Bergman is brilliant and excels at the bitter familial chamber drama like no other director I've seen. Sure, he does other movies, but his best usually involve a cast you can count on one hand and a handful of rooms for them to break down and become cruelly honest with each other in.
Documentary about American soldiers in Afghanistan.
Ultimately a very depressing, dispiriting film. Well maybe others didn't feel that, and the soldiers who actually experience this do not present a depressed front (they get pretty low after a fellow company suffers severe casualties, but are mostly depicted as being in reasonably good spirits) but the film left me exhausted and disjointed. but I just found the soldier's task here fruitless, pointless and thankless, and the economic deprivation of the region they were fighting in is appalling. I found myself just looking at the teeth of the elderly local elders. It's a haggard, bleak landscape with little hope of improvement - the new commander who rotated into the region has to keep assuring the elders he's not McKnight (of whom I can only assume, though the film never really gets into this, the elders did not get along with well.)
They shoot at people in hills they can scarely see, some of them die, and in the end, they rotate out - in a region that is eventually abandoned.
The Secret of Kells - A. Visually stunning Irish animation about a boy living in a small monastic town during the middle ages who works on a magical book while the town prepares for an imminent barbarian invasion. Just a really good adventure story with Gaelic leanings.
I first saw that in the videostore and assumed it was another cheap half-assed Irish production (we excel at that), and as such was pretty surprised when it wound up nominated for an Academy of all things.
And yeah, it's pretty good. The stuff I grew up with in a niftier package, pretty much.