Apr 8, 2017

The Month in Movies: March 2017

Film(s) of the Month
The Story of Sin / The Eyes of my Mother / Dial M For Murder
The last film I saw this month was easily the best, but of course it was, it was Hitchcock. Dial M For Murder is a brilliantly written film; intricate and thrilling, with both script and direction tipping their hand JUST enough to keep us on the edge of our seats while never giving away enough that we can see all of the twists coming. The month's other highlights are both beautifully composed films. I've fallen in love with Walerian Borowczyk's work since Arrow Academy started putting out new blu ray editions. The Story of Sin is perhaps not my favourite, but it's a stunningly photographed film that, like much of its director's work, elevates exploitation cinema to something closer to fine art. While The Story of Sin has images packed with gorgeous detail, The Eyes of my Mother takes a different approach; its frames are stark and spare, but no less dazzling to look at. Nicolas Pesce makes the most disturbing images in his film some of the most beautiful through his striking formal compositions. It can initially be alienating, especially taken alongside the detached performances, but the effect is cumulative and I found the film sunk its hooks ever deeper into me as it went on.

Worst of the Month
The New Guy / Fateful Findings
Two different kinds of terrible movie this month: The New Guy is slapdash effort from the height of the early 2000's teen movie boom. It's a charmless, witless effort, as poorly acted and shot as it is written. Then there's Fateful Findings. Neil Breen's third film is very much in the Ed Wood mould. Breen does everything; writing, directing, acting, editing and much more besides. Incoherent and laughably abysmal as it is, this is the film of someone who aspires to something. Breen clearly believes in his vague message about government corruption and in the 'romantic' 'thriller' through which he's delivering it. His incompetence as a filmmaker makes this an interesting film, even if it is truly terrible. There's something to be admired in that. It's still shit though.

Best Actor: Daniel Kaluuya: Get Out / Shahab Hosseini: The Salesman
Best Actress: Taraneh Alidoosti: The Salesman / Pauline Etienne: The Nun
Best Supporting Performance: AnnaLynne McCord: Trash Fire
Better Than the Film: Anya Taylor-Joy: Morgan / Juno Temple: Safelight
Best Director: Walerian Borowczyk: The Story of Sin / Alfred Hitchcock: Dial M For Murder
One to Watch: Jordan Peele / Daniel Kaluuya: Director/Actor: Get Out
Best Visuals: The Story of Sin / The Eyes of My Mother
Biggest Surprise: Kristen Stewart's performance in Personal Shopper (not so keen on the film as a whole)
Biggest Disappointment: Police Story: Lockdown / Certain Women
I'm Pretty Sure No One Else Has Seen This: The ABCs of Love and Sex
Movie I Finally Got to See: Dial M For Murder
Coolest Title: The Bloodstained Butterfly

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