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The Virtue of Ambitious Failure…

When I was compiling my “top twelve” list for 2011, there were a lot of films contending for a place on that list. I felt bad about having to leave off stuff like We Need to Talk About Kevin and Preludio and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. However, I didn’t find myself trying to justify the inclusion of Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, despite the fact that I found the film completely and utterly compelling. I’ll be the first to concede that Soderbergh’s disease epic had some fairly considerable flaws, too many for me to legitimately rank it “one of the best of the year”, and yet I think it’s one of those movies I couldn’t stop thinking about. What it is it about an ambitious failure that makes it so much more fascinating than a modest success?

Figuring out the formula...

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Non-Review Review: We Need To Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin is powerful, visceral cinema. It’s the kind of movie that makes you want to take a nice long, hot shower after coming home. It’s unsettling in a way that doesn’t rely on cheap shocks or gratuitous violence – it just makes you feel unclean. Truth be told, I think that any film taking this sort of subject should feel this uncomfortable – I’m not sure I could stomach a film about this sort of thing that wasn’t uncomfortable. However, while the disjointed structure of the film adds a wonderful complexity and sense of uncertainty, I can’t help but feel that certain aspects were a little tooambiguous – falling into the familiar trap that one must have read the book in order to fully grasp everything that’s going on. Still, it makes for a very unsettling viewing experience.

Baby trouble...

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