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Non-Review Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Stephen Daldry’s latest film, and surprise Best Picture nominee, looks lovely. It opens with a credit sequence that see Tom Hanks falling through the air like an even more stylish version of the Mad Men opening credits. The blue background is just the right shade, the picture is crisp, the focus is tight. Of course, that beautifully illustrative opening sequence exposes the primary flaw with Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Some things just aren’t meant to look pretty, and some events can’t be wrapped up inside a feel-good blanket with a tidy ribbon on the outside.

Not quite picture perfect...

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Non-Review Review: The Reader

The first of the big Oscar nominees to be released on DVD/Blu Ray in Ireland, it’s little surprise that Dad came home with The Reader this weekend.

I like to think I’m an open-minded sort of guy. I can watch controversial films without blinking. I can even stomach the occassional political diatribe and acknowledge its well-crafted artistry (I enjoyed Lions for Lambs despite its hamfistedness). Yet The Reader just irks me. Perhaps it’s the way the film tries so hard to pass itself off as a ‘big idea’ film (and evidentally succeeded, securing a Best Picture nod). Perhaps it’s the way that it acts like it has got guts, asking tough questions when all it does is dance around them and undermine them with shameless Oscar-baiting (let’s look at german post-war guilt – but let’s make the subject of this examination an illiterate, uglied-up, pedophilic Kate Winslet).

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