83. Paper Heart

Documentary?  Mockumentary?  Entirely fiction?  Part of this film’s appeal was the mystery surrounding whether the screen relationship between Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera was real.  I’m not sure the movie made me care enough to look any further than imdb’s trivia page.  It is an interesting enough idea, there are plenty of comedy celebrity cameos, and Yi’s asides are kinda cool.  But too often the film is inconsistent, and the end feels muddled.

82. Everybody’s Fine

Saw this one on an airplane, which I found strange for two reasons.  First, the movie is kinda depressing.  Second, one of the characters has a heart attack on an airplane.  Seems like maybe not exactly the message an airline would want to send.  Anyway, the film was much darker than I was led to believe.  I’m not sure the twists were as effective as they could have been.  But the role definitely fit Robert De Niro, and it allowed him to get a little bit away from the incredibly broad stuff he seems to be doing lately.  I don’t think his children (Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale, and Sam Rockwell) were allowed to shine as much.

81. Nine

Don’t miss everything we’ve said about Nine by clicking on the link in the sidebar (or here).  I made sure to watch 8 1/2 before seeing this film, and I think that was the right call.  I definitely had a better understanding of what was happening.  Of course, I found the Fellini film pretty boring, which probably didn’t help my appreciation of this one.  Too often it felt like it was just hitting the high points of 8 1/2, without every getting into any sort of interesting story.  Which might have been OK if the songs were good, but they weren’t.  I know John disagrees, but I thought the Kate Hudson song was the best song of the batch.  I do agree that the Marion Cotillard scene as a whole was solid, only partially due to the skin Ms. Cotillard shows.  And like Adam has said, that Penelope Cruz bit is really friggin’ sexy.  Not entirely certain I understand the Oscar nomination for it, though.

80. Bart Got A Room

I just can’t figure out why I keep putting dorky guy searching for a girl movies on my queue.  Notable castmembers here are Cheryl Hines, William H. Macy (in a ridiculous hairdo), and Alia Shawkat, who appears to finally be on a post-Arrested Development bounce.  This film takes a slightly different angle on the looking for a prom date trope.  It also more prominently features the main character’s parents and their love lives than some other similar films.  It isn’t related to what I thought of the film, but I did appreciate that the movie seems to be one of the few where the prom isn’t held at some ridiculously swanky complex.

79. Uncertainty

More proof that I’ll watch anything starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  The dialogue is pretty weak and the plot is surprisingly thin (imdb says the script was written without dialogue).  But the film does probe into some interesting topics surrounding decisions and the impact they have on people’s lives.  Never got quite as clever as I thought it could have been.  Lynn Collins is much more suited to this role than her character in Wolverine, I thought.  And Olivia Thirlby shows up, which is always nice.

78. Disgrace

John Malkovich is awesome.  And I hope he never ever stops playing creepy dudes.  The film felt a little bit disjointed to me.  I didn’t quite see the parallels between Malkovich’s professor character sleeping with a student and what ends up going down on his daughter’s farm.  I mean, yes, there’s some obvious stuff there.  But they are never really integrated well in the film, I thought.  Didn’t quite spur me on to read J.M. Coetzee’s novel.

77. The Road

What a dark, bleak, grim film.  You can check out our thoughts on the movie by clicking the link on the sidebar (or go here).  Brian thought Viggo should have received a Best Actor nom, and John wrote an eloquent piece delving into the point of the film.  I struggled to get involved with the characters.  Maybe that was partially due to the overriding sense of hopelessness, where the concept of morality is meaningless in a world where every day is a complete and total struggle for survival.  Anyway, the other Grouches yelled at me a bit when we were talking about the ending and I said I didn’t really care about the interpretation.  Which is fair, but if the film never lets me get into the characters, it is hard to care about what happens to them.

76. Ponyo

John’s the expert on animated films (see his animated film wrapup here).  I was told (by Dylan) to watch the English-dubbed version of the film, and I think I’m happy I did so.  I had this discussion with Adam, but Liam Neeson manages to be badass in every role he plays.  Which apparently extends to voice work.  I thought the film was a little bit sloppy.  It definitely had some elements I’d associate with Japanese insanity.  And the story isn’t always explained very well.  I can only find it in Spanish on youtube, but one of my favorite movie moments of the year was when they were talking on the radio and the mom says hi to the dad, and the kid says that he is taking care of things and then Ponyo screams, “HAM!!!”  I’m a simple man.

75. Bronson

A criticism I’ve read of this movie is that it never really goes anywhere beyond what it is shown in the trailer.  Which is fair, I think.  There’s a mishmash of neat stylistic flourishes, sometimes coming at the expense of a solid flow.  Certainly unlike any jail movie I’ve ever seen.  Tom Hardy is undoubtedly a revelation here.  I’ve apparently seen him in three or four other things, but his role in this movie is a textbook breakout performance.  It is based on a true story, though I’d never heard of the man before.  I wonder how that affected my perception.

74. Shall We Kiss?

Maybe this makes me a heretic, but it sure seems to me that the French have some wacky ideas about love.  I kinda dug the story within a story aspect, even if it was maybe a bit forced.  I had some difficult relating to the story, it is a cop out to say it was because the story was “French”, I guess it was more the obstacles placed in the way of the relationship, and the reasons to start the relationship, felt very different to what I was used to seeing.  Certainly a case where I could see a remake improving upon the product.  I’m definitely a Virginie Ledoyen fan, now.