Movies of the Week #14 #15 (2019)

The Kitsch, the Horror

Aquaman (2018): Rarely have I had the chance to dislike a superhero movie as much as I disliked Aquaman. The kitschy costumes, the numerous braindead characters, their undiscerning sobriety, the ridiculous lesser villain, the pathetic main villain, the tired fight scenes, the trigger-happy editing, the run-time, almost everything about the movie irked me. Jason Momoa was the only slight positive in the whole thing, but not even he managed to make the affair tolerable. Big boos from me. 4/10

Murder, He Wrote

Reversal of Fortune (1990): A true-to-life “making a murderer” before murderers were made, starring Glenn Close, Ron Silver and Jeremy Irons. It’s the story of Claus von Bulow, accused of attempting to kill his wife – who lies in a deep coma as the movie begins. Mr. von Bulow is not a likable man, which makes for an exciting story and the perfect role for Irons, who ended up winning the Academy Award for best Actor. It is, indeed, his performance that makes the most out of this movie, an otherwise well executed drama with a good tempo. 8/10

Love and War

Frantz (2016): For Francois Ozon, Frantz is a tame movie – tame in the best ways possible: a quiet and soulful reflection on life and death, on national prejudice and the willingness to believe the unlikely, as long as it creates coherence in our lives. In post WW1 Germany, a Frenchman appears, mourning a fallen soldier, as he tries to contact the man’s family. The movie twists and turns in various introspective ways, thanks to a couple of fleshed out characters and Ozon’s deft touch at creating emotion. A good time, most definitely. 8/10

The Portrait of Oscar Wilde

The Happy Prince (2018): If you’re up for a more depressing drama, do check out Rupert Everett’s lovechild, this retelling of Oscar Wilde’s tragic demise. The events of the movie occur mostly after his two years in prison, as he had been sentenced for sodomy, gross indecency – and being the pompous fool that he was. “Tragic” is, indeed, a word that’s justly used in this case, with Wilde slumming it penniless around Paris, as a couple of his friends try to give him a lifeline, which e refuses to embrace. The movie’s bleakness is also its weak point, as Everett fails to find a balance, relying solely on the larger-than-life persona of Oscar Wilde. It’s a good bet, but not at the best of odds. 7/10

Cheese Louise!

Green Book (2018): It’s amazing how a Hallmark level story managed to propel a banal feel-good movie into the position of a Best Picture winner – not to mention a Best Original Screenplay winner! It’s the performances of Ali and Mortensen that elevate Green Book out of the cushy, boring place that its story corners it into. The movie is such a predictable, melodramatic tale of two characters that feel fantastically artificial for the fact that the whole thing comes out of a true story, that its success baffles me. Alas, it’s not the first, nor with it be the last time that the Oscars make no sense to me.6/10