Category Archives: drama

Upstream Color – Shane Carruth (2013)

What a weird film! In the first scenes a woman is abducted, drugged and hypnotised apparently for some experiment. The kidnapper seems to have other strange experiments. Later we find Kris back at her house where it soon becomes unclear if the events actually took place.

After this she runs into a young man. Was he her abductor, was he a victim of the same man or is the whole film built of suppressed memories of either of them?

“Upstream Color” appears to be a collection of scenes that either or not have something to do with each other. The film does not really appear to tell a coherent story. I usually do not mind that, but in this case I have the feeling that there might be a story that I fail to grasp.

The film is slow, meditative and fairly minimalist. It is alright, but the vague impression it made, prevents me from saying that it is good. Perhaps I should just watch it again some day.

The Imitation Game – Morten Tyldum (2014)

The lauded film about Alan Turing who created a machine to crack the continuously changing Enigma code of the Nazis and thus devising the first computer.

British intelligence agencies gathered the best decoders, linguists and mathematicians to crack the Nazi code so they could be a step ahead and win the war. This was quite a task and Turing came up with the idea to not try to crack the code and having to do the same the next day when the code was changed, but to make a machine that figures out the settings that the Nazis changed every day.

The director turned the story of the troubled Turing into a nicely developing film.

Trumbo – Jay Roach (2015)

In the 1940’ies America and Russia were on friendly foot. One of the political parties in America was the Communist Party. When the relations between the two countries went down and the Cold War began, Communism suddenly became a threat to American society and a witch-hunt for (alleged) communists started.

We follow Dalton Trumbo (Bryan “Heisenberg” Cranston), who was a successful Hollywood script writer and also a communist. He and some of his colleagues and friends stuck to their political beliefs which caused them to be put in jail. After he got out, Trumbo thought up an elaborate plan to show that communists are not dangerous people trying to overthrow the government.

The film shows the grades of political convictions. Trumbo was some sort of ‘capitalist communist’ with his massive villa, while some of his friends were more radical. The shades disappeared and were replaced by white and black, right and wrong, and the people in power brainwashed the general audience to try to get rid off the menace called Communism.

“Trumbo” makes a nice film about a strange part of American history showing how caution can lead to hysteria which on its turn can lead to total neglect of the constitution.

City By The Sea – Michael Caton-Jones (2002)

I very common, but descent police drama. Robert de Niro is a detective who is put on a case in which a drug dealer was killed and dumped into a river. The prime suspect turns out to be his son. So we get a fairly typical police film with some extra drama.

Besides De Niro we also see Frances McDormand and a daughter of Robert de Niro.

Certainly not a must-see, but also not a waste of time.

Big Eyes – Tim Burton (2014)

Burton made a very ‘normal’ film, a drama about Margaret who has a very distinctive style of painting children with big eyes. She flees her first husband, soon runs into her second. This second husband proves fairly good in promoting her art, but under his own name…

In the 1950’ies we see a woman who tries to be independent but society is not ready for independent women so she keeps living under male domination. Until she decides to bring out the truth that is!

“Big Eyes” is an alright drama, but nothing really out of the ordinary.

Wind River – Taylor Sheridan (2017)

“Fargo” without the humour makes a pretty heavy watch. Not that there is nothing to laugh in “Wind River”, but this film is mostly a gloomy thriller with quite some drama.

Both “Fargo” and “Wind River” are based on true events and play in the icy lands of North America.

A native American girl is found frozen on a hill. The local police calls in the FBI and a somewhat green FBI agent arrives unprepared for the harsh climate and for the local people.

The story unfolds slowly which is well done. The film also features some great music that goes well with the long shots of snowy mountains. The director manages to show the hard life in an extremely cold climate.

A good film indeed.

Sleuth – Kenneth Branagh (2007)

An elderly man living in an extremely modern house has his wife’s lover as a guest. He decides to play a game with him.

What unfolds is a minimalistic film that plays mostly in one house and has only two actors: Michael Caine and Jude Law, whose characters try to outwit the other. This makes an alright film.

What makes the film somewhat better is that it is a remake of a film from 1972 in which Michael Caine played the wife’s lover. Caine certainly has a sense of humor.

Mother! – Darren Aronofsky (2017)

There was so much attention for this film, that I did not think it would be so strange.

Aronofsky made a couple of great films in a variety of genres. “Mother!” is hard to put a genre on though. It starts as a drama with slightly weird elements, but it slowly becomes a thriller or maybe even horror and the story gets stranger and stranger too. Where some other Aronofskys are very strong emotionally, “Mother!” did not work for my like that. It is entertaining though. The film gets so weird that I need to watch it again some time to figure out what the director actually wanted with it.

The story in short. A young woman lives together with a much older man in a gigantic and remote house that she is refurbishing while he is trying to revive his career as a writer. He is a very social person, continuously inviting people to the house, much to the demise of his wife. This inviting of people runs out of hand and then Aronofsky comes with a strange twist at the end.

Certainly not bad. Perhaps a bit too odd to already say if it is really good or not.

Predestination – Michael Spierig (2014)

This film takes the time-travelling concept to an extreme, but the result can be rather described as ‘annoying’ than ‘interesting’.

We follow agents who are sent back and forth in time to fight crime. We follow the recruitment of new agents whose stories are told throughout the film. Every time a new ‘circle’ is added to the film with a new explanation. Towards the end this gets pretty tiring.

Timescape – David Twohy (1992)

An early take on the time travelling genre.

In this very 1980’ies looking film, the single parent Ben takes a few weird people into his house. The group says to be tourists and as the story unfolds, they are not from another place but of another time.

The fairly descent story gets somewhat weird in the second half, but of course ends with Ben doing the obvious and becoming the hero.

Not bad, but also not a must-see.