The Hunt is a fascinating Danish drama, of a teacher who's accused of one of the most heinous acts, child molestation. As happens when one is accused of such atrocities everyone turns on him, surprisingly moderately though. The film is depressing even when it just foreshadows what's to come, but then becomes truly hard to watch. A man who loses everything, some on his own account. The film shows the importance of innocent until proven guilty, not only legally but socially. To an extent this was a humbling experience. At the end of The Hunt the punchline comes, with an amazing ending, that I did not sense coming, I have a few theories (below), but no matter what the intent was the final minute brings a true symbolism and humble ending to this drama.
SPOILERS: I believe the shooter was either his son or Klara's protective older brother.
Mass Appeal stars Jack Lemmon, as a priest who's been in this long enough to bend the rules. He takes Mark Dolson under his wing, an extreme progressive who never sees a middle ground. The character Mark is poorly drafted, he thinks lying is an inexcusable sin, but has openly stated that he believes Jesus was gay for John. He's to much of a contradiction, and a character that's hard to like, but then again everyone but Jack Lemmon played over the top characters in this film.
Mass Appeal has a cozy mood as you can just sit back and watch, it's not an essential church drama, but does beg a few important questions.
Alexander Payne's Nebraska gets truly touching by the end, and depending on the kind of person you are prior to this movie can be either a tragedy or a comedy. While there's definitely some pity thrown out at once, I did consider this a funny movie. The crude dialogue was right up my style, and Alexander Payne capitalizes on his wit through the no bull sh*t June Squibb. I fell in love with the whole cast, Bruce Dern (who really deserves the best actor), Will Forte (in a plain but clear role), Bob Odenkirk (better call Saul), but most importantly June Squibb. Nebraska succeeds in painting the small town life, in which most never get out of. With themes of alcoholism and delusion coming from Bruce Dern, it's hard not to feel any empathy for the character, but at the same time I laughed out loud several times.
Midnight Express, follows the true story of Billy Hays, an American who was caught smuggling in Turkey. I believe that I should've felt more emotion during this movie, because it truly gives a brutal picture of the chaotic Turkish Prison, and unjust judicial system. But really all I felt was anger towards Rifki, and pride when he gets what's coming to him. Well I guess that is an understatement, since there are a few powerful scenes not involving Rifki at all, when Billy Hays' girlfriend comes to visit him, and all he can think about is her cleavage, that was a truly pitiful site. The screenplay is adapted by Oliver Stone, from the real Billy Hays' book. What was truly impressive though was the director and crew on production, since the Turkish Prison felt genuinely real. It's a tragic case, and a solid movie.
There aren't to many comedies about abortion out there today, but Alexander Payne attempts on in Citizen Ruth. The movie has guts, but the humor itself doesn't have the shock value I was expecting. The witty Payne could've pulled a few jaw droppers, but didn't even attempt them. The movie still has funny moments, as Ruth is pulled between a poster child of pro-life and pro-choice, when she as a drug addict gets pregnant with her forth child. The espionage reveal was funny, but there aren't to many other laugh out loud moments.
The film has some explorative cinematography, when put in the first person perspective of Ruth. It's nothing ground breaking, but is intriguing.
I felt that Ruth switched from mellow disinterest to extreme passion to often. Perhaps it was to show the ever changing moves of an inhaler addict, but it didn't always make sense. Luara Dern has gotten acclaim for this role, but I didn't see anything special. Little true emotion, and far to much swaying.