MFF 2011 Fictions

Milwaukee Film Festival 2011

We Need to Talk About Kevin
Tuesday, After Christmas
The Sleeping Beauty
On Tour
Mysteries of Lisbon
The White Meadows
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
The Dish and the Spoon

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Caught Johnnie To’s Vengeance at last year’s MFF and was happily surprised, so I was very excited about Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, a potentially auteur-ish romcom, of all things. But no, no, no no. I wonder if a romcom is defined by its emphasis on quirk and the dumb horny scramblings of its characters, the main love interests of which are inevitably undergoing a crisis/transition and are attempting to fill their respective voids with warm [or hot] bodies. It’s the formula, for sure. And the animal, the pet a lonely person gets, with which he cutely converses and speaks to about the sought one… It’s odd, in 2011, to see cosmopolitan urban adults so obsessed with marriage like in an old Cary Grant film.

The Sleeping Beauty
Critical faculties notwithstanding, sometimes I just like watching Breillat work. I have almost nothing to say here – this film is clearly a fanciful reconstruction of a fairy tale to which I only ever knew the barest parts. Breillat is meticulous and highly theatrical, gets exceptional performances from her actors in highly abstracted roles. The film, so far as I can tell, is about the maturation into womanhood experienced as a kind of fever dream. Great!

written by David Ashley