It has been a long time since last time I wrote (and yes, I know tomorrow it’s actually Monday), but that’s because I had unexpected holidays which in any case is always good.This last week I watched three movies but none of them left a super deep impression on me. They were interesting though, so I still can say I enjoyed the time. Have you watched any interesting film lately? Was it interesting or a complete rubish? I’d be more than glead to read someone’s else opinion, so please, don’t be shy…
1. The Secret World of Arrietty, by Hiromasa Yonebayashi (2010)
I keep going with Japanese films. It’s a good chance to practice my Japanese, I love animation and since Hayao Miyazaki said (let’s hope it’s not true) he had done his last fiml… I needed something more.
This film hasn’t disappointed me. The plot is so simple it may seem a bit predictable, so are the majority of the characters. However, it’s possible to glimpse quite interesting deepness in the main ones (Arrietty and Shō). In general, all the atmosphere of this movie has something special. It reminded me when I was a little child and my mother told me stories about Peter The Rabbit. Everything about the little cottage where Peter used to do his incursions was magical. The little pretty furniture that was inside the house, the lovely garden, the animals wondering around… even the evil Mr. McGregor was endearing in a way. The same happens with this film in which the old Western mansion and its surroundings are pure art.
I have also liked the character of Arrietty.
She is impulsive but kind, curious but upright, I whish I would have been like her when I was only fourteen! On the other hand, Shō is very similar as both of them are survivals. Arrietty has to keep herself safe from humans and the world in general, and Shō has also to fight some serious problems on his own. In the middle of dispair and confusion they meet each other giving not only unvaluable help but also hope for each other’s existance.
In the end it’s a film children and adults can enjoy. And the thing I liked the most (I was keeping this for the end) it’s its wonderful soundtrack. Since the very first scene I was very surprised as the music had some celtic resonances.
It made me even doubt about the place where it all happened (Tokyo, I have already checked). I mean, Celtic music in Tokyo? Strange but wonderful anyway. The composer (and singer of the song I liked most) is the Breton girl Cécile Corbel. She’s apparently a fan of Ghibli films and had sent to the Studio some of her works until she was finally asked to do the soundtrack for this story. What can I say? I love the mix and I think she’s given an inch of Breton enchant to beautify the film.
Sunshine on Leith, by Dexter Fletcher (2013)
Well, this is the movie (and the so-called scene is one of the best). For a person who feels so nostalgic about Edinburgh (and Scotland in general) as I do lately this movie is perfect. It shows all the special locations of this thrilling city: Portrait Gallery, alleways, pubs, the bridges… It’s a musical and usually I don’t like musicals (with some important exceptions). But these songs are okay, some of the old hits (forgive me but I’m still very young) and they really fit into the whole story.
The plot. Well, I didn’t like it specially. It’s (maybe) too foreseeable. The typical love-story between three different couples: and old marriage, a couple of a young girl and boy who are thinking about marriage and another young couple who have just met. Just the simple never-ending story although somehow it drives me crazy when they try to simplify love (and emotions in general) that much. Like everyday we wander around the city or whatever we’re meeting our soul mate and like every good person deserves a happy ending and so. The characters could have been so much interesting, but rather than go deeper into their own feelings, perspectives and so the director prefers to make them sing… That’s respectable as the most enjoyable parts of this story are when they’re singing, which is okay but also tells you about the quality of the plot itself. I’m pretty sure than without the music I’d thought the whole film to be rubbish.
And it’s actually a pity because it could have been such a good story. It has interesting characters (the two nurses and the two soldiers, for example) but the movie goes through all the topics (war, friendship, love, the importance of following our own path in life) too lightly.
And one funny thing about it, after the film there were these “That’s how we made it” scenes in the final credits… And some of them were from scenes that didn’t appear at all in the movie! What makes me think that maybe the original film was much longer (the one I watched was just one hour and a half). Maybe that way would have been far more good… but I’ll never know.
The Best Offer by Giuseppe Tornatore (2013)
I’d already watched this film last summer but it was on the train when I travelled last Sunday so I watched again anyway because I liked it. The thing is this story is much better when you watch it the first time without knowing anything about the characters or the plot, although when you wacth it for a second or third time you realise some interesting things as well.
I think the most impressive part in it it’s the work of the main actor, Geoffrey Rush. He plays a very interesting character: and old and very wealthy auctioneer who falls in an evil tramp. Well, he (Spoiler!) was not precisely a good person in the first place, because he was a confidence man. But in the end he felt terribly lonely (as all humans do more or less, I do, sometimes) so he was both a wicked haunter but also an easy prey. I like the way he evolves in the whole plot because it reminds me one important thing about humanity: in the end we all want to be loved back (and love).
Other thing I always enjoy in it is pure and simple art. I studied Art History myself and I must confess I can be hours looking at pictures in the museums when they fascinate me. In this film we see some pieces: mostly portraits of women (the main character has a huge collection of them. He calls them “his dear ones” which I think is a bit odd but fits the character completely). And we also have old houses, ancient forniture, statues… I loved the places and the atmosphere as I suppose I wouldn’t mind to live in the same house as Claire Ibbeston (the girl in this film) although (Spoiler again!) not closed in one little room forever, of course. I think it could be so inspiring.
Then I enjoyed watching Jim Strugges. I don’t know why I like him, I think he’s handsome in some subjective way. He looks like a friendly trusting guy (which is actually very good for his role in this film). Donald Sutherland also appears in the story and his role is also very good (as it was supposed to be because this is a story of four main characters).
In the end I guessed the whole misterious thing (but when it was too evident, so I suppose they kept me tricked the first one hour and a half, which is not bad). However, the person whom I watched the film with discovered the tramp almost in the beginning and she didn’t like it that much because of it. Well, I’m not Hercules Poirot, I might have been too busy observing the art pieces in the film (or Jim Strugges). And, very important, it has an old automaton in it. Automata can make any film weird and misterious, I loved them. (Have you visited the Automata’s Museum in Barcelona? It’s super cool and one of the biggest in Europe, I believe.)