I’m going to keep things short this time.  In next week’s issue, I’ll go through my award season preview and talk about the films which will be vying for the big prizes.


A Single Man


I posted it on my Facebook and Twitter sites a few weeks back but the trailer for A Single Man is the best I’ve seen all year.  You can view it at - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eafJ4jvf-sY.


There’s not a single piece of dialogue. Just a repetitive score and a ticking clock in the background. I love all the close ups too - it's amazing what you can pick up by looking into someone's eyes.


The film's out next February here in Australia and it has my attention.  It stars Colin Firth (who I’m growing to really admire – great in everything he does), Julianne Moore (the best actress never to win an Oscar in my eyes) and Nicholas Hoult (a rising star who is afraid of a challenge – as proved by Skins).  I’ll be sure to mention more in my award season preview next week.


Confusing Movie Titles


I don’t know how these situations pop up.  You’d think that one of the filmmakers would back down.


I’ve just mentioned A Single Man but out this week is the new Coen brothers movie, A Serious Man.  Thankfully these two movies are being released a few months apart but I’ve been getting them confused already when talking about them.


If you think that’s bad, next month a film is being released called 9.  It’s a post apocalyptic animated film with voices including Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly and Elijah Wood.  Just one month later, is a new musical from director Rob Marshall (Chicago) called Nine.  It stars Daniel Day Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench and Sophia Loren.  What about that cast for a musical!


Anyway, my question this week is why???  Two films are going to be in cinemas at the same time with the exact same title.  A stitch in time could have saved Nine. J


The Crucible


I had a few people pass on some kind words for my blog last week on the role of a film critic.  Thanks for that.


Funnily enough, I receive a standard feedback form from the Queensland Theatre Company asking me for my thoughts on the show.  I felt like just sending them by blog instead.  But I filled it out diligently and scored it well.


I’m planning on seeing their last show for the year, Toy Symphony, in the next few weeks.  Just need to round up a team of those interested.


Matt’s Best Of The Decade – Documentaries


This decade has been huge for documentaries.  When I started reviewing in the mid 90s, you’d be lucky if you saw one documentary in a movie theatre.  I can remember seeing Hoop Dreams at the old Myer Centre Cinemas (man, they were bad) in 1996.


How times have changed.  It seems the new way of getting your message across isn’t through the Discovery Channel or 60 Minutes, its through the medium of cinema.  Michael Moore has led the craze.  Bowling For Columbine set a record in 2002 my grossing $21m at the U.S. box-office.  Moore smashed his own record 2 years later when Fahrenheit 9/11 (which I saw in London) grossed $119m.  Outstanding.


So far this year, I’ve seen 15 documentaries in a movie theatre.  I saw 19 last year.  In comparison, I saw a total of just 12 between 2000 and 2004.


Whilst I am a fan of Michael Moore’s works, my two picks for the best documentaries of the decade are:


Spellbound (released in 2003) – full review is here.


The Corporation (released in 2004) - full review is here.


I can remember seeing Spellbound on a Saturday afternoon after a French class (a fad which lasted a total of 5 weeks).  It was incredible.  It was about the national spelling bee competition in the United States and it focused on eight kids who made it through to the final.  This was edge of your seat stuff.  More suspenseful than a horror film.  13-year-olds were trying to spell impossible words – one mistake and they’re eliminated.  All the study, the hard work, adds up to nothing.


The Corporation was equally compelling and focused on a subject close to my heart – the way in which corporations make ridiculous amounts of money and whether they help the world, or hinder it.  You’d say this was ahead of its time also because the recent global financial crisis has come about largely as a result of corporate greed and risk-taking over the past few years.  It’s one of those films that not only provides entertainment but it can change the way that you live your life.  That’s powerful stuff.


Honourable mentions go to Bowling For Columbine, Capturing The Friedmans, Fahrenheit 9/11, My Flesh & Blood, The Wild Parrots Of Telegraph Hill, An Inconvenient Truth, The Fog Of War, DiG!, Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room, Forbidden Lies, Deliver Us From Evil, American Teen and Man On Wire.


Next week, I’ve got two very odd choices in my quest to find the best romance films.  It will take some explaining.