«Latin America» by the brothers Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo
In a land without identity, made up of wide expanses of nothing and small squalid bars destined to swallow the patrons like black holes, Elio Germano moves apparently slashing his life. The apparent arcadia in which existence passed breaks one day, when the protagonist of “Latin America”, the new film by Fabio and Damiano D’Innocenzo, descends into the abyss of the cellar, breaking the surface of the ice and making it come out the dormant monsters. In the dynamics of the below and above, of the inside and out, the cellar becomes the magnet of his thoughts, the force capable of attracting every breath that is thus stolen from the family and from himself. Not being able to reveal much about the progress of the story, it can however be said that the figures around him are beginning to rarefy and his daughters and wife, who previously made up an idyllic picture, now seem to be the revival of the virgins destined to disappear from “Pic nic at Hanging Rock ”By Peter Weir: ethereal ghosts that he no longer grasps and that begin to escape them. The cobweb woven by D’Innocenzo harnesses Germano from the first scene to the last, in a constant approach of the camera to the protagonist, which borders on vivisection or observation under the microscope. What is lost, however, in a cinema admittedly indebted to the aesthetics of reversal, is the screenplay, which does not preserve the mystery of the character promised at the beginning. And so he runs the risk of confining the film to complacency and too much ambition, which stifle inspiration.
Rating: 5.5. Because the wait was great and the disappointment was proportionate.
George Clooney’s “The Bar of Great Expectations”
JR grows up chasing the voice of his father who occasionally comes out of the radio and clinging to the “high hopes” that his mother has for this only child who dreams at Yale and then a lawyer. Life leads them to return to the house of their mother’s family, where the patriarch is the great Christopher Lloyd, a bewildered and ramshackle but definitely loved grandfather and where the star of Uncle Charlie shines, manager of the Dickens bar who opens a closet full of books and orders him to read them all before returning to talk to him. The climb of this child towards professional success (and love disaster), marked by the phrase: “your mother wants you to be happy, none of us know how”, is a string of “déjà vu”. Here we find in sequence the toxic tables of “At home for the holidays” by Jodie Foster, the bowling of the “Big Lebowski” of the Coen brothers (but we are so far away …), the copious tears of “Desire for tenderness” and “Flowers of steel ”and luckily the scenes at the“ Times ”are short. If in films like “The Ides of March” and in the very classic “Good night, and good luck”, Clooney practiced the lesson of the masters he had attended with discreet results, in this, the vein seems to have definitely run out and what comes staged is the holy card of the American dream version of the great writer and journalist, cut and tailored by JR Mohringer, author of the autobiography from which the film is based, future biographer of Harry and Meghan and one of the producers. The result is a soulless product, with a loffio finish and a widespread “friends-only club” complacency that closely resembles the image Clooney has carved out of himself over the years.
Rating: 5.5. From the first scene the question that arises spontaneously is: “But where have I already seen it?”.
“True mothers” by Naomi Kawase
In the muddy territory in which Hirokazu Kore’eda’s “Father and son” had already moved intensely, “True mothers” explores being parents all on the side of being mothers. Mothers who cannot be and mothers who give up being one, deliberately or forced. There is a lot of Japan of conventions and constraints in this film by Naomi Kawase, which however, telling the story of a child who arrived in the arms of a mother and father who could never be, ends up getting lost in the forest of symbols and dream images: the sea, the water, the safe haven for mothers-girls, the dazzling lights of a new day, the descent into hell, the fall. The story of a girl who could not be a mother who for a few moments lived through flash-backs and memories, transfigurations of emotions first undergone and then slowly understood. But the great opportunity to tell such profound feelings is lost in an aesthetic complacency that harnesses emotions by unraveling the links of history. And the result is a film that is too long and pretends to tell everything by not giving up on the idea that it is the unspoken that makes you lose sleep in stories like this.
Rating: 5.5. The first half hour holds up, then it all gets lost in a bit stagnant water.
«Demon slayer – The movie: The Mugen train» by Haruo Sotozaki
“The soul of human beings never changes: fragile, weak, delicate. It is their spirit ”. For a good half hour of this cartoon taken from the manga by Koyoharu Gotoge, world-famous sales champion, the viewer enters the dreams of the protagonists, demon-killing warriors who try to save a train with two hundred passengers on board from a demon who he wants to eat them all, immobilizing them in a sleep full of sweet dreams that paralyze them. There are above all familiar visions, sweetness and emotions cut like a sword from the life that took away the mother and brothers of Tanjiro, the warrior with the paper earrings, and there is the father of Rengoku Kyojuro, the powerful swordsman who has the degree of “Pillar of Flames”, made hard and lifeless by the premature death of the mother, carried away still young by evil. Standing on the train that pierces the horizon, the demon initially has human features, albeit defaced by a hand with an eye between the thumb and forefinger. But when everything is corrupted, even the film takes the usual turn of these products: battles, pierced bodies, gushing blood, monsters that take over and merge with the train, nightmares of the worst kind. Undoubtedly we are facing a product for teenagers who love manga. But it is not certain that it is enough to make it appreciate even by those who spend their days leafing through the books from the end. The Japanese aesthetics, the samurai ethics, even the look of the young protagonists, certainly have profiles of interest, but everything gets lost in the blood and almost immediately loses its intensity.
Rating: 5. The beauty of the opening scenes is overwhelmed by liters of blood and guts that disturb the vision.
«Everything went well» by François Ozon
How important is our desire for parents to be eternal and to guide us forever in our life? Everything appears unrealistic if, after a stroke, your father asks you not to save him at all costs, but to accompany him to a dignified death. It is the story of Emmanuelle, played by Sophie Marceaux, who is called to the bedside of her father, an irreverent André Dussolier, who lies almost dead in a hospital bed. She struggles to eat, struggles to recognize her daughters, even if, slowly, the recovery seems to appear. But André has already decided. It is death he wants. And the protests of Emmanuelle and her sister can be worthless. Ozon is always very careful to dose emotions and signs of the body. Tears are continually kept at bay, with a maniacal control of the staging, which is never given up on the impetus, but is subject to the director’s iron logic. But if this goes well in films like “Under the sand”, sewn on Charlotte Rampling’s icy posture, here you risk being trapped in a hospital bed, without the reactions being able to explode. And there is no point even filling the film with fetish actors – Marceux symbol of his adolescence, Dussolier and Rampling witnesses of a cinema that no longer exists, Hanna Schygulla actress of the beloved Fassbinder – because, like André, the film dies slowly, despite some jerks of pride.
Rating: 5.5. Because Ozon’s films are always a journey. But this time it leads nowhere.
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January 14, 2022 (change January 14, 2022 | 18:06)
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