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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS

 
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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 16/6/2012 12:54:12 AM   
Beetlejuice!


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24. The Dresser (1983)
 
 
An effeminate personal assistant of a deteriorating veteran actor struggles to get him through a difficult performance of King Lear.
 
To paraphrase Harry Hill - "I like Albert Finney and I like Tom Courtenay - but who do I like better? There's only way to find out. Throw them in a film together and let them kick ten (acting) shades of shit out of each other." With Finney as the Shakespearean actor known only as "Sir" and Courtenay as Norman his dresser, constantly fussing around him and making sure he's ready for his nightly performances, the film gives both actors plenty of scope to roar and preen and generally go over-the-top - but in a way that completely works in the setting of the narrative. Finney is meant to be a ham, completely in love with the sound of his own voice (one of the funniest moments is when he literally stops a train by bellowing at it) and never happy unless he's causing chaos backstage. As the effeminate, constantly humming Norman, Courtenay is just as big a character, someone able to handle Sir's wildly changeable moods whilst keeping a lid on the petty backbiting, jealousies and rivalries from the rest of the company. You can't really criticise them for going over the top then, especially with the wordy and thick script, because that's exactly what the film demands - there's no way that being subtle would work here. And work it does, as both are fantastic and the film itself treats the job of acting like it should be treat on film - i.e. with as much contempt as possible. It's a very funny film, with Sir taking umbrage at the nightly raids from the Luftwaffe as a personal attack on his performances and the muttered slights and rolled eyes from the rest of the cast as they'd much prefer to be facing off Nazis on a daily basis than dealing with Sir's pomposity and moods. Credit Yates, too, for taking what's essentially a talky, stagey script and making it seem anything but. - matty_b
 
The thing is the first time I saw it I missed the first part so I thought the whole fuss about talking Sir off a ledge and getting him ready for the Lear performance was because he was pissed. A misreading that obviously made this viewing a deal more affecting. It also puts Courtenay’s Norman in line for a substantial re-appraisal since his bulwark of an ailing old man to extremity is no longer an act of altruism but the selfishness of a lackey whose whole raison d’etre is to serve an active master. The script, with an established stageplay behind it is unimpeachable with the last two lines nailing the contradiction and pathos. “You say you loved him but what about me?” epitomises the selfish/selfless duality and the euphemism “I had a friend” dangles to great effect. - demoncleaner
 
Two of the best performances in British cinema. - elab49

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 16/6/2012 1:01:11 AM   
Beetlejuice!


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23. The Truman Show (1998)
 
 
Jim Carrey stars in this provocative and prescient media satire. Puts Big Brother and the current spate of docu-soaps firmly into perspective.
 
Carrey’s acting was spot on, shame he didn’t receive the Oscar nod he deserved. - chambanzi
 
Brilliant. I love Ed Harris' performance and the relationship his character has with Truman - Beetlejuice!
 
Good, but not much extraordinary in repeated viewings. - Dantes Inferno

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 16/6/2012 1:10:11 AM   
Beetlejuice!


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22. The Hustler (1961)
 
 
Paul Newman turns in a typically superb early 60s performance in this seedy evocation of American pool halls and the travails of addiction.
 
"Cool" is a criticism often misused, I feel. Sure, Brad Pitt and George Clooney look dapper and "cool" in Ocean's 11, or a particularly well-executed action sequence could also be labelled "cool", but The Hustler is really what cool is about. Not just because of Rossen's gorgeous wide-angled lensing of the pool halls, the jazzy soundtrack or the noir-esque cinematography that makes it look like a cousin to Rififi, no it's "cool" because of the cold blooded nature of the world that Eddie Felson (Paul Newman) lives and survives. There is no loyalty, no real understanding of love and both Eddie and Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) have to demonstrate that they have ice running through their veins when they're battling over the pool tables. It's often forgotten just how dark, bitter and sleazy The Hustler is. The four main characters - Eddie and Fats, as well as George C Scott's manipulative manager and Piper Laurie's drunken cripple - are all fucked up and damaged in various ways and their bouncing off each other leads to them all dragging each other down into deeper levels of addiction, violence and heartbreak. All are fantastic, with Newman giving his definitive performance as the cocky, but flawed Eddie and Gleason squatting like a corpulent bullfrog in his pool hall, taking on all-comers. Rossen keeps the film dark with a tangible sense of unease and edge to the proceedings as Eddie tries to rally himself and get his hustling career back on track while trying to make sense of where the other three protagonists fit into his life, and the result is a seedy, tragic, engrossing slice of brilliance. Of course, more than 20 years later, Scorsese would tempt Newman down this line again for a lacklustre sequel - and that definitely isn't cool. - matty_b
 
Bit tragic Newman didn't get his Oscar here. - Rhubarb
 
Excellent seedy atmosphere in this well acted drama. - Beetlejuice!

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 16/6/2012 12:00:23 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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21. The Crying Game (1992)
 
 
Sexual politics collide head on with actual politics in Neil Jordan's controversial Oscar winner, an IRA thriller-cum-love story with a plot bizarre enough to make studio executives spew blood.
 
I've never bothered watching this previously simply because I knew the twist, and assumed it was a Sixth Sense-type experience, where the twist comes at the end and makes you reevaluate everything you've seen. Someone on here (rick, I think) mentioned however, that the infamous moment comes roughly halfway through the film, and therefore the rest of the film doesn't necessarily depend on it the way you think it might. So even knowing what's going to happen means there's still a lot to enjoy as IRA volunteer Stephen Rea ends up responsible for the death of a British soldier (Forest Whitaker in a weird bit of casting, with an odd attempt at an English accent) and tracks down his girlfriend (Jaye Davidson) in a fit of guilt and ends up falling in love with her. Rea is quite brilliant, someone who veers towards being the dimmest man in the room, but whose reliance on emotions rather than logic, means he has the capability to outmanouvere those who take the opposite approach, while Davidson's performance is also quite something - alluring, mysterious and distant and key to the whole film. After that twist, the film loses its nimble footing a little, an assassination plot not exactly stretching credibility (we're talking about IRA terrorists after all), but thrusting in some action beats in a quite ungainly manner. However, the performances are incredibly striking and if you're lucky to not know what happens (and you've missed that particular episode of Father Ted) then you're in luck - it's possibly the one reveal I wish I'd known nothing about and was in the cinema for. - matty_b
 
I like the second half because it is so unpredictable - it's quite rare, when you've seen more than a few hundred movies, to watch something and have absolutely no idea where it's going. I had Rea's performance in my top 10 when we did that list; he's just extraordinary. Whitaker's performance is a bit - erm - unusual, but it's the only weak note really. One of my favourite movies. - rick_7
 
Very good performances in this unusual thriller. Possibly Neil Jordan's best. - Beetlejuice!

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 16/6/2012 12:09:41 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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20. Wild Strawberries (1957)
 
 
An ageing professor travels with his daughter-in-law to receive an honorary degree. A journey of self-discovery and redemption, and an uncharacteristically warm tale from Ingmar Bergman.
 
Wild Strawberries is a powerful movie and seems to be Bergman's most popular film, even among those who dislike his work. It may not be Bergman's most experimental or adventurous film but it's easily his most exquisite, moving and philosophical. It's also my favourite of the great director's films. - rawlinson
 
Bergman's film about a man re-evaluating his life is probably his most accessible film, and one of his best. - paul_ie86
 
An introspective, moving drama that contains some memorable flashback and dream sequences. - Beetlejuice!

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 16/6/2012 2:51:59 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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19. Persona (1966)
 
 
Ingmar Bergman's haunting masterpiece explores the gulf of communication that exists between a nurse and her silent patient.
 
Very unusual thought-provoking drama, would like to see this again to get a better grasp on it. - Beetlejuice!
 
The only Bergman film I've seen and it was quite excellent. Exceed my expectations. - Gimli The Dwarf

I love it, i watched it for a second time after probably 13/14 years and I couldn't belive I remembered it with such a surprising detail, It looks amazing, and has that odd simplicity that hides lots of strange posibilities. - fernetcontonica

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 18/6/2012 4:24:39 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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18. The Wrestler (2008)
 
 
An ageing wrestler struggles to leave the spotlight in Darren Aronofsky's award-winning drama. Mickey Rourke revels in the role of a lifetime.
 
Reminded me a little of Anvil, in its portrait of likeable, long-haired '80s relics playing to passionate but dwindling audiences. It's a heavy-handed, obvious but well-acted study of ageing pro-wrestler Mickey Rourke, who tries to connect with a lap dancer (Marisa Tomei) and his daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) after a stark reminder of his mortality. Aronofsky seems to have little faith in his audience's ability to understand even the simplest analogies, initially hinting at the fact that Rourke and Tomei are both past-it pieces of meat before deciding to clobber us over the head with it, and soundtracking our hero's walk to a new job at the deli with crowd noises - as if the way it's filmed doesn't make the connection obvious enough. OH RIGHT DARREN THANK YOU FOR EXPLAINING IT. I also suspect that if Aronofsky could direct an entire film as a tracking shot from just behind someone's head then he definitely would. The story is engrossing, building in power as it progresses, though the dialogue is variable and the self-satisfied gags about in-the-ring villains being absolutely lovely off-stage wear thin after a while. Rourke's performance is good rather than great, aside from the scene by the water, which is superb in every way and presumably what won him the Oscar. That and his leathery skin. Tomei was arguably more interesting when she was a sensitive mainstream lead rather than a challenging, perma-naked wreck, but she does a decent job with a cliched part. I'm not sure about Wood's performance: she was excellent at the start, but by the end she was just shouting her trite dialogue whilst staring at the floor. I don't think this is the masterpiece others do, though it's still worth seeing, if only for that superlative monologue: "You're my girl. You're my little girl. And now, I'm an old broken down piece of meat... and I'm alone. And I deserve to be all alone. I just don't want you to hate me." The Nintendo game was also cool. The Wrestlert was remade by Aronofsky in 2010 as Black Swan. - rick_7
 
You know I'm really glad Darren Aronofsky decided to make two films from his original idea (a wrestler and a ballerina) rather than just the one. As both are outstanding movies with career bests from the leading stars. - Beetlejuice!
 
Rourke's flawless performance is the best element of this good, but otherwise generic, indie flick. - shawshank prisoner

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 18/6/2012 4:25:38 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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17. Chinatown (1974)
 
 
Polanski's masterly film noir takes us back to the days when Los Angeles was a small town. Jack Nicholson stars.
 
Visually this film is top notch with gorgeous and atmospheric art direction but it is a frustrated and angry film so may be one you resent if approached in a wrong state of mind. To speak plainly and truthfully there is a lot of ambiguity that a film so controversial could come from such a controversial director, after the details of Polanski's private life were revealed audiences could be shocked at what his intentions with this film were. It is often easier to seperate the artist from the film and not let those ideas bias your opinion of their work. - chambanzi
 
Noir is often a genre where people are shown to hide in the shadows. In Chinatown everything is bathed in brilliant sunlight, yet people still find places to hide their darkest secrets. Chinatown shows you a city where human nature is debased and corruption has set in at every level, from politics to the family. - rawlinson
 
An enjoyable noir, Jack Nicholson is awesome. - Rebel scum


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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 18/6/2012 4:32:48 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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16. The Conformist (1970)
 
 
In late 1930s Italy, a man succumbs to fascism and agrees to travel to Paris to murder his former teacher. Political drama from Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Jean-Louis Trintignant.
 
Its a bit confusing at times but this is a beautifully shot crime drama from Bertolucci. I can see the influence on Coppola's Godfather movies. - Beetlejuice!
 
A very good film but not one without its flaws. One should also probably remember the cast, who are mostly wonderful, particularly Trintignant (although he's better in, you guessed it, "My Night at Maud's”) and Sanda, who are both brilliant together and apart, with Sanda putting in a smoldering performance as Marcello's complete polar opposite; unique, free wheeling, and free thinking. Also, did I mention how pretty it is? - Piles
 
Everything I`ve read so far about this film told me the same things: the story is well written but gets, especially during the first viewing, pushed aside a bit by the brilliant visual style of the film. Looking back, I can only agree with these comments. The compositions, combined with the use of colour are during the 110 minutes that the film runs always breathtaking. That doesn`t take anything away from the fact that the story really is excellent (deservedly so earning many awards). You do have to constantly stay focussed though, because if you don`t the jumping back and forth in time (and the use of flashbacks) might put you off and you might miss important things. After The Dreamers (the last film from Bertolucci that I saw), IL Conformista is again a brilliant film, but one that you have to watch more often to be able to really take in the story without being constantly blown away by the films visual style. - TheGodfather


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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 18/6/2012 6:12:16 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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15. Naked (1993)
 
 
Mike Leigh directs David Thewlis in an unrelenting, uncompromising portrayal of alienation.
 
'Naked’ is the perfect name for this seedy British film because it is quite simply the worst parts of humanity stripped bare. David Thewlis is Johnny in one of the greatest performances I have seen. When Johnny is not rolling off monologues that would make Shakespeare cry (literally how did Thewlis deliver some of his lines at such a breakneck speed?) he is wandering the streets of London manipulating every character he meets. - chambanzi
 
Pretty brutal, probably Mike Leigh's darkest film. David Thewlis is amazing. - Beetlejuice!
 
It's in my all-time top 10. - elab49

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 18/6/2012 6:55:57 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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14. Belle de Jour (1967)
 
 
A stunning psychological drama about a bored housewife's bizarre sexual fantasies from director Luis BuFuel, featuring a career-best performance from Catherine Deneuve.
 
Probably the film most likely to convert Bunuel sceptics, Belle de Jour is a masterpiece by any standards, and one of the greatest films of its era. - rawlinson
 
It's a masterpiece. - garvielloken
 
A fascinating sexual tale with an iconic role for Catherine Deneuve. - Beetlejuice!

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 18/6/2012 8:11:17 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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13. Bigger Than Life (1956)
 
 
Remarkable portrait of a descent into drug-induced mania in squeaky clean 1950s America. Nicholas Ray directs James Mason.
 
I'll admit that melodrama isn't for everyone, the histrionics on display can be seen as ridiculous and ultimately off-putting however Ray never lets the film descend into such unrealistic antics, the film never feels forced or false and in fact more closely resembles a horror picture than Douglas Sirk by the end. At the centre of the film is a performance from James Mason that is quite possibly the finest of his illustrious (yet strangely underrated) career, Mason dominates the film yet his intensity never overshadows it. He gives a consummate display of a man going insane and the shift from dutiful hardworking husband to a man finally released from his repression to a malicious, homicidal despot is exceptional. Amazingly despite this horrific transformation Mason and Ray have the time and skill to pepper Avery's dialogue and grandiose declarations with a dark ironic wit and there is a rich vein of humour to be found, in particular a speech during parent's evening where he describes his young pupils as "moral midgets". - impqueen
 
Quite possibly my favourite film out of all the ones that the HoF has introduced me to. - matty_b 
 
The film itself is larger than life due to its melodramatic tendencies and it's one of the best Mason' performances. - Beetlejuice!

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 18/6/2012 9:18:39 PM   
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12. Three Colours: Blue (1993)
 
 
An extraordinary film. The first in Kieslowski's acclaimed Three Colours trilogy is cerebral yet compelling, looks and sounds superb, and features a mesmerising performance from Juliette Binoche.
 
Three Colours: Blue is another film which I have seen numerous times, but it's effectiveness as a piece of cinema has not diminished in the slightest. - Spectre
 
Not too much actually happens in the first of the Three Colours Trilogy and yet the combination of excellent, graceful direction and a career best performance manage to present a stunning exploration of what liberty is and the most unexpected places you can find it. The direction is detailed, yet enthralling; Kieslowski was on top of his game and his direction helps create an ethereal, haunting atmosphere, crushing realism is mixed beautifully with ambiguity to create a sense of menace that grips. Self imposed isolation is disrupted by memories and the secrets left behind in death. Throughout, Julie and the film are bleak, frigid and impenetrable with the ending offering no answers. The key though is the central performance from Juliet Binoche as the grieving widow and mother who retreats from the world after her own is shattered, Binoche is heartbreaking. The film has a melancholic streak a mile wide but it also has an elevating, liberating core. - impqueen
 
The best of the Three Colours films is the first, which sees Julie Vignon (Juliette Binoche) facing the challenge of overcoming the death of her husband and young child, Anna. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, she packs up shop and leaves home, but is served reminder after reminder, and eventually she has to face up to her demons. Kieslowski’s film is, really, just a character study. Sometimes dry and emotionless, at others melodramatic, Kieslowski paints an emotive but deadly serious picture with only metaphors and symbolism on his palette. Rather than have events or happenings shape Julie’s process of grief, the director/writer chooses the abstract route, serving us analogy after analogy, metaphor after metaphor, which I think works to great effect. None of this symbolism is used to notate the human condition, but instead to depict human emotion, which is a much deeper, more personal theme. The mixture of metaphor and raw, human emotion creates a film which is both enigmatic and accessible; both personal and universal. Kieslowski’s three films are loosely based around the three colours of the French flag and what they represent. Here, liberty is shown as an inaccessible goal, and a happy medium is a more realistic one. The colours of the title are used as the primary colour scheme, which is a genius touch. It gives the films a sense of identity and uniqueness, whilst still tying them together as one, unified piece of cinema. There’s a whole host of reasons to love this film, from Juliette Binoche’s fantastic performance as Julie to Zbigniew Preisner’s quite marvellously emotive score, and the huge amount of fantastic sequences to enjoy along the way. But if there is one reason to watch it above any other it’s for the fantastic ending scene, where the camera pans across the faces of all of the film’s characters. Pillaged wholesale by "Donnie Darko", Kieslowski delivers a hopeful, uplifting ending to a thoroughly depressing film. This is a character who we have believed to be alienated and quite distant from society, yet here is a laundry list of people that she has affected, for good or for worse.  - Piles

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 18/6/2012 10:19:35 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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11. Oldboy (2003)
 
 
After an unexplained 15 year incarceration, a man seeks those responsible for his abduction and his wife's murder. Award-winning revenge thriller from South Korea's Chan-Wook Park.
 
This was for many the film that really broke South Korean cinema into the mainstream. It's a bitter and cruel revenge thriller, one that takes glee in its sadism and is willing to take the viewer into a very bleak world. It could have been too much, if it wasn't for the performance of Choi Min-sik, who manages to help the film stay grounded even in its most excessive moments. - rawlinson
 
Bloody hell talk about grim. Don't get me wrong it's a brilliant film but fuck me was I depressed at the end. Much like Requiem for a Dream, it'll be one of the best films I never want to watch again. It got a bit frustrating when Oh Dae-Su wouldn't take any of the clear chances he had to kill Woo-jin but that's by the by. Mental, brutal, disturbing and brilliant in equal measures. - Harry Tuttle
 
Greatest thriller of the decade surely, this bonkers film is endlessly watchable and a true original. - Beetlejuice!

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 18/6/2012 11:22:54 PM   
Beetlejuice!


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10. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
 
 
An intoxicatingly intense murder story with lesbian overtones, based on the real-life case that shocked 50s New Zealand.
 
Really suprised me, it's very good. - MovieAddict247
 
Best thing Jackson's done. - Harry Tuttle
 
An extremely creative and disturbing film, one of Peter Jackson's best. - Beetlejuice!


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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 12:42:47 AM   
Beetlejuice!


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9. Fight Club (1999)
 
 
A controversial satire and a contemporary classic, David Fincher's film stars Brad Pitt and Edward Norton as two very different men who trade blows while forging an unlikely bond.
 
'Fight Club' packs a punch as a testosterone fuelled story about masculinity in crisis. - chambanzi
 
Three brilliant performances and a director at the top of his game. A film that demands endless repeats. - Beetlejuice!
 
This film is a masterpiece and, in my opinion, the best film ever made! - shawshank prisoner 

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 12:50:36 AM   
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8. The Green Ray (1986)
 
 
A spellbinding picaresque about a young Parisienne whose indecision about life and love leads to an incredible encounter. From French arthouse master Eric Rohmer.
 
Rohmer was one of cinema's great directors of women, consistently creating interesting female characters and casting equally interesting actresses. His greatest film focuses on Delphine (Marie Riviere) an insecure secretary whose summer holiday plans are ruined when her friend has to cancel at the last minute. Delphine isn't the most sympathetic lead, she's self-obsessed, neurotic and somewhat whiny,but Rohmer keeps digging until he finds a character everyone can care for and root for. We're shown that what at first glance is a difficult young woman, is someone suffering from low self-esteem and loneliness. Delphine's attempts at going on holiday alone all fail, but summer is still able to find a small, but life-changing moment for her. The Green Ray has one of cinema's great endings, a scene all the more moving because of how natural (if rare) the moment appears to be. A truly life-affirming film. - rawlinson
 
A sweet, sad movie about a young woman struggling to maintain any kind of relationship with the people around her. Beautiful ending. - Beetlejuice!
 
Elegant, eloquent and teeming with ideas about everything from the impermanence of romance to the summer holiday blues. - Empire

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 12:57:31 AM   
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7. The Double Life of Veronique (1991)
 
 
Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski presents this enigmatic, philosophical drama about duality in the modern world.
 
An oddball tale done with the director's usual flair for emotional storytelling. Irene Jacob is terrific as always. - Beetlejuice!
 
The best Kieslowski I've seen. - paul_ie86
 
I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in existence who didn't really like it. - Rebel scum

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 12:33:53 PM   
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6. 12 Angry Men (1957)
 
 
Henry Fonda stars in Sidney Lumet's classic jury tale.
 
All of the tension comes within conversation and the only shifting around or change of scenery is the men standing up or walking to the other side of the room. There is no use for suspension of disbelief, the plot is very realistic and made to make the audience think as opposed to shocking them with a twist as seen in other courtroom drama’s such as ‘Witness for the Prosecution.’ The acting is superb and Henry Fonda plays the righteous juror with a lot of conviction, he may just be a number 8 but he influenced a life or death decision. - chambanzi 
Very, very, very good. - MovieAddict247
 
As I get older I tend to see more and more flaws in it, but it's still great. - matty_b

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RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 12:46:53 PM   
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5. Three Colours: Red (1994)
 
 
The last in the Trilogy is the best of these three great films. A young model (Jacob) befriends a judge and they discover how loneliness can lead to friendship - of sorts.
 
Irene Jacob is luminous and the film is lovely. - Beetlejuice!

"Three Colours: Red" is the final film in Kieslowski’s trilogy centred around the French revolutionary values – this time fraternity – and how they relate to contemporary French life. The plot sees Valentine (Irene Jacob), a part time model and student, meet a strange old man who reveals himself to be spying on his neighbours. Simultaneously we are introduced to a prospective lawyer who is just about to take his final exams, and is in love with a blonde girl who gives weather reports over the phone. The major theme here is, obviously, fraternity, and whether it can exist within humanity. Although "Bleu" concludes with the idea that liberty cannot exist simply because people can feel entrapped in any situation, and "Blanc" observed that equality cannot exist because of human nature, "Rouge" has a slightly more optimistic conclusion to give us. Here, fraternity is touted not as something that we can hope to achieve, but merely a fact of life. When the former lawyer who spies on his neighbour is introduced, what he has achieved is not a state of fraternity. Instead, he has positioned himself as the superior being. He is alone, yes, but enforcing himself upon others does not make him less so. The only way that he creates an actual relationship is merely by accident, and with Valentine, who in turn has a chance meeting with the young just-turned lawyer. Chance meetings, which eventually lead into friendships or relationships, are the very essence of life, and although liberty and equality are the more utopian ideas, fraternity exists in every day life, and is more miraculous and essential than the other two combined. Aesthetically, the film is perfect. Like "Bleu" and "Blanc", Kieslowski uses the title colour as his primary one, framing the film in red glows and backgrounds. It’s not meaningless, though, for – again like in the other two films – the moments when red becomes the overwhelming colour are those which show great personal victories in the hunt for fraternity (or, in the case of "Bleu" and "Blanc", liberty and equality respectively), or pre-emptive signals of coming hardships. Irene Jacob’s performance is quite miraculous, and she’s supported ably by – amongst others – Jean-Lois Trintignant. It’s beautifully written and well directed, but if there is one area of the creative process that deserves special kudos it’s Zbigniew Preisner and his wonderfully emotive original music score. - Piles
 
The best colour. - paul_ie86

(in reply to Beetlejuice!)
Post #: 50
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 1:56:42 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6892
Joined: 24/11/2005
4. Ikiru (1952)
 
 
Kurosawa's heart-rending meditation on mortality. The story of an office automaton who only learns how to make the most of life when he discovers that his own death is imminent.
 
Ikiru really is an ode to what it means to be fully alive. It's an incredibly powerful and emotional film with scenes of beauty and reflection that have rarely been equalled in cinema. It's a draining experience, but it's a film everyone needs to see. - rawlinson
 
Ikiru is one of those films that actually enriches the soul and mind while watching it (better than The Matrix sequels, I might say). It might not be novel in its existentialist examination of life and death and it's possibly not even the best to deal with such a theme but it is certainly one of the finest examples of a film that takes such a theme and presents it in such a heartbreaking and thought-provoking manner. Ikiru starts with Kenji Watanabe discovering that he is going to die in a less than a year. Watanabe, a widower has worked in a monotonous bureaucratic for thirty years and lives with his son and daughter in law who only care about his pension, is obviously devastated but after much sadness and deliberation finally finds a meaning for his life in the form of a plan to build a children's playground. It's a very sad watch for most of the running time and great accliam has to go to Kurosawa and Shimura for achieving so well to channel both Watanabe's sadness and achievement. An incredible moment features Watanabe crushed in a bar, as he sadly sings a song about the brevity of life mostly consists of a close-up to Watanabe's face and Watanabe in that scene alone all the sadness of the film is portrayed. Kurosawa's stylish direction also helps in other moments, as Watanabe slowly walks on a street as all the life around speeds up around him. His attempts to find happiness in a much younger woman fail and give the wrongest of impressions, further showing how distant his family is from him. Then finally, Watanabe finds a meaning in a playground project. There, in an almost shocking transition, the film jumps to his funeral as the Watanabe's fellow employees discuss how the playground was made, where we see how Watanabe sees his lowest point and makes it his greatest. It's filled with many emotionally stirring scenes, it's both uplifting and devastating, both haunting and warm and it is one of the greatest humanist tales ever told on screen (or better, that I've seen). Add to that the social criticism on bureaucracy which is wittily told, Kurosawa's classy direction, Shimizu's excellent performance, the way the plot never steeps into wanton sentimentality, the great script filled with lines of wisdom, the stunning cinematography and it becomes one of the greatest films ever made that can greatly overcome its minor flaws. - Deviation
 
Overrated, boring and pretentious. - matty_b

(in reply to Beetlejuice!)
Post #: 51
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 2:05:02 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14578
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.


Pretty sure I've never said that about Ikiru.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


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Post #: 52
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 2:08:13 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b



Pretty sure I've never said that about Ikiru.


http://www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=3159345&mpage=9

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 53
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 2:11:41 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14578
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
I applaud Beetlejuice's sense of humour in that case.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


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Post #: 54
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 2:12:48 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home


_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 55
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 2:13:13 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

I applaud Beetlejuice's sense of humour in that case.


I assumed he just hadn't noticed the other line.

Btw, I don't have a freaky memory. I just googled it.

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 56
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 2:18:46 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6892
Joined: 24/11/2005
 Oops. I never actually scrolled down to see the rest of the comment. Sorry matty!

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 57
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 2:22:54 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14578
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
That's OK, you can just attribute that to Homer. He really does have that opinion on Ikiru, I believe.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


(in reply to Beetlejuice!)
Post #: 58
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 2:23:46 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6892
Joined: 24/11/2005
3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
 
 
Jack Nicholson excels in this multi-Oscar winning, anti-authoritarian tale, the last of the great counter-culture Hollywood movies.
 
Probably Nicholson's best performance. - Gimli The Dwarf
 
One of the last films where Jack was an actor. - rawlinson
 
"Remember when Jack was an actor?" It depresses me how old that joke is now. Great film, Brad Dourif deserves so much more. - impqueen 

(in reply to Beetlejuice!)
Post #: 59
RE: The Empire Forum's 50 Greatest PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMAS - 19/6/2012 3:37:10 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6892
Joined: 24/11/2005
2. Taxi Driver (1976)
 
 
Stone-cold classic. Robert De Niro is electrifying as the Vietnam-scarred taxi driver with a frightening take on the justice system.
 
Winner of the Palme D'or, and it should have won the Oscar, Taxi Driver is an intensely graphic and frighteningly plausible story of the way a man can be pushed over the edge by loneliness, by awkwardness and by a destructive environment. A true masterpiece. - rawlinson
 
Definitely a good film, but not exactly one of fave Scorsese flicks. - MonsterCat
 
Undoubtedly a classic film but it left me cold. - shool

(in reply to Beetlejuice!)
Post #: 60
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