Eight films for February’s Film Fight…
#FF21 Possessor is an uncomfortable by fantastic film about an assassin who takes over people's bodies.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) February 7, 2021
Body horror is at the core, as the lead starts to lose her mind. It'll make your skin crawl in places, with some sharp twists and deep discomfort.
An excellent watch.
#FF21 Bliss sees Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek confront the reality of their world, believing it to be a simulation.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) February 7, 2021
Is it? Isn't it? You won't care at all by the end. Poor performances and clanky philosophising don't help an already dull script.
#FF21 Greenland is better than most low-mid budget, VOD fodder. That's not to say it's great.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) February 15, 2021
The middle chunk ("separation") is turgid and predictable, for example.
That said, it's a decent disaster flick: easy, entertaining, silly. Watchable.
Malcolm & Marie
#FF21 Malcolm & Marie is what I like in a good performance piece: two very skilled actors chewing the scenery, as characters who you both love and hate.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) February 15, 2021
The stagey monologues are mostly gripping; the presentation clear & crisp; and the flow works well.
The White Tiger
#FF21 The White Tiger sees the rise of a poor man in India to be the driver of a rich family and beyond; showing the abuses inherent in a class system.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) March 6, 2021
The pacing is a little off towards the end, but for the most part the film is darkly funny, a little heartbreaking, and decent.
Portrait Of A Lady On Fire
#FF21 Portrait Of A Lady On Fire was a little disappointing, but not bad, largely due to hype.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) March 6, 2021
It's a gorgeous film throughout, in framing and colour choices. The final scene has an incredible performance, that outshines the rest of the movie.
Slow, a little dull, not for me.
I Care A Lot
#FF21 I Care A Lot sees Rosamund Pike but in an incredible performance as the uncaring guardian of vulnerable elderly people she exploits.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) March 6, 2021
While the film is entertaining, I think we're supposed to eventually get on side with her as she stands up to a mob boss. It fails.
Escape From Pretoria
#FF21 Escape From Pretoria is a surprisingly entertaining story about activists attempting a prison escape during apartheid.— Gary Fleming (@garyfleming) March 6, 2021
It does a great job of pacing, tension, and spatial awareness. You're rarely in doubt as to what is happening and why.
The February Winner
A tough call. Malcolm & Marie would take it most months, but I think the winner is Possessor. Some of those images will stay with me for a very long time.