THERE WILL BE BLOOD
2007, Paramount, 158 min, USA, Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson

Heralded by several critics as the best film of the first decade of the 21st century, Anderson’s eight-time Oscar-nominated oil epic is a true cinematic masterpiece. Depicting mineral prospector Daniel Plainview (a brilliant Daniel Day-Lewis) and the brutal, bloody founding of his American oil empire, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is a soaring historical drama that both employs and ingeniously transcends the conventions of epic cinema - shocking and thrilling viewers at every turn. An enthralling exploration of greed, capitalism and violence, this opus thrives as a visually mesmerizing study of an ironfisted oil baron and the developing American frontier he reigns over.


WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
2009, Warner Bros., 101 min, USA, Dir: Spike Jonze

In Spike Jonze’s lyrically atmospheric adaptation of the classic Maurice Sendak picture book, Max Records stars as Max, a young boy who throws such a temper tantrum that he is transported to a world of bellowing beasts and jungle treehouses. Wearing his hirsute onesie and an impish smirk, Max is crowned king of the unruly creatures. With the voice talents of James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara and Paul Dano as the tempestuously neurotic Wild Things, and a kicky score by Coen Brothers favorite Carter Burwell and Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O.


MEEK'S CUTOFF
2010, Oscilloscope Laboratories, 104 min, USA, Dir: Kelly Reichardt

Shot in the Academy ratio with stark, spare elegance, director Kelly Reichardt's slow-burn tone poem following a group of lost pioneers in the barren desert of 1845 Oregon is enigmatic frontier cinema at its best. The stellar cast includes Michelle Williams as bonneted, tough-as-nails wagoner Emily Tetherow, Rod Rondeaux as the silently impassive Native man encountered and then captured by the group, and Bruce Greenwood as scruffy, McCabe-like blowhard Stephen Meek, whose disastrous trail misguiding is either plainly incompetent or purely malicious. With Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson and Will Patton. "A bracingly original foray into territory that remains, in every sense, unsettled." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times.


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