Gomorra (Matteo Garrone) ***1/2 - This film was a bit surprising. It was a lot less violent than I thought it would be. However, what violence there is was quite disturbing and unpleasant and there is always an aura of uneasiness that envelopes the entire film, which is basically five intertwining stories involving an Italian organized crime syndicate. I've heard it described as an Italian The Wire (minus the cops). I have to say it's not inaccurate. It's an excellently made film. Can't wait to see more from this director.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky) ***1/2 - I haven't read the book but despite the fact that I've been told that it's quite excellent, the plot didn't really make excited to see the film version despite the pretty good cast and the fact that the author himself is adapting AND directing it. But surprise, surprise, it's quite good. The film ri andses above the teen movie cliches through its intelligence and its honesty. It's funny and heartfelt and tackles some of the more touchy subject matter free of preachy-ness and histrionics. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller deliver superb performances. Despite some flaws here and there, the film is an overall success.