Tag Archives: Foreign Indie Films

Have you Heard of These Films: “I Am Love”, “Fish Tank” or “Biutiful”? ICINE Proudly Announces The Best In 2010 Films!

14 Mar

It’s the time of the year again to wrap-up the year with the best in film; thus, it’s my turn to announce my choices for the best in 2010.  The past year was by a large margin a much better year for movies and performances, just when I was about ready to throw in the towel!  It was the first year in a while that I saw an increase in numbers of films seen, with almost over 100.

This was also a very good year for actors and independent films, so good that most of my choices are either independent and foreign, and both supporting categories have six nominees each–they were that good!  Not to mention Javier Bardem’s formidably hunting performance.  Plus two special categories: Best Musical Score and Rolling Credits nominees and winners.

OK, without further ado, here is the list of nominees and winners for the 2010 Rammy Awards–drum roll please:-):

Top 10 Films
10.  127 Hours
9.  I Am Love
8.  Fish Tank
7.  Nora’s Will
6.  Another Year
5.  The Town
4.  Black Swan
3.  The Ghost Writer
2.  Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1
1.  Biutiful 

Best Picture
Biutiful *
Black Swan
The Ghost Writer
Mesrine: Public Enemy No 1
The Town

Best Actor
Ben Affleck for The Town
Javier Bardem for Biutiful * (tie)
Vincent Cassel for Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 * (tie)
Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
James Franco for 127 Hours

Best Actress
Maricel Alvarez for Biutiful
Annette Bening  for The Kid’s Are All Right *
Katie Jarvis for Fish Tank
Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Tilda Swinton for I Am Love
Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale for The Fighter
John Hawkes for Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner for The Town *
Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech
Dylan Riley Snyder for Life During Wartime

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa Leo for The Figher
Lesley Manville for Another Year *
Ann Morgan Guilbert for Please Give
Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit
Jacky Weaver for Animal Kingdom
Olivia Williams for Ghost Writer

Best Original Score
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
Social Network *

Best Rolling Credits
Blue Valentine


Eureka, Eureka, a GOOD FILM at Last!!!

7 Apr

Tokyo Sonata PosterIt is a shame that we are already into the second quarter of 2009 and there hasn’t been a worthwhile film release that has managed to capture anyone’s attention!

The other day I was one of those lucky days in which a rare film was released and even brought to my local theater, so I found myself rushing to my local art house venue to go see it before it was too late and it was taken away.  Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s—no relation to the great legendary filmmaker Akira Kurasawa—film called: Tokyo Sonata was indeed a marvel that didn’t falter at any time and traveled well beyond my expectations!

The film was a lyrical study of today’s Tokyo and its inhabitants. It immersed itself into the lives of an urban family going through the trials and tribulations of life in the 21st century.  It covered universal issues like the current economic crisis to which Tokyo is not susceptible to, a dysfunctional family who suffered from the lack of an essential ingredient, communication, war conflicts and local vandalism that leads to an eye-opening event that put one of the primary characters into full play.  The picture was painted very clear: it’s a shame to lose once job, so it’s important for the men not to be vulnerable and lose control at any time, particularly at home.  But with that picture comes the repercussions and this family’s central character brings scaring results that impact all.

The themes of family and the economy take a duel role that is hard to ignore. As Reyhan Harmanci, from the San Fracisco Chronicle writes: “Tokyo Sonata” tells the story of a troubled family. Ryuhei (played by Teruyuki Kagawa, who is also in the current release “Tokyo!” [and not nearly as good!]) is an administrator who gets downsized at the film’s start and cannot find a way to tell his wife, Megumi (in a lovely turn by Kyoko Koizumi). Their two sons, an 18-year-old named Takashi (Yu Koyanagi) and middle-school-age Kenji (Kai Inowaki), have their own, parallel struggles going on – Takashi is struggling to find a future as an adult, and Kenji starts sneaking piano lessons that his father, unaccountably, won’t support.

When Ryuhei runs into a high school friend who goes to extreme lengths to hide his unemployment (like setting his cell phone to ring several times an hour), he finds himself getting deeper and deeper in deception, increasing the distance between him and his wife. Kurosawa is fond of repeating scenes and mirroring his characters’ plights, as they all have much more in common than they realize. It comes to a head one night, as Ryuhei, too alienated from himself to even see the irony, violently punishes Kenji for sneaking around and using his lunch money for music classes (Friday, March 27, 2009).

Is Kenji’s mere innocence and hunger for learning something new and exciting what counter acts all of this family dysfunction and economic dilemma!  The power of the film’s final act is what makes it an incomparable experience that manages to take the audience to another level.  The language of music comes into play and completely takes over as a radiant ray of light piercing through the clouds showing us all that there is still hope in the world. Tokyo Sonata really plays its notes well and succeeds its message of forgiveness, discovery, hope and happiness.  I promise you, by the film’s end you will found yourself deeply moved!

The film is a true gem, so I urge you to rush to go see it the same way I did before it’s too late!

For a reason Tokyo Sonata has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it was highly regarded at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 winning the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize!



Full SF Chronicle Review: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/26/MVIB16K81T.DTL&type=movies