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Film Roundup

True Grit

A young girl’s father dies, and she heads to the town to finalize his affairs, and hire a US Marshall to track down the murderer. While it seems that Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon are the stars of the film, within a few minutes of watching, you see that their only purpose is to support the real star Elizabeth Marvel who plays Mattie Ross, the young girl. Her performance is brilliant, and it’s quite the gripping film. While the Coen brothers can be hit or miss, this might be their best yet. In my mind their only competition is O Brother, Where Art Thou?

See this as soon as possible.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

I saw the seventh Harry Potter film in the same sitting as True Grit. I’m happy I saw Harry Potter first, as while it’s a good movie on its own, it pales in comparison. There’s no point in comparing the two.

If you haven’t seen the previous six Harry Potter films, you obviously have no interest in seeing this. It’s a fun romp, about a wizard who must find numerous horcrux which the evil Lord Voldemort has hidden parts of his soul to enable himself to live eternally. Simple enough plot. This is the journey of Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley to find these horcrux and save the world, for both wizards and muggle alike.

As it was decided to split the final story into two films, this allowed for a more mature film, and better pace, as we got more introspection, and a better a tale of the interpersonal relationships in the franchise’s trinity. This part isn’t the most action packed of the Potter story, but it reveals more of the characters behind it than any film yet.

Barney’s Version

Barney’s Version is the story of Barney Panofsky, a Montreal Jew, a loudmouth, an asshole, a drunk, a television producer, a murderer, and a lover. As the novel by Mordecai Richler is quite long, and in-depth, and rambles, as it’s told from the perspective of Barney1, it doesn’t quite lend itself to film, and to be adapted would require considerable rewriting. It think the screenwriter Michael Konyves did an excellent job by focusing on one aspect of Barney’s story, his love life. The man married three time2, but only found love once3. The story is his journey to Miriam, and their life together.

If you’re Jewish, and have yet to see it, you’re nuts. If you’re not Jewish, it’s a really good film about love and loss.

I started reading the novel before the film came out, and I’m slowly making my way through it. It’s quite good, too.

  1. Hence the title. It’s Barney’s version of his life story. []
  2. Clara, The Second Mrs. Panofsky, and Miriam []
  3. Miriam. []

1 thought on “Film Roundup”

  1. Any review of Barney’s Version (the book at least) that doesn’t include footnotes should be discounted immediately.

    I’ve heard that the film has played down the unreliable narrator aspect of the book, which is sad, but necessary I guess.

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