While not quite as good as the 2007 movie and nowhere near as good as the excellent 1930s films, this TV movie version with Juliet from Psych as Nancy Drew is passable entertainment. Nancy tries to impress her surly journalism teacher with a scoop on a football players doping and ends up creating all kinds of havoc with the school administration and her father, who is way less indulgent than in other versions. Notably, this the only filmic adaptation to…
While the comparisons between this and last year’s female-led Russia spy thriller Atomic Blonde are inevitable, the films are strikingly different in tone and effect. While Atomic Blonde was a fun, neon-soaked actioner that allowed us to bask in the glory of Charlize Theron kissing ladies and killing hundreds of disposable men while wearing a series of incredible coats, Red Sparrow is slow and dour, with disturbing violence and a relentlessly bleak mood. While I’m all for depressing and bleak…
Country 3/6: Finland
While it’s from Finland and not Sweden, this film reminded me a lot of Bergman films from the late 40s and early 50s, especially the comedies. A group of upper-class archeologists and explorers sit around making jokes about sex that inadvertently reveal their various hangups and sexual dysfunctions: one guy is in love with another’s wife, one is impotent, etc. So despite the light tone, there is a disturbing sexuality lurking beneath the surface.
A visual masterpiece. The mise-en-scene pops with exquisite colors and a baroque set design filled to the brim with odd knick-knacks. The camera floats supernaturally through this fantastic reality, sometimes connected with the killer and sometimes not. The film’s magic has little to do with the plot, although it establishes key motifs of the giallo, including the sexually charged setpiece murders. The twist is fun, too.