Me and You and Everyone We Know (US, 2005)

Bonkers movie that remains engaging because of a marvellous performance by John Hawkes and the satisfyingly loopy plot/character of Miranda July (who also directs). Some of the scenes are edgy and the teenage girls are out of Ghost World; a typical indie movie so see it. (DVD)

Update April 2010

The perfect couple?

Is Me and You and Everyone We Know a romantic comedy? Well it features ‘boy meets, loses then gets girl’ or should it be the other way around as it’s clear that Christine (Miranda July) is the one who’s after Richard (John Hawkes?

In romcoms the ‘ideal’ male often has a perfect bachelor pad, designer clothes, an expensive music system not to mention an enviable physique. Richard, on the other hand, is a normal guy who panics when Christine’s about to visit as his place is a complete mess.

There’s no wedding in Me and You but it does have a romcom ending where we can fantasise that these two oddballs will get together to make a bigger, and maybe slightly less odd, ball.

If it is a romcom, then we’ve left out the two girls seeking sexual initiation and the young boy meeting a woman via a chatroom. Both probably too disturbing for the cloying saccharine that infects the genre.

However, it is funny in its quirkiness (there’s a great first meeting between the two) and Hawkes’ disheveled and loveable ‘loser’ is winning. It’s an indie romcom!

Maria Full of Grace (US-Columbia, 2004)

This received a lot of critical attention when it was released; possibly for the documentary style of the mechanics of being a drug mule. The film’s more of a melodrama and an effective one. It may be a little too subtle in not spelling out the exploitation involved in working in the third world (by the first) – the flowers do signify this. Good performances though the direction is routine. (DVD)

Crash (US, 2004)

This was one of those movies that I expected not to be as good 2nd time: the rescue from the burning motor and the ‘shooting’ of the little girl are not as tense when the outcome is known. Despite this I enjoyed it even more. The startling array of narratives, combined with a refusal to ignore the fact LA (US) is a racist place, makes this a thought-inspiring movie. Superbly shot and acted; must be one of the best films of the decade. (DVD, 2)

Separate Lies (UK 2005)

Duplicitious love

Duplicitious love

A movie about the marital problems of upper class English people… However this is brilliant. I loved the moral ambiguity; there ain’t much ‘right and wrong’. The complexity on offer is like life; plus good performances (particularly Wilkinson). An excellent British film! Blimey! (OAR)

This stands up well to a second viewing; a noticed the gorgeous countryside and ‘dream’ home more. Amongst the trappings of material wealth unhappiness exists – a cliche it’s true but its well presented in this film. The black Inspector was not convincing: good idea (‘How do you find Buckinghamshire?’; ‘Well I was born here’) but are there senior black coppers in rural areas – certainly none so young.

The New World (US, 2005)

Malick’s one of the ‘poets’ of cinema but I did find some of the camera work irritating in this and the voice over definitely so (couldn’t always comprehend it due to sound and meaning). However, you can’t ignore Malick (The Thin Red Line is one of my favourite films) and this is worth looking at if only for the extraordinary Q’Orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas. Farrell exudes too much modernity for period drama (though that worked in Alexander). Wonderful opening. (DVD)

The Brothers Grimm (UK / Czech Republic / USA, 2005)

Never really hung together. Couldn’t seem to decide whether to go for comedy or horror. Should’ve gone for the former but I guess Python-comedy is dated (it’s directed by Gilliam). Some nice sets. (OAR).

It’s All About Love (UK-Denmark et al)

I got excited about an SF movie from the director of Festen. However… I’m not sure what was going on here; bonkers final image of Ugandans floating up but tied to the earth. Help!? Some nice doppelgangers. (OAR)

The Devil Wears Prada (US, 2006)

Serves me right this; bought as a Valentines for the missus. Enjoyed Streep’s performance and there’s an excellent review in Cineaste. (DVD)

Elizabethtown (US, 2005)

Not much to say about this but it proves Bloom isn’t a lead and even the usually excellent Cameron Crowe is fallible. (Cable TV)

Babel (US-Mexico, 2006)

Stunning in parts but not sure the parts add up to a whole. However, it’s a week since I’ve seen it and I’m starting to think they do. The Guardian’s critic didn’t like it so that’s a sign that this is an interesting film and there’s no doubting the ambition and has to be seen simply for that. A movie that strives to look at the effect of globalisation and its effect on apparently separate peoples. A fascinating, and occasionally disturbing movie. The director and writer are real talents. (Pictureville)