Recent Viewing


4.5starA monumental performance from F. Murray Abraham as washed-up composer Antonio Salieri, a man ravaged by jealousy and anger towards the gifted young Mozart.  He is being torn apart by his own inadequacies.  The period setting and costumes are spectacular and there’s plenty of Mozart’s music kicking about to help build the atmosphere.

 “All I wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing… and then made me mute. Why? Tell me that. If He didn’t want me to praise him with music, why implant the desire? Like a lust in my body! And then deny me the talent?”

Exit Through the Gift Shop

3.5 starInteresting look into the world of street art and its increasing commercialisation.  Not entirely sure whether it’s a real documentary or not, but I enjoyed it. The night shots of the artists out working on the streets were fun to watch and if you like complete imbeciles you’ll love Thierry Guetta, sorry I mean ‘Mister Brainwash’.

“Warhol repeated iconic images until they became meaningless, but there was still something iconic about them. Thierry really makes them meaningless.”


Up In The Air

3.5 starI’m not sure whether George Clooney only ever plays smug characters, or whether George Clooney is so smug that when he acts it’s impossible to disguise it.  It sounds harsh but generally I don’t enjoy watching him.  Happily though his performance in Up In the Air is an exception.  The film is funny, poignant and very well acted.  Nice final scene too.

“All the things you probably hate about travelling -the recycled air, the artificial lighting, the digital juice dispensers, the cheap sushi- are warm reminders that I’m home”

 Animal Kingdom

4 starVery impressive Australian gangster film.  James Frecheville plays Josh Cody, a teenager who finds himself at a crossroads.  Cody is caught between his criminal family and a detective (Guy Pearce) trying to get him on the right path, whilst taking down his family.  There are a couple of blood chilling performances and you’re never sure where Cody’s allegiances lie as he plays both sides.  Stylishly shot and directed, very well acted by a large ensemble cast and gripping to the last.  Take a look at the trailer below, and get it on your watchlist.



  1. Four good ones… Nice choices!

    Amadeus? A classic. Exit through? I’m not sure if they’re on the level either – part of its brilliance! Up in the Air? Connected with me personally.

    I started Animal Kingdom and never got back to it, but seeing as you gave it an 8 I guess I should, huh?

    • Yeah it was good! I’ve seen quite a lot of rubbish lately so it’s good to see some proper films again!

      Re. Animal Kingdom: I don’t know, the style and pace of it is pretty consistent all the way through so if you weren’t that keen on the first half an hour, i’m not sure you’d click with it. Might be worth a shot though.

  2. So glad to see Animal Kingdom receive some love. That hit my top 10 list last year, and for good reason, too, but I was shocked at how little attention it got elsewhere even recognizing how small the film is and how minor its release was. Nonetheless, I agree with you– it’s a really solid crime film in a year filled with some good ones. (I wound up tying it with Winter’s Bone when putting my list together.) I thought Frecheville was really impressive– playing a teen can be hard to do, but he toes the line of irritating disaffection really, really well and makes Josh into a surprisingly palatable and sympathetic character.

    Exit also got on my list last year, too. I’m only disappointed it took me as long to see it as I did, but at least I caught it before my personal cut-off for year-end lists.

    As to the rest, good picks!

    • “Toes the line of irritating disaffection” – couldn’t have put it better, he definitely veers very close to being irritating, but in the end you’re always completely on board with him, rooting for him.

      If you get a chance to watch the ‘making of’ it’s one of the best i’ve seen, takes you through the entire process right up to it showing at Sundance, there’s a really great scene of the director watching the audience clapping from the back of the screen as it finishes.

      Watched Winter’s Bone a couple of days ago, so it’ll be in my next recent viewing post, another sort of similar great performance in that one!

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