Movie reviews – february 2014
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Movie reviews – february 2014

For details and showtimes, see the websites above.   ODEON Cinema piazza Strozzi 2, tel. 055/295051     January 30–31, February 3–5 NEBRASKA A tour de force by Bruce Dern in Alexander Payne’s highly acclaimed drama. He is sozzled decrepit

Thu 30 Jan 2014 1:00 AM

For details and showtimes, see the websites above.


ODEON Cinema

piazza Strozzi 2, tel. 055/295051



January 30–31, February 3–5


A tour de force by Bruce Dern in Alexander Payne’s highly acclaimed drama. He is sozzled decrepit Woody Grant hitting the road from Montana to Nebraska to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes prize. ‘Shot in beautiful tones of black and white (and silver and gray), Nebraska is steeped in nostalgia, regret and bittersweet moments. Yet it’s also a pitch-perfect cinematic poem about the times we live in’ (Chicago Sun-Times). ‘Only someone with intimate knowledge of the Midwest’s singular cadences, social codes and confounding emotional stew (er, covered hot dish) of aggression and politesse could pull off something as masterful, meaningful and poetic as Nebraska’ (Washington Post). ‘Nebraska may not be startlingly new, and sometimes we can see the epiphanies looming up over the distant horizon’ (The Guardian). ‘The absurdist atmosphere feels thin: the movie is like a Beckett play without the metaphysical unease, the flickering blasphemies and revelations’ (The New Yorker).



February 1–2



Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of convicted wealthy stockbroker Jordan Belfort’s memoir chronicling his rise and fall on Wall Street in the 1990s. Corporate banking corruption and investor defrauding are par for the course along with his hard-partying, addiction-fuelled personal life. Scorsese is at full throttle in this salacious and overlong exercise in debauchery. ‘The oddest thing of all about The Wolf Of Wall Street is also the most unusual for a Scorsese film: it is incredibly, incredibly funny’ (Empire). ‘As hot and wet as freshly butchered meat: every second, every frame of its three-hour running time is virile with a lifetime’s accumulated genius’ (The Telegraph). ‘This movie may tire you out with its hammering, swaggering excess, but it is never less than wide-awake’ (New York Times). ‘If you’re going to invest three hours watching a movie about a convicted stock swindler, it needs to be a whole lot more compelling than Martin Scorsese’s handsome, sporadically amusing and admittedly never boring — but also bloated, redundant, vulgar, shapeless and pointless — Wolf of Wall Street’ (New York Post).



February 6–12



Mystery drama. The intertwined lives of four couples living in and around Sydney are central to this intriguing whodunnit. It is about secrets, real and imagined, and how they can poison relationships. Major AFI Award winner. ‘Stuns with writing, acting, direction’ (San Francisco Chronicle). ‘Haunting, powerfully acted, penetratingly written, it’s about people coming home—and not coming home—to their marriages’ (Boston Globe). ‘An astonishingly well acted film, so much so that it seems unfair to single out any of the performances. Mr. Lawrence’s camera sense is as sure and unobtrusive as his feel for acting. The movie just seems to happen, to grow out of the ground like a thorny plant, revealing the intricate intelligence of its design only in hindsight’ (New York Times).



February 17–23



The Coen brothers’ latest and possibly one of their greatest. New York, 1961. A week in the life of Llewyn Davis, aspiring singer. With little more than his guitar he struggles to make it as a musician on the Greenwich Village folk scene. ‘Brilliantly written, terrifically acted, superbly designed and shot; it’s a sweet, sad, funny picture about the lost world of folk music which effortlessly immerses us in the period’ (The Guardian). ‘The Coens have given us a melancholic, sometimes cruel, often hilarious counterfactual version of music history. It’s a what-if imagining of a cultural also-ran that maybe tells us more about the truth than the facts themselves ever could’ (Time Out). ‘One thing’s for sure about this raw provocation from the Coens: Like the music, the pain runs deep and true. You’ll laugh till it hurts’ (Rolling Stone).




Lungarno Guicciardini 9

tel. 055/26778270


Visconti retrospective


February 5, 8pm



Anna Magnani plays Maddalena, the Roman popolana whose star-struck ambition for her child Maria—to get her into the movies at all costs—is inevitably doomed to disillusionment when the cruel reality of Cinecittà and its workings sink in. ‘A moving film, especially because of Anna Magnani’s interpretation. Bellissima presents typical Viscontian touches like the aria “Quanto è bella quanto è cara” from Elisir d’amore by Donizetti, which opens and closes the film, and the abrasive intensity in the scenes of Maria’s interview and screen test. Well-constructed, predictable, but entertaining, Bellissima is one of Visconti’s minor successes’ (Clara Tonetti). ‘Though Maddalena is hardly a typical mother, in her own peculiar way she embodies all the aspirations that mothers with scant knowledge of the big world might have for their little daughters. The typical is concentrated in the extraordinary’ (Henry Bacon).


February 12, 8pm



Visconti’s operatic and melodramatic tendencies are given full vent in his first Risorgimento film. This is a highly charged, both emotionally and politically, historical reconstruction of events surrounding the Battle of Custoza and the Austrian occupation. Sleeping with the enemy has its destructive consequences. ‘Melodrama has a bad reputation since it has been abandoned to schematic and conventional interpretation. In Italy, this style meets a natural disposition of the people… I love melodrama because it is at the border between life and theatre’ (Visconti). Farley Granger (dubbed) plays the feckless Austrian lieutenant Mahler and Alida Valli, the countess Serpieri, whose fiery relationship and its bitter collapse are at the centre of the story. ‘Visconti maintains the tension between the personal and the national throughout. He frames her story with magnificent scenes of revolution and war staged on a vast scale and winds Livia’s spiral through the pageant of history playing round her. Visconti’s camera moves through these dense, richly-composed and vividly choreographed scenes with a grace and sensibility that tells the story of the war while making a grand action painting from the death and destruction’ (Turner Classic Movies).

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