Black Swan. A psychological thriller from the director of last year’s The Wrestler. Natalie Portman is outstanding in the title role. The last 20 minutes of the film is perfect as Portman’s character unravels.
Orapronobis. Phillip Salvador, Gina Alajar, and Bembol Roco star in this Lino Brocka classic about human rights violations immediately after the 1986 EDSA Revolution. I think this film made me change my mind. Brocka is now my favorite Filipino director.
Never Let Me Go. The book ‘Never Let Me Go’, written by Kazuo Ishiguro on which this film is based on, is a personal favorite. The film adaptation, about three humans who are ‘bred’ in a controlled environment to donate their organs when they come of age, does not disappoint.
Agora. Rachel Weisz star in this surprisingly good film about the early days of Christianity and the beginning of the end of paganism.
The Fighter. This boxing movie from David O. Russel is an acting juggernaut. Mark Wahlberg is understated in the title role but his 3 co-stars steal the show – Amy Adams, Melissa Leo (unrecognizable here after last year’s Frozen River), and a gauntly manic Christian Bale.
Sa ‘Yo Lamang. Laurice Guillen’s film is about a prodigal dad who returns to his family a decade after leaving them for another woman. His comeback creates tension especially with her eldest daughter, played with seething anger and pathos by Bea Alonzo. I like this film better than Guillen’s Tanging Yaman.
Julia. Tilda Swinton star as an alcoholic who kidnaps the son of an emotionally distraught woman whom she meets in an AA meeting. She is practically in almost all of the scenes and she is terrific in each. I wonder why her performance did not get the attention it deserved.
Go The Distance. Justin Long and Drew Barrymore play a couple in a long-distance relationship. I like the fact that yes, LDR does work. Matrabaho nga lang.
Kinatay. Brillante Mendoza’s film is about a day in the life of a college student (Coco Martin). He becomes involved in the salvaging of a prostitute (Maria Isabel Lopez). The film wasn’t very impressive, boring at times. This film must be watched on the big screen or at night with lights off since I think one needs to set a ‘dark’ mood to get Mendoza’s intent.
The Kids Are All Right. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play a lesbian couple who gets into a complicated relationship with the father of their two kids. Bening has been getting raves for this movie but I was more impressed with Mark Ruffalo who plays the sperm donor. This is probably his best work to date since You Can Count On Me released in 2000.
The Switch. Jason Bateman switches his own sperm with that of Jennifer Aniston’s sperm donor after accidentally spilling it on Aniston’s bathroom. This is a romantic comedy that does not play like a romantic comedy. Nice.
I Am Love. A middle-aged mother of three (Tilda Swinton) who is trapped in a loveless marriage falls in love with her son’s business partner. Those last few sequences especially the stare she shares with her lesbian daughter is a must-see.
Lebanon. This 2009 winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival is mostly set inside a tank and happens on a single day. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the film but some of the dialogue among the four soldiers inside the tank is hilarious.
Shrek 4. Not funny at all. It’s amazing how a fantastic franchise goes downhill after its first 2 exceptional output.
I Do. Be warned. To enjoy the movie, one must suspend disbelief. Imagine. The girl gets pregnant and the viewer does not even get to see the couple having sex or an implied scene that they did have sex. Heck, they did not even get to kiss. Now, that is what I call surprise pregnancy.