Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

Dickens for the 21st Century (the editor is even one C. Dickens). A rich, melodramatic film of the kind that inspires social change. For all that Danny Boyle has been lauded, I would quibble with his overuse of that flickering, music video style, but it is a small quibble and if 'Slumdog Millionaire' (or should that be 'Mill-inaire') doesn't win the Oscar, Hollywood should drop through the toilet floor. It is written.

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The Reader

You could complain about the film's representation of the Holocaust survivors (contrasting them so starkly to Winslett's guard), but this is a solemn, emotional encapsulation of Germany through most of the 20th Century. Fiennes might be a little too subdued, but Winslett does not disappoint. I loved it.

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Frost/Nixon

Micheal Sheen comes across as Austin Powers occasionally, and Langella just doesn't look like Nixon, but for a movie so dependent on acting ability, 'Frost/Nixon' delivers. One has to be careful when dealing with a Ron Howard movie dealing with politics, especially about a Republican, and sure enough Nixon does come off being given more sympathy than he deserves. But then Frost can hardly be said to be far removed from his adversary, as one particular scene emphasises. And we do get shoes 'thrown' at a president. Overall nothing we haven't seen before, but intelligent and satisfying.

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Rachel Getting Married

I think we can all remember at least one wedding we have been at that we wish we hadn't had to suffer. Now imagine throwing lots and lots of money at it, hiding a juicy, clich├ęd skeleton behind it and shooting it with a handy cam. You've got "Rachel Getting Married".
I would like to think that I am a little left of centre politically, but this liberal wet dream had me scrabbling for the sick bag. Anne Hathaway does a sterling job at trying to save things, as does a great cast doing a great job (and isn't it always good to see Debra Winger?), but you can make a great cappachino and still fill it with too much sugar. Mawkish.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Gaza

I have despaired of any commentators I have seen on the latest Gaza conflict. European leaders could use their trade agreement with Israel to leverage action, but don't. The U.S....eh.... The U.N. is generally ineffective given that the same politicians will always veto any action. Only the U.N. staff on the ground present any sense of honesty. Up to now Christophen Gunness came the closest to telling it as it is, but tonight on Channel 4 I saw an interview with UN rep, John Ging. Finally someone actually being honest. If only some one would listen to the man. Somehow I doubt it.
Last night Mark Regev insulted Jeremy Paxman and the intelligence of any thinking person by claiming 'the fog of war' was to blame for the attack on the U.N. school. He seemed to be of the view that soldiers on the ground were attacked by gunmen in the school. What could they do? This seemed to ignore the fact that the school was bombed from above. Will anyone ever be charged with war crimes? I doubt it.