Thanks to Paul Kilgore, who commissioned this podcast for his wife Alexandra in honor of her favorite movie, the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austin’s Pride & Prejudice. I’ve never seen this particular version but am familiar with the source and other adaptations and like historical fiction in general, while Jim had no idea what to expect. What will we make of some early 19th century high romance? Is it physically possible for Keira Knightley to play a plain Jane, err, Elizabeth? What does culturally enforced manogamy look like in practice? How did English noblemen acquire such impressive art from the antiquities? Were 30 foot high water fountains even possible in the 1800s? All this and more is pondered!
Thanks to Melonusk for commissioning the 2005 french crime drama, De Battre Mon Cœur S’est Arrêté, or The Beat That My Heart Skipped. It tells the tale of a criminal operating in the lowest levels of French crime that has an unexpected opportunity to follow his dreams of being a concert pianist. Pulled in two directions by the expectations of his father and his equally demanding, far less criminal piano tutor, director Jacques Audiard (director of Bald Move fave Un Prophète) finds clever ways of increasing the tension between the two paths that lie open to him. We enjoyed the cyclical themes of father/son, teacher/student, infatuation/love and are once again impressed with Audiard’s storytelling ability, even if Jim questions how much story we’re actually being told.
Special thanks to Ethan and Allison for commissioning Batman Begins, the first in the Nolanverse Batman trilogy (you can see our podcast on Batman: The Dark Knight here). This is a fantastic comic book movie that also happens to be a fantastic film in it’s own right. We love the fusion of gritty realism with the strong emotional core and exploration of Bruce Wayne and his struggle to walk the narrow path between justice and vengeance. Excellent casting, excellent performances, and while the third act perhaps leaves something to be desired in light of a decade of super hero movies continually trying to outdo themselves in terms of spectacle, the movie holds up like a champ and is an undeniable part of what makes the sequel work so superbly.
Many thanks to Tim aka “DoubleT” from our forums for commissioning another (he previously commissioned the awesome “Animal Kingdom”) Aussie modern classic, 2005’s “The Proposition”. It can be best described as an Australian flavored Western, sharing many similarities with the American genre while bestowing the style with the unique characteristics of the Australian landscape and it’s own history with outlaws and indigenous people. Starring Guy Pierce, Danny Huston, and Sam Winstone, it is bleak, unforgiving, at times enigmatic and impenetrable. If you like “Unforgiven”, “3:10 to Yuma”, “True Grit” or any of the gritty modern Westerns, you’ll no doubt be as absorbed as we were.
Special thanks to Keith Alejandro who pulled the trigger on this Commissioned Podcast, covering the 2005 David Cronenberg directed thriller, “A History of Violence”, starring everyone’s favorite ranger, Viggo Mortensen. Jim and A.Ron talk about the multiple meanings of the title, the human capacity for violence, survival of the fittest, the strong’s societal obligation to the weak, and how sea turtles make surprisingly effective, though extremely cruel, living refrigerators.