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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

    This Week at SUMO

    <an style="font-weight: bold">The Reader

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s about time Kate Winslet won an Oscar and she certainly deserved to win for The Reader. But, I think, it’s David Kross as young Michael Berg who makes this movie, and RalphFiennes, as older Michael, who pulls it all together. To say that Kate Winslet shares the spotlight in The Reader is a testament to how strong the cast is, because we all know that woman can act.

    The story is incredibly powerful and moving and thought provoking: Germany, years after WWII, Michael Berg gets sick in an alleyway; tram conducter Hannah Schmitz finds him and takes care of him. Hannah, 36 years old, seduces Michael, 15, and they start an affair. Michael reads Hannah the classics and becomes infatuated, he is broken hearted when, after learning she has received a promotion to a clerical job, she leaves town, her job, and him without a word. He is even more broken hearted when, attending a trial as a law student, he discovers that Hannah is a defendant in a case against SS guards.

    This film is incredible—it unfolds its tale of the holocaust, legacy, forgiveness, guilt, relationships, age, and love in powerful but not heavy handed ways. It’s a beautiful movie, go see it.

    Abre Los Ojos

    If you’ve seen Vanilla Sky the plot of Abre Los Ojos is going to seem like yet another layer of déjà vu. If, like me, you’ve missed out on the lower-quality, star-vehicle-for-Tom-Cruise you’re lucky to be seeing Abre Los Ojos for the first time.

    Director Alejandro Amenabar grabs us from the start; we see a masked man in prison who is unable to get a grasp on reality. Flashback to Cesar – a young, charming, handsome, successful Spaniard, who wakes up with the crazy, and crazy-in-love with him Nuria. He goes about his day; plays tennis with best friend, Pelayo, who laments that he will never be as attractive as Cesar. Of course, Pelayo introduces his girlfriend Penelope Cruz to Cesar, and they flirt and fall in love.

    Jealous Nuria crashes her car, with Cesar riding shotgun into a wall. His face is horribly mangled, and Penelope goes back to Pelayo. From here on reality starts to blur and contort, were not sure how much we can trust Cesar’s memories. You’ll be sucked in by Cesar’s plight, and his confusion will make you crave answers.

    The Wrestler

    Mickey Rourke is a name that was not really in the collective consciousness of the Carleton community before this year, a fact that is unsurprising considering his self-destruction through much of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and his rough personality that has somehow managed to avoid much media attention. To this day, I feel that while the critical acclaim of The Wrestler and the Academy Award nomination for Rourke thrust him into the spotlight, people still keep putting off the viewing of the film itself. It’s really too bad, because The Wrestler is one of the best movies of the year, but also predictable, because the film is so, so hard to watch. Rourke’s character, a fading pro wrestler, possesses every problem that one could associate with the poor, white underbelly of America. Alcoholism, child abandonment, a glorification of the past; all are present in the perennially dark world of Randy “the Ram” Robinson. What is so unique about the film, and about Rourke’s acting, is the sense of ambivalence it elicits from the audience. Anyone who has seen The Wire understands that the most realistic portrayals of everyday life include well-meaning characters who just cannot seem to do right. You spend half of the movie pleading with Randy to remember his promises to his daughter and begging him to listen to his body when his heart worsens. In the end, it’s not easy for me recommend this film because I left the viewing depressed and regretful. However, like so many other memorable characters in film, the emotional power and subtlety behind Rourke’s Randy the Ram make him hard to ignore, especially bearing in mind that my regret for seeing the film was not my own, but instead Randy’s remorse for disappointing us over and over again.

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