Deliver Us From Evil

YEAR: 2006

WRITER: Amy Berg

DIRECTOR: Amy Berg

BUDGET: ?

GROSS: $196,585

 

over the last years a lot as come to light about the problems in the catholic church, that have been going on for decades, of priests molesting children and the church hierarchy basically covering it up. Deliver Us From Evil is an excellent documentary about exactly that.

the film's center piece is an interview with father oliver o'grady. and his story is a perfect microcosm of the huge problem that went on for so many years in the catholic church. juxtaposed with the o'grady interview and story are interviews with some of the families and children, now grown, that he betrayed.

o'grady is completely candid in the film as he talks about all the horrible things he did to the children of his various parishes. he talks frankly about how he ingratiated himself into their families and used his position of trust among faithful catholics to abuse their children. it isn't easy to listen to. but what made me just as angry watching the film, is the institutionalized protection he got from the church hierarchy as his superiors - in this case mostly cardinal mahony - did everything he could to sweep o'grady under the rug and away from view so that it wouldn't effect his chances of becoming cardinal - putting politics and power ahead of the children and justice (obviously it worked, since he did become cardinal).

the film shows how father o'grady was moved from one parish to the next (pretty much all within 50 or so miles of each other). and in one incredible move, mahony placed him in a really out of the way parish to keep him out of view of Rome. however, the parish was so out of the way that o'grady didn't have any superiors near by. he was basically running the show on his own. can you fucking believe it?!!

our hero of the story - besides the families that have spoken out - is father thomas doyle who reaches out to families and has spoken out against these horrible abuses and the way they weren't dealt with (and in so doing has been almost black listed and kept from advancing in his career).

the film is really well directed and is something that everyone should see regardless of faith. Deliver Us From Evil isn't an attack on religion or faith but on those that use the institution to do evil and those that know about it and do nothing.

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Five Minutes Of Heaven

YEAR: 2009

WRITER: Guy Hibbert

DIRECTOR: Oliver Hirschbiegel

BUDGET: ?

GROSS: $13,217

between 2001 and 2005, director oliver hirschbiegel made four films in his native germany - two of which were the pretty good Das Experiment and the great Downfall (i haven't seen the other two yet). then in 2007 he faltered with his first english language film, the not good movie that was The Invasion (check out my discussion of all four Invasion Of The Body Snatchers versions here).

thankfully he got back up on the horse and in 2009 delivered Five Minutes Of Heaven, a film about truth and reconciliation that in a way is a reconciliation of its own with fans of hirschbiegel who had had to sit through The Invasion - okay, so that's me being a bit over dramatic, but i liked the metaphor so i went with it.

Five Minutes Of Heaven begins in northern ireland in 1975. alistair little is 17 years old and a member of the uvf and he is getting ready to kill his first catholic. the problem is that when he gets to the house to do it, the victims 11-year old younger brother, joe griffin is outside and alistair does it right in front of him.

cut to 33 years later and both boys (now grown men) are being driven separately to a house where a television show has promoted and arranged for the two men to meet for the first time since that night. the crew is there and everyone is ready to film the meeting and that first handshake leading to truth and reconciliation.

in the ensuing years since the incident, little did serve 12 years in prison and since then has traveled a lot, had many speaking engagements, has been involved in helping other reconciliations and has become a bit of a celebrity. the way his driver and the tv crew all talk to him with almost reverence is a little eerie.

on the other hand, griffin has never got over it. his mother basically blamed him for what had happened - saying that he didn't do anything to stop it - and never forgave him. he has lived for 33 years with the image of what happened and the guilt and anger from his own mother weighing on him. while the tv crew and cameras are there to capture the truth and reconciliation, joe griffin wants revenge.

both neeson and nesbitt give strong performances and guy hibbert's script is allowed to shine as herschbiegel takes a very simple approach to the story telling. the film almost feels like a play as it plays out in but a few locations - thus putting the dialogue and the performances front and centre.

although things don't go as smoothly in the film, after having watched Five Minutes In Heaven i would be more than willing to meet director oliver hirschbiegle in person and shake his hand and reconcile with him and forgive him for the pain he caused me - and every other theatre goer - that had to sit through The Invasion.

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2010 Oscar Predictions

WILL WIN are in bold 

SHOULD WIN (where i have an opinion) is underlined 

 Did Win are BIG 

 

 

 

MY SCORE: 17/24

well, the oscars have come and gone and i had an average go with my predictions this year. it wasn't my most impressive performance, but it wasn't awful either. where i messed up this year was with the shorts (animation, live action, documentary). normally i get at least one of those right and this time nothing. and then, missing both screenplay winners is just awful. but, i went  17/19 for the rest of the awards and a perfect on the top 6 categories which isn't bad.... so, how did you all do?

Best motion picture of the year
  • Avatar
  • The Blind Side
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Precious
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
  • Up In the Air
Performance by an actress in a leading role
  • Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
  • Helen Mirren (The Last Station)
  • Carey Mulligan (An Education)
  • Gabourey Sidibe (Precious)
  • Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)
Performance by an actor in a leading role
  • Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
  • George Clooney (Up In the Air)
  • Colin Firth (A Single Man)
  • Morgan Freeman (Invictus)
  • Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
  • Matt Damon (Invictus)
  • Woody Harrellson (The Messenger)
  • Christopher Plummer (The Last Station)
  • Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones)
  • Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
  • Penelope Cruz (Nine)
  • Vera Farmiga (Up In the Air)
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart)
  • Anna Kendrick (Up In the Air)
  • Mo'Nique (Precious)
Best animated feature film of the year
  • Coraline
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • The Secret of Kells
  • Up
Best Documentary Short Subject
  • China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
  • The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
  • The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
  • Music by Prudence
  • Rabbit à la Berlin
Best Short Film (Animated)
  • French Roast
  • Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
  • The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)
  • Logorama
  • A Matter of Loaf and Death
Best Short Film (Live Action)
  • The Door
  • Instead of Abracadabra
  • Kavi
  • Miracle Fish
  • The New Tenants
Achievement in art direction
  • Avatar
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Nine
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • The Young Victoria
Achievement in cinematography
  • Avatar, Mauro Fiore
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Bruno Delbonnel
  • The Hurt Locker, Barry Ackroyd
  • Inglourious Basterds, Robert Richardson
  • The White Ribbon, Christian Berger
Achievement in costume design
  • Bright Star, Janet Patterson
  • Coco before Chanel, Catherine Leterrier
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Monique Prudhomme
  • Nine, Colleen Atwood
  • The Young Victoria, Sandy Powell
Achievement in directing
  • James Cameron (Avatar)
  • Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Lee Daniels (Precious)
  • Jason Reitman (Up In the Air)
Best documentary feature
  • Burma VJ
  • The Cove
  • Food, Inc.
  • The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
  • Which Way Home
ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
  • Il Divo, Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
  • Star Trek, Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
  • The Young Victoria, Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore
Achievement in film editing
  • Avatar, Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
  • District 9, Julian Clarke
  • The Hurt Locker, Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
  • Inglourious Basterds, Sally Menke
  • Precious, Joe Klotz
Best foreign language film of the year
  • Ajami
  • El Secreto De Sus Ojos
  • The Milk of Sorrow
  • A Prophet
  • The White Ribbon
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
  • Avatar, James Horner
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox, Alexandre Desplat
  • The Hurt Locker, Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
  • Sherlock Holmes, Hans Zimmer
  • Up, Michael Giacchino
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
  • "Almost There" from The Princess and the Frog Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • "Down in New Orleans" from The Princess and the Frog Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • "Loin de Paname" from Paris 36 Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
  • "Take It All" from Nine Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
  • "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from Crazy Heart Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
Achievement in sound editing
  • Avatar, Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
  • The Hurt Locker, Paul N.J. Ottosson
  • Inglourious Basterds, Wylie Stateman
  • Star Trek, Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
  • Up, Michael Silvers and Tom Myers
Achievement in sound mixing
  • Avatar, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
  • The Hurt Locker, Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
  • Inglourious Basterds, Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
  • Star Trek, Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson
Achievement in visual effects
  • Avatar, Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
  • District 9, Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
  • Star Trek, Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton
Adapted screenplay
  • Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (District 9)
  • Nick Hornby (An Education)
  • Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche (In the Loop)
  • Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious)
  • Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner (Up In the Air)
Original screenplay
  • Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker)
  • Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds)
  • Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman (The Messenger)
  • Joel and Ethan Coen (A Serious Man)
  • Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy (Up)

Best And Worst Of 2009

looking back, 2009 was a good year overall. however, that overall positive average comes from a rather okay to disappointing big blockbusters and general cinema-near-you fair, to a good to great smaller film and surprise blockbuster year...

the summer blockbuster season was generally a disappointment with films like Watchmen, Terminatore and Transformers all ending up on the "worst of" list. and how can we forget Avatar (i know it wasn't a summer release). sure, it was a huge sucess money-wise and with many critics, but it wasn't a good movie... there were some successesthough, like Star Trek, Inglourious Basterds and District 9 - but even then, you look at the budget for District 9 at $30 million and that is almost independent film budget level.

on the other hand, many of the smaller/foreign/independent/less-publicized films that grabbed my interest ended up living up to expectations - which is often not the case (with the exception of the painfully disappointing The Limits Of Control of course).

like i always say: i can't see everything. so, now is time to list some of the films that have been making the rounds on other list, and garnering awards nominations, that i hadn't seen when i put mine together. they include:

Crazy Heart, Up In The Air, State Of Play, Bright Star, A Single Man, Moon, Anvil: The Story Of Anvil, The Cove, Public Enemies, Me And The Orson Wells, Food Inc....

with all that being said, let the listing begin......

DON'T FORGET (BEST)

1.  Inglourious Basterds
2A Serious Man
3Humpday
4Hunger
5500 Days Of Summer
6.  In The Loop
7.  Distric 9 & I'm Not Your Friend
8.  Fantastic Mr. Fox
9World's Greatest Dad
10.Bronson

don't forget (honorable mention): Up, Where The Wild Things Are, Away We Go, Precious, Star Trek, I Love You Man, Tyson, Adventurland, The White Ribbon, FAQ About Time Travel

 

FORGET (WORST)

if you want to read some short discussions on these crappy films, you can see a write-up on some of them at www.notgoodmovies.com 

1.   Terminator Salvation
2.   Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
3.   Surrogates
4.   The Limits Of Control
5.   G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra
6.   Watchmen
7.   Angels And Demons
8.   The Invention Of Lying
9.   Gamer
10. Avatar

Kundun

Kundun_ver1 get Kundun

Year: 1997 

Writer: Melissa Mathison   

Director: Martin Scorsese 

Budget: 28 million (estimated)

Domestic Gross: $5 532 301

even great directors like martin scorsese make a bad movie sometimes (i personally wasn't a big fan of Gangs Of New York), however sometimes they just make a movie that doesn't do well - which as we know doesn't always reflect on the actual quality of the film (this is what filmed but not forgotten is all about people).  Kundun is one such film.  Kundun was released in 1997, the same year as the other dalai lama movie Seven Years In Tibet.  Seven Years made more money, but Kundun was the much better film.

rather then telling the story through the eyes of a westerner, as 7 Years did with brad pitts character, Kundun tells the story of the 14th dalai lama through his eyes (what a crazy concept).  It's obvious why 7 Years approached it the way they did - in order to have a big name star in the role and not alienate the general audience with all no-name tibetan actors - kind of like what they did with tom cruise in The Last Samurai.

Kundun begins in 1937 when a two year old tibetan baby is identified as the reincarnation of the dalai lama, the compassionate buddha.  the story then follows the child's life as he grows up, is schooled as a monk, sees his country invaded by china, travels to meet chairman mao and in 1959 becomes ill and flees to india.

scorsese tells the story beautifully, taking us on this powerful journey with the dalai lama and making us feel his story directly - rather then indirectly through some other character - the one scene of many that still stands out in my head is one in which the dalai lama is having a vision of the slaughter of hundreds of monks and the camera just starts on one and slowly rises to reveal a huge area covered with slain monks.  the cinematography by the great roger deakins is gorgeous - deakins is one of the best cinematographers of the last 20 years working on such films as O Brother Where Art Thou, The Man Who Wasn't There, A Beautiful Mind, Fargo and Jarhead (see what i mean). 

the music must also be mentioned as must the composer of the score, philip glass.  glass has composed operas, dance and theater pieces and scored many movies - the two that stand out in my mind without even thinking about it are Kundun and The Truman Show.  the beautiful and evocative music fits the film perfectly.

scorsese is one of the great film makers of his generation, but when asked to name his great works, people usually remember Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino and now The Departed (just saw it last week and it is really good).  however, i am here to remind you about one you might have skipped because it doesn't sound like a scorsese film, or forgotten about cause it left theaters pretty quickly and got jipped out of an oscar nomination.  Kundun is one that deserves to be mentioned with the others in this master film makers oeuvre.

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