Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Films I Saw in November


I only watched a paltry six films last month, but I'll be cramming in a lot of 2016 titles over the next few months, so I can post the CinSpecs some time around the Oscars (hopefully).

6. Complete Unknown

5. Morris from America

4. Finding Dory

3. Jindabyne

2. Hell or High Water

*I'll probably revisit this, as I'm a borderline A on it.

1. Arrival


  1. I'm getting Morris From America today from Netflix. Looking forward to seeing it.

    1. I liked it, but I'd recommend Hartigan's last film This is Martin Bonner over MFA.

  2. Aside Jindabyne I haven’t seen any of these. I was interested in Complete Unknown because I love Rachel Weisz so that C grade is disappointing. At least it’s not an F but it doesn’t fill me with optimism.

    I only saw a few worth mentioning this month. Whispering City, an interesting if slightly over plotted noir from 1947 filmed and set in Canada. It had a decent cast headed by Paul Lukas.

    The Bespoke Overcoat (1955) a gentle fable about a clerk who dies from the cold while waiting for his tailored coat to be ready and his ghost returns to get the tailor to deliver the coat to him. It was only 30 minutes long which was just right to convey the story’s message, the cast being English lent even more of a Dickensian air to the piece.

    Two I’d been searching for and finally found, The Cranes Are Flying and Morning Departure were both worth seeking out but I don’t see myself watching again. The lead actress in Cranes was amazing and John Mills and Richard Attenborough both very good in Departure.

    I think I’ve mentioned that I have a project I’m slowly working on wherein I’ve compiled a list of performers, mostly classic actresses but a few actors, whose filmographies I’m trying to see in total. I started with 100 performers and have completed 42 so far but who knows if I’ll ever get to the end of it! I usually make some small inroad each month-one title here or there, but last month proved unexpectedly rich in finds!

    Four for Claudette Colbert (only one really worthwhile one though-Family Honeymoon with Fred MacMurray), 3 for Ginger Rogers (all from her very early years and forgettable), 2 cute Deanna Durbin movies-I’ll Be Yours & Nice Girl?, Killer McCoy with Ann Blyth and Margaret Sullavan’s swan song 1950’s No Sad Songs for Me (which despite the title was a heavy soaper with her withholding from her family that she's terminally ill while keeping a stiff upper lip throughout. Sullavan was such an exemplary actress she makes it work but it verged on bathetic.) which had the added bonus of Natalie Wood as her daughter. Since she’s on my list as well it was a two for one!

    This month and next will also be a boon with Myrna Loy as Star of the Month on TCM this month and Jane Wyman next. Plus several from Ann Sheridan coming up AND I’ll be able to complete both Rosalind Russell and Priscilla Lane’s career output! I’ll probably hit a wall again afterwards which usually happens for some reason but hopefully not. Oops! Sorry I get carried away with that sometimes.

    Anyway as always the month held a few disappointments. I absolutely hated Mud-I’ve tried with McConaughey but I think he’s not for me. I didn’t dislike them as much but Blindness, Insignificance and Martha Marcy May Marlene left me cold though I did admire Elizabeth Olsen’s work in the last.

    1. Weisz makes Complete Unknown worth a look, but the film's just not very good.

      I love The Cranes Are Flying, and Attenborough is brilliant in Morning Departure.

      I'd like to do a project like that, but it seems like finishing the CinSpecs (current and doing more research on past years) is the only film one I'll have on the side for some time. :)

      That Paul Lukas noir sounds interesting, and I need to check out more work from all of those actresses.

      I've seen Mud two or three times, and I just love what McConaughey does in that role. For me, he finally shook off that rom com image. But I can totally see why the film and his acting wouldn't work work for everyone.

      I liked Blindness, but I was actually a big fan of Martha Marcy May Marlene. I wish Best Actress wasn't loaded that year.