Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Netflix Diary 3

Stardust [2007]
A good, fun bit of family filmmaking by, of all people, Layer Cake director Matthew Vaughn; although I had gotten myself psyched up that it was gonna be a kind of next-gen Princess Bride, which I guess is too much to hope for, it was still mildly worth seeing, like on cable. It has a pretty good cast, highlighted by a radiant Claire Danes and an unforgettably ridiculous Robert DeNiro.

The Lives Of Others [2006]
Winner of the 2006 Best Foreign Language Oscar, but only hitting the US around when it won the award (early ’07), this instant classic from Germany would be a brilliant piece of filmmaking in any language. It not only deals with the place and power of art in a society, but how people’s attitude’s change towards art when the government tightens its grasp. Set against the police state of East Berlin in the 1980’s, the story of a Stasi Police investigator who has to struggle with the relationship between his politically sensitive profession and his silent opinions on the follies of his government’s policies produces deep, tangible characters with performances to match. This is a tense, genius drama as good as any from Hollywood in the last 5 years.

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