Sunday, July 15, 2007


Have I seen films in the last two weeks? With 42 hours spent on Emirates planes which have a huge selection of entertainment (doubled since I travelled in different months) I have seen lots of films, four old episodes of 'Frasier', played endless solitaire and other computer games....

'Queen' - I can understand now why Helen Mirren got that Oscar. She is brilliant at faces! It was weird watching that film and remembering that time, almost 10 years ago. Does not help if a steward asks you if you want coffee just as the film hits a particularly emotional moment....

'Blades of Gold' - story about two competing ice skaters who as a result of a punch-up are banned from solo competitions, and end up entering the pairs competition - both are men. The film involves shenanigans from another competing couple, in good old American ice skating style. Would not leave the house to watch it, but on a plane it's ok.

'My best friend' - did not watch this in the plane, but on the ground in Adelaide. It's a French film about an arts dealer (Daniel Auteuil) who realises he does not have any friends, and so recruits a taxi driver to help him with personal intercourse (maybe he has Asperger's?). It's a very pleasant, funny film and very attractive in that French way of making films.

'Because I said so' - film with Diane Keaton where she plays the mother of 3 daughters, two of whom are married, and the third has, according to mum, problems with finding a man. Keaton gives advice which never goes down well, and advertises in the papers for a man, who she then gets to meet her daughter (except there was another man around as well - I was tired by that point). Pleasant family comedy, probably also not worth leaving the house for, unless you want to go to the pictures and there is nothing else decent on at the pictures.

'Starter for 10' - film about a young man who leaves his single mum to go to college (Oxford?). He gets into the University Challenge team, has women troubles, and all the other first year experiences. The team is lead by a rather anal young man who tends to freeze under pressure. The film describes the ups and downs of our hero and the team; also quite pleasant and quite funny. Fell asleep at the end.

'Happy feet' - things were getting critical at this stage - is a cartoon type film about a little emperor penguin (they find their mates by singing) who cannot sing, but can tap dance. It's easy to do a tap dancing penguin in cartoon because they have very short little legs, so there is a limit to how far they can be shown to be thrown! It's a very cute little film, very easy and with stunning crowd scenes of dancing penguins. Also has a small environmental message.

'Breaking and entering' is a film by Anthony Minghella, set in London, with Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, amongst others, where an architect's firm locates itself in King's Cross, which turns out not to be a happy choice of location, what with getting broken in all the time. The main character, whose seems to be the stepfather of a girl with difficulties (autistic?) which puts a strain on his relationship with his partner. In investigating the burglaries he also meets a prostitute, and has a relationship with another woman. The usual folk of London's King's Cross, I suppose. It's described as a romantic comedy - hmmm; seemed to me more of a usual tale of social exclusion and people from both sides of social exclusion coming together in a mutual explosion, with the losers being the usual losers. I'd buy a ticket for this one.

'The Pursuit of Happyness' (sic) - is about the struggling salesman Chris Gardener (Will Smith) who gets a chance of an internship in a financial company (in Wall Street) just as his wife leaves him and he takes custody of their 5-year-old son (who is brilliantly played by Jaden Smith). The internship is for 6 months (after which one of the twenty starters will get a job) - and it is unpaid. Gardener and his son go through horrendous periods, losing their flat, losing a motel room, having to stay in a hostel for the homeless for some time, with him at the same time talking to extremely rich people about their pensions plans - where a guy could be very bitter, but Gardener gets through it with considerable aplomb. Apparently this is a real story, and Gardener went on to found a major financial sales company. As an American film it also has its tear jerking moments, and it shows the difficulties people go through at times like these. What did not seem logical was how the child was cared for (did the father not have to pay for day care?), that the father was able to finish work early to collect the child, and that he did not seem to claim any welfare (but perhaps he would not have been eligible for this, as he might not have been in the UK).

'Romulus, my father' is a film I wanted to see in Oz, but did not get round to it. A story about immigrant folk, apparently, based on someone's book. Franka Potente of 'Run, Lola, Run' is in it. Might be interesting.


Hamilton said...

Thought exactly the same about the Queen, which I also watched on a plane. Excellent film.