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Showing posts from January, 2012

The Artist (♦♦♦♦)

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George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is the major star of a movie studio in Hollywood during the silent era. A chance encounter of Valentin with an aspiring actress named Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) catapults her to instant celebrity status. With the advent of talking films, George Valentin becomes obsolete while Miller becomes the next “it” girl.

Meanwhile, the stock market crashes triggering the Great Depression and George Valentin loses his fortune falling on hard times. A new opportunity for Valentin in the movie business is handed down by Miller, who never stopped loving him.

While I don’t think this is a Wow movie, I did enjoy it very much. This is a silent movie from beginning to end; the product is nothing short of amazing. This is a delicate film in which acting, followed by a climatic musical score, plays a central role to deliver the story.

I have the opinion that an actor must be quite good to act in a silent film, because he/she has to convey his/her emotions using mimic. Ma…

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (♦♦♦)

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It’s 1973. There have been rumors for several years that a Soviet mole has infiltrated the highest levels of British intelligence. The department in question has only five members, each one with plenty of hidden skeletons in their closets. George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a retired spy, is given the task to find out who the mole is and expose him.

I didn’t know what to think of this film once it was finished. It left me puzzled. I’m not sure I fully understood the intricacies of the plot; I’ll have to watch the movie with closed caption to appreciate it completely.

There were many twists in the plot and as I said each one of the five spymasters had something to hide, so the audience is left in the dark for the entirety of the movie and we learn only what Smiley has up to that point. I went along for the ride, but at some point I began to question if there was going to be enough time in the end to expose the traitor. Ultimately, the result was neither satisfying nor disappointing.

We Bought a Zoo (♦♦♦)

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Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon), a widower with two children, is tired of living in the city, going to the same places that remind him so much of his late wife. What to do? Buy a farm in the country, of course! The family falls in love with a house that comes with a big responsibility: a zoo.

This is a feel good family movie, with some fun on the side. Sometimes the actors try too hard to be funny, but the result is a fun time at the theater without profanity or violence. The story is predictable but light and entertaining.

CPA’s Top Films of 2011

The following is a compilation of the films I liked best in 2011.

The Company Men (♦♦♦♦): This movie is sad, brutal and realistic all at once. In spite of it, I did like it. I think it was a serious attempt to depict what millions of Americans have lived through this latest recession.

The Adjustment Bureau (♦♦♦♦): I had a great time watching this movie; it is creative, imaginative, sexy and fun. Matt Damon never looked sexier, and he is totally believable as a young and charismatic politician. Emily Blunt is charming and beautiful.

The Beaver (♦♦♦♦½): This movie is a searing, poignant drama, devastatingly real yet uplifting in the end. Mel Gibson delivers a performance that is among his best ever.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (♦♦♦♦): This last installment is as dark as it gets. This fine film is certainly surprising, enlightening and brings the franchise to a well rounded ending. Long live Harry Potter!

Midnight in Paris (♦♦♦♦): This little movie is delightful, delicat…