22nd Hall of Fame

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I, Daniel Blake (2016)


I, Daniel Blake can be interpreted as - and, in many ways, is - a commentary on the failure of the government in helping those in need, it more importantly boils down to a tale of love and acceptance. And how we should never judge those around us, instead extending a loving arm.

In that way, IDB is a warm hug. It is a tragic story, and there are some incredibly tough moments to watch (food pantry, shoplifting scenes come to mind) but in a way it's a comfort film. There are some genuinely beautiful moments here where people just do random acts of kindness towards Daniel or Katie. That's seriously inspiring to a grump like me.

I like how each likable character feels real, as in they have flaws and issues. We can sympathize with everyone in this situation. Even the government workers have people coming in every day who can't understand what is going. It is those workers' responsibility to take care of it with patience and understanding... but people aren't that perfect. IDB does not point fingers at people; it points fingers at the system. I applaud it for that.

The heartbreaking ending and powerful scenes are what elevates to this to be a great movie. While there are moments of dullness, and the message can sometimes be too in the face, they are small quibbles. This movie is both incredibly intimate and larger than life.

So it is with I, Daniel Blake in mind that I hope to get out there and help other people; whether it be "defrosting" computer screens or taking people around at a food pantry. I am so so fortunate in my social position right now, and this film shows that it is mostly all by mere chance. None of us choose what we are born into. But those of us who were a bit luckier can always extend that loving hand and help those in need.



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Blue Ruin (2013)


You're angry. So angry that the world is unjust. That you have to live in fear. You want to kill, but you only want to kill the right people. The people that harmed you. They only harmed you because you harmed then.

Violence is a cycle. Jealousy is a cycle. Power struggle is a cycle. Perhaps all the same thing, or at least play off one another. You will never be satisfied with what you have. You will want a piece of the other. But once you have committed your crime, that "other" will want their own revenge. It will continue. You will die alone, without friends, without family - they will all be long gone too.

The characters in Blue Ruin seem happy with dying. Or at least they're okay with it. They see themselves as part of a larger war. Dwight, while he questions his own skill and courage, never questions that what he is doing is "right". His sister, when she finds out what he has done, gasps but is not upset. She, instead, applauds him. By killing a man, he did what was morally "good".

(Mild spoilers in this paragraph) Of course, those morals get turned upside down later on as we realize the real man Dwight was after was already dead. He had been building up hate for Wade Jr. for twenty years. And now, to realize that it was all simply a cover-up. Imagine hating someone for two decades; and only after you have killed them finding out the truth.

Only at the end is there a twinge of absolute sorrow from Dwight at all of this bloodshed. It must stop. It must stop. Yet there are too many holes for it to be stopped. People crave justice, whether or not that justice is truly justified.

So, in many ways, Blue Ruin is one of the saddest movies I've seen. Death, here, is at its most in-your-face. Even in Tarantino or Scorsese movies, a death is something of reverence. Here, it is just another face in a sea of blood and bones.

Perhaps nothing can sum it up better than William Blake's poem (The Poison Tree):

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I watered it in fears
Night and morning with my tears,
And I sunned it with smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright,
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,--

And into my garden stole
When the night had veiled the pole;
In the morning, glad, I see
My foe outstretched beneath the tree



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Mildred Pierce



This one had always been on my radar but I had just never gotten around to it. Finally glad to see I was able to.

The film's strength is perhaps the way that the story is told. A rather bit unconventially and through mainly narrative through Mildred. I like how it goes through the life of the Pierce's and sets up for a very entertaining second half of the film.

While not pure noir, I liked the balance that the film had. And of course the acting was real good in my opinion. Joan Crawford won an Oscar playing Mildred and I think it was deserved. The supporting cast was impressive, of course the actress who played Veta was great but I also enjoyed the comic relief of the character Ida.

I really didn't see the film playing out the way it did either, that was a rather pleasant surprise and I always enjoy when things aren't very predictable. The relationship between Veda and Mildred was perhaps the overall showcase of the film, the two played great off of each other.

I'll definitely make sure to come back to this one some day. I really enjoyed it.




Mildred Pierce has been watched.

Now only 1 watch and 1 rewatch left... State of Siege and Dronningen. Iím severely behind on reviews though. Maybe thatís what Iíll get done in the coming weekend then.



I give you a lot of props for being able to review something that far after seeing it. I barely can say much even right after watching it lol.



I give you a lot of props for being able to review something that far after seeing it. I barely can say much even right after watching it lol.
One word:

Notes.

That said, the two reviews Iím missing outside this one are Joker and The Matrix - both of which I have seen more than 3 times and both of which had the previous watch less than half a year ago... so both are as bright as ever in my mind.



I give you a lot of props for being able to review something that far after seeing it. I barely can say much even right after watching it lol.
I'm following someone on LB who is like 1.5 months behind in reviews (https://letterboxd.com/reibureibu/ if you're curious), I'm like how do they do it???



Mildred Pierce

This one had always been on my radar but I had just never gotten around to it. Finally glad to see I was able to.

I'll definitely make sure to come back to this one some day. I really enjoyed it.
Yes! finally someone really liked one of my noms Glad you liked it Raul, it's easily a top 25 movie for me. There's also a mini series based on the same novel, with Kate Winslet & Guy Pierce. I seen it and it's pretty good too.Mildred Pierce (TV Mini-Series 2011)