Delicatessen (Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet – 1991) B+

Very similar in style to their City of Lost Children, COLC, (or should I say COLC is similar to this one since it is the newer of the two…no matter I saw Delicatessen after seeing COLC). So, it looks great and has some fantastic shots and images, like the shot going up  the plumbing of the old building or the montage when the butcher is having sex and the whole building and its residents’ activities seem to be in sync with his humping. I also like all the close ups of the actors faces that seems to exaggerate all their features. Works well to make them seem like futuristic mutants rather than ordinary human beings. As for the plot, I think it is better and much wickedly funnier than COLC but the strenght of both films ultimately is in the whole mood and visual appeal.

Annie Hall (Woody Allen – 1977) A+

I’ll admit I was poised to love this movie. I’ve heard so much about it, how fresh it was in dealing with the subject of relationships, how Allen uses so many techniques to tell this very ordinary story and how this is considered one of his best work.

 Well, it is all true, decades after it’s release AH still is one of the best movies I’ve seen about relationships (a romantic comedy!).  Another that come semi-close to that is When Harry Met Sally. Like most of Allen’s films, at least the great ones, this one isvery personal and real. It makes us feel like we really are privy to the filmakers honest to God thoughts feelings and more often than not, frustrations. I also love Diane Keaton here, she is genuinely cute and lovable. It is funny, but it goes beyond comedy and gives us a snapshot of dating and love between two ordinary people.

Another area that very few filmakers excel at is making really normal behaviors and situations amusing. I mean why is it so funny when Alvy tells Annie that she has a spider the size of a Buick in her bathroom? Why is his extreme irrtation at the guy behind him in the line at the movie theatre so worth watching over and over? His ideas about LA? His face when Annie orders her Pastrami on white bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato…. 

Babel (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – 2006) B+

This is Inarritu’s third movie where he ‘weaves’ together three or more stories that are ‘interconnected’ by a certain event or object or what have you. It is very good. I’ve never been to Morocco or Mexico for that matter,  but the scenes set there and the actors could not have been more perfect and I thoroughly enjoyed these two storylines.

Now, this film was good but not great. The reason for that was the very distracting Tokyo story. It was simply a movie on it’s own and so what if (SPOILER…of sorts) her dad gave the gun to the Moroccan hunter who then…nevermind. Point is, at some point a story simply attached to two other stories does not one whole movie make. This would’ve sat much better with me if Tokyo was edited out. Man, now this sounds too negative. It really is not meant to be and I quiet enjoyed watching it. Out of his three films, the one I enjoyed the most by far was Amores Perros.

Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris – 2006) A-

This is so much more than a movie about a little girl who wants to be in a beauty pageant. It really is about how family comes together. Yes they are weird, odd and the grandpa (played perfectly by Alan Arkin) could be labeled as a ‘dirty old man’. Still this movie treats them all with respect and gives them aspects we care about.

Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen – 1989) A+

Is it too much to give two A+ in one day? Nope. I still think Woody Allen is one of the most underrated -relatively- movie makers in America. You need proof? This focused, tight, wonderful written comedy of sorts. Long after Allen is gone, Crimes and Misdemeanors will still be remembered. The tale is so simple on it’s surface but if you look deeper you’ll see that the nature of God and his involvement in our lives is being tested here. Can one get away with murder and live with himself? what about the good rabbi who never hurt anyone in his life? Why is he going blind? Then we have Lester, the jerk, who cares about no one but himself. Why does he get the fame, money and the nice girl too? The dialogue here is one of Allen’s best as well, most notable is Judah’s reflections and conversations with himself, God and the rabbi.

The Remains of The Day (James Ivory – 1993) A+

One of the great movies of the fantastically interesting British aristocracy and it’s over the stairs/under the stairs culture. I love wathcing films like this and others (Gosfrod Park comes to mind) and cannot believe I have not seen it before. Stevens is such an unforgetable charcter in my mind that I cannot stop thinking about him, his mannerisms, his devotion to a fault to his masters. He literally wastes hislife, future and love in order to serve the people living in the Darlington house and Anthony Hopkins plays him with perfect precision that it is impossible to see anyone else in this role. The movie is filled with outstanding scenes like Stevens’ father death, the scene where Mrs. Kenton wants to know what book Stevens is reading, the small speech delivered by the American Mr. Lewis among many others. The rest of the cast is suprb as well, namely Emma Thompson of course and Christopher Reeve in a small but strong role.