Reviews by josephk
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12 and Holding (2005)My Movie Rating: 8 / 10
13 Ghosts (1960)My Movie Rating: 5 / 10
3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)My Movie Rating: 6 / 10
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)My Movie Rating: 7 / 10
800 balas (2002)My Movie Rating: 6 / 10
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)My Movie Rating: 9 / 10
About a Boy (2002)My Movie Rating: 8 / 10
The synopsis on this profile is taken directly from the press kit. It's fairly accurate, but I have some issues with it. The family doesn't seem that dysfunctional to me. His parents are getting divorced, but you never see them fight and everyone seems to be taking it rather well. Most of the supporting characters remain cardboard, underdeveloped sketches and this is particularly true of the family.
I find it very suspicious and strange that the press kit never once mentions a very key aspect of this film, which is that Rafael is Jewish, goes to an all-Jewish school. He dances with the girl he likes at his bar mitzvah, though she tells him later "it doesn't count." His best friend goes on a trip to Israel and ends up not coming back. The school shows them holocaust films.
I don't get it. So much of the story turns around the fact that he is Jewish, and yet the press kit never mentions it once. It's like they tried to hide it because they thought it would turn people off. Is the filmmaker embarrassed to have that be part of the subject matter? Or is it to avoid controversy because you see young Rafael having sex with prostitutes (in a fairly explicit scene, for one involving a minor), smoking, gambling, and his father involving in similar behaviour on top of getting a divorce?
I have no idea, but it strikes me as rather dishonest. I thought the fact that the characters were Jewish could have added an interesting dimension to the film, especially because I've never seen or heard or read anything about the Jewish community in Uruguay, where the film takes place. In fact, I think this is the first Spanish-language film I ever see about Jewish characters. But I was kind of confused about the director's intentions, and in a lot of ways it felt like the film didn't really have much to say about any of this. Though we are constantly reminded of the characters' Jewish heritage, this doesn't seem to have any kind of impact on the story. And the fact that this whole aspect of the film can be ignored in the press kit seems to support that.
At the end of the day, this is a fairly average coming-of-age story. There are a few nice moments, but it often feels like everyone is just sleepwalking through this movie. There's no real passion in it, either from the actors or from the director. Rather disappointing.My Movie Rating: 6 / 10
Air Bud (1997)My Movie Rating: 5 / 10
Almost Famous (1999)My Movie Rating: 8 / 10
American Gothic (1995-1996)My Movie Rating: 8 / 10
Les amitiés particulières (1964)My Movie Rating: 8 / 10
Anche libero va bene (2006)
I put this on my rental list without doing much research on it, so I had little expectations for it. But I was really surprised by the depth and subtlety, both of the performances and the film as a whole. Very good and emotionally honest.My Movie Rating: 9 / 10
Apt Pupil (1998)My Movie Rating: 6 / 10
Arachnophobia (1990)My Movie Rating: 6 / 10
L'Argent de poche (1976)My Movie Rating: 8 / 10
Arlington Road (1999)My Movie Rating: 6 / 10
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