Montreal Film Journal

2010 LOG (12)

(1 Dec) À quelle heure le train pour nulle part (2009, Robin Aubert) 67
[ Full with the sights and sounds of India, this free form, quasi-documentary experimental feature shows Aubert working without a net, throwing himself in just about the most chaotic shooting imaginable and coming out of a it with a vibrant and surreal exercise in style. Ostensibly about search quest of a man (Luis Bertrand) for his twin brother, this flawed but fascinating film often seems to get lost, but that's kind of the point. ]

(4 Dec) RENT (2005, Chris Columbus) [ review ] 83

(5 Dec) Greenberg (2010, Noah Baumbach) 85
[ Ben Stiller starts as the titular Greenberg, a smart but neurotic New York (half) Jew who, after having a nervous breakdown, is "trying to do nothing right now", which he ends up doing in L.A. in the house of his brother, who's gone on a trip. Greenberg also ends up sorta dating his brother's personnal assistant Florence, a pretty, quirky and interesting yet insecure, unassertive and nerdy young woman played by the utterly endearing Greta Gerwig, who's the absolute revelation of this film. Stiller's great too, but I figured a while ago that while his comic persona can be tiresome, he's a truly gifted dramatic actor (see also: "Your Friends & Neighbors", "Permanent Midnight", "The Royal Tenenbaums", etc.). Oh, he's funny here at times, but less in a broad comedic way, and more in a cynical, self-deprecating way à la Woody Allen or Larry David. Together, Gerwig and Stiller they share the awkward relationship to end all awkward relationships, which can be a bit befuddling because Florence is such a sweetheart and Greenberg is a borderline sociopath... But somehow it works and, by the time the "The Apartment"-style ending rolls along, we feel good about it, more or less. "Greenberg" is an observant, pointed, harsh, oddly charming film, with bright cinematography and a cool James Murphy soundtrack, but mostly some memorable characters played by some wonderful actors. ]

(6 Dec) L'Appât (2010, Yves Simoneau) 52

(7 Dec) The Fighter (2010, David O. Russell) [ review ] 90

(7 Dec) Rocky III (1982, Sylvester Stallone) 56
[ One of the lesser movies in the franchise, this third flick deals with cheap melodrama involving Paulie, Mickey and Adrienne, fights with goofy opponents (Hulk Hogan and Mr. T), and the homoerotic training Apollo Creed puts Rocky through. It's still watchable enough, but beyond that badass Eye of the Tiger song and the general idea it embodies ("So many times, it happens too fast / You change your passion for glory / Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past / You must fight just to keep them alive / It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight", etc.), it's really not all that good. ]

(10 Dec) Tiny Furniture (2010, Lena Dunham) 23
[ Here's a self-indulgent, boring indie flick -a glorified student film, really- about a frumpy young college graduate (writer-director Lena Dunham) who just moved back into her family's spacious Tribeca loft. We follow her as she gets a job as a hostess in a restaurant, hangs out with her BFF, dates some guys (more or less), fights with her artist mother and teenage sister... You can tell the film is trying to be hip and witty but in this very understated, deadpan way, but none of it really connects. In sorta kinda the same range, Sook-Yin Lee's "Year of the Carnivore", while not a very good film either, is still a whole lot better than this. ]