February movies

The Philadelphia Story [4/5] [Amazon]

At times things didn’t flow along as smoothly as they might have, but there was lots of good banter, and a cast that featured Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart, so it’s a classic that’s worth seeing.

Paris, Je T’aime [4/5] [Amazon]

A collection of 18 short films (you can read a brief summary of each one here) set in different parts of Paris, each done by a different director. My favorite segment was Place des fêtes, directed by Oliver Schmitz, about a dying Nigerian man and a young paramedic. I also liked Père-Lachaise, directed by Wes Craven, Quais de Seine, directed by Gurinder Chadha, Tuileries, directed by the Coen Brothers, and Faubourg Saint-Denis, directed by Tom Tykwer. As for the rest, most were fine, though by the end of the movie they’d sort of blended together in my mind, and I actively disliked both 14e arrondissement, directed by Alexander Payne, and Quartier de la Madeleine, directed by Vincenzo Natali. Overall, I’d say it’s definitely good. Just don’t go into it expecting to be blown away by each and every segment.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age [3/5] [Amazon ]

Cate Blanchett gives a strong performance in this sequel to the first Elizabeth, but other than that (and the presence of Geoffrey Rush as Sir Francis Walsingham), this was a mess of a movie that just totally went mad toward the end (and not in a good way). My advice to the film’s makers? More ruling of England, less boyfriend.

Michael Clayton [5/5] [Amazon]

In a year that didn’t feature so many other strong films, this probably would have ended up with more Oscars than just the one for Best Supporting Actress. It’s an excellent piece of work, and a smart legal thriller that proves that the genre doesn’t need to be restricted to endless John Grisham retreads. There are great performances by George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton, a story with plenty of twists, plus some nice directing. Put this one on your must-see list!

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