Three great films from last year:
Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World
I can’t seem to get tired of watching this one. It’s a human story disguised as an action movie. The battle scenes, impressive as they are, almost get in the way of the good bits: the long nature shots on the Galapagos Islands, the string duets in the Captain’s quarters, the wide-angle shots of that beautiful ship on the vast ocean...
As a Portsmouth lad, it brings to life the romantic world of cannons, grog rations, ship’s biscuits and powder monkeys that formed the basis of virtually every school project with which we were tasked.
Lost in Translation
Surely the best film about the tedium of hotel life ever made. It perfectly captures the feeling of numb displacement and the unreal slowness of time you experience when staying in a ‘transitory’ place (such as a hotel, airport or train station) alone.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
A few years ago I would have thought it very unlikely that a film could star Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet and not be very irritating. But this is an exceptional movie, which manages to be very easy to follow despite its deeply complex structure - with time looping backwards and forwards, and memory and reality becoming mixed up in nearly every scene.
And three rubbish ones:
The Day After Tomorrow
Has great effects, but then which films haven’t these days? Unintentionally hilarious. Has a very cringeworthy bit where a British chap is watching Manchester Utd play and ‘cheering them on’ by shouting ‘kick it, kick it’ at the screen.
More unintentional hilarity. Best bit is when the camera pulls out to reveal the Greek fleet, which must consist of about a billion ships.
For these reasons.