La La Land tipped for Oscars glory after win at Toronto Film Festival 2016

The following news article is posted on the Guardian Film’s online page: 

“La La Land has taken the top honour at the Toronto film festival. The Los Angeles-set musical world premiered on the opening night film of the Venice film festival and screened in Telluride, before debuting in Toronto. The movie – Damien Chazelle’s third – has attracted raves from reviewers, with especial praise for Emma Stone’s performance as a struggling actor, whose relationship to her jazz pianist boyfriend (Ryan Gosling) becomes strained when his career begins to overtake hers. Stone was named best actress at last Saturday’s Venice film festival awards. Read more of this post

“The Secret in their Eyes” Review

el-secreto-de-sus-ojos-wins-oscar-academy-awards-2010

El Secreto de sus Ojos (2009)

       ‘¿Te das cuenta, Benjamín? El tipo puede cambiar de todo: de cara, de casa, de familia, de novia, de religión, de Dios…pero hay una cosa que no puede cambiar, Benjamín… no puede cambiar…de pasión’. (Pablo Sandoval)

Praised by critics and audiences across the globe, ‘El Secreto de sus Ojos’ is a gripping mystery crime thriller that won an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category in 2010. This Argentina/Spain co-produced film ticks all the boxes when it comes to a great mystery crime thriller, and can even be regarded as coming as close to perfection as any (especially budget) film can get.

The film starts with a retired state court criminal investigator, Benjamin Esposito (Ricardo Darín), writing his first novel, using the old unsolved Morales case as his starting point. The Morales case, which involved a brutal murder of a young girl in Buenos Aires, has had a deep impact on him years previously. The details of the Morales case, including strong feelings of love and devotion of the murdered girl’s husband, run in parallel to Benjamin’s own unexpressed passion for his beautiful and intelligent co-worker, Irene Hastings (Soledad Villamil). As Benjamin writes, he remembers all the details of how, 25 years ago, equipped with only an old photograph and the loyalty of his imperfect co-worker Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella), he started the investigation into a case, which would later turn his whole life around. As Benjamin reflects and reminisces, the clues that he missed 25 years ago start to emerge unexpectedly.

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“Anna Karenina” Review

Anna Karenina (2012)

First thing first: sadly, this newest adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic ‘Anna Karenina’ does not even come close to capturing the spirit of the novel, especially in terms of fully conveying the passion and love, and ensuing tragedy of the main characters. Therefore, I will try to review this film, having solely in mind the director’s take on the novel, ignoring as much as possible the discrepancies between the novel and the film, otherwise it would be a never-ending task.

Regarding the plot, Joe Wright’s ‘Anna Karenina’ gives a somewhat accurate overview, covering almost all the main events in the book, though in a rush. We see the main heroine, Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley), a Russian socialite, who is married to Alexei Karenin (Jude Law), a high-ranking government minister, arrive from St. Petersburg to visit her brother ‘Stiva’ (Matthew Macfadyen) and his family, Oblonskys, to Moscow. Karenina’s brother ‘Stiva’ Oblonsky is married to ‘Dolly’ (Kelly Macdonald), who also has a younger sister, Kitty Shcherbatskaya (Alicia Vikander). In the process, Karenina, who also has a a child, falls in love with one of the young cavalry officers and an initial suitor to Kitty, Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Parallel to this, we also see the story of Konstantin Levin (Domhnall Gleeson), a landowner and an old friend of ‘Stiva’, and his infatuation with Kitty.

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“The Quiet American” Review

The Quiet American (2002)

Directed by Phillip Noyce (‘Patriot Games’ (1992)), ‘The Quiet American’ (2002) is a marvellous adaptation of Graham Greene’s classic novel of the same name. This book-to-film adaptation is so good, it arguably suppresses the majority of previous Graham Greene novel adaptations, and the film is certainly better than the latest Green novel adaptation ‘Brighton Rock’ (2010). ‘Quiet American’ truly captures the spirit of the book, and even at times goes beyond the boundaries of the book’s captivating narrative.  

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