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Old October 2 2011, 11:56 PM   #757
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Location: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Re: Movies Seen in 2011

130. Contagion (B+)
131. The Age of Innocence (B+)
132. The Remains of the Day (A+)
133. His Girl Friday (A)
134. Howards End (B+)
135. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (A)
136. The Lion King 3D (A+)
137. Paths of Glory (B+)
138. Big Fish (B+)

A Tim Burton film with bright colours and no Johnny Depp! Helena Bonham Carter's here in a small role, so he didn't go completely off-reservation, at least. Though this film was a financial disappointment, so maybe there's a reason he doesn't do this more often. The film feels a bit like if Forrest Gump, Jr. was trying to make sense of his father's account of his life. The "tall tales" are a little meandering in places (and not really as interesting as the film often thinks they are), particularly early on, but the film acquires a good amount of emotional heft as it goes on. My own father passed away earlier this year, so perhaps I was particularly susceptible, but I liked it a lot. Billy Crudup, who's a good actor, is kind of bland in the part of the son, but the others do well with more vibrant characters (there's also an early English-language appearance by Marion Cotillard back when nobody outside of France knew who she was).

139. The Magnificent Ambersons (B+)

Orson Welles' followup to Citizen Kane, and the victim of one of the most egregious cases of studio interference. It's kind of hard to fully judge a film that had so much taken out of it (though, to be fair, people who saw the original cut said it had problems too). The cuts came mostly from the concluding segments of the film (including an added ending which is very obviously discordant with the rest of the film), which are the weakest, particularly, as I said, the ending. However, even the 88 minute version is still a pretty good film. The cinematography is stunning (I find that inventive uses of the camera are a lot more noticeable in older films where just planting it and letting it role was a lot more common). There are a number of very good performances. If Welles' original version (or a reedit overseen by Welles himself) existed, who knows what might have been?
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