Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Two More Films For Your Lists...

It feels like I’m indulging myself by writing these film reviews every few days at the moment but my week started utterly miserably except in terms of my choice of viewing. These are two films that are just about perfect.

Breach

There are certain types of movies that will always get my attention but espionage movies are probably at the top of that list. I don’t mean Bond movies, or even Bourne movies. I like spy movies with a sense of realism. They are the films that Robert Redford made so well. Three Days of the Condor being one of the best, but also into that category I might add All The President’s Men. Breach is one of those old fashioned movies. Shot almost in monochrome in grey-walled rooms without windows, filled by men with slide rules in their pockets, it doesn’t rely on chases or gun fights. It relies on men keeping secrets.

The film is based on the real-life capture of American FBI agent, Robert Hanssen, who sold secrets to the Russians. It’s not quite as slow as something like Tinker Tailor but it has that kind of intensity with Chris Cooper giving a performance more than worthy of an Oscar. His Hanssen is a knot of Catholic dogma, obtuse reasoning, brilliant deduction, treacherous actions, and with layers of darkness you cannot hope to penetrate. It’s not a film that gives many answers, but leaves you with a glimpse of the great unexplored chasm in men’s souls. A great movie.

Ratatouille

The night before, I managed to catch Ratatouille, of which Mark Kermode recently said he wished it a little less perfect. I wouldn’t go that far. It is just perfect. It’s the story of a rat with a gift for taste, but it’s actually a warm fable about the relationship between the artist and the critic. Beautifully written and with some of the most subtle CGI in recent years, it deserves an Oscar. It even makes me wonder why animated movies don’t get nominated for the main award categories. Recent years have given us Spirited Away and now Ratatouille, each of which would be worthy winners of the big prize.

3 comments:

Momentary Academic said...

Oh, Chippy. You're so multifaceted. You'll have to tell us the story of you as artist and someone as critic (not just the ladies giving you tenners). Thonglateers need this aspect of their lives told as well.

Sen. Peter Higham Paul said...

O/T but I'd like to know how the Tassano chap, educated though he is, manages to score "family" and friend status in MBL and your humble servant here is in with the plebs. Does one have to do a guest blogging stint at Heraklites to qualify?

Big Chip Dale said...

MA, well... of course I am. As a critic of the thong, there are few more respected, though I tend to be too generous in my praise. Perhaps one day I'll post one of my reviews...

Senator, I never really use MyBlogLog that much, but I've now added you, quite correctly, as friend, contact, and family. We Higham-Dales need to stick together.