Archives for posts with tag: diane kruger

Omar: 3.7 out of 5

Comin at yah with another review, I’m trying to crank these out at the rate of one per day until I’ve caught up on all the ones I have to write. This time I’ll be reviewing the Jaco Van Dormael’s trippy Mr. Nobody. This one was Liz’s pick but I’m glad she picked it because I wanted to watch it just as badly as she did. It was an odd movie but I mean that positively.

Mr. Nobody was both written and directed by by Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael and star Jared Ledo in the lead role of Nemo Nobody. I’ll try to give you a brief outline of what the film is about but I can’t promise I’ll be very successful as this movie does not progress linearly and makes it a bit difficult to keep track of everything. Essentially this movie revolves around Nemo Nobody at different stages in life and in different planes of existence. It is said that before birth children remember everything that WILL happen (aka their futures). Before being born they pick their parents and then special angels press a finger to their lips and the child instantly forgets everything. For some reason Nemo was forgotten by the angels and when he starts life he can see into all his possible futures. All is fine and dandy until 9 year old Nemo is faced with the reality that his parents are divorcing. On the day that his mother is boarding a train to leave and start her new life, Nemo is forced by his parents to decide who he wants to live with and who he wants to leave behind. Why they would leave this decision to the very last second or why they would leave this decision to a nine-year old is beyond me but people be crazy so we’ll roll with it. At that moment the story splits into a ton of different places in which we see where Nemo’s life can go depending on what decisions he makes (starting with which parent he chooses to live with). I’ll leave it here because I don’t want to spoil anything but there is much more to the story.

I usually write notes while watching movies I know I’m going to review but on this particular day I was tired and bitter about the fact that Liz and I couldn’t find a single donut shop that was still open so I didn’t take notes. I’m trying to remember as much as I can. If my memory is true, I took issue with the film on the primary grounds that the story was much too choppy and confusing. I have nothing against intricate movies or movies that make you really think or even do a little research to understand them but this was a different case for me. The story was awesome in that it was structured to show just how different life can be depending on what choices we make. The fact that it has to portray so many drastically different lives explains much of the choppiness but the jumping back and forth between stories and some of the random events that happened or things that were said too often had me going, “wait what just happened?” Immediately after finishing the movie I told Liz that I didn’t think I liked it much. I really don’t think I was in the best frame of mind to be watching this movie because after doing a little research for clarification on what had happened in the film I did end up appreciating it more. I also think that this is one of those movies that needs multiple viewings to fully appreciate. Regardless, this review stands as is based on my single viewing.

Now that I’ve gotten my main complaint out of the way I can get to some of the stuff I liked about the movie. While I did think the story could have been executed much better, I do appreciate what the story was trying to do as a whole because it is quite the ambitious project and certainly got me thinking. The end reveal that SPOILER: the entire movie was just playing out in Nemo’s nine-year-old mind and that the old Nemo, the future society of quasi-immortals, etc. were just figments of the imagination of nine-year-old Nemo was truly thought-provoking and well done.

Another aspect of the film I enjoyed was the cinematography. The makers of the film decided to use really bright colors and interesting patterns throughout the film and there were really tangible differences in style between the various lives Nemo lives. It was interesting to see these differences developed and I appreciated the detail given to each one.

The acting was also good in this movie. Jared Leto has proven time and again to be a very versatile actor and I love how varied his role choices are. This wasn’t his flashiest or best role but he did a nice job in the role of Nemo and conveying different emotions depending on which Nemo he was at the time. The soundtrack to this movie was great as well. The song choices as well as the original stuff put together for this film fit the mood of the film perfectly and was one of the stronger aspects of the film.

In the end I gave this movie lower score because it had a great idea that really lost focus a few too many times for me. It was complex but complex in a way that I didn’t make me feel all that inclined to unravel what it was trying to say when I couldn’t figure it out on my own. I did end up re-reading some details about the film to write this review and I remembered that I appreciated the movie more in the grand scheme of things. The score would be even lower if I had written it closer to the date when I watched the movie. At about an 2 hours and 30 minutes in length this movie also felt like it dragged on longer than it had to. This is especially true in the many instances when the movie loses its focus. I would say this one is worth a watch if you’re into more philosophical movies and the multiple-worlds theory of life. Plus its on Netflix.


Liz: 2.5 (????? I think???) stars out of 5

Mr. Nobody (2009), directed by Jaco Van Dormael and starring Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh Dan Pham, Rhys Ifans (and others!) is a film that I had been hearing a lot about recently. I had heard generally positive and interesting reactions to this and so I wanted to see it for my movie turn. Unfortunately, I wasn’t sold on this movie — read on!

Quick Liz summary: Nemo Nobody is the oldest mortal man left on Earth after humans have become quasi-immortal. He recounts his life and important events that have happened, which individually branch out as alternate life choices and their consequences are shown.

Let’s start with what I loved about this movie. The cinematography (Christophe Beaucarne) and the visual effects (Louis Morin– who did work in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) were absolutely beautiful! They reminded me especially of the visual effects in the cancelled-too-soon show Pushing Daisies and also maybe Wes Anderson, in that many scenes seemed almost straight out of a story-book or a doll-house, if that makes sense. The colors were bright, especially when Nemo was a younger child, and everything looked like it was ~almost~ fake, which reminded me a lot of The Truman Show as well.



Another thing that I appreciated about this movie were its general themes of choice, time, and the butterfly effect. Old Nemo can’t really seem to recall how his life played out and so he goes back to major life events and alternate life paths play out as he considers the different choices he had at the time. I really like the whole idea of the butterfly effect and how your life could have turned out a different way if you made a different choice at one certain time. It also really freaks me out and makes me think if life is up to fate/ destiny or if it’s just super random and whatever happens happens. I don’t really like the latter because I start wondering what my life would be like if I didn’t decide to buy those shoes that one day or something. large

This leads me to the things that I didn’t really like about this movie. While I loved the theme, the way that it was executed was just waaaay too confusing for me. The whole movie I was just like “UHHHH wait what?” From the beginning, the movie was clearly about choice and the way life can turn out differently based on whatever you decide, but for some reason, I was just really confused during the film despite being able to grasp what it was trying to do. Perhaps it was the non-linear style of the film that was throwing me off, but it just didn’t work out for me at the end and I was a bit displeased by that. It completely ruined the experience for me; I really wish I liked it more. Maybe it’s just one of those movies that you have to read about afterwards in order to appreciate what it was trying to accomplish, but I at least would have liked to feel like I understood SOMETHING.

The final thought I have about this movie is how the one person of color in this film — Linh Dan Pham — was given a really weak, ignored character to play. I understand that Diane Kruger is the bigger, more well-known actress, so obviously she was going to get a more important character but AGH, I just wish that better roles were give to Asian women in general and not relegated to a lesser, more supporting role.

Well, that’s all I have to say about it! I’m interested to see what Omar has to write about this but I’ll tell you what he said at the end of it — “I don’t think I liked it..” Haha, wait and see!

Upcoming reviews from me — What We Do In the Shadows.

Liz: 3.9 (maybe 4 if I’m being nice) out of 5 stars

Now for a review of a movie that I had been reluctant about watching. Inglorious Basterds (2009) is  directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars a number of people including the incredible Christoph Waltz, Brad Pitt (always good), Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, and more. I had tried watching this movie when it first came out but I couldn’t quite get into it and gave up very early in. Since then, I’ve heard people say that they absolutely loved this movie, etc etc so of course I was curious to try it again. I finally got around to that a couple days ago! Though I had some issues with it, I liked it so much better than the first time and enjoyed it overall.

Quick summary: Inglorious Basterds is an alternate war history film that is about two separate assassination plots on Hitler and his top men- one by Shosanna (Laurent), a French Jewish woman whose family was murdered years before by SS Colonel Hans Landa (Waltz), and the other by Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Pitt) and his all Jewish-American soldiers. On to the review!

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ooooo That’s a bingo!

Undoubtedly, my favorite part of this movie was of course the performance of Christoph Waltz, which earned him his first Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor), amongst many other accolades. In my opinion, he definitely deserved it. It is clear that SS Colonel Hans Landa is an evil evil man. But what makes his character even more unnerving is his giggling, smile, and odd pleasantry. It was really fascinating how Waltz was able to convey both sides at the same time. He made it all look effortless and natural as well. At first, the sillier side to Waltz’s character didn’t convince me — he’s an evil Nazi and this more pleasant side to him is just unnecessary. But after thinking about it, I appreciate it more just because what the heck, this movie is an alternate history portrayal so whatever. Love you Christoph Waltz– definitely a memorable experience.

Next, this movie was simply gorgeous! There are so many examples of this, but the two particular scenes that I won’t ever forget are: when Shosanna is standing in the window of the theater at the end and also when Shosanna’s face is on the screen in flames:

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inglourious-basterds-movie-screenshots29The stills don’t do the scenes very much justice but I’ll explain a little further. The first image is pretty straightforward for me– it just looked so cool. The second image — Shosanna just looked awesome– the vividness of the red of her dress, her silence, etc etc — it just looked incredible on screen. I loved it! The accompanying music was also just so great (I love the music in Tarantino’s films).

The whole alternate history aspect of this movie is another favorite just because how cool would it have been if history was actually like that? The two assassination plots, but especially Shosanna’s, were so perfect and ridiculous and I enjoyed watching the two play out.

Now to the parts I didn’t like. Scenes were so drawn out at times, in particular the bar scene with Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender, and co. and also the ending. It’s not that I thought they were bad scenes, they were just way too long for my taste and could have been cut down sooooo much, if there juts wasn’t so much TALKING. That’s the other thing I really didn’t like. The dialogue was waaaaay too much for me. I appreciate the witty banter that is so characteristic of Tarantino, but here, it was overwhelming and got boring after awhile.

Overall though, I don’t even know why I didn’t enjoy this movie when I first tried to watch it. Maybe I was just too young and distracted by something else. It was a fun film, definitely not a favorite Tarantino film for me but I liked it.

Upcoming review from me: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.