Sunday, August 29, 2010

mooooovies (#5)

The Beat That My Heart Skipped (dir. Jacques Audiard)
I should note that I watched this in two parts about 3 weeks apart, but I enjoyed this Audiard crime flick almost as much as his Oscar-nominated Un proph├Ęte. Like that movie, The Beat... focuses on the development of a young criminal, in this case a not-completely-legit real estate broker named Thomas Seyr and played by Romain Duris with a great nervous grin. Seyr's never altogether realistic dream is to escape a life of shady business to follow in his mother's footsteps as a concert pianist.

The way Audiard, who also co-wrote the movie, uses music is a great variation of a kind of cliche in which a troubled urban character is calmed and refined by art. Seyr never seems as nervous terrorizing squatters as he does trying to get his Bach piece right. Overall, it's an interesting portrayal of the difficulties of changing one's life, more specifically reconciling what one really thinks one wants (concert pianist like yr dead mom) with what one is used to (crook like one's dad, played here by Niels Arestrup, who is good but doesn't quite steal the show like he does in Un prophete).

The Brood (dir. David Cronenberg, 1979)
I'm going to slowly work my way through all the Cronenberg I haven't seen in the fall, I think. I guess it would be spoiling to say who the villain here is exactly, but the way his/her psychological damage is manifested is awesome. The colors, the blood, Oliver Reed's menace, the terrifying children, yes this is very good end-of-the-70s horror.

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