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Tel Aviv on Fire (2018)
This is an attempt to show that Israelis, especially in the armed forces, have their faults, and their dose of stupidity and vanity. In contrast, the cool-headed Palestinian is sooooo cool.
The humor here is lost on me and I slept through much of the debilitating dialogue.
Copie conforme (2010)
Euro intellectual recession-time story? I recommend Copie Conforme because of and in spite of the difficulty in watching it. The difficulty resides in the multiple layers involved in the relationship of the two protagonists, not to speak of the three languages that they both speak in various circumstances. The more the the action evolves, the less we seem to understand the real nature of their relationship. What we do know is that those two have a problem of communication. It is this struggle of seduction/rejection, with setbacks and all that make it worth watching. Atmosphere and the man-woman tension is what keeps it going. The filming is impeccable, with lovely scenes of Tuscany, excellent camera, and the great work on surrounding noises, which I believe replaces any music at all. The acting is also very fine, with Binoche deservedly getting a major Cannes Film Festival award.
The Golden Compass (2007)
Feast for the eyes and ears
What a nice DVD surprise on my new HD large-screen TV. As I can't stand the Harry Potter series (too busy and crammed), this was a real treat. The special effects here enhance the movie instead of overwhelming it. The screenplay is complex enough to make it a thriller - only the ending is a bit up in the air, perhaps leaving room for a sequel. Well, just take in the excellent acting and revel in this feast for the eyes: the shiny mechanisms and old-fashioned machines lumbering along and floating in the air, and the great colors! The animals are perfect too. Just marvelous. Upbeat all over, a wonderful dream from beginning to end. As I do not care so much for Nicole Kidman, I found her OK in the role of the lady villain.
Sorry to interrupt the trend of the 3 enthusiasts preceding me. As is so often the case, the actors here save the movie from total ridicule. The director and camera-work also comes out pretty well. The rub is the screenplay, which is so French (a high testosterone level always the key)and so predictable. In Lady Chatterley, the husband was at least handicapped. Here, the husband is no less emotionally handicapped than his wife. As for the lover, well, please, I would expect something a bit more saucy than this ruddy and utterly unsavory Catalonian mason. Scott-Thomas does her best, and Attal is pretty convincing, but I guess they are paid to slog through this nondescript failure.