There seems to be very little change over time

When I MTE5NTU2MzE1OTgyNDMxNzU1was a kid, my favourite movie genre was a musical. I couldn’t live without Singing In the Rain, Wizard Of Oz, Hair or Annie. I knew all the songs by heart, even though English is not my mother tongue.

However, one thing I never enjoyed much is a remake, especially a bad one. With that being said, I surprised even myself after deciding to give contemporary Annie a shot. After all, the new movie featured a young Quvenzhané Wallis (who had been nominated for Oscar for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild). Okay, I told myself, perhaps it was time I put my prejudice aside, and accepted the fact that remakes give us the opportunity to take a glimpse at some of the ways the world has changed over the decades.

Well, one thing that definitely makes itself more and more apparent in Hollywood is that a grand majority of movies are sloppy, made to be watched jusannie-3t that one time and then forgotten.Okay, Annie isn’t really that bad. But it definitely isn’t memorable. My biggest objection is regarding singing/dancing numbers, which are very poorly executed. After all, these are the scenes that make a musical, and yet, it seems that in this movie, the choreographer was quite lazy.

Except for an occasional jump, there really isn’t  much to see.

Now, lest you think the movie was a disaster. Cameron Diaz was great as an evil/drunken foster parent (but we have seen her play a bad girl before); Jamie Foxx has a beautiful singing voice; Rose Byrne is super lovely and, as always, mANNIEakes me want to start speaking in British accent; and of course, Quvenzhané Wallis is captivating herself.

The movie also struck me on a more personal level as well. Ever since I became a mother last year, I can’t bear to witness children suffering or experiencing any kind of pain. When I watched original Annie as a kid, I saw it from a perspective of a child hoping throughout that Annie would be reunited with her parents. This time, however, all I kept thinking about was how someone could give up their kid. I get that some parents make the decision because they can’t afford to raise the child, but that doesn’t at all comfort me. Just trying to imagine what it must be like to be raised by an institution, instead by a loving parent, breaks my heart.

And one other thing that I simply fail to understand is why do we still have orphans, at all? One would think that childless couples looking to adopt outnumber children without parents, don’t they?!. Now, that constant is what made it possible for there to be a remake of Annie in the first place.


I Love Lucy… Or Not?

I don’t think anyone creates such interesting and iconic female characters as writer/director Luc Besson.

Think Nikita – the female assassin.

nikita (2)

Milla Jovovich as Leeloo in Fifth Element.


And, who could ever forget Natalie Portman as Mathilda in Leon: The Professional?


Besson, a master in portraying a strong, yet vulnerable female lead, attempts to continue this streak in his newest feature – Lucy.

Played by Scarlett Johansson, Lucy is captured by a drug lord in Taipei, and forced to become a mule. A package containing a new product on the market is planted inside her stomach, but begins to leak after she is repeatedly kicked in the gut. The drug gradually unlocks previously inaccessible parts of her brain, until she is finally able to use all of its hundred percent (humans supposedly use only ten percent of their brain). This is the interesting part of the plot.

lucy-2014-movie-screenshot-12The rest, which depicts Lucy’s superiority over every other being on the planet, is simply dull. It’s all been done and seen before.


The movie is rushed, slightly confusing, and simply not as captivating as I had hoped it would be. The ending is especially and disappointingly cliched. Maybe it’s because of my new mom brain, but I simply don’t understand Lucy’s final words: “Life was given to us a billion years ago. Now you know what to do with it.” Um, live it? Enjoy it? Disregard materialism in favour of life that is rich in family, friends, and love? I don’t know. I feel Besson failed to transmit the answer clearly. Major part of the film consists of scenes of violence and Lucy trying to get to the remainder of the drug. It’s like Besson was slightly confused as to whether he wanted to make a revenge movie, a chase film or a Matrix-like piece that bends (or even tickles) the viewer’s brain. The movie, which supposedly was nine years in the making (!) could have been brilliant, yet it is simply average.

To Rome With Love

After forcing myself to watch all those Oscar nominees, and stumbling across some other appraised bores, I was starting to lose faith in Western cinema.

Then I saw Woody Allen’s latest work titled To Rome With Love and once again I was a believer. After writing an ode to Barcelona and Paris, Woody gave us another postcard from Europe with this quirky, light comedy set in the Eternal City.


To Rome With Love is the first film in many years in which Woody Allen stars himself. Even though it’s composed of several different stories, the movie flows smoothly. Each plotline is so interesting and fun, that for the time being you forget about all the others. Every time Roberto Benigni’s face popped on the screen I was surprised and delighted upon remembering that he too had a part in this movie.

The brilliant international cast makes the two hours fly by. Instead of the usual existential pondering, the movie exudes whimsical lightness. I left the theater feeling far more careless and relaxed than when I entered. I highly recommend watching To Rome With Love a close friend or someone else you love to share the positive vibes with.

Have a wonderful Friday, and a superb weekend.




The Impossible

This Spanish movie starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor depicts one family’s horrific ordeal after their vacation is cut short by the deadly 2004 tsunami. Based entirely on a true story, the movie leaves no one indifferent. The graphic scenes, the sense of powerlessness against nature, as well as the superb acting make for very emotional two hours.


I have read that some people complain because the tragedy is told from the perspective of Caucasian tourists. What I cannot understand is how anyone can focus on THAT amid everything else that happens on the screen!! I was too busy fighting back the tears to think about anything other than the agony of all the survivors, not just this family of five.

If we did talk about whitewashing, I would say that the movie obliterates race and religion; that depicting wonderfully helpful locals and hospital staff evokes a sense of a unified humanity that we should all be lucky to live in. I would not be one of the complainers wondering why the movie depicted a family who survived. Instead I would applaud The Impossible for celebrating life, while reminding us not to take our presence here for granted.

The Impossible the-impossible-naomi-watts-maria-mother-son-mattress-scene The_Impossible2

It is rather interesting how distressful situations bring people together. When Serbia was bombed in 1999 I was already living in Canada, but my friends and relatives spoke so much about the sense of unity that prevailed back then. Serbian people never loved each more than during those 3 months, a sharp contrast to our contemporary society (living in peace) when hatred is shooting from everyone’s eyes. It seems that collective suffering always brings out the best in humans, which is really sad if you think about it. This, however, will not deter me from my own path. As a dreamer and an optimist, I will continue to do my part in spreading the love. For succeeding to transmit the message that we should love one another, as well as life itself, I am going to label The Impossible one of the better movies to come out of 2012.

The Oscars – Recap

Jennifer Lawrence, really? Like, for real?!? I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard it. Her role, and subsequently performance, was totally unconvincing. I am so incredibly disappointed. As you know, I felt strongly that Quvenzhane Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild should win. But oh well, let’s move on.

Next shocker: Michelle Obama announcing the winner. Really First Lady, you got nothing better to do? This just goes to show that politics (not just in the U.S.) are all a part of the show for the masses.

In any case, not the worst outcome there with Argo taking the statue. I’m glad, even though I don’t feel this was a masterpiece.

Amour at least won the Best Foreign Picture category, so that pleases me.

Ang Lee totally deserved the Oscar for directing. Life of Pi is not a book that translates easily onto screen, and he did more than a fantastic job.

Daniel Day-Lewis deserved to enter history by becoming the first to win Best Lead Actor three times.

Anne Hathway taking the Oscar home – that was a no brainer. I cannot not comment on how gorgeous her entire look was.

And I’m so happy that Christoph Waltz was able to take the podium, too (I know many of you feel the same as well). We all knew that Django wouldn’t win, just as we knew that Tarantino would be awarded for Best Original Screenplay.

Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Christoph Waltz

All in all, there were no spectacular surprises, considering the list was poor to begin with. I’m looking forward to seeing what awaits us in 2013, and I hope you’ll be there with me to comment on it.

Now tell me, are you satisfied with the outcome?

Les Miserables

Finally the list is complete. After seeing all the nine nominees for Best Picture, my opinion is that Les Miserables will win.


Based on Victor Hugo 19th century novel, the story resonates powerfully today when the gap between the rich and the poor is more apparent than it has been in decades. There are probably millions of people in the western world who can identify with Anne Hathaway’s character Fantine who loses a job and is forced to sell her hair, her teeth and her body. Also, I couldn’t not think of the Occupy movement in the scenes when crowds sing of their misfortune, condemning the rich.

I must admit though that I thought it was slightly preposterous that these people who earn millions of dollars and belong to the 1% are playing the roles of the 99%. This irony has never been more apparent to me than while watching Les Miserables. I couldn’t help but wonder whether the movie inspired the actors to help out the poor, needing folk.

Nevertheless, Anne Hathaway’s performance is brilliant, and I’m pretty sure she will taking that golden statue home. Not so sure about Hugh Jackman though.

If this challenge to watch all Oscar nominees has proved anything, it’s that reception of the movie widely depends on the viewer’s mood. When first I attempted to watch Les Miserables, I couldn’t stand to see more than ten minutes. When I put it on a week later I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen. I was so emotionally invested in the characters, that I found myself on the constant verge of tears. Still I don’t regard it as being all that great film, mostly because it’s  just a tad too long for my taste. I miss the time when movies were 90 minutes long.

So let’s just all sit back, and see what happens tomorrow.




Definitely my pick for the Oscar.

Its simple title – love – has been confusing me since I first heard of the film. Naturally, I have had to watch it to grasp its true, complex meaning. While the story centers around a married elderly couple, Georges and Anne, and their lives after Anne suffers a stroke, the title is not reserved for them alone. Rather, it is there to point out the extent to which this word is absent from everyday interactions.

Georges who is left to look after his wife’s well being has to pay everyone else for their services – the hospital guys for delivering the wife back home, the neighbouring couple for going grocery shopping, the nurses – even the bad one. Love has been replaced with currency, Haneke (writer and director) suggests. No one in this film is motivated by the feeling, everyone is simply focused on what they will gain; except for Anne’s former student. He is the only one who acts out of gratitude. Before she suffered a stroke, Anne was a piano teacher. When the students visits, the couple recount about how much they loved his concert, and remark that they had neglected to buy his CD. They make a point of how they wanted to purchase his CD because they wanted to contribute to his career. Later on in the movie, they receive his disc in the mail. I felt a warmth around my heart at the gesture which stands out from the ruthless, business-like interactions among the rest of the individuals in the film.

Oddly enough, it is this absence of love that awakened my sense of humanity in me, making me even more sympathetic towards my fellow human beings.

The film also reminded me that life can always get worse, and that we should enjoy every single second of our existence. So have a good, JOYOUS life everyone!!