Spling reviews Cold War, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and One Careful Owner as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Listen to podcast.
Good morning – welcome to Talking Movies, I’m Spling…
This week, we’re talking about a music romance drama, a political court room drama and a comedy drama.
Starting off with a film now on Labia Home Screen…
In the 1950s, a music director falls in love with a singer and tries to persuade her to flee communist Poland for France.
Writer-Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Stars: Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot and Borys Szyc
– Cold War is a masterpiece, a film so perfect that it’s like they’re making mistakes on purpose just to avoid being too clinical.
– It’s as if Pawlikowski studied the greatest films in preparation for Cold War, which could be described as a blend between Ida, Casablanca and Vertigo.
– Shot in black-and-white, mesmerisingly photographed and capturing moments of pure cinema with Paris as the backdrop, it has faint echoes of Casablanca.
– Featuring a classically handsome actor in Kot and grappling with a haunting muse in Kulig, there are some reverberations of Vertigo.
– Being Pawlikowski’s film, the Polish influence and haunting undercurrent recall his equally beautiful drama, Ida.
– Every frame is an artwork and the soundtrack is designed to ring in such a way to create a sense of reality.
– The film moves at a brisk pace, using music to stir the soul and emotions much like La La Land.
– From leads to extras, every performer does their part to realise this film, while the production values and mis-en-scene make it seem like it was filmed in its time.
– The visual storytelling is so powerful that it could have been a silent film with its two strong co-leads coming across like Jimmy Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence.
– Cold War is fleeting and the brisk running time makes it a whirlwind, but it’s the kind of perfect storm many will want to repeat.
– While Pawlikowski’s enchanting and grand film may echo some of the greats, this signature masterpiece belongs among them.
– Cold War has subtitles and isn’t for everyone, but is pure gold for film aficionados.
A near-perfect 9 on the splingometer!
Moving on to a film now on Netflix…
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.
Writer-Director: Aaron Sorkin
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen and Frank Langella
– Sorkin is one of the best screenwriters working today, having crafted The Social Network, The American President and A Few Good Men.
– The brilliant screenwriter treats all of his screenplays much like a courtroom drama, packing them with dense and suspenseful dialogue.
– Having crossed over to directing his screenplays with Molly’s Game, The Trial of the Chicago 7 gives audiences another taste of his full-fledged vision.
– Based on actual events, this bizarre and even ludicrous courtroom drama is a political circus.
– Bolstered by a broad and strong ensemble of character actors, its an acting showcase with Mark Rylance and Michael Keaton chiming in with sharp supporting roles.
– It’s a smart, powerfully-acted and passionate screenplay, moving from some intense interactions through some lighter moments.
– The Trial of the Chicago 7 is strongest when it orchestrates the recreations of the Chicago riots in full swing against stand up comedy.
– While there are some correlations with 12 Angry Men, this thoughtful historical drama is equally character-driven, timely in its political swagger and coaxs some great moments reminiscent of A Few Good Men.
– While bold, impressive and playing to Sorkin’s strengths, you can’t help but wonder how it would have translated to screen under a more seasoned director.
… it did just enough to get…
An excellent 8 on the splingometer!
And finally a film premiering at the European Film Festival…
ONE CAREFUL OWNER
A go-getting life insurance executive buys an apartment for a bargain with one small snag.
Director: Bernabe Rico
Stars: Kiti Manver, Juana Acosta and Daniel Grao
– One Careful Owner is based on the stage play 100 Square Metres by Juan Carlos Rubio.
– Much like the Kevin Kline film, My Old Lady, this bittersweet Spanish comedy drama deals with an “inconvenience” when it comes to the purchase of a new property.
– Taking on some of the same quirkiness of The Lady in the Van, Manver’s performance makes One Careful Owner reminiscent of both Maggie Smith films.
– Centred on this unlikely and budding friendship, this delightful comedy has shades of light and dark dealing with the prospect of death quite flippantly.
– Two excellent co-lead performances from Manver and Acosta form the core of this sharp-witted and entertaining jaunt with echoes of The Intouchables.
– Clever verbal exchanges, fun set pieces, some touching drama and sparkling comedy lights the way.
– It’s ultimately a refreshing and uplifting comedy drama with enough wit and charm to captivate on the back of great chemistry and performances.
– While entertaining, it’s somewhat restrained by the steady creep of contrivances, which while more forgivable as a comedy interrupt the sense of authenticity and bittersweet charm.
A solid 7 on the splingometer!
So just to wrap up…
COLD WAR… this beautifully photographed, powerfully-acted, haunting and soul-stirring period music romance drama is a masterpiece… A near-perfect 9!
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7… a sharp screenplay and powerhouse ensemble charge this tense yet funny political court room drama… An excellent 8!
ONE CAREFUL OWNER… two strong co-leads and witty interplay overpower contrived moments in this delightful and unpretentious dark comedy… A solid 7!
For more movie reviews, previous Talking Movies podcasts and upcoming Bingeing with Spling watch parties visit splingmovies.com.
And remember, Don’t WING it, SPL!NG it!