I did a summary last year and as people keep asking which was the best film I'm doing it again. While Anne and I have only seen one film each that we classified as "must see" there are many films we would recommend.
Last year I noticed a theme of family problems. This year the theme was rain. I have never been so cold and wet, I almost wore my raincoat out and probably ended up smelling of oilskins. It wasn't until half way through the second week that I started to notice a theme of bullying, particularly in: Ben X, CJ7 and Let the Right One In. Since the festival finished I have noticed another theme of illegal immigration with: Lorna's Silence, It's a Free World and The Visitor.
- Waltz with Bashir - remembering Israel's 1982 attack on Lebanon
- Standard Operating Procedure - what happened at Abu Ghraib?
- Terror's Advocate - who defends the undefendable?
- Trouble Is My Business - student management in Papatoetoe
- Donkey in Lahore - an Australian / Pakistani romance
- Taxi to the Dark Side - before Abu Ghraib there was Bagram
- Night - Australia at night
We enjoy comedies, the best of this year's bunch are:
- Empties - old man behaving badly in Prague
- Welcome to the Sticks - this year's French farce
- In Bruges - gangsters behaving badly in Belgium
- Married Life - keeping up appearances
- CJ7 - get in touch with your inner child
The best dramas this festival include:
- The Counterfeiters - do you help your enemy in order to live longer?
- Ben X - the world from an autistic point of view
- Lorna's Silence - her dreams or her conscience?
- I Just Didn't Do It - don't get arrested in Japan
- It's a Free World - Angie's dreams or her conscience?
- The Visitor - safety first or care a little?
The best to worst of this sub-category:
Well not really, rather the best of the Incredibly Strange section:
- Cargo 200 - The Good, the Bad and Ugly back in the USSR
- King of the Hill - Last one standing in the Spanish countryside
- Teeth - Sex with a bite
- Frontier(s) - French splatter, keep away from those creepy motels
Nominations (all NZ films):
- Take 3 - "Can you be a bit more Asian?"
- Noise Control - Rooster shooting at Raumati
- Cargo - People trafficking in Eastern Europe
- The Duchess of Langeais - drawn out sado-masochistic courtship
- Be Kind Rewind - an overdose of Jack Black
- The Wave - not plausible enough to be as chilling
- The Band's Visit - too many missed opportunities
Best Actor / Actress
- Chris Cooper playing Harry in Married Life
- Colin Farrell playing Ray in In Bruges
- Brendan Gleeson playing Ken in In Bruges
- Greg Timmermans playing Ben in Ben X
- Arta Dobroshi playing Lorna in Lorna's Silence
- Xu Jiao playing Dicky in CJ7
- Scott Wills playing Barry in Apron Strings
- Kierston Wareing playing Angie in It's a Free World
- Richard Jenkins playing Walter Vale in The Visitor
Runners Up: Scott Wills and Kierston Wareing
Best Eye Candy
Unrealistic or unjustified use of a sexy actress (think of typical US sitcom slobby husband with impossibly pretty wife).
- Like the Americans, the French like to partner up average guys with gorgeous chicks - twice in Welcome to the Sticks
- Boys would never leave primary school if their primary school teachers looked liked the three in CJ7
- Even Harry's best friend can't believe the perfect Kay belongs with boring Harry in Married Life
- Beautiful women visit beauty parlours but I'm still going to classify the repeat customer in Caramel as eye candy
Winner: Rachel McAdams as Kay in Married Life
Best Energizer Bunny
Where a woman spends the whole film running around trying to achieve something (think Run Lola Run).
- Lorna fights for her dreams and her conscience in Lorna's Silence
- Angie fights to make it in a dodgy business in It's a Free World
- Aicha fights her heritage to learn kung fu in Fighter
- Eye ball eating in Jar City.
- There are times when you don't want to let the dog into your bedroom in Teeth.
- Meat hooks, circular saws and steam rooms and other messy ways to die in Frontier(s).
- Sharing a bed with too many dead bodies in Cargo 200.
- Impeccable cross gender acting - Xu Jiao playing Dicky in CJ7
- Best Bang for Buck - the remarkably restrained and lo-tech Teeth
- Only arty film I saw - Ashes of Time Redux
- The R16 kids film - Let the Right One In
- Worst seats - Paramount H22 & H23
Each year I try to predict which films will come back on general release. Here are my guesses for this year.
In Bruges, Apron Strings, The Counterfeiters
Empties, Married Life, Welcome to the Sticks, Ben X, Lorna's Silence, The Visitor, The Wave
Might come back
Teeth, Be Kind Rewind, The Band's Visit
Would come back if I had my way
Let the Right One In, Noise Control, Waltz with Bashir, Terror's Advocate, Taxi to the Dark Side