The Ides Of March (2011) is the latest political thriller directed by and starring George Clooney. However, the lead is played by Rayna Gosling, who plays a political adviser who goes from being a innocent, naive cog to major player in the course of the film. There are several great character actors in supporting roles like Philip Seymor Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, and Marisa Tomei. It is a well made and entertaining film.
The premise for the documentary Chasing Bernie Madoff (2010) seemed like a good idea. Looking at the story of the guys who brought the ponzi scheme down. The truth is that it is not all that compelling of a story that gets trumped up with suggestions that lives were at stake by dangerous criminal elements, which caused on whistle blower to buy a gun and practice shooting at a shooting range. I think there was a good story there, but it got lost somehow in the process.
The documentary Young At Heart (2007) on the other hand was a moving film about a group of senior citizens from New England that sing their own chorus versions of a variety of songs. These songs include some from the likes of Sonic Youth, Talking Heads, Allen Toussaint, James Brown, and several others. During the filming of this documentary two members died. A compelling look at the restorative power of art and belonging to something larger than oneself.
I was surprised how much I liked Joe Wright's action thriller Hanna (2011) starring Eric Bana and Saorise Ronan. It is like several films in one. It begins in the wilds of antartica and then moves from Morocco to Spain to Germany. There are great action sequences and wonderful cinematography.
The Postman Always RIngs Twice (1946) is base don the classic crime noir by James M. Cain and stars the fabulous Lana Turner. I suppose it was risque for the time, but I don't think it caputured the spirit of Cain's novel enough-perhaps it was impossible to do so at the that time and age. Many see it as one of Turner's greatest performances. I would be curious to see the 1981 re-maek with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange as well.