Movies of the Week #23 (2018)

MoTW23

Forever coeds

  • Et si on vivait tous ensemble (2011): I’ve always been a proponent of this – in an ideal life, you would live in a house or, let’s say, a residential complex with all your friends. It’s the idea behind All Together (English title), as six elderly friends in their 70s decide to move in together, after one of them suffers a cardiac accident. Mildly evocative of the actual 1970s, as it becomes apparent later on, the movie is a kind tale that often feels chopped together. The strong global cast helps it along, but it never really got me going. I’m not even sure what it could have done better. 6/10

When time stands still

  • Before I Fall (2017): One of my fetishistic micro-genres, the ‘groundhog day rinse’, rears it’s head once more! After the underwhelming and unlikable Happy Death Day (2017)there was little hope left in me that the template can yield new, even moderately exciting experiences. Which is why I ignored Before I Fall for a long time. It was both a wise choice and a foolish one, as the movie does follow suit for too long to be truly entertaining, but when it does let go, it feels true to itself – especially in the ending it chooses. Even if the schmaltzier moments might irk you, there’s a guarantee that you’ll see at least two very appealing houses, where the thing was shot. For once, though, I really feel the movie was let down by opting for voice-over narration, and that it would have been the better without it. So there it is, a recommendation! 7/10

The real truth

  • The Tale (2018): Wow. Just wow. I don’t usually appreciate movies about abuse at all (well, you know what I mean), but The Tale approaches this semi-autobiographical story in an original, inspiring manner that I’ve never seen before. When our lead is faced with letters from her youth, her perception of how she grew up and the people she met along the way take a big hit. The way in which Jennifer sets out to rediscover the truth and cope with it is presented with so much tact and care, both narratively and cinematically, that I couldn’t help being enthralled with it. Director Jennifer Fox, upon whose experiences the movie is (loosely?) based, captures the evanescence of youth with great flair, while finding a perfectly suitable contrast to make it stand out against without becoming more grotesque than it is. The Tale proves to be one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, without a doubt. 9/10

When the boys come into town

  • The Bar (2017): It took me a while to remember where I had heard of director Alex de la Iglesia. Then, it hit me – that dreadful Messi documentary. There’s this sense that de la Iglesia has a different strong suit, which is sometimes apparent in The Bar (English title). When a mixed group of people becomes trapped in a cheap bar, spirits flare up quickly, especially once panic sets in – apparently, a sharpshooter is killing everyone exiting the place. I won’t spoil the twist, even if it’s not a great one. The movie felt dynamic for about an hour, in spite of its abhorrent characters, but as these trickled down, the last twenty minutes quickly ‘peaked’ towards the ultra-tedious. Yeah, so not quite great in the end. 5/10

Angry just isn’t the way to go

  • 12 Angry Men (1957): Out of competition, of course, as I’ve seen it several times by now. It’s one of those truly timeless movies about human nature, constructed with a clinical understanding of what drives us to behave as we do. More than that, Lumet’s classic is entertainment at its best, with variations on the theme still showing up periodically. If you haven’t seen it, just do it, and if you’re really allergic to black and white, then watch the remake, which is still pretty darn good. But the original is the original. 9/10