Montreal Film Journal

2008 LOG (6)

(1 Jun) Lady in the Water (2006, M. Night Shyamalan) [ review ] 92

(2 Jun) Young People Fucking (2008, Martin Gero) 17
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(4 Jun) Le cèdre penché (2008, Rafaël Ouellet) 74
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(5 Jun) Milarepa (2008, Neten Chokling) 5
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(8 Jun) 4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile (2007, Cristian Mungiu) 66
[ Soberly but effectively shot and cut, the film neatly conveys a sense of the time and place, namely 1987 Romania, back when it was still under Communist rule. Slow-burning tension keeps us somewhat engrossed even though, during the first act at least, nothing much happens. Then we get to the big abortion scene, which might strike you differently depending how you feel about this. One thing that bothered me was that the girl getting it came off like such an idiot: she can't get the hotel reservation straight, she forgets to bring what's needed, she doesn't even know how far into her pregnancy she is (more than halfway through, the title implies), she lies and takes advantage of her friend... The latter is much more engaging and grounded, which comes as a relief. But as a whole, while I can appreciate what the film is going for, I can't for the life of me understand people calling this a masterpiece or the best film of the year and giving it the Palme d'Or, etc. ]

(10 Jun) The Happening (2008, M. Night Shyamalan) [ review ] 67

(10 Jun) Angel (2008, François Ozon) 76
[ Wonderfully old-fashioned, melodramatic and campy, this story of a poor girl who dreams of becoming a popular writer and living in a great big house with the man she loves is just the kind that would have starred Vivien Leigh back in the day. The next best thing, among contemporary actresses, might be Romola Garai, who is a peach in the lead... A naïve, unpolished, cheeky peach! This cross between "Gone with the Wind" and "Atonement" (sort of) is a visually ravishing, gorgeously scored, highly enjoyable treat. ]

(11 Jun) Stellet Licht (2008, Carlos Reygadas) 91
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(11 Jun) La vraie nature de Bernadette (1972, Gilles Carle) 65
(12 Jun) The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974, Ted Kotcheff) meh
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(12 Jun) Cruising Bar 2 (2008, Robert Ménard) 48
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(15 Jun) The Foot Fist Way (2008, Jody Hill) 64
[ Recalling both David Mamet's recent "Redbelt" and Ricky Gervais' "The Office", this sorta-mockumentary is a bit uneven and unpolished, but still works thanks to star Danny McBride and the terrific comic creation that is Fred Simmons. This Tae Kwon Fo instructor is such an asshole! Here's a guy who barely flinches when little kids or old ladies get knocked out and who carelessly says the most abusive things... Here's a comedy that seems fuelled purely by frustration and anger, which is quite ironic when the lead character keeps talking about courtesy, self-control and indomitable spirit! ]

(15 Jun) Transit (2008, Christian de la Cortina) 55
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(17 Jun) Truffe (2008, Kim Nguyen) 44
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(18 Jun) The Love Guru (2008, Marco Shnabel) [ review ] 65

(22 Jun) Le Marais (2002, Kim Nguyen) 38
[ A visually arresting but narratively muddled tale set in 19th century Eastern Europe, it features some intriguing fantastical elements and offbeat touches, but suffers from uneven performances and pacing issues. Like Denis Villeneuve and many other québécois filmmakers, Kim Nguyen can certainly shoot a picture, but he could use help in the writing department. ]

(24 Jun) Sukiyaki Western Django (2007, Takashi Miike) meh
(26 Jun) What We Do Is Secret (2007, Rodger Grossman) 56
(28 Jun) Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (2007, Jon Knautz) 61
(29 Jun) Second Skin (2008, Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza) ok
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(25 Jun) My Winnipeg (2008, Guy Maddin) 77
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(25 Jun) WALL•E (2008, Andrew Stanton) [ review ] 93

May / July