“We Need to Talk About” these forgotten films

admin

In the psychological thriller "Take Shelter," Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) succumbs to paranoia as a result of his startling visions.

By Joe Ruskey, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year where the landscape is bleak for movie-goers. Aside from passionate fans of The Hunger Games, people are somewhat dissatisfied with their choice of films to watch.

It seems the only options are between cheesy comedies with fart and penis jokes or action movies with an explosion in every frame.

So, for the weary masses who are sick of terrible Hollywood movies, here are five movies that may have flown under your radar in 2011.

A Separation

A Separation is about a married Iranian couple who are in the middle of a divorce process. The husband has to take care of his father, who appears to have Alzheimer’s, while trying to provide for his daughter after his wife leaves.

Eventually, the husband is forced to hire outside help, which is when real trouble begins to ensue.

A Separation manages to gracefully comment on the nature of intimate, familial and neighborly relationships between people as well as tackle broad social issues that plague Iran. A Separation showcases excellent performances, realistic cinematography, depth and an engaging story. This is realism at its best.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

This particular film follows a mother’s struggle after her son brutally murders fellow students at his high school, while also showing the son’s upbringing and how he became who he is.

The film chooses to paint the events in the story with a surreal, dream-like quality blurring the line of reality, enhancing the impact of the film’s message and intensifying the struggle. While the movie is intensely disturbing, it is well worth watching for those who want try to comprehend the pain and turmoil of a mother.

Melancholia

The master filmmaker Lars Von Trier tells the tale of a wedding evening gone wrong and a woman’s struggle with depression as the world is threatened by the possibility of collision with another planet.

Melancholia is about exploring the nature of depression and how it prevents people from being able to care for anything, even the end of the Earth.

To accompany this story, Von Trier creates a visually stunning world that very few would be able to capture.

Drive

While Drive is extremely popular in some circles, I feel it is good enough to recommend, just in case you haven’t seen it. Drive stars Ryan Gosling as a getaway driver whose skill cannot be matched.

Eventually, Gosling’s character begins to fall for the “single” mother who lives down his hall. Trouble brews once her husband returns from prison and reenters the world of vice and crime, only to get his entire family in serious trouble only Gosling’s character can get them out of.

While the film is a traditional narrative, it is told in a fresh way. There is very little dialogue, and everything that needs to be understood is expressed visually. Excellent performances, gorgeous cinematography and an exciting plot full of action and suspense makes Drive one of the few successful art house action films.

Take Shelter

Take Shelter is about a blue-collar family-man who begins to see things from his dreams in everyday life. Eventually, he becomes paranoid enough to build a large and expensive tornado shelter.

The construction of this shelter, and his illness, will bring his family to the brink of destruction.

Take Shelter’s strange story with its frighteningly intense atmosphere and terrific acting makes the movie some sort of horror/family drama. It’s a strange combination, but it works well.