Review 2010: The Opinion Engine: 28/31: My year in films that aren't Inception. Part Two.



I Am Love

Few directors have rarely known what to do with Tilda Swinton’s unique aristocratic exoticism. Most often she becomes the forbidden magical object of desire or else the wicked queen. I Am Love combines the two and also notices how sexy she is. To a degree this is simply a modern Visconti film (thankfully without the weird dubbing) and pornography for us cineastes who like our cinema with long expositional scenes filled of people eating, random intercourse and a pulsing John Adams soundtrack. But it’s impossible not to become wrapped up in the class politics and the atmospheric photography that favours the master, preferably if the characters are hidden within.

Iron Man 2

Since Christopher Reeves pulled on his tights and flew, superhero comic book adaptations have been fundamentally insubstantial because they transplanted the character from a complex multi-creator mythology and made them a unique figure within a relatively realistic universe. Finally, Marvel are doing something about that and though I can understand the frustration of some fans that IM2 spent too much time setting the ball rolling towards The Avengers, isn’t it just fun to finally to have Tony Stark in a universe with Shield, Black Widow et al and judging by the closing scenes of this a panoply of other heroes. It’s just a pity that some of the crown jewels, Spiderman, Fantastic Four and the X-characters don’t exist in this version of the Marvel Universe because of prior arrangements.

Letters To Juliet

Since gorging on the sleuthing series in a week earlier in the month, Amanda Seyfried has now in my brain become “Lily Kane off of Veronica Mars” and she’s done rather well for herself since that happened in 2006. Like Frozen, Letters To Juliet should be horrible with its one dimensional characters having the kind of problems most people would kill for and though it's crying out for Robert Riskin to drop through a time/space wormhole and give it the kind of polish he gave Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night, somewhere between the Italian landscapes and Vanessa Redgrave I was enchanted.

Of Gods And Men

Four teenage girls attended the screening of this at the Cornerhouse at Manchester. They’d stocked up at the Sainsburys opposite beforehand an proceeded to masticate through four large bags of Doritos and assorted or crunchy goodies and then at the end when I turned around I could see them shrugging at each other in as much as to say “I don’t get it.” Not even these minxes could really spoil this tough but deeply moving mediation on rebellion in the face of absurdity, of fighting for what you believe in. Probably the perfect companion piece for Agora, in that it shows the flip side of religion, the one that’s the conscience of society. The Swan Lake scene is one of the greatest of all time.

Salt

Well, yes. Easily dismissed as Bourne-lite there’s still a certain manic excitement to Salt which is replete with the kinds of moments I love when even a jaded film viewer like me who thinks he’s seen enough films now that he can predict which direction a narrative is heading to scream with delight and there are few actresses who could pull of the emotional misdirection which Angelina Jolie is called upon to provide here at least not with the indefinable complexity which goes beyond the script. Like the Millenium trilogy, I can’t wait to see all of the dvd, which contains two other versions of the film which take much the same footage but spin it into two substantially different stories, which sounds like a full length version of Run Lola Run.

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