Tag Archive: drama


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Why I watched it : The first time ? Leo of course ! but it’s on tv tonight and my parents haven’t seen it… Please note that I’m currently undergoing the painful process of watching a good American movie dubbed in French !

Tagline :Someone is missing.

Who is in it : Director: Martin Scorsese (I would start with Goodfellas, move on to Casino and then straight to all the DiCaprios and Hugo…  Also keep an eye out for The Wolf of Wall Street and Sinatra to come out some kind of soon) Writers : Laeta Kalogridis (Alexander and soon the potentially disastrous Terminator 5) &  Dennis Lehane (who wrote the novel but also the books which inspired Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River. He also wrote a few episodes of the Wire and Castle)

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Teddy Daniels : Leonardo DiCaprio (Start with “What’s eating Gilbert Grape” and work your way up through “Titanic” and all the Martin Scorcese)

Chuck Aule : Mark Ruffalo (First saw him in 13 going 30, I liked him better in Just like Heaven, Zodiac but I still think he’s best as the new Hulk ! 2 years to go till Avengers 2! Until then we’ll have Now you see me to pass the time…)

Dr. Cawley : Ben Kingsley (47 years of career !!! Tough to summarize but I’ll try, Schindler’s list (of course!), not so sure about Species but Lucky Number Slevin  is a must, the Wackness, Prince of Persia and Hugo…  that should give you a pretty good idea of what he can do until we see him in Iron man 3… As for me I’ll try to find a copy of Ghandi)

Dr. Naehring : Max von Sydow

Dolores : Michelle Williams (Dawson’s Creek is far away, then Brokeback Mountain, I’m not there, Blue Valentine, My week with Marilyn and the more recent Oz the (not so) great and powerful)

Rachel 1 : Emily Mortimer (I only remember her as one of Hugh Grant’s potential girlfriends in Notting Hill) Rachel 2 : Patricia Clarkson (When I see her I always have flashbacks of Jumanji !)

George Noyce : Jackie Earle Haley

Warden : Ted Levine

Deputy Warden McPherson : John Carroll Lynch

Laeddis : Elias Koteas

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What it is : Drama, Thriller

What it is about :

In 1954, Teddy Daniels, a U.S. Marshal from Portland, goes to Shutter Island to investigate a disappearance. The island’s sole purpose is to host a hospital for the criminally insane and the escapee is a murderer who is believed to be hiding nearby.

What I liked about it :

Well I first watched it because it’s a Leo movie, well it’s a Scorsese-Leo movie and it’s a Scorsese-Leo movie based on a book by the guy who wrote Mystic River … I hadn’t seen it yet I already loved it !

What I loved most it that it messes with your mind all through the movie, Teddy’s confusion and paranoia brings exactly the kind of messed up universe I like. Of course Leo’s intense acting and the contrast with Ben Kinsley helps. (I think that by now you’ve understood how much I love both actors !) At some point you start believing everyone on the Island is crazy (which is both highly probable and plausible  considering the nature of the island…). Changing the actress who plays Rachel adds to the confusion. And that end brings very deep debates with your friends, those endings you’ll love to hate : Is he or isn’t he ? I find this end to be a mix between Usual Suspects, for the surprise “reveal”, and Inception, for the doubt left behind. The whole story bears a lot of resemblance with Inception though. Leo is haunted by his dead wife and his past as a soldier during WWII and starts loosing touch with reality.

I really like the movie, but I found that I don’t have a lot to say about it, it’s just the kind of universe that I like. So I thought I’d go on the web and read a little bit more about the movie and that it would give me ideas… What I found out is, most people who review movies are those kind of people who like to make really complicated sentences, with lots and lots of information, with obscure references and a tendency to comment the movie frame by frame including an extensive “i’m not going to tell what happens at the end but i’ll tell you anyway but without really telling you” … and all this just cut down my inspiration ! I refuse to start writing more just because it’s what’s expected so this “review” is short, the next one might not be !

Quotes :

[first lines]

Teddy Daniels: Pull yourself together, Teddy. Pull yourself together.

George Noyce: This is a game. All of this is for you. You’re not investigating anything. You’re a fucking rat in a maze.

Teddy Daniels: Anything unusual occur?

Nurse Marino: Define ‘unusual’.

Teddy Daniels: Excuse me?

Nurse Marino: This is a mental institution, Marshal. For the criminally insane. Usual isn’t a big part of our day.

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Teddy Daniels: I’m not violent.

Warden: Yes, you are. You’re as violent as they come. (…) Cawley thinks you’re harmless, that youcan be controlled, but I know different.

Teddy Daniels: You don’t know me.

Warden: Oh, but I do.

Teddy Daniels: No, you don’t. You don’t know me at all.

Warden:  Oh, I know you. We’ve known each other for centuries.

Rachel 2: Fifty years from now, people will look back and say, “Here, at this place, is where it all began. The Nazis used the Jews, Soviets used prisoners in their own Gulags. And we – we tested patients on Shutter Island.”

[Last lines]

Teddy Daniels: So, what’s our next move?

Chuck Aule: You tell me.

Teddy Daniels: I gotta get off this rock, Chuck. Get back to the mainland. Whatever the hell’s going on here, it’s bad.

[pause]

Teddy Daniels: [sotto voce] Don’t worry, partner, they’re not gonna catch us.

Chuck Aule: That’s right, we’re too smart for ’em.

Teddy Daniels: Yeah, we are, aren’t we?

[pause]

Teddy Daniels: You know, this place makes me wonder.

Chuck Aule: Yeah, what’s that, boss?

Teddy Daniels: Which would be worse – to live as a monster? Or to die as a good man?

[gets up and walks off]

Chuck Aule: Teddy?

Advertisement : Shutter-Island-Canal

“Everytime Leo takes the boat he has trouble.” (I’d say every time he has kids too !)

Trivia :

Anagrams : The title “Shutter Island” is an anagram of both “Truths and Lies” and “Truths / Denials”. It is shown in the movie that Andrew Laeddis is an anagram of Edward Daniels. It is also shown that Rachel Solando is an anagram of Dolores Chanal.

There are several clues and intentional continuity errors throughout the film that foreshadow the ending. This includes a patient’s drink of water disappearing between shots (she drinks from an empty hand), a cardigan appearing briefly on ‘Rachel’ (which is later worn by the other ‘Rachel’) and lines from Edward/Andrew’s dreams being repeated (such as “Why are you wet, baby?”). These techniques are also used in his dreams showing a similarity between what he perceives as a dream and what he perceives as real.

The quote “remember us for we too have lived, loved and laughed” seen on a plaque on the way to the mental institution is taken from Medfield’s Vine Lake Cemetery. A contest was held to come up with an quote to be used on a stone marker as a remembrance of those who died in the 1918 influenza epidemic known as the Spanish flu.

The traumatic killing of Nazi guards of Dachau concentration camp is a historical event, taking place on 29 April 1945 when the camp was liberated by the US Army.

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The working title was “Ashecliffe”.

This is the fourth time that director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio have worked on a film together. They previously collaborated in Gangs of New York, The Aviator and The Departed.

A recording of Gustav Mahler’s piano quartet plays in the SS officer’s office at Dachau. Music by Jewish composers, like Mahler, was banned in Nazi Germany. No hard-line SS officer would have owned or listened to blacklisted Jewish music.

Martin Scorsese instructed Leonardo DiCaprio to base his performance on that of Dana Andrews in Otto Preminger’s Laura (1944).According to Dennis Lehane, the script of Shutter Island reminds of classics like Shock Corridor or Laura. Martin Scorsese has projected both films to his team (along with Out of the past, Crossfire or On Dangerous Ground) to make them grasp the genre he was looking for. To prepare for the role, Leonardo DiCaprio gathered information about the special training the U.S. Marshals followed in the 50s, about the experiences of the veterans of World War II and the methods applied in psychiatric institutions that hosted the mentally ill at the time. He also read the novel by Dennis Lehane several times.

Shutter Island was shot in the closed psychiatric hospital  of Medfield State Hospital, inMassachussetts which was also used for The Box (2009).

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(500) days of summer


Tag Lines : Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn’t.

This is not a love story. This is a story about love.

It was almost like falling in love.

Why I watched it : The title, poster and tag line just talked to me + cast

Who is in it :

Director : Marc Webb

Written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Tom Hansen : Joseph Gordon-Levitt (you’ve recently seen him in Inception (2010) and you might remember him as Cameron in 10 things I hate about you (1999))

Summer Finn : Zooey Deschanel (Bones’ Emily Deschanel little sister)

McKenzie : Geoffrey Arend (currently in Body of Proof (2010), also seen in Garden state(2004))

Rachel Hansen (the little sister) : Chloe Moretz (Hit girl in Kick-Ass (2010))

Paul : Matthew Gray Gubler (whom you know as Dr Reid on Criminal Minds (TV, since 2005). The reason he wears scales in season 5 is because he hurt his knee dancing with his co-workers from the film)

Millie : Patricia Belcher (whom you can see on Bones (TV, since 2006) as Caroline, the prosecutor)

What it is : Romance, comedy, drama

What it is about : Tom is a former architecture student who now creates greeting cards for a living. He meets Summer at his office and the movie follows their unusual love story.

What I liked about it : The cast, as usual. Summer’s character is really original. Her personality is well built. You really understand how she stands out and how they click together when they pretend living at Ikea. Also when you get to see both their apartments with Summer’s coffee table (you can see there is a derby hat with a green apple on top of it just like a famous painting) or the giant blackboard Tom uses to draw on. The little sister’s character is also very funny, in the sense that she is the one giving him advice on his love life.

I liked the little drawings used to illustrate the days going back and forth. How the weather changes accordingly to how the relationship is going : good weather = they’re in love, bad weather = they’re fighting. I loved the moment when Tom goes to Summer’s party and there is the split screen between his expectations and reality. I have kind of mixed feeling about the short black and white movie within the movie when Tom gets his heart broken. I noticed a lot of “French” moments : between the music (see below), the “Bon chat, bon rat” poster and this short movie where they mostly talk in French.

The movie is mostly colorless (grey-ish) until he falls in love with her, then you can notice that the movie is mostly blue, apparently this was done on purpose to bring out the colors of Zooey’s eyes.

I loved the days counting forward and backwards and the fact that we know how it ends early in the movie and the ending with the (SPOILERS) counting back from zero but the scene where Summer tells him she’s engaged was kind of weird, but serves the story.

 

Quotes :

Narrator : (Opening) “The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch.”

Tom : (At Ikea, pretending to be in their house) “Darling ? I don’t know how to tell you this, but… there’s a Chinese family in our bathroom.”

Paul : “ Any Hum-Job ? Handjob ?” / Tom : “No jobs, I’m still unemployed” (Summer walks in) / Paul : “Call me if any –job comes up”…

Narrator : “There’s only 2 kind of people in the world : There’s men and women. Summer Finn was a woman. Height : average (5.5 feet). Weight : Average (121 pounds). Shoe size : Slightly above average (Size 8). For all intents and purposes, Summer Finn ? Just another girl. Except she wasn’t.”

Paul : (After Tom tells him how much he love Summer) “This is not good!”

Paul : (After Tom told his friends he thinks Summer is seeing another guy because she said her week-end was “gooooood”) “Did she say “Hey” instead of “Hi” too ? Because you know that means she’s a lesbian, right ?!”

Soundtrack : Music is very present in the movie, even through Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s tee-shirts ( Joy Division, The Clash) and through the posters (they both have posters of Morrissey’s debut album, Viva Hate, in their childhood bedrooms)

Zooey Deschanel chose her own for the karaoke scene, the Sugartown song. Joseph Gordon-Levitt ‘s song is an answer to Summer not believing in love (Here comes your man)

Just a message to the music director (and probably to the marketing team) : Carla Bruni really ? come ON ! If you wanted to buy the French public, using the president’s wife is not really original ! At least in Seven pounds (2009) they used Charles Aznavour !

Other than that I liked that they used the Smiths as the link between Summer and Tom.

There is also the little “musical-like” moment after they send the night together and Tom goes to work and the whole street starts dancing with him, the fountains also go off according to the music, which is played by a marching band who just appeared to be in the neighborhood ! Extra point for the little animated blue bird in the end and when he looks and smiles at the camera !

Trivia : The film is set in 2006-2007. (The narrator says at the end of the film that May 23 was a Wednesday. The last time May 23 was a Wednesday was 2007.)

The narrator states that Tom meets Summer on January 8th. Since it is 500 days, Tom lets go of Summer (and meets Autumn) on May 23rd of the next year.

During the flashback to Summer’s job selling ice cream, Tom can be seen waiting in line.

Advertisement : The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival where it received a standing ovation. It’s European launch was as the of the 62nd Locarno Film Festival.

As for the posters, they really show the spirit of the movie. There are very different posters from one country to another, the marketing team really adapted the communication to the local public. (see the picture gallery and pictures above).