Thursday, 3 February 2011

Raging Bull

1980, 18, Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, Nicholas Colasanto


Known as one of the best sports films that there are, Raging Bull is a master-class in exactly how it should be done. Evidently timeless, De Niro rages through the film delivering what could be seen as his most faultless performance. Not so much a film, but a journey led by Jake La Motta that provides insight into the destruction of a life outside the ring he succeeds so well inside. The able support (Cathy Moriarty and Joe Pesci as long-suffering wife and brother, respectively), the authentic cinematography and Scorsese’s touches are all just spinning cogs in a giant machine that will continue to spin for generations to come. 

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Sunday, 30 January 2011

Insomnia

2002, 15, Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank, Maura Tierney


After directing the convention-busting, highly original Memento, Christopher Nolan set his sights on Insomnia, the remake of a Norwegian crime film.  Working on a script reworked by Hilary Sweitz, which sees Al Pacino’s sleep-deprived detective holed up in Alaska to uncover a teenage girl’s murder, Nolan has skilfully crafted a rarity: a crime thriller short on action sequences, but high on dialogue and great performances. Set in an Alaskan town in which darkness is not present to signify night, this could potentially disorientate the viewer, just like it does Pacino’s Will Dormer. Caught in a tough place that would count as a spoiler to reveal here, Pacino becomes a portrait of a man whose lack of sleep unhinges his life drastically. The image of light flooding through the blinds when the clock says 3:50 am is unusual and one in which you can rationally sympathise with Dormer’s inability to control what he needs so desperately. Insomnia is a study of the human mind; a question of responsibility and morals. A great cast (Robin Williams as detective novelist Walter Finch being the most memorable) with pitch-perfect dialogue and stylistic (at times) direction, Insomnia will definitely keep you awake for its duration. Check out this overlooked film. 


4/5


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