Category Archives: drama

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.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Misouri – Martin McDonagh (2017)

Frances McDormand is superb as Mildred, the mother of a teenager that has been killed seven months prior. The investigation seems to have gotten stuck and Louise rents three billboards to ask the police about the state of affairs. The local chief is Willoughby (an also great Woody Harrelson) who has his own problems.

The film is presented as a dark comedy, but in my opinion it is a heavy drama with some dark humor. The film shows how Louise’s actions divide a small community. Both ‘sides’ have their points and both ‘sides’ have their drama. The situation derails quite a bit leading to interesting scenes and more drama.

A very good film with great acting.

Mr. Nobody – Jaco van Dormael (2009)

Van Dormael made one of these Hollywood ‘new vague’ films. Think of a pretentious and strange, cut up story like that of “Interstellar” but with the soap of a film like “Magnolia“.

Mr. Nobody is an old man looking back at his life. This is shown in confusing montage. The same (young) man keeps dying and does not. It appears that the (senile?) old man tells different versions of his life, versions how things would have been, would he have made other choices.

The film contains well done adolescent (failed) romance, scifi, pompous philosophy and, like I said, confusing montage. Do not expect an easy film, but an ununderstandable clutter memories. This is done with a more than descent atmosphere.

Indeed, a ‘difficult film’. Not a bad one either.

Mr. Holmes – Bill Condon (2015)

What a ‘normal’ and dull film. I suppose I read something good about it…

Holmes is an old man who has retired 35 years ago after a particular case. Now that his memory slowly fades away, he decides to reconstruct the story of that last case that caused him to retire.

This results in flashbacks and two interlacing stories. It is not badly done, but very drowsy. Perhaps the director wanted to keep the atmosphere of the Sherlock Holmes books.

Mystic River – Clint Eastwood (2003)

Eastwood has created a descent drama which plays in the 1950’ies USA. An Italian (?) (maffia) family is shook up when the eldest daughter is found dead. A policeman with close connections to the family investigates the murder and the father uses his own network to find the killer.

“Mystic River” shows how old structures collide with new and has a few twists to prove that not everything is what is seems to be.

Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford (2016)

This not too convincing film contains two stories. In the ‘real world’ we follow a rich art-lady whose life does not go exactly as she hoped. She receives the manuscript of a book of her ex and that story is the other half of “Nocturnal Animals”.

In the book a family is driven off an abandoned road. The man is dropped out of a car, the wife and daughter are later found dead. With the help of a policeman, the man tries to find the men responsible.

Both stories start to run through each other. This results in a few descent scenes, but overall the film is a not too good drama with thriller elements.

Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin (2011)

In this fairly typical arthouse film we mostly follow Martha who has been in some sort of commune from which she escaped and fled to her sister.

The film tells but parts of the story. We do not know how Martha came to join the cult. Nor do we find out what exactly caused the trauma she has. The film jumps back and forth between the present and events in the two years that Martha lived on the farm. What is well done is that the past and present start to run through each other. And then the film just stops.

The film is alright, but it should have been less ‘artsy’ and just tell the story it wanted to tell.

Contact – Robert Zemeckis (1997)

This film looks older than it is. Perhaps that is because I connect Jodie Foster to older films? Perhaps I thought it to be older, for a scifi with a ‘big story’ it still is an early one.

“Contact” is based on a big ‘what if?’, but keeps pushing the original idea. What if we would receive messages from a civilization of another planet? What if this message contains a means to travel to them? And what if the technique is way different from what we are used to?

Eleanor Arroway (Foster) is a promising student in the field of space exploration, but her determination to find alien life forms makes her career difficult. Of course, after a while she succeeds against all odds, but the film does not stop there. A good story unfolds with many considerations of the discovery, scientific, religious, the reaction of the general public, etc.

The film contains some way too thick drama and Hollywood moralizing, but when you can set yourself over these elements, “Contact” is a good film about an interesting subject.

The Future – Miranda July (2011)

Weird, this film is entirely not my genre. A romantic drama type of film. Somehow I read something about it when it came out that made me want to see it. It took a while before I did, because I never saw it anywhere until recently.

We follow a bored and boring young couple who decide to start to live for their last month (after which they will adopt a cat). The man goes to work for charity, the girl finds another friend. The film is very slow and very minimalist with strange dialogues about odd subjects and a couple of strange elements. Nothing much really happens, but I think the director tries to make their characters (and the viewer) wonder about simple things in life.

Not my genre and indeed, not really my film.

The Beguiled – Sofia Coppola (2017)

Sofia Coppola made a couple of very good films and a couple of ‘alright ones’. In “The Beguiled” (falling in the latter category) she returns to the costume drama genre with a film playing in America during the Civil War.

In a house full of young ladies a wounded soldier in found in the garden. The soldier is a Yankee, a Northerling, and the ladies school is in the South. Decided is to have the soldier heal and send him on his way. The girls are of a variety of ages, from young to adolescent to young adult. Of course all find the soldier very interesting bringing friction among the inhabitants.

There is not much of a story to the film. Coppola more seems to aim at displaying psychological changes that occur in the group with the arrival of the stranger. Also, even though we never leave the house and its direct surroundings, the film gives an idea of what it was like in the time of the war between North and South.

A star cast drama for a rainy autumn evening, but not a film to place high on your list.