Another film dealing with altered perceptions, Scorsese's Shutter Island marked another high point for the director. He's been on a roll the past decade. This one concerns Leo DiCaprio as a cop, traveling to an offshore asylum to investigate the disappearance of a patient. All is not as it appears, however. I suspected the denouement early on in the movie, but I enjoyed the unspooling of the narrative nonetheless. Many of Scorsese's films play like homages to the directors of his youth, this one maybe moreso than others. Mark Ruffalo has an underappreciated supporting role.
Christopher Nolan's project between Batman films. This one was a mind bender, a film that played with time and space to the point where hotel hallways spun like giant lottery ball barrels. This conceit really becomes the centerpiece of the film, while many of the characters go undeveloped. This was a flaw, but not enough to spoil the experience for me. My brain enjoyed the puzzle, and the effects were dazzling. Special kudos to the score, composed by Hans Zimmer. It was a perfect match for the visual brawn of the movie.
After the requisite summer blockbuster, it was time to go small again. Despite the title, this movie took place in Italy and had a very European sensibility. George Clooney plays an assassin trying to get away from his chosen career, only to be drawn back in for one more job. Breathtaking shots of the Italian countryside alternate with life in a small Italian town as Clooney tries to blend in. The movie has the feel of an old novel, with spare dialogue and long stretches of quiet while the action plays out patiently. Directed by Anton Corbijn, who used to be a renown photographer (much of it for the band U2). A very satisfying story.
The Social Network
David Fincher, who made one of my favorite movies (Fight Club), checks in with this film about the origins of Facebook. Written by Aaron Sorkin, of West Wing and Sports Night fame, the dialogue is typically his, with the first 10 minutes or so being delivered so fast by the actors they barely have time to catch their breath. A more complete review is below. This one may get nominated for an Oscar, though I'm not sure it's up to that caliber. But Oscar seems to have become less exclusive these past couple years. Very much worth seeing though.