Two seasons – the first one is set in 1980’s, the second one in 1997 / more or less 12 years after the first season’s finale ends.
The story is set in an unspecified little town in Western Poland with troubled history.
Andrzej Seweryn plays an experienced journalist on his way out – we learn from the very beginning he has a plan to go West – to West Berlin, in those times the refuge of normalcy behind the Iron Curtain. Conveniently, there is an eager young replacement sent from Kraków.
It is a classic old:young juxtaposition and master:pupil relationship. The script is written in accordance with all the classic rules, the actors are well cast, the stories unfold slowly with each episode drawing us in.
This series has a number of strong suits: one of them is the casting of supporting roles, another a detailed depiction of communist Poland daily reality – similarly to Mad Men, the authors managed to recreate a place in time with almost no mistakes (*there is one minor thing related to what children wear at school, if you went to Polish school in the 1980’s, you will know).
Characters are subtle and distinctive at the same time, the editor-in-chief is like a warm beloved grandpa, until you cross him and then you are in trouble. The night clubs are so sticky and filled with cigarette smoke, you can almost touch it and smell it. It is the underworld of corrupt police (in the 1980’s it was a politicised milicja – derivative of military and police – a communist thing), honest prostitutes and helpful local businessmen.
The crimes are dark, the truth is even darker and the town is surrounded by a mysterious swamp that hides a lot.
Although it did not get a lot of stars at imdb, it is a strong recommend from my side.
Andrzej Seweryn acts seamlessly becoming the character of the savvy puppet master who knows way more than he reveals, till the last second. The suspense is not eating you, you just have to watch it all at once.
Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss are a young couple on the crossroads who attend a therapy. Their shrink advises them a retreat in a house at an unspecified location.
They reluctantly agree and part for a short trip to a beautiful faraway location where they deal with each other, each other’s expectations and fears.
What they go through and the way things go, is the most significant strength of this feature film.
It makes one think for a long time afterwards on what exactly happened there.
Smooth acting, improvised dialogues provide an artsy experience that is less literal and more emotional than one would expect.
Based on a novel recommended by (among others) Barack Obama. The novel is written by Sally Rooney.
Set in Ireland – the story follows an on-off relationship of a young couple. They know one another from school, then both (separately) move to Dublin to study at Trinity.
It is a love story of an impossible kind. Feast for the eyes. Little bits of nudity and a fair amount of passion. Relationships with peers, parents, siblings and the outside world.
Told in very few words. The camera eye is often a third actor – e.g. during one and the same conversation of the two over a cup of coffee sitting at opposite sides – Marianne is shot from a distance, while Connell gets a very close camera angle. This distance changes as the conversation shifts. Crafty!
Melancholic, as Ireland landscape provides the background for tumultuous events. There is cold Sweden and hot Italy too.
Light, pretty, smart. Shot in beautiful Stockholm, with its classy designs and architecture.
Sofie and Max meet at a workplace and develop a particular bond which leads them through harmless craziness together. To a point, when it is no longer harmless and begins to become harmful.
Rich in relationships on multiple level. Clashes of old v. young, old habits v. modernity, analogue v. digital, parents v. children, partners in business, partners at home.
Pleasant experience and beautiful to watch – with realistic personalities and faces and surprising twists.
This film has not aged well. Despite it being made in the golden era of Hollywood. The daily problems of 20-somethings do not correspond well to today’s experiences.
One could argue that it is a fair social study of late 1970’s in New York among the children of 2nd or 3rd generation of immigrants from Old Europe.
I love dancing and I do see the appeal of the main story. So I understand how it became a success back in its time.
But now? No thanks. I am allergic to disco music, so probably that is why it has been a difficult watch.
Maybe I am wrong, maybe it is a universal picture of troubled youth. I just don’t dig it.
A fascinating experience. This film is much easier to watch than I had anticipated. It is well paced and somehow lacks intense scenes which is a big advantage given the incredibly difficult topic.
Long (over two hours), slow and yet not one scene is unnecessary. Edited and skilfully focusing on all the details, historic places and events.
Michael Keaton, who is no longer Batman or Birdman. He is a middle aged American journalist with mannerisms and a sort of hidden charisma.
John Slattery (Mad Men’s own Roger Sterling), Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan) – in calm roles of people who work hard in professional journalism.
Deservedly Best Picture Winner in 2016 – with Oscar bagged.
It is a rare example of an ensemble cast where every character is in fact a leading role. Good homework on the realistic settings, costumes and ambience.
Remember “All the President’s Men” from 1976 with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman? Well – this is its prequel.
A phenomenal depiction of personal struggle of Mrs. Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) who decides to follow on The New York Times’ publishing of the Pentagon papers after the NYT has been banned from writing on the topic by the court.
Despite possible implications related to the IPO of The Post (The Washington Post), the owner and publisher of the title decides to fight for the freedom of speech, publishes the articles and then joins the New York Times in the Supreme Court fighting for the First Amendment / freedom of the press rights.
President Nixon is quoted several times (from real life tapes) digging one deeper hole after another which eventually leads to Watergate – shown in “All the Presidents’ Men”.
Beautifully shot, costumes, machinery, real breath of the times and the suspense held to the extent needed – without pushing it too far, which could easily be achieved.
Whenever I want to watch a ‘based on a true story’ film, I first try to confront what I already know beforehand. Enigma is a famous story in Polish schools, where we are taught that the Enigma code was broken by Polish mathematicians who anticipated Christmas greetings in the encrypted messages.
Watching this film, that school anecdote seems to be an urban legend.
Although Polish spies’ are said to have smuggled the Enigma machine into the UK, there is little mention of their input.
Aside from that, as a cinematic experience – it is a piece of solid story with the correct amounts of drama. I do not appreciate paralel stories being ran in multiple timelines. Here – we are following three story lines around Alan Turing – when he’s at school in the 1920’s, during the war, at the time of working at Bletchley Park in the 1940’s and after the war in the 1950’s, when homosexuality is still illegal in the UK.
I usually scan through the trivia section on imdb for films I like. What I found here is that the famous “M” from the James Bond franchise has a strong presence here. And that is quite a character.
Over 2 hours in length in black and white. What to expect? It could be pretentious. But it’s not.
This film has everything I look for in the cinema. There is the protagonist: conflicted, entrapped in his own personality and indolence. Seemingly passive but in the end turns out to have had a clear agenda all the way. There is romance, there is love, there is quest for the sense of life and plenty of literature references (such as e.g. the original French title is a nod to Blaise Pascale’s “Les provincials”).
It’s set in Paris, so there is a lot of smoking, long discussions into the night over bottles of wine and traces of things that other metropolises do not have. There is also love and its diverse faces and measures. One of those films that leaves you thoughtful and pensive for a long time. Funny enough, we get asked one question throughout the film “why making films?”. Well this one provides a decent answer.
A thriller wherein the emotions grab you by the throat.
Young man’s struggle with life, love, duty towards his father and desperate attempts at saving the family agricultural business.
What originally begins as long exposition, ends up a masterpiece of managing the audience expectations at exactly the right pace.
Feature debut and a really good mature film.