The Counselor (2013)

The Counselor
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Cormac McCarthy
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Bruno Ganz, Brad Pitt, Toby Kebbell, Édgar Ramírez, Dean NorrisJohn Leguizamo, Natalie Dormer, Goran Visnjic

Plot:
The Counselor (Michael Fassbender) is a lawyer who is about to marry his girlfriend Laura (Penélope Cruz). He is also somehow involved in the drug business through his client Reiner (Javier Bardem) and he’s about to get involved more deeply. And to no one’s surprise except his own, things go very wrong very quickly and it’s all somehow connected to Reiner’s enigmatic girlfriend Malkina (Cameron Diaz).

There were many things I could see going wrong with this film, but what I did not anticipate was that it would be Cormac McCarthy’s writing where things go very wrong. But unfortunately that was the case and the result was a film that was pretty much unbearable.

the-counselor

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Steven Zaillian
Based on: Stieg Larsson’s novel
Remake of: Män som hatar kvinnor
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer, Geraldine James, Goran Visnjic

Plot:
Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a journalist in trouble. Not only has he just been convicted of libel, but the magazine he edits is experiencing financial difficulties because of it. But then he gets an offer from Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), rich retired business man. Vanger wants Mikael to research his great-niece Harriet’s disappearance 36 years ago, in the hope that he can discover something new. At the same time Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), young borderline researcher, gets the job to look into Mikael and his libel case.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is in almost all counts the better movie compared with its Swedish predecessor. Too bad they messed up the ending.

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Beginners (2010)

[identities.]

Beginners is the newest film by Mike Mills, starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent and Goran Visnjic.

Plot:
After the death of his wife, the 75-year-old Hal (Christopher Plummer) finally comes out to his son Oliver (Ewan McGregor) and the world. He quickly takes a younger lover, Andy (Goran Visnjic) but almost as fast, Hal is diagnosed with terminal cancer. After Hal’s death, Oliver struggles with depression and lacks a general direction when he meets Anna (Mélanie Laurent) and the two of them fall for each other.

The film has many good things going for it. Most notably the wonderful cast, the dog and the fact that it actually pulls off the manic pixie dream girl trope. The problem is, though, that it is yet another artsy film about the woes of a white guy who is charmingly quirky. Which should be a genre unto its own and labelled as such so I can avoid most of its brethren.

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The Deep End (2001)

The Deep End is a movie by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, starring Tilda Swinton, Goran Visnjic and Jonathan Tucker.

Plot:
Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) is worried: her son Beau (Jonathan Tucker) has an affair with night club owner Darby Reese (Josh Lucas). Not willing to discuss his sexuality with her son, Margaret rather goes to Darby and tells him to stay away. But Darby goes to Beau anyway and the two guys get into a fight. After Beau leaves, Darby stumbles and dies. The next morning, Margaret finds his body, assumes that Beau has killed Darby and decides to cover it all up. But things are far from over: Alek (Goran Visnjic) turns up and tells Margaret that he has evidence of the affair between Darby and Beau and he tries to extort her with that knowledge.

The Deep End is a thriller, noir style. That’s not really the kind of thing I usually like. But even if it was, it still would only be an average film with a mixed cast, some logical fallacies and problems with the pacing. If you like thrillers, I guess you could do worse, but it’s not a must-see.

[Minor Spoilers]

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