Category Archives: Cinema releases 2014

“The Imitation Game” (2014) by Morten Tyldum

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.

Brilliant cinema.

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.

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American Sniper by Clint Eastwood (2014)

One of the Oscar contenders for 2015, “American Sniper” tells a true story of Chris Kyle, who was known as Legend among his peers.
He’s a soldier, he’s a Navy SEAL, he’s a sniper. Bradley Cooper paired with Clint Eastwood for an exceptionally well directed and played drama.
The dialogues are well written and credible, the setting looks realistic. Thanks to the dialogues, the script does not exclude the audiences who have little knowledge of US Military structure, or the social structure. You didn’t know who rednecks are? Well, they’re not Texans. You can learn the difference – as Texans ride horses on rodeos, therefore are not rednecks.
This is solid cinema.
It is perhaps more about PTSD rather than combat, but of course there is a lot of gunfire and gunpoint dilemmas.
Bradley Cooper proves one more time to be a mature actor. He is nominated for the Oscar with this role. We’ll find out soon enough.

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“Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu” (aka Serial (Bad) Weddings) by Philippe de Chauveron (2014)

It’s a French comedy. Not entirely successful but witty and funny at times.
The film aims at the almost impossible – taming the French middle-class viewpoint at ethnicity and the changing face and reality of contemporary France. Take immigration in 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation. Are they French or are they not? Different religious backgrounds, almost no difference in accents. Four middle-class French daughters marry for love. Each maintains successful relationships, bears children, implements tolerance on a daily basis.
It’s the 4 daughters’ father who has an issue with this reality. Perhaps it is in a way observant to introduce the ‘other side’. To introduce a black father who is against his son marrying into a white family. What is failed here is that no actual potential problems are presented. Perhaps because France is one of the few countries in Europe where multiculturalism has actually been in place for several decades. Mixed race children are all brought up to the same set of values like family, tolerance, fusion (especially in the kitchen) and patriotism. All the immigrant husbands can sing la Marseillaise in full voice with pride. They all observe Christmas and attend the midnight mass on Christmas Eve to be with the family. Even though, Jesus was “only a prophet” to both David and Rachid (Jewish and Muslim).
All served in a light French way can leave some envious of such perfectly integrated society that despite minor cracks, manages to thrive among other European countries struggling with the growing size of immigrants of diverse backgrounds. Perhaps the lesson is this: learn from the French.

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Jack Strong by Wladyslaw Pasikowski (2014)

Ryszard Kuklinski could be perceived as a national hero or as a traitor. This ambiguity is only mentioned and in Pasikowski’s film, Kuklinski is presented rather as a positive character.
The story told depicts hard moral and ethical dilemmas of one man who became an ally to the US during the 1970’s and 1980’s opposing to the Soviet ruling inside communist Poland.
Being a higly regarded official of the Polish army, he has access to top secret documentation which at one point hints at the Soviets aiming at the breakout of World War III via a realistically planned invasion on Poland. It is at that point that he decides to get in touch with the American embassy to help his country he knows to be gravely endangered.
It is a fascinating story and being based on true events, gives the thrills of serious historical issues that could have ended in a number of ways. But luckily (for Poland and perhaps the whole contemporary world) it ended up just fine. Supposedly because and thanks to the Seagull operation with Jack Strong as the source. 1989 saw the end of the Cold War and in 1997 Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic joined NATO.

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