Archive for February, 2011

Quick Review: Touching and heartwarming

Staring: Amir Farroukh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi

Release date: 1997

McCain DVD Call: 1864

Hashemian and Seddiqi are officially the cutest child actors. EVER.  Both turn out amazing performances in Iranian director Majid Majidi’s poignant film about childhood and  sibling bonds. After Ali looses Zahra’s only pair of shoes, Ali begs Zahra not to tell their father. Their family is poor, and he doesn’t want to add additional stress to their home dynamic. Instead, Ali and Zahra figure out a way that they can share Ali’s pair of shoes until Ali finds a way to get her a new pair.  Ali’s dedication to his sister and Zahra’s cleverness are real strengths of the film. For those of you interested in film history, the film had strong shadows of The Bicycle Thief (1948) and Italian Neo-Realism.

Children of Heaven is only Iranian film to be nominated for an Academy Award.


Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

Release Date: 2008

Quick Rating: Hauntingly fantastic

McCain DVD Call #: 1925

What happens when you take two of the most competant actors of our time, throw them together with the director of American Beauty (Sam Mendes), and add a splash of composer Thomas Newman’s genius? Revolutionary Road happens, that’s what!

Set in 1950s Connecticut, the film tells the story of Frank (DiCaprio) and April (Winslet), two disenchanted suburbanites who can’t seem to confront the disapointment they feel in their lives.  A film very much about the obsession to socially conform in the 1950s and make a life  that resembles a Norman Rockwell painting, Revolutionary Road crept up on my emotions and left me feeling devastated. It’s a beautiful film that deserves  to be watched again and again. The two-actor show of DiCaprio and Winselt is something you  can’t take your eyes off  of; the writing is fantastic and Mendes’ visual poetry is trancendent.

Quick Review: Intense and Inspiring

Staring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey, Paula Patton

Release Year: 2009

McCain DVD Call number: 2154

Precious (based off of the novel Push by Saphire) is an incredible story about a young black woman growing up in New York who faces an incredible array of challenges in her life. To start, she’s pregnant with her second child–both products of rape from her father.  Mo’Nique turns out a powerful and arresting performance as Precious’ abusive mother, who tries to stop her daughter from improving herself through education. Paula Patton gives a beautiful performance as a teacher who refuses to give up on  Precious, and helps her connect with herself through writing. Additionaly, Mariah Carey gives a surprisingly captivating portrayal of Precious’ social worker.

With knock-out preformances by all actors, great writing, and great visuals Precious is a film to see. My one critique of the film is that is does seem to drag a little towards the end.