With the nominations for the Academy Awards 2012 coming up in January 2012, it is a convenient time to review and comment on the Academy Awards 2011. Here, the focus will be on two categories: “Best Picture” and “Best Actress in a Leading Role”.
David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’ (2011) is coming to the UK’s cinemas in February 2012, giving a good pretext to review one of the director’s most violent, action-driven and thought-provoking films – ‘A History of Violence’. Cronenberg excels himself in this film, blending a complex personality study and raw violence to a very satisfying result.
The film’s plot is straightforward. Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) is an ordinary, law-abiding family man who runs his own diner in a small town in the US. His settled daily routine changes when he involuntarily becomes a local community hero after protecting his employees from some vicious gun men. From then on, his family is stalked by members of an Irish-American mob who are convinced that Tom Stall is Joey Cusack, a man from Philadelphia with a violent past. His wife Eddie (Maria Bello), his son Jack (Ashton Holmes) and his young daughter all feel overwhelmed by the changes. After a shooting incident, whereby Tom kills one of the mob guys, Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris), Tom finally confesses that he was Joey in the past, but has left that life for good. Later, Tom receives a call from his brother Richie Cusack (William Hurt) telling him to come to Philadelphia to see him. Tom does just this, and after a confrontation with his brother, kills him. The ending, depicting Tom coming home from Philadelphia to find his family at a dinner table, is very thought-provoking because, although his children are seemingly prepared to forgive him, it is unclear whether his wife is capable of accepting him into her life again.
‘Melancholia’ will either be loved or hated. There is no “in-between”. The film is certain to awaken something in the viewer, be it some inexplicable feelings of unease or awe. However, given that this film is directed by no other than Lars Von Trier (a Danish director known for its controversial films, e.g. ‘Antichrist’ (2009)) and who once said that “a film should be like a rock in the shoe”, nothing less is expected.
My name is Diana, and I am a film critic with a background in law and languages based in London, UK, reviewing films since 2011. Films and film-viewing have always been a big part of my life. I watched my very first movies/animations (for example, FernGully: The Last Rainforest) as a small child in Russia in the very early 1990s (that was on a VHS tape), and my passion for films and moving imagery (yes, the seventh art) has never ceased (and, I hope, never will). I believe in the (transformative) power of cinema, in its diversity and in its capability to change lives and the world. Cinema is not only entertaining, it is important, introducing you to different points of view, history, cultures and social themes, inspiring you, as well as capable of transforming you mentally and emotionally.
My favourite film directors include Andrei Tarkovsky (Solaris), Yasujirō Ozu (Tokyo Story), Robert Bresson (Pickpocket), Jean Renoir (The Rules of the Game), Alfred Hitchcock (The Birds), David Lynch (Mulholland Drive), Martin Scorsese (Silence) and David Cronenberg (Dead Ringers), among many others, and my favourite film is The English Patient  by the late Anthony Minghella. Foreign-language cinema and directors have always had a special place in my heart, and I am particularly interested in old French, Italian and Japanese cinema, as well as currently especially enjoying the works of Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Hirokazu Koreeda (The Third Murder) and Bong Joon-ho (Parasite).
The aim of this blog is to bring attention to films from different genres and to foster discussions around various topics related to film. I also post trailers, movie trivia and in-depth film articles, as well as occasionally cover film festivals and participate in movie-related blogathons. I am particularly interested in film vs. book analytical comparisons and in possible plagiarism/copyright claims related to films. I believe that one of the distinguishable features of my blog is that I provide in-depth reviews on all kinds of films (old and new, English and foreign-language, with no genre left forgotten: drama, science-fiction, period drama, thriller/crime films, horror, comedy and animation are all covered by me); see the index of all my film reviews here. Feel free to follow me or/and leave a comment so we can discuss films together. And, most importantly, just enjoy!
I do not own any photographic content or images, video or audio-visual content used by me on this website. Care was taken to use only the photos/images which are freely available on the internet (for the purposes of education/review/discussion). Where relevant, sources used are provided and credited.