Spielberg assembles to great […]

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson Technical triumph Dismal Drama

Tweet    Technical Quality Dramatic Quality    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson This visual realisation of a fantasy world of endlessly warring kingdoms is a technical tour-de-force: graphically state of the art with special effects to match. Simon Bright’s Art Direction aided by Andy McLaren and Ben Milson, together with Dan Hennah’s […]

Silver Linings Playbook – phoney, patronising but with great Lawrentian moments

Tweet      Silver Linings Playbook – David O Russell The mesmeric Jennifer Lawrence almost makes this phoney movie work – but not quite. For me at least. Claudia Winkleman on BBC’s now equally unwatchable Twittery Film 2012 loved it; while her mate on the show, Danny ‘Boy’ Leigh hated it. Reluctantly, I’m with Danny […]

Killing Them Softly – Andrew Dominik: The absence of other minds

Tweet        Killing Them Softly – Andrew Dominik One of the deepest and most interesting issues in Philosophy is that of knowledge of other minds. How is it that we can come to know, understand, care, hate, love another person? Indeed the idea of what it is to be a person is an […]

To Rome With Love – Woody Allen

Tweet      To Rome With L0ve – Woody Allen Domestic disagreement on this one: my wife, who liked Midnight In Paris much more than I did was lukewarm about Woody Allen’s latest comedy of manners, mores and the absurdity of love and life. I am the opposite. To Rome With Love for me is […]

Lawless – John Hillcoat. Stupid men doing stupid things in very stupid ways for pretty stupid reasons

Tweet    Lawless – John Hillcoat Stupid men, doing stupid things, in very stupid ways, for pretty stupid reasons. Hillcoat and screenplay writer Nick Cave re-unite after the gratuitously violent The Proposition to delight us with the gratuitously violent Lawless. I wrote this of that first film, much admired by some. “A new genre – […]