Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Catching up with DVD Releases

For those of you who may have missed it during its almost non-existent theatrical run (I went to a press screening back in early December, but it just opened locally two weeks ago for a brief appearance), Philippe Claudel's criminally overlooked I've Loved You So Long is now available on DVD.

From my review:
Much of the praise surrounding the film surrounds Thomas' ethereal performance, and deservedly so. She is brilliant, toning down her inherent regal air and sucking the life out of her very skin. It is a heartbreaking performance, utterly vulnerable and completely real, a woman who seems vacant in her own body yet somehow finds a way to gradually come back, and you can see it in her eyes, as they go from lifeless to soulful by the film's emotionally cathartic denouement.
I stand by my opinion that Kristen Scott Thomas was robbed of an Oscar nomination for her searing work here. If you missed it in theaters, it comes highly recommended.

As does Courtney Hunt's Frozen River, which I unfortunately never got around to reviewing. The film earned its star Melissa Leo a richly deserved Oscar nomination for her performance as a woman at the end of her rope who turns to smuggling immigrants over the Canadian border to make some quick money after her husband ran out on her. It's a powerful performance, and a quiet stunner of a film.

Speaking of stunners, here's a movie I cannot recommend enough, Kurt Kuenne's heartbreaking documentary, Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. From my review:
When I look back and reflect on Dear Zachary in the days to come, it is likely that I will temper my unbridled enthusiasm for it. But I think there is merit in writing this review while still reeling from my emotional response to it. This is, above all, a movie of feelings, a movie that is nearly impossible to not feel moved by in some profound way. Because what Kuenn ultimately achieves is not what he set out to do, but what he found along the way, both through tragic circumstances and through the ruminations of the people in Andrew's life. This is not only the document of one man, but a testament to love and family that resonates beyond this one family to anyone who has ever loved someone else.
This is one of those films that leaves such a deep impression that it just has to be shared. As such I have shouted its praises from the rooftops as much as possible. This one is impossible to get out of your head.

Check them out.

1 comment:

Sam C. Mac said...

I wasn't a fan of "Frozen River" or "I've Loved You So Long" (both felt like shrill, formulaic movies with admittedly good performances), but I loved 'Dear Zachary,' one of my favorites of last year that just broke me down completely. I remember not wanting to do much of anything for the whole day after seeing it. It's just so depressing but, miraculously, there's this great uplift towards the end that feels completely sincere and earned.