It’s easy to remember the films that sparked your own love of film at one point of your life or another, and during my early teens, one of those films was none other than Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas. As an impressionable teenager who was pushing myself to watch more films in general, I remember first watching this on a television broadcast and I’ve been watching it again and again every chance I had; whether it be on subsequent reruns or at my own home to that point where every beat had been rooted so deeply in my head. And although it may not be my favourite Martin Scorsese film, it still encapsulates everything that I find to be what makes his work so wholly wonderful.
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Divorce is not an unfamiliar subject writer-director Noah Baumbach, as shown through his exploration of the psychological effect of joint custody on children in The Squid and the Whale. In Marriage Story, what Baumbach shows you is a different perspective of the divorce, rather one that takes the perspective of the adults in the situation as they are about to part their own ways. As one can imagine, it never would feel easy in any sense of the word and Noah Baumbach cuts really deep into where you really feel it hurts. These are people who know they can’t stick together any longer, but that uncertainty regarding how they feel about one another still rings so strongly. If there were anything else that best makes the film’s title fit so perfectly, it’s best described by what Baumbach shows about what we realize as something that seemed so meaningful finally must come to its own end.
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The Place Beyond the Pines is a very interesting case for myself because it’s a film which I remember being extremely fond of back when I first saw it, and over time and many revisits I’ve found myself liking it less and less each time. That’s not to say that I’ve rewatched it enough to think of it as a bad film, because it’s very far away from such a distinction but it certainly feels as if after having worked so well once, it ended up losing its own way within another point and in the end, a film which I remembered as something I thought rather highly of chimes out as a film which only left me all the more disconnected from it. It feels rather disappointing seeing what Derek Cianfrance is capable of when he directed Blue Valentine. Continue reading →