Sunday, 15 February 2009

A couple of film things

Following the BAFTAs, someone suggested Israeli movie Waltz With Bashir should have won the award for the best film in a foreign language, rather than I've Loved You So Long, the French drama starring a rather wonderful Kristin Scott Thomas. This could be indicative of a continuing anti-animation bias, or snobbishness, but I do think I've Loved You… is the better film. (Waltz is essentially a rather straight, personal documentary with some very beautiful artistry on top.)

I'm still bothered, however, by I've Loved You's tremendously limp, if not downright nonsensical, ending. Throughout the film I was convinced we would discover that Scott Thomas's character, Juliette, was covering for her younger sister, Léa (the equally brilliant Elsa Zilberstein), that Léa had killed Juliette's young child, and had blanked this childhood trauma from her mind. The actual ending is tremendously disappointing; a good film that needs a final kick in the tail to become a great one?

I hope the Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan is up there next time with a BAFTA nomination for his typically gloomy Three Monkeys. Beautifully filmed, as ever, I hope that he will one day tackle a Simenon adaptation, he has such a knack for capturing humanity, and atmosphere. There's some lovely characterisation in Three Monkeys, and all those train whistles, creaking doors and boat horns would fit directly the world of Simenon, a world of misplaced people, looks and wishes.

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