directed by Ursula Meier (Switzerland, France 2012)
LC rating: 3/5
It started off slow and the ending didn't quite cut it for me, but almost all of what was in between I really liked. I thought the acting and casting was particularly good; the kid in the lead role is just one of those who has exactly the right face, and Léa Seydoux plays a believably screwed-up young woman. This is a story of an unusual family situation constructed in an almost rebelliously gentle and simplified light. I try to be somewhat objective with these ratings, not only in terms of leaving personal quirks out of them but in terms of judging the consistency of the entire package on its own terms. I think that a movie that is "brave" or "bracing" but leaking inconsistencies generally deserves a lower rating than one that is safe but accomplishes what it sets out to achieve, but I also am not going to give an especially high rating to a film that takes no risks. I just want to point out that this one did take risks, and got to me, but the execution was not all there. I mostly think there are some rough edges that could have been smoothed out, and it seemed that it had been filmed in a hurry (which may well have been the case), but this is one that I would likely watch again despite its flaws.
directed by Oliver Assayas (France 2012)
LC rating: 4/5
This was a very good film that I wasn't entirely in the mood for at the time, but which I enjoyed more toward the end. I think I may just be burned out on French films about Parisian youth staging rebellious activities in the 60s and 70s. This is one of the better ones, though, and it ends with Nazis and dinosaurs (sorry for the spoiler, I promise it doesn't matter), which is even better.
directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori (Paraguay 2012)
LC rating: 3/5
I haven't seen anything quite like this, and I have to admit I love the idea of an action film physically centered around a wheelbarrow. There were some pacing issues and the main character was kind of a dick so it was hard to really care what happened to him, but that was sort of balanced out by the low-key humor that persisted despite the dead bodies and things, which was a different kind of imbalance, but it was still mostly fun.