When the Irish represent, they really represent!
Not as many movies this week, but they were all good movies,
The Secret Of Kells (2009, Tomm Moore & Nora Twomey, Belgium/France/Ireland) ***1/2
Beautifully animated and deeply spiritual, The Secret Of Kells is a wonderful piece of art. The animation is engaging on a level that is hard to put into words. It’s very simple looking, yet filled with such fine detail that every frame is a treasure for the eyes. The narrative is slight, yet rewarding in the way it tackles myth, faith, and believing in something bigger than yourself. The story has a few hiccups during it unfolding, but the animation is top notch the entire time. The Secret Of Kells is a rewarding and enriching watch.
My Man Godfrey (1936, Gregory La Cava, United States Of America) ***
There are a few funny moments during My Man Godfrey, and a few instances of snappy dialogue. However, far too much of the film lays there on screen, like a soda that has fizzled out. The histrionics of the family become a bit too much, and are never as funny as the script seems to think they are. William Powell and Carole Lombard are both oddly stiff, but that’s due in part to the roles they play. It’s not a terrible movie, it is funny and at times it’s certainly charming. But coming from the director of Stage Door I was expecting something better, and I was left disappointed.
American Wedding (Unrated, 2003, Jesse Dylan, Germany/United States Of America) ***
Not a perfect comedy by any means, but it has a much better heart than the other two entries in the franchise. There are still plenty of laughs to be had, but this time I didn’t feel like the jokes were as mean spirited as they had been in the other two films. Stiffler took over the franchise in each progressive film, and your mileage may vary on that character. But, I do believe American Wedding adds a touch of likability to that character that really helps the jokes to have a more lighthearted tone to them. I laughed a bunch during American Wedding, I enjoyed the time spent with the characters, minus the utterly useless Kevin and the sometimes annoying Finch. Not a masterpiece by any measure, but American Wedding is a pretty good comedy.
Le Procès (The Trial, 1962, Orson Welles, France/Italy/West Germany) ***1/2
Absurdly funny and sadly poignant at the same time. I took Le Procès more as a look back at Orson Welles own life than an adaptation of the book. There’s a sense of trapped and persecuted genius in Anthony Perkin’s character, of a man unwilling to bow to the system who has been punished for it. Once he was in a tunnel making reference to The Third Man I was fully convinced, Le Procès was a darkly comic tale of Mr. Welles problems in Hollywood. The film has a wonderful visual appeal to it as well, but the real stars are Mr. Perkins, and Mr. Welles comedic look at the Hollywood system.
Every movie I watched this week was good, but only one movie floored me. The animation in The Secret Of Kells is jaw dropping, and I loved the mythology beats of the story. Movie of the week is easily The Secret Of Kells, an underseen animated film that all my readers need to get on with seeing. Until next week, watch more movies!