Monthly Archives: January 2013

2012 in the cinemas – opinionated view by Blondoner

Also a little bit before the Oscars.

Adele will most probably bag one for the theme song from the latest James Bond film ‘Skyfall’.

I should probably do a Top 10 of 2012. I wasn’t as lucky in 2012 as I was back in 2011 – I haven’t watched as many films as I would like to. I did do a little bit of catching up with old classics and I did do a little bit of catching up with American TV series. I will do a short few posts about what is or has been on with regards to both American and British TV.

Now just feature films, just those that were in the cinemas in 2012 or were made in 2012.

Here it is:

Please note Top 10 is as always presented in no particular order.

1) The Dark Knight Rises by Christoper Nolan. Sadly this film will be remembered for a long time because of the Aurora massacre when during one of the first screenings a phD student killed 10 and wounded over 70 people.

The film was good. One particular detail that caught my heart was how Batman nominated his heir and follower – Robin.

2) On the Road by Walter Salles. Adaptation of the cult classic road novel by Jack Kerouac. Beautiful in the attention to detail in costume, interior design, gadgets.

3) Argo by Ben Affleck. Because I like fact fiction, because I admire how well the costume designer has done their job. Because it kept tension until the last second like a good old action movie. Because I felt like back in the 1970’s and I felt like I watched a good old classic made back in the golden age of Hollywood – the magic 1970’s.

4) Dans la maison by Francois Ozon. Because despite the fact that I hate voiceover in book adaptations, this one does make sense.

5) Silver Linings Playbook by David O. Russell. Because Robert de Niro and Jacki Weaver in supporting roles steal the show and because Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are an amazing pair of freaks on screen. And the dialogues are written well beyond genius.

6) The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey by Peter Jackson because it’s The Hobbit!

7) Shadow Dancer by James Marsh – because everyone should see this film to see the craft, the subtle psychological nuances and how hard can life be without the basic liberties.

8) Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson – because of how he showed the bliss of childhood.

9) Tomboy by Celine Sciamma (technically made in 2011, but I haven’t seen it until 2012) – for the universality of her story.

10) Skoonheid by Oliver Hermanus – because I admire the bravery and courage of making such a film about obsession, beauty and innocence + plus how the three clash brutally.

TOP post-edit (at least one of the films mentioned above was not made in 2012 or even released, and I forgot to mention  one of 2012 personal favourites):

Skyfall by Sam Mendes – for the classic wink at the audiences more than once, for the return back to the roots, for the best Bond villain ever in the persona of Silva played by the incredible Javier Bardem. And for Daniel Craig. Again, for he is the best Bond impersonator of current times.


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Broken by Rufus Norris (2012)



Was the script so good that such fine actors as Tim Roth and Cillian Murphy agreed to take part in this project or is this film so good thanks to those two gentlemen? Perhaps, as with everything – just like Rick Blaine once said in the immortal classic Casablanca – “it’s a combination of all three”. Three meaning: script+Tim Roth+Cillian Murphy. There is more. There is decent cinematography and the whole story could be entitled “Dead End, or a Drama in a Cul-De-Sac in the Middle of Nowhere”.

“Broken” perhaps draws its title from how broken the relationships between adults and children are, or perhaps how almost all of the teenagers/kids in the picture come from broken homes, or maybe that their future is/will be broken once they get out of the play staged in front of our eyes, or maybe what is broken is the contemporary system of education where kids have no place to go for help and violence at school is commonplace.

The drama is set out in a seemingly peaceful and quiet suburbian street of red brick London semidetached houses. What in theory would be considerably hard to do – describe a drama between more than three characters, here has been done successfully. I haven’t read the novel, on which the adaptation is based, but I presume this is where the structure comes from.

Incredible chronology tricks may feel like lost in editing or like the projectionist mixed the order of some rolls with film when putting them onto the projector, but this happens more than once. We see the effect and then the cause. However, the scenes are still coherent and presented separately.

The film shows a few days from three families living in the same dead end street. There is one single father (Archie – Tim Roth) with two kids, whose wife had escaped with an accountant from Birmingham a few years back. The daughter nicknamed Skunk suffers from type 1 Diabetes and is in love with her nanny’s (Kasia) boyfriend Mike (Cillian Murphy), who turns out to be her teacher, the son gets involved with the neighbour’s middle daughter. The neighbour (Mr Oswald – played by Rory Kinnear also known as 007’s boss’s M’s chief of staff Tanner) is another single father – widower and attempts at bringing up three daughters by himself. The third house in the area is occupied by Mr&Mrs Buckley – they have a mildly retarded son Rick.

As visible from the above – the dramatis personae are numerous and there is one more – Skunk’s teenage boyfriend. He is an orphan and when Skunk and Dillon get to know each other, their dialogue is symptomatic of the world that Skunk lives in. When he tells her he lives with his aunt (rather than his parents – this being implied rather than said), she asks about his dad – not about his mom, only to find both his parents were killed in a fire as well as his sister. But he doesn’t really care as he was very young when this happened.

Like I said earlier – this is a very much broken world that we bring our kids into. Is there hope? Well, perhaps there is – provided at least some of the kids have such loving and devoted fathers as the little Skunk (sometimes also called Emily…)…

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