Captain Fantastic (2016)

Captain Fantastic
Director: Matt Ross
Writer: Matt Ross
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell, Trin Miller, Kathryn Hahn, Steve ZahnErin Moriarty, Missi Pyle, Frank Langella, Ann Dowd
Seen on: 31.8.2016

Plot:
Ben (Viggo Mortensen) is trying to raise his six kids (George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell) away from capitalist society. They live in the woods, engage in rigorous physical exercise and study hard and for the most part, they are really happy. But Ben’s wife and the mother of the kids, Leslie (Trin Miller) isn’t with them: she had to go to the hospital to treat her mental illness. Unfortunately, though, instead of getting better, she commits suicide. Ben and the kids decide to go to the funeral, despite the fact that it means that they have to confront not only a world very different from their own, but also Leslie’s parents (Frank Langella, Ann Dowd) who are critical of Ben and Leslie’s lifestyle choices.

Captain Fantastic is an interesting film set to inspire political debates, but with a – to me – disappointing ending.

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Jauja (2014)

Jauja
Director: Lisandro Alonso
Writer: Lisandro Alonso, Fabian Casas
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Diego Roman, Ghita Nørby, Mariano Arce, Viilbjørk Malling Agger
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Gunnar (Viggo Mortensen) traveled from Denmark to somewhere in Latin America. He is a land surveyor making his way through the desert with his men and his daughter Ingeborg (Viilbjørk Malling Agger). But Ingeborg falls in love with one of his men and then she suddenly disappears. Gunnar starts to wander the desert, always looking for his daughter.

Before I had seen Jauja, I thought that Foxcatcher would turn out to be the most boring movie I’d see at the Viennale this year. Boy, was I wrong.

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The Two Faces of January (2014)

The Two Faces of January
Director: Hossein Amini
Writer: Hossein Amini
Based on: Patricia Highsmith‘s novel
Cast: Oscar IsaacViggo MortensenKirsten Dunst, Daisy Bevan

Plot:
Rydal (Oscar Isaac) is an American working as a tour guide in Greece. He meets the fascinating couple Colette (Kirsten Dunst) and Chester Macfarland (Viggo Mortensen) and is immediately drawn to them. But there is something to the Macfarlands that isn’t quite right and Rydal soon finds himself in deeper than he thought.

The Two Faces of January has an excellent cast and a charming old-timey setting but nothing in this film actually works as it should.

the-two-faces-of-january

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On the Road (2012)

On the Road
Director: Walter Salles
Writer: Jose Rivera
Based on: Jack Kerouac’s novel
Cast: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Elisabeth Moss, Terrence Howard, Alice Braga, Tom Sturridge, Steve Buscemi

Plot:
After his father’s death, Sal (Sam Riley) decides to go on a road trip to visit his new friend Dean (Garrett Hedlund) and his girlfriend Marylou (Kristen Stewart). Together they hook up with some old friends in around the USA. Sal is fascinated with Dean’s energy and joie de vivre. For a while, Sal travels alone, then he travels together with Dean and other people, always looking for the next party and the next kick.

After the book, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about watching the film but I thought that with the lengths the book had, the shortenings necessary for a movie script might improve the whole thing. But if anything the movie was even more boring.

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A Dangerous Method (2011)

A Dangerous Method
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: Christopher Hampton
Based on: Christopher Hampton’s play, which is based on John Kerr’s book
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon

Plot:
Carl Gustav Jung (Michael Fassbender) is a young psychologist much in awe of Sigmund Freud‘s (Viggo Mortensen) work. When Jung gets a new patient, the young Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), he starts a psychoanalysis with her and he also begins to correspond with Freud about the case. But Jung soon discovers his attraction to Spielrein (and vice versa) and when Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) encourages him to give in, he can’t really resist.

A Dangerous Method is an almost perfect movie, interesting, not afraid of depth, but never gets too overbearing. Additionally, it has a good cast and it’s entertaining. Chapeau once again, Mr. Cronenberg.

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The Road (2009)

[The first movie of the /slash Filmfestival.*]

The Road is John Hillcoat‘s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy‘s book (which I’ve reviewed here). It stars Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce.

Plot:
A man (Viggo Mortensen) and a boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) make their way through a post-apocalyptic landscape. All the plants and animals have died, it’s cold and dirty and they are hungry and all alone. But a promise the man made to his wife (Charlize Theron) keeps them going, trying to reach the coast.

The Road is a good movie with some faults. It lacks the claustrophobic intensity of the original but replaces them with great cinematography and generally good performances.

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Golden Globes – Condensed Version

I thought I’d write about the Golden Globe Winners but I guess I can’t really do that because I haven’t seen most of the films. Then I thought, what the heck, I’m sick at home, I have nothing to do in my Eureka-breaks, I’ll write about it anyway. I’ll just leave out the movies I haven’t seen.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Winner: Atonement
Nominees: Eastern Promises, Atonement

Between the two, it was really hard to decide. Both were extremely good – intelligent, well acted and convincing. Maybe you’ve got to give a little more credit to Atonement, because it’s not only a very good movie but one of the best literary adaptions these last years.

Therefore: decision authorised.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Not this year.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Winner: –
Nominees: James McAvoy (Atonement), Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

Both guys are good actors, but in this case, I’d give Viggo Mortensen the lead because he fit the role better. In Atonement (the book), Robbie is this incredible, breath taking, I-just-look-at-girls-and-they-faint-and-I’m-intelligent-enough-to-get-them-on-their-feet-again-type of guy. James McAvoy, for all his qualities, just doesn’t look the part. Viggo Mortensen on the other hand, is just the right mixture of sleazebag and tough guy for this role.

Therefore: seeing, as they decided for someone else entirely, no comment on the decision.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Winner: –
Nominees: Keira Knightley (Atonement), my shame for still not having seen Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Keira Knightley is a good actress. Personally, I don’t understand why everybody took to her like that and I don’t find her that attractive (but I could say the same thing about Scarlett Johansson, maybe I’m just old-fashioned and don’t understand the beauty ideal right now), but she is not a bad actress. But right now my shame for not having seen Elizabeth: The Golden Age outweighs everything, so I guess it’s my personal winner.

Therefore: I hope Away from Her still makes it to the movies here.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Not this year. (I still want to see all of the nominees.)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Winner: –
Nominees: Amy Adams (Enchanted)

Enchanted was cute, it was really nice and sometimes actually laugh-out-loud-funny. Going so far and giving it an Golden Globe … I’m not sure it deserves that. Well, maybe the chipmunk. And Amy Adams’ enchanted (for a lack of better words) facial expression was just perfect.

Therefore: Only about a month until Sweeney Todd…

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Not this year.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Winner: –
Nominees: Saoirse Ronan (Atonement)

This is getting tedious, I haven’t seen almost any movies… and I thought I went to the cinema often… Well. Obviously not often enough. And in the wrong country. Saoirse Ronan was good in Atonement. As about every single thing in this movie was.

Therefore: I’m so looking forward to seeing I’m Not There.

Best Director – Motion Picture / Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Winner: –
Nominees: Joe Wright (Atonement) / Christopher Hampton (Atonement)

Again, this was just a perfect movie. Thank you, Mr. Wright and thank you, Mr. McEwan and Mr. Hampton.

Therefore: Now where did I put Le Scaphandre et le Papillon? I know, I borrowed that book from my mom about 3 years ago.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

Winner: –
Nominees: That’s How You Know (Enchanted)

I don’t think the song is that great, but the situation in the movie is really funny. One of the best scenes in the whole film. Still, the song is just a run of the mill pop song.

Therefore: Decision, not to decide for it, authorised.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Winner: Dario Marianelli (Atonement)
Nominees: Dario Marianelli (Atonement), Howard Shore (Eastern Promises)

Another Atonement vs. Eastern Promises situation. Both of these movies didn’t have a soundtrack I wanted to listen to right away (as was the case with Se, Jie for example) but the music didn’t bother me, either. I guess it’s okay that Howard Shore didn’t get another award and Dario Marianelli got his first. Although, personally, I wouldn’t have nominated either film.

Therefore: Decision, from these nominees, authorised.

Best Animated Film

Winner: –
Nominees: The Simpsons Movie

Wow, time just flew by… I wanted to see Ratatouille and I wanted to see Bee Movie. I’m afraid, it’s too late now for the cinema. Guess, I have to wait for the DVDs (or do I?). The Simpsons Movie was great, in any case. But I’m just a sucker for Simpsons…

Therefore: Can’t write now (am entangled in some internet research).

Best Foreign Language Film

Winner: –
Nominees: Se, Jie (Lust, Caution)

Se, Jie was just wonderful. Sad and beautiful. And obviously very dangerous, as K. pointed out. It would have deserved all Golden Globes, not getting any was a big lapse.

Therefore: Decision NOT authorised.

I won’t get into the TV stuff, being nowhere near any country that shows these films and series, it doesn’t make much sense.