Film Reviews (Late Summer 2005)

Mysterious Skin (2004) directed by Gregg Araki (Splendor, 1999); starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet: Snaprating=Cheaper, CHARACTER theme. Depicting the ugly and troubling results of pedophilia (from two victim's points of view), this wonderfully directed film succeeds where The Woodsman and Palindromes did not.
Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) directed by Miranda July (Jesus' Son, 1999); starring John Hawkes and Miranda July: Snaprating=Cheaper, RE-ORDER theme. This jigsaw-puzzle of vignettes paints an odd-joyful portrait of two characters and everyone they know. Fans of Todd Solondz's Happiness and Wes Anderson's Royal Tennenbaums will like this film.
The Devil's Rejects (2005) directed by Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses, 2003); starring William Forsythe and Sid Haig: Gory-film-Fan Snaprating=Cheaper, All Others Snaprating=WFC, PROBLEM theme. A very gory — yet humorous — sequel, which outshines the slasher-flick which spawned it. Fans of Natural Born Killers will be thrilled by this shock-film because of it's caliber of acting and script.
The Chumscrubber (2005) directed by Arie Posin (Over My Dead Body, 2002); starring Jamie Bell and Camilla Belle: Snaprating=WFD, CHARACTER theme (secondary Re-Order theme). Fans of the Keepers Donnie Darko and American Beauty may enjoy this staged, Robert-Altman-esque, saga of self-medicated Californians because of the superb acting and the nod to Un Chien Andalou (1929).
Broken Flowers (2005) directed by Jim Jarmusch (Coffee and Cigarettes, 2003); starring Bill Murray and Sharon Stone: Snaprating=Cheaper, CHARACTER theme. Wonderfully directed, in a High Fidelity-meets-About Schmidt-way, this film never underestimates it's audience's intelligence. Cannes got it right this year.

Up and Down (Horem Pádem) (2004) directed by Jan Hrebejk (Divided We Fall, 2000); starring Petr Forman and Emília Vásáryová: Snaprating=WFC, RE-ORDER theme. A second-string depiction of hatred and bigotry, like an uncohesive Crash set in Europe.
Eulogy (2004) directed by Michael Clancy (Emily's Last Date, 1996); starring Zooey Deschanel, Debra Winger, Hank Azaria and Ray Romano: Snaprating=WFD, RE-ORDER Theme (Character sub-theme). A Hilarious mix of Big Chill and Home for the Holidays.
Employee of the Month (2004) directed by Mitch Rouse (directorial debut); starring Matt Dillon and Steve Zahn: Snaprating=Cheaper, PROBLEM theme. The skillfully written script overshadows all, even the the heavy-handed direction and average editing, in this amalgamation of Bad Santa, Clerks, and "About Last Night...".
Look at Me (Comme une image) (2004) directed by Agnès Jaoui (The Taste of Others, 2000); starring Marilou Berry and Jean-Pierre Bacri: Snaprating=WFD, CHARACTER theme. Fans of Real Women Have Curves may enjoy this story of a misunderstood daughter and her shallow family surrounded by French stereotypes.

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