Wow. This is most definitely in the running for my favorite Godard film, right up there with Band of Outsiders and Breathless. Anna Karina gives a great central performance as a young woman who gets into prostitution. The film is divided into chapters and filled with literary, philosophical and pop culture references, classic, classic Godard. Is it just me or did Godard do his best work when his still friends Truffaut?
A Face in the Crowd (1957) Dir: Elia Kazan
Andy Griffith delivers a stunning performance as a drunk ne'r-do-well plucked from obscurity by a small-town radio producer (Patricia Neal) and is turned into national media superstar. This film was quite a bit ahead of its time and was probably seen as exaggerated then but is strikingly relevant today. I can't believe the Andy Griffith I see here is the same one who's Matlock. Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau provide excellent support. Terrific direction and script too.
Tokyo Drifter (1966) Dir: Seijun Suzuki
A former gang boss and his young faithful henchman goes straight. Then a rival decides to take over their legit business, chaos ensues and the young henchman goes on a lam. Then crazy shit happens. That's basically the plot which is sometimes there and sometimes not there (hard to explain but see it and you'll know it). I've wanted to see another Suzuki film since Gate of Flesh. This one's just as wild. Suzuki's use of colors is amazing. It at times felt like a Japanese gangster film shot like an MGM musical (and to make matters even crazier, this can qualify as a musical). It's definitely a must-see.
Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) Dir: Leo McCarey
I've heard lots of critics and film buffs proclaiming this one of the best films ever made. It's really a wonder that it's only quite recently that this film has been made available for any type of video format courtesy of Criterion. Now that I've FINALLY seen it, I have to say those critics were not exaggerating. For what is essentially a very sad film, this film has a surprising amount of humor. The performances of Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi are absolutely exquisite. The scene in the hotel did to me what no film has ever done at least to my memory: Made me smile and get misty-eyed at the same time.
Director Darren Aronofsky's four-for-four so far (not counting Black Swan yet) in my book at least. The film about an ageing professional wrestler trying to get his personal and professional life back together is anchored by the truly beautiful, heartwrenching performance of Mickey Rourke (and he's ably supported by Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei). This film is at times tough to watch, not so much because of the violent, gory wrestling scenes but because of the powerful raw emotions of it all. It's a testament to the greatness of Rourke's performance. It's one of the best of its year.