Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Thought the Critics Always *Loved* Foreign Films

Watched Les Choristes last evening with two friends:

It's sentimental, sweet, idealistic, and --
so say the critics (this one excepted) -- predictable.
What do you make of that?

Another film Biutiful: recently released in theaters, about life in Barcelona.

It's gritty, sentimental, somewhat depressing, and --
again the critics say, or at least some do -- contrived.
Are the critics being too ... ... critical?

Well, fine. whatever.
But what're these two films about?
Why am I writing about them together?
(besides having seen both in the past seven days)


Both films
radiate with beauty.
(Les Choristes surprises you with the angelic singing coming from the mouths of bad little boys;
Biutiful strikes you with the elegant beauty of the everyday rubbish which the world usually forgets.)

Both of these films'
main characters behave in a way that inspires
because they are kind, humane, determined, and admirably modest.
(Gerard Jugnot plays a bald, benevolent music teacher in Les Choristes, 
and Javier Bardem plays an over-extended, yet sympathetic father in Biutiful.)

Both of these films
earned double Oscar nominations.

And both films
conclude with tragic redemption.
("redemption" because
though the protagonist dies
a semi-failure
he's made others' lives better.)

So, the critics aren't sure if they like these films or not.

But I know I do.

It's all about the message,
an expression of the directors' vision:
People trying to make the World
a Better Place.

: Priceless

Thank you, Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Thank you, Christophe Barratier.
O, and by the way,
it's not just the message.
The films' stories are pretty good too.
At least, they held my attention.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Les Choristes! It was wonderfully poignant and the cinematography was intriguing. Even though it was a little bit predictable, it was well done, which I appreciated.