23-29 June 2008

July 1 2008 at 9:56 pm (The list)

Only one film off the list last week:

Rebecca (1940)
Slowly but surely, I’m making my way through the Hitchcock canon and loving every second of it. Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) hastily remarries after his titular first wife is killed at sea. Known only as Mrs de Winter, Maxim’s new bride (Joan Fontaine) has a lot to live up to and faces disapproval from the staff at Maxim’s enormous house Manderley, who all adored Rebecca. But things are not as they seem. Fontaine is mesmerizingly squirmy (mainly because Hitchcock treated her badly, pissed off that his then-girlfriend Vivien Leigh didn’t play the female lead) and Judith Anderson is downright creepy as Mrs Danvers, the sinister housekeeper. Rebecca is more sombre and atmospheric than many of Hitch’s thrillers but it’s still exciting and, of course, brilliantly directed.
Rating: 5/5

Shame list total: 771
Also last week I watched:

Dan In Real Life (2008)
This very sweet film looks very indie but it has more in common with rom-com big hitters like Meet The Parents. Steve Carell plays Dan, a widower and father of three girls. When they go to their parents house for a big family get together, he meets Marie and they instantly hit it off. It turns out that Marie’s new boyfriend is Dan’s brother. Cue lots of awkward misunderstandings (when immediate honesty would sort things out much simpler) and embarrassment. The rest of the family barely gets a look in despite including the great John Mahoney and Dianne Wiest. All they seem to do is get annoyingly enthusiastic in a variety of family events (they keep fit together, they play American football together, they solve crosswords together, they even discuss the private life of poor put upon Dan together). Steve Carell is always good value (here showing off his acting chops more than his comic talents) but he doesn’t carry the film totally on his own – Juliette Binoche proves she can rom-com with the best of them.
Rating: 3/5

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