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Zettel Film Reviews » 4 stars

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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 Hunt – Thomas Vinterberg. Flipside to the Jimmy Savile saga.

Tweet      The Hunt – Thomas Vinterber This sensitive, insightful Danish film is the flipside to the Jimmy Savile saga. A timely warning that the undoubted truth that we should always listen to children, does not, cannot, mean that we must always take everything they say at face value. What this beautifully acted, subtly […]

The Bourne Legacy – Tony Gilroy Keep taking the little blue, and green pills

Tweet      The Bourne Legacy – Tony Gilroy Fast, furious and slick. Gilroy’s extends the Bourne franchise neatly with enough narrative linkage to the absent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) and the ending of The Bourne Ultimatum to carry credibility and engage us in the exploits of Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) number 5 operative in […]

Marley – Kevin Mcdonald: Purity of heart is to will one thing – Kierkegaard

Tweet      Marley – Kevin Mcdonald Kierkegaard wrote: “Purity of heart is to will one thing.” Again: “Be that self one truly is.” And: “During the first period of a man’s life the greatest danger is not to take the risk.” Having fathered 11 children from 7 different women Robert Nesta Marley, in his […]

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – John Madden. A masterclass in film-acting

Tweet      The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – JohnMadden If I were an artist I would want to paint her; I wish I were a better poet that she might read one of my poems; and if my life-long ambition, which will not now be fulfilled, to Direct a movie came true – I […]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Stephen Daldry Slated because not understood

Tweet      Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Stephen Daldry   Danny Leigh on Film 2012 about 11 year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn), central character of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (ELIC): “gratingly precocious..hyper-verbal….bag of neuroses….a monster…etc”. Philip French (Guardian) on the same film: “reveals itself as a hollow, calculated, manipulative film. It uses the events of 9/11 […]

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – David Fincher’s skill beats the challenge of form

Tweet    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – David Fincher Like buses, you wait for ages for a film with a charismatic, independent, strong female character: then two come along at once: first Sarah Lund (Sofie Gråbøl in The Killing I & II), and Lisbeth Salander (First Noomi Rapace, now Rooney Mara) in The Girl […]

Definitely Maybe – A RomCom both funny and romantic

Tweet        Definetely Maybe – Adam Brooks I love feel-good movies: if they don’t insult my intelligence – and this one doesn’t. If they persuade me to believe in the characters and the emotions they have for each other – and this one does. If the feeling good has a little bit of […]

The Journey of Life, Creation, Metaphysics, Mystery – Malik’s vision

Tweet            The Tree Of Life – Terence Malik “Why should I be good?” asks pre-pubescent Jack O’Brien (Hunter McCracken), one of three brothers whose childhood doubts and fears form the central narrative of this extraordinary film. In voiceover at the beginning of the movie his long-suffering, stoical mother Malik doesn’t […]