Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My 125 Favorite Movies (Part VI: #26-30)

26. Juno, Directed by Jason Reitman
Starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, & J.K.Simmons
Make fun of it all you want. Even one of my favorite films, "God Bless America" did it. I love Ellen Page, and I love Juno. But for every person who calls it 'over-rated' and 'hipster,' there are ten more who fall in love with Page's self-confident but somehow fragile Juno and the world that Diablo Cody is trying to create. There's a lot of complexity and warmth here, but people refuse to see it behind the wise-cracking and crackling dialogue. And Ellen Page makes the movie.
Favorite Character- Juno

27. Ben X, Directed by Nic Balthazar
Starring Greg Timmermans, Laura Verlinden, & Marijke Pinoy
Okay, this movie takes the premise a step too far, and the ending is downright ridiculous. But as a portrayal of Asperger's, it is groundbreaking. Did you ever wish there was something better out there than the silly hamming of Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell in "Mozart & the Whale," who act like people making fun of people with Asperger's more than Aspergians themselves? Now there is. Greg Timmermans, and Nic Balthazar, get it right. 
Favorite Character- Ben

28. Paperhouse, Directed by Bernard Rose
Starring Charlotte Burke, Elliot Spears, & Ben Cross
Wow. This movie rocks.  And few Americans will ever watch it, because there is no f'ing Region 1 release! Anyway, "Paperhouse" is trippy, nuanced psychological horror suited for people who don't like blood 'n guts in their scary movies. Anna (Charlotte Burke)'s unspoken issues with her seemingly harmless but alcoholic dad come up in her subconscious during a life-threatening fever, and that's when things get... interesting. Worth buying on DVD if you have a DVD player that will play it.
Favorite Character- Anna

29. The Others, Directed by Alejandro Amenabar
Starring Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, & Christopher Eccleston
Creepy, bloodless Gothic chiller stars Nicole Kidman as a staunchly religious woman trying to protect her two children, who have a allergy to sunlight and cannot leave the house, from an unseen intruder. The two child actors give Kidman a run for her money; the film itself is eerie and exceptionally well shot. Director Alejandro Amenabar's fine work was overlooked to some extent when the mega-success "The Sixth Sense" came out, but deserves appreciation of it's own.
Favorite Character- Nicholas

30. Kill List, Directed by Ben Wheatley
Starring Neil Maskall, Michael Smiley, & Myanna Burring
Confession: I had no idea what the 2nd half was about. Newsflash: I loved it anyway. Hitman drama with a twist sports good performances by little-known British actors and plenty of ultra-violence. And the end may have been random, but it fucking scared me anyway.
Favorite Character- Gal

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