Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Weekend in Movies

Last weekend, I managed to watch two (*YAY*) movies, first Australia on Friday, then Vicky Cristina Barcelona on Saturday.

With all the negative press Australia has received, I was positively surprised by how much I liked it. The love story between Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) and Drover (Hugh Jackman) was nice, but what really held my attention was Nullah's storyline. Since I visited Australia, I've been interested and appalled by the government taking bi-racial children - The Stolen Generation - away from their parents, mostly mothers. Brandon Walters was absolutely amazing in his first role as a young boy, hiding from the police and trying to do his part like all the other adults. His eyes are so expressive and it surprised me that he was 11 years old when they filmed the movie, I would have guessed him to be younger.

I also really liked how the cultural differences between British Lady Sarah Ashley and emigrants and Aborigines were shown. Sarah's lack of understanding for the Walkabout Nullah has to go on to become a man showed how disrespectful and/or clueless Western people often were and still are.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona was completely different, obviously. This movie, written and directed by Woody Allen, has a very interesting tone and way of telling the story, with a narrator explaining characters' thoughts and feelings. I left the cinema thinking about these characters, who don't know what they want in life, or get exactly what they want and then doubt if it really makes them happy. Last Sunday, the movie won a Golden Globe as 'Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical'. I liked the 'sex scene' between Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) and Maria Elena (Penélope Cruz), even though I would much rather just call it a kiss. The scene made a nice visual to the story and I was pleasantly surprised by how Cristina handled the situation. Plus, simple, yet great music accompanied the great shots of Barcelona.

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