Sunday, March 30, 2008

Double Vision

After my birthday bash there was nothing better for a hangover than a double delight of cinematic bliss. I love the cinema for me it goes back to my childhood when my Mum couldn’t really afford tickets to the cinema and they used to let you enter a raffle for free tickets and me and Muffintop would win them. If you ever want a good story on me at the movies then ask her about our trip to see Mac and Me. I digress.

I have been getting more and more into the independent and less blockbuster movies and seeing more and more art and foreign films. Recently there has been ‘No Country for Old Men’, ‘Lust Caution’, ‘The Kite Runner’ and 'Juno' etc. I haven’t even contemplated seeing The Spiderwick Chronicles which I would one have been out to see like a shot. I am not saying I am becoming a snob or some movie buff, just giving you the background. I am going to discuss the films backwards.

The last film we saw (with hotdogs – I am having cravings for food I wouldn’t touch lately, maybe am up the duff) was ‘The Orphanage’ a Spanish horror movie. Mr B hates horror movies but speaking fluent Spanish the movie was sold. I have not jumped in a film like I did in this one in ages. The story is set around Laura (the brilliant Belen Rueda) who buys the old Orphanage that she was brought up in with her husband and son. Once she does she awakens old memories and history and strange stuff starts to happen. Ominous. The film is being compared to The Others and while it has the acting and great story (the aren’t the same story) they are actually nothing alike. Belen is an amazing actress and by the end you really care what is going to happen (Mr B got a little lost) and it really, really makes you jump. Really good escapist horror.

The first film we saw was a last minute choice after seeing the trailer on Youtube. ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ is possibly my favourite movie of the year; ‘Juno’ could be joint or second, undecided still. It tells the story of Lars whose mother died during childbirth and in his adulthood he gets the mental illness ‘delusion’. He has a problem with people touching him and has never had a girlfriend, so he orders one on the internet, a plastic one called Bianca. The film is about how he, his family, friends and a whole town react to this.

This film is laugh aloud funny, heartbreakingly sad and genuinely touching with a brilliant storyline. The acting is fantastic. Ryan Gosling plays the mentally unwell Lars with depth, compassion and honesty. Paul Schneider is brilliant as the brother who firstly is baffled and then goes through a wonderful set of emotions. However for me British actress Emily Mortimer was wonderful as Lars’s loving and just wonderfully supportive sister in law. The other people who deserve credit for such an amazing movie are Kelli Garner who is the fabulously geeky and sweet ‘Margo’ and Patricia Clarkson who plays the brilliant psychologist ‘Dr. Dagmar’. There are also some brilliant small roles that make the movie in the shapes of the office receptionist and elderly ladies of the village. This is a movie that will make you laugh cry and feel the cinema with that warm glow. A brilliant, brilliant movie.

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