TOP 100 FILMS - 91 - 95


Criminal Lovers (1999) bridges campy and nonplus filmmaking. Shot in lucid 16-mm film, its cinematography adjusts the editing into a characteristically paced thriller with a balance accord between its luscious photography and acclimating action. The film follows two lovers in their quest to kill the man they both desire and in the process ending at a wrong territory that will challenge both their sensibilities. Its oddity is compared to eating an eggplant raw - doesn't taste good, right. The film ended tragically, like many films of Ozon. At some point, Ozon draws the film with fluidity in color, often expressionistic and primal, it succeeds by deliberately teasing the viewers with counter-intuitive motives.

All is Forgiven (2007) is Mia Hasen-Love's filmic caricature of a family formed and broken by lies and drug addiction and a daughter who reconnects with her rehabilitated father after eleven years. The stylish camerawork and lightning expands the film from a minimal bent into a half-light, hald-dark impressionistic film that recalls numerous French directors from Jean Renoir to Louie Malle to contemporary like Arnaud Desplechin and Oliver Assayas. This film is so nuanced it very French in many aspects.

Summer Hours (2008) is a gem of a movie, an Assayas that each generation of the French audience will love. This film demonstrates how vibrant Assayas' treatment to his characters' temperament. The film oscillates from light and dark, it unmasks the very concept of life after death. Like many French movies, as it is in painting, this kind of life is reflected on material things: a painting, a vase, a veranda, a panel, a window over looking a garden. It encapsulates these banalities as if each one has something grand, captured to us by the supreme and solid camera work of cinematographer, Eric Gautier. The characters accentuates these banal things by reinforcing their identities, memories of such things and its histories (even secrets) and informing us of their worth. Summer Hours is a drama of things past, of histories, of art, and of dead people in their happiest hours before death.

Transamerica (2005) enunciates a reflection of what a film about real transgender should look like. It harbors a great acting performance by Felicity Huffman as Bree. A sensitive and heartfelt film, but insanely funny: a comedy, a farce with serious advocacy. It illustrates quite simply and in an honest way what comes ahead of a life as a transgender named Bree meeting up his son, by accident inside a correctional facility in New York. Apparently, his son, Toby, want to go to Hollywood to become a porn star, they hit a road trip from New York to California, hence, Transamerica ladies and gentlemen.

The Magdalene Sisters (2002) is big in terms of slicing through the dark side of an unflinchingly abusive treatment of nuns inside an asylum for girls. The film is bathed with thrills, suspense and violence it can become a horror movie. But luckily, it did not. Banned by the Vatican, it remains one of the most horrifying movies I have seen this year.