At The Movies: “Amour” & “Skyfall”

 

In the last few days I was fortunate enough to see – and enjoy – two excellent movies [well, perhaps one was merely very good] from opposite ends of the spectrum. Michael Haneke’s Amour concentrates almost exclusively on two actors – Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, both superb – and, one early scene aside, never leaves the apartment in which they live; Skyfall, the latest Bond film, directed by Sam Mendes, swishes between London and a number of exotic locations [and Scotland], taking advantage of just about every  bit of contemporary cinematic chicanery available. Wholly different examples of what cinema and really nothing else can do.

The Bond is exciting and sometimes amusing and Mendes draws a most effective performance from Judi Dench, whose M is afforded more screen and story time than usual and takes the opportunity to act everyone else off screen. Haneke times his scenes and edits to perfection, never allowing any trace of boredom despite the similarities of setting, and, in so doing, creates more tension than the more energetic Skyfall. Or is that just tension of a different kind?

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2 thoughts on “At The Movies: “Amour” & “Skyfall”

  1. I think even non Bond fans will really enjoy ‘Skyfall’. I usually get bored during the obligatory ‘explosive’ scene towards the end of the Bond films, but this one was the exception and I enjoyed every moment of it.
    Have to say I am a big ‘Harvey’ fan too, since I picked one of your ‘Resnick’ novels up at Oswestry Library about fifteen years ago and saw you talk about your work at Datchet Library about three years ago.When I buy your books I never give them away because I know I will read them again and again.

  2. Patricia : Libraries, bless them, have a lot of good things to answer for. Long may they survive the cuts! And, yes, Datchet has always been kind to me. Thanks for saying such positive things about the books.
    John

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