December 28, 2011 | Category: Films

Film Fight 2011: November

For November’s Film Fight, there are 3 films slowly fading out of memory…

First up, We Need To Talk About Kevin is a relentlessy brutal look at another side of a horror story. We see the after-effects of a high-school massacre from a particularly interesting point of view, who then provides insight into the life of the perpetrator and the effect he had on her life. Tilda Swinton is fantastic throughout, almost unfailingly crushed by her life and left to deal with the consequences. It’s her character’s story, a tragedy that she feels she caused that becomes written through her body and face. The editing is exceptional, delving fluidly through memories and the present (both horrible and mundane) with a fractious momentum. Incredible, moving, and hard to watch. An excellent film. (See my We Need To Talk About Kevin Twitter review).

In The Ides of March, George Clooney adds another great directing credit to his modest list. The movie has an exceptionally strong cast (Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Clooney himself et al) showing the dark side of politics: continuously spinning the lies and dirt into something that looks better, of strategising and back-stabbing to end in the best position. As you might expect, the cast do their jobs well, and Gosling puts in another top notch performance. Without spoiling anything, the film takes a turn for the dark halfway through, and really comes into its own when we see what each of the leads is willing to do in their own interests. Very good film. (See my The Ides of march Twitter review). Note: as a first, my Twitter review appears to have gone missing. I’m leaving the link in case I ever figure out how to get it back.

Finally, Snowtown is an unsettling look at the true story of Australian’s worst serial killers, and the impact they had on one young man’s life. At times it can be gory, but it’s the pervading atmostphere and stifling control that really bring up a sickening feeling. The naturalistic, sombre direction helps build this awful tension into something unbearable. The ending is very quick, and it would have been better to have seen a little more, but the movie works well. Good, if horrific. (See my Snowtown Twitter review).

This month’s winner is… We Need To Talk About Kevin. It’s horrible, but works on every level. A late contender for film of the year.