Amour

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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!!

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Django Unchained

This year there is a pattern among the nominees. There are three distinctly political films, and the rest are structured around profound personal struggle. Django Unchained, however, stands out from the bunch.

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While it definitely revolves around severe pain and injustice, it doesn’t go deep into the psychology of the suffering characters. It is everything you’d expect from a Tarantino movie – it’s violent, gory, overly dramatic, clever and entertaining; and its perfect musical score will once again make for a must-have soundtrack.

Django doesn’t seek to make a statement. It’s made purely for entertainment purposes, and splendidly so. Does it deserve to be in the Best Picture group? Absolutely! Will it win? Not a chance.

However, I suspect that Christoph Waltz will pick up the Oscar for Best supporting actor.

Life Of Pi

When I first heard that Life Of Pi was in the making my lips widened into a smile as this has been one of my favourite books. My joy turned to happy disbelief when I learned that Ang Lee, also a favourite, was directing it. If anyone else had taken it upon themselves to bring this extraordinary story to life, I would question their sanity. If you’ve read this Yann Martel novel then you know that it’s one of those pieces that doesn’t translate easily from book to a movie. Practically based on introspection, wondering, inner suffering and growth, it is anything but an adventure that the trailer suggests it to be. However, if I had concerns regarding the successful adaption from written to visual, they all evaporated as soon as the main credits rolled and I put on the 3D glasses.

 

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With each subsequent scene I became increasingly convinced that Mr. Lee had done it again. By the time movie ended, it already earned a spot in my “favourite films” list. It’s not just the excellent screenplay and the mesmerizing scenes that won me over. Nope. The credit also goes to Ang Lee’s phenomenal understanding of what 3D should be all about. He applied the technology to an already beautiful cinematography to create spectacular visual pleasure. This magic is perhaps most evident in the scene in which we see Pi’s uncle swimming in a pool, because there is nothing animated in it. This was only the fourth movie which I saw in 3D, but all the others, which are so apparently animated, use the technology to draw the audience into a fantasy. Life Of Pi, on the other hand, utilizes animation to recreate creatures and scenery to bring forth the stunning beauty of our planet. Of course, in this movie, these breathtaking images are also meant to reflect Pi’s inner journey.

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It was only after this movie that I realized that I would love to watch a good European film in 3D. Would you? Or do you think that 3D should be reserved for Hollywoodian spectacles?

 

 

 

Oh, and lest I forget, let me explain why there was a three month gap in between this post and the one preceding it. I’ve spent the past few months observing the monkeys, cultivating an owl and learning how to tame a tiger, all the while participating in a wrestling match facing two opponents – Yin and Yang.

Or I can tell you a different story: that I spent my time learning the ropes at the office, practicing the wisdom of choosing my words carefully, reigning in my most characteristic trait of being open (and thus making myself vulnerable), while struggling to find balance between my professional and personal life.

You choose whichever story you prefer better.

The Fabulous Destiny Of Amelie Poulain

At least that’s the literal translation of this French movie’s title. In English, it is better known as just “Amelie”.

There isn’t a whole lot I can say about it, as the movie is not only self-explanatory, but so charming and ingenious that nothing I could say would do it justice. The story is inspiring, the cinematography spectacular, and the message to love (oneself as well as the others) is beautifully transmitted.

If you’ve seen it – go watch it again; and if you haven’t – then by golly, what are you waiting for?

Let these images remind you or tickle your curiosity to get you started. Have a beautiful day, embrace your quirkiness, and don’t forget to enjoy the simple things in life.

Pictures source