By: Henry J. Fromage –
Spent a rainy weekend making some serious headway on my probably now nigh impossible 265 quest, with quite an Asian lean.
224. Confession of Murder
Film one in an unintentional but quite entertaining Jung Jae-young double-tap, in this one he plays a homicide detective whose serial killer nemesis reveals himself as the soon to be rockstar author of a tell-all memoir the day after the statute of limitations expired on his crimes. Some hilariously dodgy CGI aside, this twisty and tonally all over the place thriller still entertains enough to recommend you give it a single watch.
225. Going by the Book
Jung Jae-yung stars in this one as an extremely by the book provincial traffic officer who is picked to be the bank robber in a disaster simulation the new police chief dreams up to enhance public confidence in the police department. The only issue is Jung is very dedicated to doing his best at any job given to him- and it turns out he’s pretty good at fake bank robbing. This comedy with a dollop of social commentary never bores, and is often quite hilarious in the ways he chooses to simulate the logical escalation of his crimes while the police scramble to simulate an appropriate response.
226. Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut is a clearly very autobiographical tale of a Sacramento teen who’s weathering the last year of high school and dreaming Big Apple dreams despite mediocre grades and an overbearing but loving mother (soon-to-be Supporting Actress nominee Laurie Metcalf) intent on her going to college near home. Gerwig filters her unique voice through the talented Saoirse Ronan this time, and delivers on the humor as always, but finds an emotional center that I’ve yet sense in her scripts. This is a supremely effective and affecting coming-of-age tale that immediately deserves mention alongside the greats of the genre.
227. All About Lily Chou Chou
This thoroughly depressing arthouse oddity from Japan was at one point included by Quentin Tarantino on his “off-the-top-of-my-head best-of list” soon after it came out in 2002. Some gorgeous staging and cinematography interspersed between a lot of ugly hand-held photography does provide one clue, and an unflinchingly brutal portrait of the cruelty of high school teenagers to each other perhaps another, but by and large this is one of those inscrutable arthouse oddities that you watch to say you did and only privately admit how little you understood of the plot.