' ' Cinema Romantico: Midpoint Review

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Midpoint Review

This is the time of the year when Cinema Romantico traditionally likes to pause and take a look at all that has come in the previous eight months. Normally this isn't that big of a deal since fall & winter is when the hardest hitting movies (i.e. movies with substance and actual characters) are released. But 2007 has proven to be different. The gods of cinema are on our side. We have seen some quality film, that's for sure. And we have seen one film that towers above them all. Not only that but it towers over everything we've seen dating all the way back to January 2005 (i.e. "Million Dollar Baby").

But before I get to that I do want to make special mention of some of the other notable cinematic achievements so far this year.

1.) Sarah Polley's brilliant directorial debut "Away From Her".

2.) The awe-inspiring third act of "Hot Fuzz".

3.) Leslie Mann's exquisite supporting performance in "Knocked Up". I strenuously ask the Academy to consider her for a nomination next February.

But yeah, that one movie I mentioned. The towering one.

It's called "Once". It's the best movie of the year. And Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (despite the fact they've never acted before) give the two best performances of the year in it. Cut & dried. Open & shut. Plain & simple. I could write another long-winded diatribe advising you of the movie's immense brilliance but I won't. I thought instead I'd borrow the words of a few fellow critics and let them try to persuade you.

"There's not a false moment within the film's 88-minute running time, nor many that could be done any better." - Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun

"Do you believe in magic? Do you think small can be beautiful? Are you looking for a little film you can make your own, an enchanting, unpretentious blend of music and romance you can watch forever? If you do, Once is about to come into your life and make it whole." - Kenneth Turan, The L.A. Times

"You feel you're witnessing behavior and not performances, a serendipitous encounter of kindred souls and not a predetermined tale of trumped-up passion, a story that grew from roots in real soil and not notes on a scratch pad in a Hollywood producer's limousine. It feels like life -- with music and the promise of romance." - Shawn Levy, The Oregonian

So if you haven't seen it, what the hell are you waiting for?

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