About a Boy
“Charming me softly”
Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz (2002)
Another good British romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant, although this time it’s not much about the romantic aspect of things, and that’s very refreshing. The movie focuses heavily on Will and Marcus’ relationship, and it’s a great idea given the chemistry between Hugh Grant and Nicholas Hoult. It also touches on different themes like suicide, depression, bullying, but always in a convincing and not over-bearing manner.
Of course it’s funny that Hugh Grant seems to be playing himself here more than ever.
“F-bomb-fest in Boston”
Martin Scorcese (2006)
I think it was the second Martin Scorcese movie that I saw, I have this one to thank for making me a Scorcese fan (not seen them all still, but a good chunk now).
As usual with his mafia films, the story is quite dense, but there are plenty of nice subtleties for each character, sprinkled here and there throughout the whole thing. The main trio of actors are very charismatic, Leonardo DiCaprio might not be as flamboyant as the other two but he makes it up with complexity and nuance in his acting.
And Sergeant Dignam surely is Mark Wahlberg’s best role.
André Hunebelle (1964)
Another classic movie of my childhood, that I’ve seen countless times. Eventually I end up knowing it by heart, but this time I noticed a few new things. One being the impressive stunt work done here. Jumping on and from moving trains, running on the Paris rooftops, hanging from helicopters, this movie is full of great action scenes!
The trio of leads is quite brilliant because very different, making the movie still very enjoyable to watch despite some scenes feeling too long especially towards the end.
The Three Musketeers
“Hollywood adapts a French classic”
Stephen Herek (1993)
It is one of the many (many) movie adaptations of the famous book by Alexandre Dumas, and it’s far from being the worst. It is very cheesy for sure, but it has an undeniable charm as well. There is superb production value with great costumes, beautiful exterior sets, impressive action and sword-fighting scenes, along with a light-hearted sense of fun and adventure that seems to be missing from more recent films.
I like the cast a lot, Tim Curry was born to play villains, and the trio of experienced Musketeers (Sutherland, Sheen, Platt) do great next to the young D’Artagnan, and of course how not to mention the intoxicating beauty of Rebecca de Mornay.
“I feel it in my fingers…”
Richard Curtis (2003)
This has become an essential Christmas movie over the years. A great ensemble cast, telling a variety of stories, some charming, some funny, and some resolutely miserable. All the lighthearted moments are endearing and put me in a good mood, but the sadder scenes are surprisingly effective, given the limited amount of time each character gets overall, making me think the whole thing is very well written.
Standout moments are pretty much all of Bill Nighy scenes, the 10 Downing Street dance, and a big chunk of the end when everything collides at the school.
Papy fait de la Résistance
“Band of Losers”
Jean-Marie Poiré (1983)
Possibly my all-time favorite French comedy. The whole cast is amazing, I like all the characters, even those with tiny roles, and I really enjoy the way the heavy historical context is treated. The writers managed to touch on many things that were delicate to put in a comedy (like the collaborators, the dissensions between resistance fighters, the executions, etc.), but they succeeded making them part of the satire. The film gradually goes from somewhat grounded in reality in to completely surreal towards the end, you don’t even see it coming.
And at the very end the parody of a real life TV show that played back in the day is just the cherry on the cake.