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drama

I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore – Macon Blair (2017)

Ruth is a nurse in a nursing home. In her boring life she becomes more and more annoyed by the selfishness of our time.

One day Ruth comes home and finds a burglar in her house. The police go about their routine, but do not really seem to want to try to help Ruth finding her belongings back. With a neighbour, Ruth starts her own investigation.

Ruth and Tony first encounter petty crime, but as their investigations continue, they move up in the chain. A bit of a “Fargo” type story unfolds. Anything that can go wrong…

“I Don’t Feel” is an amusing drama / comedy with some very black jokes.

Lucky – John Carroll Lynch (2017)

In spite of the last name, there seems to be no familial relationship to David Lynch and the director. You may know him as an actor though. That said, J.C. Lynch obviously dove into the world of David Lynch for his debut, picking long term Lynch actor Harry Dean Stanton for the leading part and David himself as an actor too!

Stanton is one of the actors who passed shortly after the finishing of the third season of Twin Peaks, age 91. In that last year he also managed to play Lucky.

Lucky is an old man living in a remote, Southern American desert village. He is a sight in his little town, walking around with his cowboy hat. In the film we see Lucky talking about life, his fear of dying, but mostly, we see a charming old man going through his daily routine.

“Lucky” is a slow, minimalist, slightly melancholic and beautiful drama.

Rest in peace, Harry.

Advantageous – Jennifer Phang (2015)

Gwen works for a plastic surgery company. She is the face of the company that is in development. Not only are they working on new techniques, but also on reaching a younger audience and Gwen is getting older. She is side-tracked and ready to be sacked.

Life is not easy and Gwen has problems getting by financially. The risk of becoming unemployed is especially burdensome because she wants her high IQ daughter to get a flying start in life.

Initially Gwen starts looking for other jobs, but when that fails, she volunteers to be one of the first test subjects of a radical new treatment.

“Advantageous” is a melancholic and intimate drama that plays in the (near) future.

The Professor And The Madman – Farhad Safinia (2019)

Oxford University has a long time wish to make a dictionary of the English language, but the project keeps stranding. At last they hire the outsider James Murray played by Mel Gibson.

Murray has no university degree. He is a self-taught expert in a stunning amount of languages. After some doubt, he can start is the project. He has some unconventional ideas. Instead of reading everything available in the English language to distill words, definitions and thus the development of the meaning of the word, he wants to use the general public to mail cards with words, meaning and sources so they can catalogue and cross-check them.

One of the volunteers is William Minor (Sean Penn), convicted for shooting a man, a mad, but otherwise brilliant man, with a lot of time on his hands.

The story may sound a bit dull, but actually the film is a very well done drama with an interesting story and good acting.

1922 – Zak Hilditch (2017)

Farming is Wilfred James’ life. He manages to marry the pretty Arlette to double his land, but in spite of a son, the marriage is not a happy one. Arlette has little with their hard life and wants to sell her father’s land and move to the city. Wilfred and son Henry prefer to stay on the farm.

The arguments get more and more bitter and when Arlette starts to make plans to force her plans, Wilfred starts to make plans to prevent this from happening.

The story is based on a novella of Stephen King, but has but little of the typical King horror elements. “1922” Is mostly a drama with a few horror elements. The story is not very surprising or even interesting. The atmosphere of the film is alright, but overall, the film is fairly dull.

I’m Thinking Of Ending Things – Charlie Kaufman (2020)

More active as a writer than as director, but Charlie Kaufman has made a few interesting films. And so we have another not too big-audience film on Netflix.

Two way too intelligent youngsters just got into a relationship. After about six weeks, they take the long trip down the road to meet his parents. Kaufman let them make all kinds of intelligent, know-it-all discussions. The “young woman” already has second thoughts about the relationship and her thoughts acts somewhat as the voice over.

When at the parents the situation is, of course, a little awkward for both, but then ‘the Kaufman effect’ sets in and it seems like the “young woman” sees her relationship with Jake and with his parents in different times.

When the two drive back home, they visit a 24/7 ice bar in the middle of a snowstorm and later end up in Jake’s old school where things get even weirder. Kaufman even threw in ballet and musical.

Once more Kaufman delivered a tragic romantic story in a surrealistic and melancholic style. If you like Kaufman’s other work, this Netflix original may be a film to watch some time too.

Notre Jour Viendra – Romain Gavras (2010)

The name of the director rings a bell, but I do not think I have seen a film by Gavras. That is until a friendly ‘Redditor’ suggested “Our Day Will Come” with Vincent Cassel.

The box promises a weird film. The actions of the main characters may be a bit off, but the film itself it a pretty straight forward drama.

Rémy has red hair (very dark red) and he has been bullied for that his whole life, slowly building up anger. In a quite strange event he meets the bored psychiatrist Patrick (played by Cassel). It is not entirely clear to me if Patrick is also supposed to be a redhead and shares in Rémy’s fate or if he just wants to break his boredom provoking Rémy.

An unlikely roadtrip unfolds in which Patrick tries make Rémy grow up by force (getting him into fights, connecting him to easy girls, etc.). Patrick’s delusion grows and he turns to violence and so the two work themselves into more and more problems.

“Our Day Will Come” is a drama with some violence and madness. It very faintly reminds of “Natural Born Killers”. The film is alright.

Snowtown – Justin Kurzel (2011)

  • drama

Jamie grows up in an Australian slum town. His single parent mother tries her best with four sons, but things are hard. Life in general is hard and everybody vents his/her frustrations to the ones closest.

Then mother Elizabeth meets a man who is good to her and her sons. Too good perhaps. He evens runs some sort of neighborhood vigilante group, often inviting the neighbors for meetings.

Soon it becomes clear that Gavin’s group is somewhat over active. Are they actively looking for pedophiles and homosexuals to take care off? Are these people even what somebody says they are or is everybody too afraid to not be able to present victims to Gavin?

Jamie is a quiet boy, which is not strange as you will soon learn. Initially Gavin is some sort of father figure, but just as with his group, Gavin’s idea of making a man out of Jamie good way off into the extreme.

“Snowtown” is quite a heavy drama. You better not know more about the story than the above. Story wise it would have been easy for this film to have been a thriller of sorts, but instead of focusing on Gavin, the film is mostly about Jamie.

Not great, but especially since the film is based on true events, a somewhat disturbing film.

Órbita 9 – Hatem Khraiche (2017)

A sci-fi drama from Spain, not too bad.

Helena was born on a spaceship that her parents abandoned. For most of her life, she has been alone on the ship. Then there is a problem and a young man comes to fix it, Helena grabs her change.

The viewer then learns that the story is not entirely what it seems and Álex cannot get it over his heart to not let Helena in on the information, but he chooses a fairly rough way to do so.

“Órbita 9” starts as a bit as an “I am Mother” type science fiction drama, turns into more of a romantic type of film but there are also thriller and action elements.

The Meyerowitz Stories – Noah Baumbach (2017)

  • drama

The Meyerowitz family is a family of artists living in New York. The pater familias is Harold, a great part of Dustin Hoffman. Harold was a relatively big artist a few decades in the past and he used to teach at the prestigious Bard College.

Adam Sandler plays Danny who used to be a pianist, but his star fell and his life is not going exactly as he wanted. His daughter is going to Bard too though.

Then there is the successful brother Brian he found his fortune outside art and we have a somewhat neurotic sister Jean. Actually, there are not exactly all brothers and sisters since Harold has had four wives.

Harold thinks he is quite a big shot and the lives of pretty much the entire extended family circulates around his. In lengthy monologues Harold continuously spews his ideas of society, life and of course the world of art. Sandler’s plays the neurot trying to get his own life straight, but also that of his family. A few events in Harold’s life brings the whole family together, or not.

“The Meyerowitz Stories” is an amusing film, mostly a drama, but an entertaining one with weird dialogues, strange situations and a critical view on the subject matter.