Today I am going to recommend two more films that I viewed at the FILMCOLUMBIA festival.  Tomorrow there will be two more reviews.  I feel that these four plus the 2 (Timbuktu and Wild Tales), I already recommended, were the best of the festival.


WILD, 2014

starring Reese Witherspoon,
directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (The Dallas Buyer’s Club)
Screenplay by Nick Hornby

This is essentially a female version of the mostly male survivor shows that are everywhere on the tube the past few years. Based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir (which I did read and enjoyed very much), which recounts her 1,100 mile trek on the Pacific Crest Trail. Witherspoon plays a young woman, who has recently lost her mother to cancer, and subsequently descends into a nightmare of sex and heroin. Her marriage also fails. The agonies of the journey, along with the camaraderie of fellow hikers are well depicted and I enjoyed this film.  There are some things omitted from the film that were in the book and the sequence of events is not the same, nonetheless the script is very well done.  I do, however, as usual, recommend the book over the film, or do both, read the book, see the film. Witherspoon will probably be a candidate for an academy award.


THE BLUE ROOM (La Chambre Bleue), 2014

starring Mathieu Amalric, (also directed the film),
Lea Drucker, Laurent Pitrtenaux, Setphanie Cleau, Mona Jaffart
Based on works by the author Georges Simenon

This is a perverse erotic French thriller……two lovers, married to others, and then a murder.

The film begins in the middle of the affair. A country hotel’s blue room is the scene of erotic rapture, but the man and the woman have different visions of where the affair will lead.  At the end you realize how obsessed she is and how her madness destroys him.

I liked the feel and ambiance of the film, nuanced cinematically, and very interesting, especially the lead male’s eyes, seeing in them the consequences of a meticulous life unraveling.

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