Apr 2, 2014

The Month in Movies: March 2014

I Declare War / Proxy
Two very different indies topped my new film viewing this month.  I Declare War is a very funny coming of age movie set entirely in a game of capture the flag between teams of twelve year olds which takes a serious turn when one kid takes things too far.  It's a great film about how kids interact and how their imaginations work (the detail of the direction is especially impressive in this regard).  It's out soon in the UK and is highly recommended.

Proxy isn't the little charmer that I Declare War is, rather it's the most messed up film I've seen this year.  It changes focus and even genre several times, adding one more twisted layer every twenty minutes or so, resulting in me shouting "Oh... fuck" out loud several times while watching it.  In many ways it's this years Excision, not least because it showcases some outstanding female performers.

Non-Stop / Labor Day
If this month's worst films had a unifying theme it was 'the best at their worst'.  Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore doze their way through the abysmal Non-Stop; an action thriller with terrible action, no thrills and two fine actors visibly paying their bills.  It almost seems like there was some sort of bet on set and that a forfeit had to be paid if anything remotely entertaining was caught on camera. 

Labor Day, by contrast, is hugely entertaining but for all the wrong reasons.  Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet flounder as they treat some of the most laughably abysmal dialogue I've heard in years with the utmost respect and seriousness.  It's the best comedy I've seen since Adore, but it is one laughably shitty drama.

I nicked these awards categories from my friend AJ, who has been asking people to fill them out each month for many years at the joblo.com message boards.  Only first viewings are eligible.

Best Actor: Donald Sutherland - Invasion of the Body Snatchers ['78]
Best Actress: Alexia Rasmussen / Alexa Havins - Proxy / Nina Hoss - Wolfsburg
Best Supporting Actor: David Koechner - Cheap Thrills
Best Director: Jason Lapeyre, Robert Wilson - I Declare War
Best Screenplay: Jason Lapeyre - I Declare War / Torun Lian - Only Clouds Move The Stars
Biggest Surprise: 300: Rise Of An Empire
Biggest Disappointment: Muppets Most Wanted
Most Fucked-Up Movie: Proxy
“I’m Pretty Damn Sure No One Else Has Seen This” (and they should): Proxy / I Declare War / Only Clouds Move The Stars 
Best Scene: [In this case 'Best' scene] - The pie - Labor Day
“Why Is He/She Still in Movies?”: Liam Neeson / Julianne Moore - Non-Stop
One To Watch: Zack Parker (Director) - Proxy
Movie I Finally Got to Friggin’ See: Lady Snowblood
Coolest Title: Lady Snowblood: Blizzard From The Netherworld
Hottest Lady: Eva Green - 300: Rise Of An Empire

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