Intake for 1/31-2/1

Amadeus (1984)

A beautifully realized film on all levels. Who would have thought that a highly fictionalized tale, featuring an absurdly childish Mozart, told from the perspective of his bitter rival, would have been a recipe for Oscar success? This was only my second viewing after seeing it years ago, but it's a powerful film about the pains of dedicating one's life to their art. Definitely deserves repeat viewings and further study.

Heavenly Creatures (1994)

Another great film that I hadn't seen in ages. I was much more aware of the showy technique this time around, but I wouldn't say it diminished my enjoyment of it. In fact, that over-the-top-ness in the technique and performances works quite well. Bold cinematic strokes are used to put you inside the characters heads as they become increasingly dependent on each other; retreating more and more into their shared fantasy world, until they're completely out of touch with reality.

The Gift (2015)

Joel Edgarton writes and directs an impressive thriller. Maybe it was marketed poorly, or maybe it's just because it has a weak title that doesn't do it justice, but it wasn't even on my radar until friends began recommending it to me. I'm glad they did, because it's polished, suspenseful, and smart, with terrific characters that evolve in surprising ways. A great cast with shades of Jason Bateman that I hadn't seen before, and a theme that's very easy to get behind. Highly recommended.