Finbar and Danny are close childhood friends who live in a depressing neighbourhood in an Irish town. Finbar gets the chance to play soccer in an international soccer team abroad but can't ... See full summary »
Jonathan Rhys Meyers,
This is a story of a man (Walker), suffering from dwarfism, who writes an autobiographical account of his life. In flashbacks, we see how he was conceived to a woman (Parillaud) at the end ... See full summary »
Bertolt Brecht lives! Maggie Hadleigh-West walks crowded urban streets carrying a video camera and microphone, trailed by one or two women also with cameras. Whenever a man harasses her, ... See full summary »
Romantic drama set in rural Ireland of the 1930s. The story begins when 19-year-old Elizabeth has a brief fling with an actor and falls pregnant. Community pressure forces her to marry a ... See full summary »
Elisabeth Dermot Walsh,
When a Midwest town learns that a corrupt railroad baron has captured the deeds to their homesteads without their knowledge, a group of young ranchers join forces to take back what is ... See full summary »
The family of Raymond, his wife Val and her brother Billy live in working-class London district. Also in their family is Val and Billy's mother Janet and grandmother Kath. Billy is a drug ... See full summary »
After failing school, 18 year old Irish leaves his small town of Kerry to find work. In London, he finds a job at an oil refinery and befriends a crude Scottish worker, but soon starts ... See full summary »
Trapped in her own doll-like existence, Faith dreams that one day she can be a real mother to her daughter Nell she abandoned seven years ago. But time has run out. Her sister Eris can no ... See full summary »
Tom (Freddie Cunliffe), an alienated 15 year old boy, finds the that opportunity for close observation of his father, after their move from London to rural Devon and the birth of a new baby, reveals a world run through with darkness and pain. Tom is unable to reconcile the life he's known what he sees with his own eyes, and blames his 18 year old sister, Jessie (Lara Belmont). Both Tom and Jessie struggle to find some path to truth and sanity as the human forces around them work in polarity with their isolation to either assist them, or destroy them. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tim Roth as director delivers a drama with the kind of gut-wrenching family story that happens only so often in the movies; not even Todd Field's films, however excellent, come close to The War Zone as being truly insightful into a specific dark corridor of a family slowly ripping itself apart. Part of it is the exceptional naturalistic acting, wherein actors I've never seen before like Lara Belmont and Freddie Cunliffe are subtle in just glances and stares to one another, and when they dig deep into the tragic parts of the story they're revelatory, maybe even more so than Ray Winstone and Tilda Swinton. You can't take your eyes off of Cunliffe.
In the War Zone the family is a father, mother, son and daughter, with the mother giving birth to a newborn daughter at the opening of the film. The story, however rightfully thin, concerns the secret that Jessie and Tom holding fragility when Tom sees Jessie and their father in an incestuous act. There's denial, fighting, lots of scorn that grows between the two, while the rift between the son and the family becomes so thick that it could explode at any moment. But what's brilliant about the story, as well as rightfully heartbreaking, is how logically the tragedy unfolds, how the secret soon comes apart and leads into some unexpected scenes (one of which involving self-abuse, the other towards the end, a more conventional but still shocking act of violence).
Roth could be considered purely an actor's director, and he is one first and foremost. But he also is able to convey a profound sense of agony if only with the choice of scenery, of this quiet and dark seaside area and the bunker by the house where the incest takes place (apparently the R-rated version omits some explicit bits, but it doesn't feel compromised and actually helps by showing little), and the shots he films linger as much on the characters as in the viewer's mind. This isn't merely some pretentious decision but a deliberate choice that, somewhat akin to a Bergman picture, emphasizes those crushing beats that are much truer than something more stylish.
With the "unflinching eye", as some other critics have noted, Roth shows us things that make us uncomfortable, but because of this it doesn't lie and that's a great service through art for those who have been afflicted with abuse in families. At the least, it isn't a schlock-TV movie. A+
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