Shy, unassuming teenager Mary ‘Mouse’ Bedford (Mischa Barton, “The OC”, “St. Trinian’s”) is enrolled at a prestigious all-girls’ boarding school. Upon arrival, she is welcomed by her two attractive and sexually adventurous roommates, the carefree Tori (Jessica Paré, “Wicker Park”) and excitable Paulie (Piper Perabo, “Coyote Ugly”, “The Cave”). Mary soon discovers that Tori and Paulie are embroiled in a passionate relationship, yet when Tori’s younger sister finds out and threatens to break the secret to her friends and family, Tori breaks off the relationship. Unable to deal with losing the other half to her whole, Paulie will do anything to get her ex-girlfriend back, even if it means risking her own life… A deeply moving and acclaimed film from the director of the award-winning “Emporte-Moi”, Léa Pool’s “Lost and Delirious” features a trio of young and talented actresses burning up the screen years before they went on to break Hollywood.
2001 – Certificate: 15 – Canadian Film
10 out of 10
I closed my bedroom window yesterday. There’s nothing especially unusual about that, except I did it in the morning and I wasn’t going out anywhere. The click of the handle had a certain finality about it. As I repositioned the pot plants on the sill, I was struck with the thought that this was probably the last time I’d do so for many, many months, as the weather has got a lot colder in the last few days. The final closing of the year is one of the Five Signs That Summer Has Ended and that the winter, with all its months of gloom, damp and cold, is fast approaching. Winter sucks; like old age, it has almost no real benefits. All that rubbish about those crisp, bright, winter days. Bollocks. They’re bloody cold, only last five minutes before the sun sets again and coming home from gigs at night soaked in sweat is a truly miserable experience. It’s going to be especially hard to cope with this year, as we actually had a really lovely summer. The carefree, happy days are at an end; fast approaching is the vindictive malevolence that is winter. The season of Hell is nearly upon us. And as for autumn, it’s just the rubbish bin of summer, containing the dead leaves and trash of good times past. This film is also about the passing of time, the loss of a relationship and an inability to cope with it.
I love this movie. If I had a Top 20 list of films, this one would probably be in it. On first impressions it looks like it’s going to be a bit crappy and should only appeal to me because of its girl-on-girl action. Set in a posh girls’ (very liberal) boarding school full of rich kids in Canada (so there’s not a lot there for me to relate to), the first 30 minutes or so are pretty mundane. Yes it’s got girls in school uniforms and the main characters are in a same-sex relationship, but other than that it’s pretty forgettable. But then it starts to get interesting… This is a dark movie. There’s a subtlety in it that only becomes apparent when you think about it afterwards. It’s occasionally a bit melodramatic and the odd bit of dialogue doesn’t quite work, but it’s wonderfully acted and has a number of genuinely heartbreaking moments in it. The use of Shakespeare and the hand-rearing of a Falcon as metaphors for the plot, are wonderfully interwoven into the story too. The character of Paulie is so well written. It’s quite strange considering she doesn’t superficially have anything in common with me, but I so totally ‘got it’ in terms of what she was going through. I guess emotions and feelings aren’t very gender, age, culture or sexuality specific. (It probably also means that I’m as messed up as she is and one day I’ll probably take it out on the world.) There aren’t a lot of characters from films or books that I can fully relate to and understand, but she’s one of them. Seeing her gradually lose the plot and take more and more bizzare actions to try to change the unchangeable, felt uncomfortably familiar. Despite her acting like a total loser a lot of the time, there’s a strange kind of honour in Paulie’s behaviour that goes beyond what she does and its consequences. Everyone should watch this movie. And if you’re one of those people who really can’t accept same-sex relationships then just ignore it, as other than on a superficial level (and as a huge plot contrivance) it’s really not that important to the feel of the film.
The ability of this movie’s music to write words where there are none, without dominating the visuals or attempting to drag (rather than lead) the emotions, is really well done. The mood shift provided in the scenes relating to the Falcon are very effective too. And any film that features any music by Ani DiFranco can’t be bad.
Recommended for anyone who’s ever been dumped by someone they really, really, really loved.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? There’s something very noble about doing something you know is going to fail and make you look really stupid, especially when it’s not funny. You know you’re about to do it but still go ahead. It’s probably got less to do with getting what you want, than demonstrating to yourself that you tried and remained true to your beliefs. It’s ultimately futile and pretty pointless, but very, very badass. And very Klingon too.
Hong Kong, 1962. Chow (Tony Leung – “Happy Together”, “Hard Boiled”) is a junior newspaper editor with an elusive wife. His new neighbour, Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung – “Days of Being Wild”, “Irma Vep”), is a secretary whose husband seems to spend all his time on business trips. They become friends, making the lonely evenings more bearable. As their relationship develops they make a discovery that changes their lives forever… In this sumptuous exploration of desire, internationally acclaimed director Wong Kar-Wai (“Chungking Express”, “Happy Together”, “Fallen Angels”) creates a world of sensuality and longing that will leave you breathless. “In the Mood For Love” has seduced audiences and critics alike, winning awards at Cannes 2000 for best actor, cinematography and editing.
2000 – Certificate: PG – Hong Kong Film
Rating Details: Mild sex references and language
7.0 out of 10
I’ve recently developed a new interest; a new kind of fetish if you like. I’ve discovered port. Not the type with boats and things, but the one that’s like red wine on steroids. Cockburns Special Reserve Port is meant to be vegan and is well structured, with rich, ripe fruit and gentle spicy tannins. It has a clean aroma, showing maturity and finesse, with a hint of dried plums. Off dry to medium sweet, it has a rich, mellow texture and a smooth tannin structure, with a long, satisfying finish. (Obviously I got that lot from the Internet; I don’t really know anything about port, other than it’s red and I like how it tastes.) Apparently the classic way to serve Special Reserve is with aged Stilton cheese after dinner; or with roasted almonds or walnuts and squares of rich, dark chocolate, for a simple but elegant dessert. Personally I just drink it on its own out of the wrong shaped glass. Still, I like to think I’m a higher class sort of drunk. You won’t find me in the gutter with some cans of Asda lager in the remains of a six-pack ring, or a smashed bottle of Buckfast. Port is a bit of a throwback to a more civilized time now past; so’s this film.
When I was young I used to sit at home on a Saturday afternoon with my mum, watching old, black and white films on BBC2. In those days we only had three TV channels to pick from and no Internet or home videos; life was hard. Nowadays I can pick from about 200 TV channels and a billion videos on the Internet, or select a DVD or Blu-ray disc to watch. No wonder more people suffer from mental health difficulties these days. Those old films were inevitably made in the 50s and focused on some couple in America with ‘marital difficulties’. They were pretty boring. I’d much rather have watched the wrestling on ITV’s “World of Sport” and seen ‘bad-guy’ Mick McManus trashing another opponent illegally when the ref’s back was turned, but you only had one TV in those days. (Sadly Mick died earlier this year.) Watching “In the Mood For Love” took me straight back to those days; (the films that is, not the wrestling). It’s in colour and set in Hong Kong in the first part of the 60s, but other than that… When I was watching it I was trying to work out why I’d bought it, as it’s not the sort of movie I’d normally watch, but by the end it made perfect sense. It’s got the sort of plot Thomas Hardy could easily have written, (if he’d been able to get away with writing about marital affairs). Chow Mo-wan certainly has something in common with Jude Fawley. The first 15 minutes or so are a real muddle to follow, but then it settles down. It’s also currently the 247th most highly rated film on IMDB, so I guess that means it’s pretty special. Whatever. But overall it’s worth watching, despite the lack of explosions, spaceships and perverted sex.
The music plays a big part in making this movie work, from the use of a number of songs by Nat King Cole, through to the regular musical montages (using the same bit of hypnotic waltz music) that’s used to drive parts of the story along. Not a soundtrack I’d want to listen to on its own, but great in the context of the film.
Recommended for newspaper editors, PAs and lonely husbands and wives.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? It seems you have to be a bit of a bastard to get anywhere in life these days. Su Li-zhen and Chow Mo-wan were just too nice. This makes them badass, but unfortunately it also makes them total losers. What a shame.