MOULIN ROUGE! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)

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I’m definitely Toulouse-Lautrec hanging from a high beam screaming the cheesiest, yet incredibly magical line: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” (Truth! Beauty! Freedom! And above all, Love!)

(I still can’t believe that Luhrmann was snubbed of a Director nom. To quote the hilarious Whoopi Goldberg in her Oscar 2002 opening monologue, “I guess Moulin Rouge just directed itself!”)

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published June 27, 2017.)

HERO (Zhang Yimou, 2002)

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Why do I have this weird feeling that Direk Chito Roño chanced upon this film one late evening on HBO before he started pre-production for The Healing? Also, Christopher Doyle’s cinematography was just WOW!!

I remember having the biggest crush on Zhang Ziyi post-Crouching Tiger. Felt so bad when her Hollywood debut via the terrible Horsemen failed miserably. Crossing my fingers for her redemption in God Particle.

And I developed a slight fear of arrows after this. Not even kidding.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published June 29, 2017.)

MOVIE REVIEW: BAO (Domee Shi, 2018)

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I found the accompanying short film Bao a more effective representation of parenting (than The Incredibles 2). One scene elicited the loudest gasps from the audience and I immediately knew how much I loved this bizarre little treat. The fact that it broke my heart in just a few minutes (very much like Up’s opening sequence) was just a bonus.

I probably would never look at a dumpling the same way again. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have strong cravings for Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao (those in HK, not the terrible ones in BGC) after watching, though.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published June 19, 2018.)

MOVIE REVIEW: FAR FROM HEAVEN (Todd Haynes, 2002)

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Racism, homosexuality, sexism, and an interracial relationship in an artificially picture-perfect 50’s suburban neighbourhood. How scandalous!

Julianne Moore (spectacular as always) and her gorgeous flouncy skirts can turn anyone gay before the end of Pride Month.

Was I the only one feeling an underlying sexual tension between her character and the help played by a pre-The Help Viola Davis? (Ooh, how juicy!)

Worthless fact: The best scenes of three of the 2003 Oscar Best Actress nominees actually involved trains.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published June 19, 2018.)

MOVIE REVIEW: SCREAM (Wes Craven, 1996)

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“Don’t you blame the movies. Movies don’t create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative!” Hahaha! Such a smart screenplay!

Wouldn’t it be great to see a Kris Aquino horror flick where she’d actually get killed within the first fifteen minutes? Your move, Star Cinema!

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published June 13, 2018.)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE HOURS (Stephen Daldry, 2002)

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Three generations of depression and (repressed) homosexuality personified by three brilliant acting legends.

“Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.” 😭😭😭

Cue Philip Glass’ haunting score.

Rating: ★★★★★

(Originally published June 13, 2018.)

MOVIE REVIEW: AMERICAN BEAUTY (Sam Mendes, 1999)

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“It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world.”

Annette Bening was phenomenal here, especially in that “Shut up!” breakdown scene. Such a shame that she had to go head-to-head with a brilliant Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry for that coveted Oscar.

Kevin Spacey’s real-life scandal further amped the creepiness factor that weirdly made the film even better. See you in hell, Lester Burnham.

Rating: ★★★★★