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marinaraujo's Reviews

Displaying Review 1 - 5 of 11 in total

  • Written by marinaraujo on 10.12.2009

    (FRA - 2007)

    Directed by Christophe Honoré and starring Louis Garrel (Ismäel), Ludivine Sagnier (Julie), Clothilde Hesme (Alice), Gregóire Leprince-Ringuet (Erwann) and Chiara Mastroianni (Jeanne), this film is a combination of drama, romance and musical. It won Cabourg Romantic Festival 2007 (Category: Best Director), César Awards 2007 (Best Music Written for a Film: Alex Beaupain), Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2007 (Special Jury Award) and Etóile d'Our 2008 (Best Composer: Alex Beaupain). It was also nominated to other three César Awards in 2007 (Best Sound: Guillaume Le Bras, Valérie Deloof, Agnes Ravez, Thierry Delor; Most Promising Actor: Gregóire Leprince-Ringuet; Most Promising Actress: Clothilde Hesme) and to the Golden Trailer Award 2008 (Best Foreign Romance Trailer).

    Les Chansons d'Amour is divided into three parts (The Departure, The Absence and The Return) and tells the story of three lovers - Ismäel, Julie and Alice - who occasionally share a flat in Paris and suffer of constant jealousy crisis. Ismäel can't handle the fact that Alice and Julie can perfectly have a loving night without him; Julie is always wondering if he really loves her and Alice, known in the trial for her "non-sex" practises, is the bridge between both (as it's sung in the song Je n'Aime que Toi).

    Everything that happens in the film results in a consequence, that in turn results in other consequence and then sucessively. Once they get separated (because of the "departure" named in the first part), Alice meets a guy (Gwendal). In the second part, Ismäel is introduced to Gwendal's brother, Erwann. And then I'll let your imagination try to figure out what happens next... All I can tell is that the "departured" person returns in part three and takes part in one of my favourite song scenes: Pourquoi viens-tu si tard.

    By the way, it's came the time to talk about the soundtrack - a very important part of the film. All the cast sings at least once and the songs are deeply connected to their feelings at the moment. As said before, Alex Beaupain won a César and an Etóile d'Our awards for his compositions. The interpretation of the actors is just fine and the songs are always in my media playlist! My favourite tracks are De Bonnes Raisons, Inventaire, Je n'Aime que Toi, Pourquoi viens-tu si tard, La Distance, Ma Memóire Sale and J'ai Cru Entendre.

    If you enjoy contemporan and unpretentious romances with a bit of drama and sweet songs, you're gonna love this one!

  • Written by marinaraujo on 21.03.2010

    (AUS - 2009)

    Mary and Max is an Australian animated film, written and directed by Adam Elliot, with the voices of Bethany Whitmore (young Mary Daisy Dinkle), Toni Collette (older Mary), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Max Jerry Horovitz) and Eric Bana (Damien). It was nominated to Annecy Internacional Animated Film Festival 2009 (Cathegory: Feature Film Award), Asia Pacific Screen Award 2009 (Best Animated Feature Film), Australian Director's Guide 2009 (Best Director in a Feature Film), Berlin International Film Festival 2009 (Cathegory: Generation 14plus - Best Feature Film) and for the Grand Prize of Ottawa International Animation Festival 2009 and won all of the five prizes.

    Mary is an 8-year-old Australian girl, whose mother is an alcoholic and whose father would rather stay with his stuffed birds than give her some care. Through this not very kind atmosphere (Vera, Mary's mom, likes to "borrow" things - one of the very frequent euphemisms in this film hehe), Mary finds the adress of a 44-year-old man who lives in New York and becomes his pen pal.

    As you may presume, this 44-year-old man is called Max, an atheist guy who doesn't feel comfortable with romantic intimity. At first, they tell each other aspects of their daily life and the letter exchange works like a therapy for Max, who has always had a lonely and complexed life for being a bit over the ideal weight. He helps Mary with his experiences as a kid and she offers him the view of a child for his troubles.

    Surprisingly, there are Mary typical childish questions (and not the complexity of adult problems) that develop paranoia crisis in Max. Their mail connection is broken and they have to continue their lives without each other, which is the biggest challenge they face in the film imo. Once Mary is grown and tries to help him, things get even worse and it's almost impossible to think that there will be a solution for such an impasse.

    Of course I won't spoil the plot and I'll let you find it out when you get the film and watch it. Mary and Max is about life, love, friendship, and about how we can learn things with people who are very different from us. A funny, sweet, gripping and must-see film!

  • Written by marinaraujo on 22.05.2010

    I just realized I quoted a song from the Spice Girls lol It was not intentional :P

    (UK - 1994)

    Directed by Danny Boyle, starring Kerry Fox, Ewan McGregor and Christopher Eccleston as the main characters, Shallow Grave won 11 awards, including UK Empire Awards for Best British Actor (Ewan McGregor), Best British Film and Best British Director.

    The film tells the story of three friends - Juliet (Fox), Alex (McGregor) and David (Eccleston) - who live together in a flat and have a free room for rent. The first minutes of the film show them on a complicated (and very funny) process to select their new flatmate. Questions come from the most commom ("Do you smoke?") to the weirdest you could think of ("If I told you I'm the Antichrist, how would you react?"). Of course 99% of those questions are just for fun and they're not really interested on what people will answer. But then they finally find a very nice guy called Hugo (Keith Allen), a decadent writer, and let him live with them. That's just the begin of their problems.

    When Hugo is found naked and dead at his room, what Alex presumes was a suicide, they discover he was a drug addicted. Juliet tries to call the police, when Alex comes up with his suitcase, filled of money. They understand how much trouble they could get if they told the authorities about the money - and the corpse - and decide to keep them. There's a very nice sequence on this part, where Boyle alternates Hugo's body lying on the bed and the guys are living their "normal" lives - Juliet even says she's getting used to the dead guy on their flat.

    David starts to fell annoyed with the perspective of having a corpse at home and a suitcase filled with money but then again Alex gives the "best" solution: to cut Hugo's arms and legs off (in order to burn them) and destroy his mouth and teeth, and then bury the body. Though he found his idea very smart, Alex doesn't want to do it himself, and they let luck decide who's going to do it.
    That's the second big mistake they made. The one who shreds the body suddenly becomes violent and weird, starts to live in the loft and hides the suitcase.

    Alex is a journalist and, for an irony of the destiny, is selected to investigate the death of Hugo (his grave was just too... shallow and the police finds it) and two other people, who were killed in the loft of the flat - I won't say why and if you want to know you'll need to watch it.

    That makes Alex, David and Juliet feel nervous and decide, each one of them, to run away alone with the money and incriminate the others. One of them is more intellingent, though, and performs one of the most unpredictable film endings I've seen on the last months.

    Shallow Grave is great and doesn't focus on the bloody corpses, but on a very well-built story. If that's what you're looking for - smart suspense with a bit of sarcasm -, do not hesitate to watch it!

  • Written by marinaraujo on 26.09.2010

    (USA / SPA - 2001)

    Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, starring Nicole Kidman (Grace Stewart), Fionnula Flanagan (Mrs Bertha Mills), Christopher Eccleston (Charles Stewart), Alakina Mann (Anne Stewart) and James Bentley (Nicholas Stewart), The Others won prizes such as the 2002 Saturn Award of Best Actress (Nicole Kidman), Best Horror Film and Best Supporting Actress (Fionnula Flanagan) and was nominated to the 2002 Golden Globe of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (genre: Drama).

    Some people are into that kind of horror film which is filled with blood and extreme violence; even though I'm not a huge fan of horror films, I prefer the more psychologic ones - no corpses, no cut bodyparts, just the suggestion of what should be hiding under your bed, behind the curtains, in the darkness... It may explain why I liked this film so much.

    The situation is not unknown by the great audience - a woman (Grace) and her kids (Nicholas and Anne) live in an isolated and huge house, the husband (Charles) left to fight on the World War II - but there's something else about it: the children are photosensitive and may suffer of strong alergic crisis if they see sunlight. No door should be open until the next door is closed, in order to prevent the light of getting in, there are curtains in every room, which must be closed when the kids walk in, and that provides a very gloomy atmosphere to the film.

    The story begins when Grace's old servants suddenly leave the house and she needs to find other people to take care of it. Soon, Mrs Mills, Mr Tuttle and Lydia show up looking for the work and we are introduced to Anne's and Nicholas' disease. At this point we are also able to notice that Grace is not very comfortable with this new situation and doesn't trust her new servants very much - for example, whenever a door is left opened, she instantly blames them. Her daughter says there's a boy called Victor in the house, and that she can also see his mother, his father and a weird old lady. Sometimes we can't know whether she's just teasing her young brother or whether there are really *other* people in the house, but of course the second option prevails. Grace, a devout catholic, explains to her that "dead and living will only meet up in the Final Judgement" and tries to forget it.

    But soon she'll find out it wasn't just her daughter's imagination, or the servants either. Grace starts to hear voices and noises all over the house and strange events, like the disappearence of all the curtains, prove her the 'intruders' are trying to harm her son and her daughter.

    I won't spoil the story with any further details; if you're already used to the genre, you'll probably detect the plot twist very quickly. I already knew it when I watched the film (spoilers are my obsession, I love trying to deduce what happened to produce this or that ending), and that made some apparently subtle sentences sound very clear to me. If that's not your case, if you prefer to enjoy the surprise, just watch it and you'll know what I mean. ;) With The Others, Amenábar shows us that it isn't necessary to spend lots of money on special effects to make a good horror film - the spooky stands mainly in our imagination, in the things we cannot see.

  • Written by marinaraujo on 21.05.2011

    (2011 - USA)

    Directed by Rob Marshall, starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally and Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides is the 4th episode of a franchise started in 2003, which has earned millions of dollars and fans around the world.

    The main plot is quite simple: Angelica, Blackbeard's daughter, is in London pretending to be Jack Sparrow in order to find a crew and get to Fountain of Youth; Jack himself decides to save his first mate Gibbs and get there too. But the urge to make an attractive and appealing film made scriptwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio create an explosion of new subplots that ended up making no sense in many points (even the Fountain itself got lost among them). In previous films, there was a logic connection between one character and what was going to happen to it in the following episode. Here, stuff was simply thrown in front of our eyes without another purpose than just impress.

    Some important losses in the cast - such as Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Jack Davenport, Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook - made the creation of new characters necessary. We have now Blackbeard, the "fiercest pirate of all", uninterestingly played by Ian McShane, with a shallow background story and way-too-forced father & daughter relationship with Angelica (played by Penelope Cruz), Sparrow's long time affair. There's also a new romantic couple created to replace Elizabeth Swan and William Turner. There wasn't chemistry between the actors and I ended up not giving a damn about what would happen to them, that's how cheesy they were.

    Unfortunately, the whole spirit of the series was missed - but not the elements that have made it famous. Actually, those elements were just copied and taken to exhaustion, so what we see is an extension and repetition of fight scenes, running scenes and jokes, which are no longer funny and just seem fake and forced. Even the soundtrack isn't a surprise anymore, repeating and remixing hits from the other episodes. It might be enough for the great audience, but compared to the other films, specially The Curse of the Black Pearl, On Stranger Tides was just ridiculous.

    It's clear to me that Penelope Cruz was just put there for her name and her face, because her character was annoying and irrelevant in most of the time - a total waste of her talent. Johnny Depp's performance as Sparrow is still fresh and uncompromised, but it's getting wasted and he simply can't carry a film on his shoulders alone. Specially when the film is so confusing, doesn't have a convincing plot and any relation with previous films (only the fact that the map to Fountain of Youth was got in At World's End).

    It's sad to see that such a promising series ended up this way (if we can say it is in fact finished). Probably, companies will explore Johnny and the franchise until he decides to stop, and I really hope he'll do it soon, before they (pardon the swearword) fuck things up even more -- or worse, make new episodes without Jack Sparrow, who is, still, the only factor worth seeing in this whole mess.

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