East Bay View (a blog about several things)

now 98% free of substantive content

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Decadal movie notes

The Best of Youth: I'm not going to re-watch this before best-of-decade listmaking, because, you know, six hours. But all of you who are into DVD season sets should note that this kills any American TV series I've seen this decade, scene by scene or as a whole. Should be in the twenties of my movie list.

Michael Caine: The world's greatest butler has picked a pretty good set of roles this decade. The green-thumbed smuggler in Children of Men was the most surprising, but the more typical Hi! I'm a Great English Actor! part in Last Orders was just as good a performance. Not a lot of people know: his turn as the creepy doc in the silly Quills is a ton of fun.

Charlotte Gainsbourg: In her husband's trivial movies it was clear to some that she should be the biggest star in the world. Michel Gondry saw this but boxed her in a little. Todd Haynes saw this and created a muse stronger than any of his male Dylans. Von Trier saw this and apparently hated himself. I might break my Lars moratorium for Antichrist, or I might just read the screenplay.

Mike Leigh: All or Nothing was formula Leigh, not without its pleasures (Timothy Spall) but breaking no new ground. Vera Drake ends up all didactic, but the character moments are first-rate. Then there's Happy-Go-Lucky: Poppy stands with her opposite, Naked's Johnny, as the most intriguing creations of Leigh and his ensembles. I got more out of Poppy, but then I find optimism deeper philosophically than nihilism. Dude, at least it's an ethos.

Nick Nolte: Mugshots aside, Nolte's had a terrific decade. Keeping up with Maggie Cheung in Clean is probably his finest achievement.



Post a Comment

<< Home