Act Two Magazine issue 2 by farstar69


									     ENTERTAINMENT                              bRAVO

   REVIEWS                                                  FROM THE

                                                            I love movies, and since I was a kid, I’ve found myself drawn to
    them. When I see a good film, I get a great feeling that life is worth living. Heartwarming movies are the ones that I
    always remember fondly. If you’re looking for a movie with heart, you have to look to the filmmakers who love to watch
    movies. If it’s a project of passion — a labor of love — then you know the movie will have heart.
    Movies that the filmmakers have poured their souls into are not always great, but they are always worth watching. These
    are usually smaller films made with smaller budgets by a passionate group of people. You don’t need a huge budget to
    make a great film; often in fact, the more money is involved, the less important the story becomes. With a big budget,
    you may have a well-crafted, beautiful-looking film but not always a heartfelt one. With smaller films, the story is king.
    Look at the following films for examples of small movies with big hearts.

                          The Intouchables (2012) Based on a true story, this film is about two men, who each have big
                          problems, but are in very different circumstances. Philippe is a wealthy, middle-aged aristocrat,
                          confined to a wheelchair after an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He’s living in
                          a mansion with many servants and looking to hire a full-time caregiver. Driss, on the other hand, is a
                          charming, young, out-of-work Senegalese — a former con man from the poor side of town who’s just
                          released from jail.
                          These two men, who are from opposite ends of society and who seem to have nothing in common,
                          are brought together and form an unusual and lasting friendship.
                          The performances are absolutely first rate; completely honest and convincing. Don’t pass up the
                          chance to see this wonderful, thought-provoking film. It will be well worth your time and money. One
                          of the highest grossing films in France, this movie is a truly enriching experience.

                           50/50 (2011) This very funny, but sincere, heartfelt story is based on the actual experiences of the
                           people who made it. A young man of twenty-seven discovers that he has an unusual type of cancer
                           and his chances of survival are 50/50. As he tells the news to his family and friends, he discovers
                           that they seem to be taking it much harder than he is. He goes through many funny situations as he
                           and his best friend try to use his condition to make the most of life.
                           The movie is so truthfully performed by the actors — some of whom actually lived through the
                           situations depicted on screen — that you will find yourself completely drawn in by them. Funny
                           some of the time and moving at other times, this wonderful, emotional film is one you will love for
                           its sincerity and humor.

                           Slumdog Millionaire (2008) This is a celebration of the power of love to overcome all obstacles.
                           Jamal Malik, a young boy from Mumbai, is driven by his love for a girl he meets when he is only
                           eight years old. He dedicates his life to finding her after he and his brother escape the clutches of a
                           child abuser who pimps street kids for money. Knowing that she loves watching the Indian version
                           of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and using his childhood experiences to answer difficult
                           questions, he enters a contest on the show so she will be able to see him on television, and they will
                           find each other. This story is so well told, with adorable children and a bold and authentic visual
                           style, that it will totally capture your heart.

8 act two magazine Winter 2012
ENTERTAINMENT                               bRAVO

                      Head-On (2004) A Turkish                                       Babe (1995) It doesn’t get any more
                      woman living with her strict parents                           heart-tugging and feel-good than this
                      in Germany tries to gain her
                                                                                     movie about a pig that captures the
                      freedom and move out of her                                    heart of a farmer. Against his better
                      parents’ home by convincing a                                  judgment, the farmer enters the pig,
                      suicidal, alcoholic Turkish maniac                             instead of his loyal, but aging,
                      to marry her in a fake marriage                                sheepdog, in an annual sheepdog
                      ceremony. But their new living                                 competition. Risking his reputation and
                      arrangement soon becomes more                                  literally becoming the laughing stock of
                      serious as they slowly and                                     the town, he defies everyone to follow
                      unexpectedly develop feelings for                              his gut feeling. The payoff is
                      each other.                                                    mesmerizingly beautiful to watch.
                      This Turkish-German movie, a                                   It doesn’t matter how many times you
fascinating depiction of the gritty life and love of people      see this film because it never fails to please. This was the
caught between two cultures, is as mesmerizing as                first movie that used CGI to realistically show animals
watching a slow-motion car crash. It’s like a                    talking to each other, and the results are totally
documentary about good people in bad situations, who,            believable.
with perseverance, find a way to not just survive, but
also to thrive. When I first saw Head-On, I was amazed
at how realistic and natural the acting and the story
were. This is obviously a deep, personal story that the
director has experienced first-hand, because it all rings
so true.
Head-On has won many awards for director Fatih Akin,
including the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and
both Best Film and the Audience award at the European
Film Festival. His actors are mesmerizing, and his films
are shocking, but they never disappoint.

                        Malèna (2000) A young boy,
                        coming of age in a small Italian
                        town during World War II, is
                        obsessed with the striking beauty
                        of a young woman whose
                        husband is away fighting in the          Il Postino (1994) A young man living in a picturesque
                        war. The women of the town are           Sardinian fishing village takes a job as a postman
                        so threatened by her beauty —            because his fear of the sea stops him from working in his
                        because all the men desire her —         family’s fishing trade. After finding a job as a mail
                        that they make life difficult for her.   delivery courier for the island citizens, he meets and falls
                        When the Nazis enter the town            in love with a beautiful bar maiden but is too fearful to
                        and take an interest in her, they        talk to her. One day Pablo Neruda, a famous love poet
                        give her privileges in return for        exiled from the fascist dictatorship in Chile, takes up
favors. The locals condemn her as a collaborator, and            residence on the island. The postman, seeing an
no one is aware of her suffering except the boy. He              opportunity to solve his romance problem, befriends the
secretly falls in love with her and tries to protect her         poet, and with the poet’s help, takes the first steps to
from the cruelty of the town’s people.                           achieving his dreams.
This film made the gorgeous Italian model Monica                 This is a sad, nostalgic movie so heartwarming and
Bellucci an international sensation. When you see her,           romantic that it will stay with you forever.
you will know exactly what all the fuss is about. Besides
the wonderfully heartfelt story and the beautiful
photography, she is definitely one of the main reasons
to see this film.                                                              JOHN SCHWAB
                                                                               John Schwab is a Toronto-based movie blogger
                                                                               who takes a visual and story-concept approach
                                                                               to film viewing with special attention to the
                                                                               overall emotional experience of the film.
                                                                               He blogs at

                                                                                                 9 act two magazine Winter 2012

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