Thursday, 9 June 2011

Intermission: for your re-consideration - another look at January's movies

I've always been a fan of the rating system employed by Little White Lies magazine - they give three separate marks out of five: one for anticipation, one for actual viewing experience, and one for the long-term effect - whether the movie will 'stay with you' and grow its reputation or not. At first this seems like an odd way of ranking movies, but it makes sense to evaluate a film's ongoing impact - after all, this is a big part of what makes a great movie great.

So while I always simply record my immediate impressions of a movie in terms of the mark scheme, I'm going to have a look back at each month from a safe distance - say five months - to look again at the marks given and whether or not time has altered my impressions. I won't actually be doing any Stalinist revisionism by altering the marks originally given, but this might explain why, come the inevitable end-of-year top ten, some 8/10s might be missing and some 7/10s might be included.

First up is January. And look... three simple categories below:

Maybe better than I first thought...

127 Hours really has stayed with me, to the point where I would actually like to see it again to re-appraise it. 7/10 doesn't seem like quite high enough a mark now. The King's Speech, already an 8/10, is really at the upper echelons of its mark - it is beautifully scored, scripted, performed, deigned and edited. Perhaps it's just the republican in me that wouldn't stretch up to a nine, but as with 127 Hours, this film has lingered and grown in my estimation as time has passed.

About the same...

I stand by my 5/10 for Black Swan - an ambitious movies whose problems have not been smoothed over by time. I also wouldn't change the 1/10 given to The Dilemma, still the third worst film I've seen this year so far. The Next Three Days is pretty much the archetypal 6/10 film, so I wouldn't change that either.

Maybe not so good...

In retrospect, 4/10 may have been generous to The Green Hornet given that I have no pleasant memories of this movie at all. Also, I should either raise Drive Angry's rating or reduce Season of The Witch's as it's hard to say which of the two is actually the better. The 7/10 gifted to It's Kind of a Funny Story now seems a little OTT - it's more of a 6.5/10 really: lovable but forgettable.

N.B a not-so-quick-and-easy guide to what each mark means is here.