A week of Film: The Reviews

Conversations with Other Women , 2005 

Helena Bonham Carter, Aaron Eckhart

Steve Yedlin’s cinematography is absorbing and whimsical; it has you both searching for a wider meaning, as well as merely playing on the idea that a cinematographer is an artist of a moving visual.

The film plays on ideas of past and present. Dense of a sort. The cast, though small, hones in on the very emotion and idea of the film. And though it can be seen as a picture overly focused on the outcome, the story is raw; of both concept and the way it is played out, it is not a story of an idealistic romance or a doomed relationship, but one of something quite seductive and alluring. Acted with intelligence and compassion, as well as humour, it is unpredictable and worthwhile.

Frances Ha, 2012 

Adam Driver, Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig

Bordering on becoming a woeful story of an unsuccessful twentysomething, this film is more likeable. As well as being pictorially strong (shot in black and white), Gerwig reflects her affable quirks in every scene. It can be seen as an ode to some of the classics, honouring the films of Woody Allen and the French new wave.

The story of reality and it’s mundane instants, are told almost quite perfectly; a Parisian experience is shown as being furthest from cliched, but entirely realistic to many. Gerwig does not suffer so much an identity crisis as Frances, but plays a character who is rather certain. She embodies a twentysomething with vision, whom is stuck; an idea we have seen more recently on television, such as in Lena Dunham’s Girl’s, but there is something distinct about Gerwig and this film, written by both Gerwig and Noah Baumbach.

Manhattan, 1979 

Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Meryl Streep, Michael Murphy

Manhattan is a classic film, with one of the greatest opening scenes; though possibly due to my personal love of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue forefronting the movie, and the montage of New York.

To fall in love with the city, is just a perk of watching the film and of course, being of Woody Allen, the likeness to many of his greats is reciprocated through this film. Comedy is class. Characters are enticing. Gordon Willis shoots beautifully.  There are many elements of this film which could be discussed, from the perception of characters and place, to the realism of speech or even the nature of the story. The cinematography, sound and fashions, can also be discussed and it does become a film which can be discussed at length; however, what must be said, is that Manhattan, may always be considered, one of Allen’s greatest pieces of cinema.


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