Monday, March 26, 2012

Movies I Watched Last Week 5

Mansfield Park (1999)
Mansfield Park (1999, Rating: PG-13, Director: Patricia Rozema) (My Rating: 4/5) Based on the Jane Austen novel, Mansfield Park is about a young girl named Fanny (Frances O'Connor) who goes to live with rich relatives in 1800's England. This movie has a very interesting story and great acting by Frances O'Connor, and by Jonny Lee Miller, who plays Fanny's friend, Edmund (The only other movie I had seen him in was Trainspotting, playing Sick Boy, so I was really impressed by his performance in this movie).

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011, Rating: R, Director: Tomas Alfredson) (My Rating: 2/5) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is about a retired British spy in the 1960's named George Smiley (Gary Oldman), who is asked to help find a mole in the organization. I had a really hard time following the plot of this movie. Halfway through, when I thought I knew what was going on, a lot of things changed, and I got really confused.
I still couldn't totally understand the story when it ended. I was underwhelemed by Gary Oldman's performance. I didn't think there was anything special about it. He is one of my favorite actors, but I was really surprised that this was the first movie he was nominated for Best Actor for. In my opinion, he should have been nominated for his performances in Sid & Nancy and The Contender, instead.

The Piano

The Piano (1993, Rating:R, Director: Jane Campion) (My Rating: 4/5) The Piano is about a mute woman named Ada (Holly Hunter) who goes to Australia with her daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin), to meet her new husband from an arranged marriage. This movie was a bit slow-paced, but it had an interesting story, and great performances by Anna Paquin (who won Best Supporting Actress), and especially by Holly Hunter (who won best Actress), in the best performance I've seen by her.

Queen Christina

Queen Christina (1933, Rating: PG, Director: Rouben Mamoulian) (My Rating: 3.5/5) This movie is based on the life of Queen Christina, the queen of Sweden in the 17th century. Christina (Greta Garbo) has been Queen her entire life, and one day escapes, disguised as a boy. She meets a Spanish man named Antonio (John Gilbert) who works for the king of Spain, and they fall in love. Queen Christina has a very good story, and a great performance by Greta Garbo.

It's Complicated (2009, Rating: R, Director: Nancy Meyers) (My Rating: 3.5/5) It's Complicated is about a lonely divorced woman named Jane (Meryl Streep), who starts having an affair with her remarried ex-husband, Jake (Alec Baldwin). At the same time, she starts dating a nice architect named Adam (Steve Martin). This movie was a lot better than I thought it would be. It was very funny, but it also had some nice dramatic moments that felt realistic. Meryl Streep's great performance also made the story seem a bit more believable.

Incendes (2010, Rating: R, Director: Denis Villeneuve) (My Rating: 4/5) I finally got around to watching Incindes. I had been wanting to watch it for a while, since it was from Canada, and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film last year. Incendies is about a brother and sister from Canada who go to the Middle East to their mother's last wishes after she dies. When they get there, they start to discover secrets about her past. This movie had a compelling story and wonderful acting by Lubna Azabal, who played Nawal, the mother. I was very surprised that Incendies did not win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Dancer in the Dark

Dancer In The Dark (2000, Rating: R, Director: Lars Von Trier) (My Rating: 5/5) I had been hearing about this movie, and Bjork's performance in it, for a long time, but I finally decided to watch it on YouTube three days ago. I wasn't sure about watching the movie because I had heard about how sad it was, but a good movie critic named William McAbee (, whose blog ( I follow, persueded me to try it out. I'm really glad I watched it. Dancer In The Dark is set in the 1960's, and is about a Czchoslovakian immigrant named Selma (Bjork) who lives in a small town in America with her young son. Selma is going blind, a hereditary condition, and is trying to save enough money for an operation that will stop her son from going blind, also. The movie is a musical, but definitely not a conventional one. The movie is shot with a digital camera, and the way the musical sequences are presented are also unique. Selma loves Hollywood musicals, and whenever things go wrong in her life, she imagines herself singing and dancing in musical numbers. Bjork gave a phenomenal performance, and it is one of the best performances I've ever seen. This movie is very sad, but it is also an unforgettable experience, and definitely one worth watching.

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