Movies: Vazante, The Clapper, The Insult

Greetings to all!  We are back in sunny San Francisco.  Our typical warm snap in February came early this year.  Yesterday was 75 and clear.  It looks like we will enjoy this for another week at least.  Yippie!

On the movie front, this is that time of year when the Oscar nominated films get released, or re-released, to capture movie goers that didn’t make it to the oft short releases in December.  The only other new releases are the odd, unusual, or quirky films, domestic and foreign, seeking a last minute niche market.  Hence our reviews for this week…


Have you ever wondered what life was like in remote Brazil in 1821?  This is the story about poor white settlers, the slave trade, sexual exploitation and racism.  It is filmed in black and white that seems to enhance the bleak setting and subject matter.

It is quite difficult to watch and even more difficult to understand as the pace on the screen and its subtitles are intermittently slow and fast.  It is unique, intriguing, confusing and…depressing.

The acting however is impressive.  The Brazilian cast delivers solid performances.  Adriano Carvalho plays the lead, along with an amazing Maria Helena Dias, Fabricio Boliveira, Luana Nastas, Sandra Corveloni, and Juliana Carnerio da Cunha.

This film is not rated.  We do not recommend it for young children.  The genre is: Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Drama.  The running time is 116 minutes. Portuguese and Banto with English subtitles.


The Clapper

Oye Vey!  While this is not a bad film, well…yes it is, this want-to-be romance just doesn’t deliver on the story premise.  The characters aren’t likable.  The story is hookie.  The character stereotypes are offensive.  The romantic connection does not work.  Tedious is probably the best description.

The acting follows suit.  The characters for Amanda Seyfried, Ed Helms, Tracy Morgan, Adam Levine and Leah Remini were just not interesting or likable.  One notable exception was Brenda Vaccaro as the mother at the end of the film, she was a hoot.

It is rated R for language and some sexual references.  Children should not see this, or anyone else for that matter.  It runs 89 minutes.


The Insult

Finally an International film worthy of an audience.  The Insult is a compelling and powerful story about social and political tensions, in this case Lebanon.

Toni, a mechanic, and Lebanese Christian is insulted by a Building Foreman who is a Palestinian refugee.  What could have been resolved by a simple apology erupts into a social explosion and contentious court case.

The cast of mostly Lebanese actors is impressive.  Rita Hayek is the wife of the mechanic.  Adel Karam is the mechanic.  Kamel El Basha is the Palestinian.  Camille Salameh plays the mechanic’s attorney and Diamond Bou Abboud plays the defense lawyer.

This film will be our pick for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.  See it while it is still in the theaters!  Arabic and French with English subtitles.  This film is rated R for language and violent images.  Genre is noted as Drama with a run time of 1 hour, 52 minutes.


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