Films seen in May 2011

Leave Her to Heaven (1945) – Gene Tierney is eminently watchable as the obsessive Ellen, whose love for her deceased father manifests itself in an ultimately twisted infatuation with her new husband. 4/5 

Badlands (1973) – Terrence Malick’s first film remains his most accessible; a visually stunning account of disaffected youth. 5/5 

Thor 3D ­ (2011) – Overblown and openly over-the-top, Kenneth Branagh’s Thor leaves much to be desired, but as an escapist summer blockbuster succeeds fairly well. 3/5 

Bad Lieutenant (1992) – A difficult account of the search for redemption, Bad 
Lieutenant is most remarkable for Harvey Keitel’s lead performance. 3/5 

Gone Baby Gone (2007) – Ben Affleck’s impressive directorial debut is a smart, tense thriller, with several standout performances, Casey Affleck and Amy Ryan in particular are flawless. 4/5 

Water for Elephants (2011) – Based on the popular bestseller of the same name, Water for Elephants – despite its ambition – falls flat, largely due to the lack of chemistry between Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. 2/5 

Attack the Block (2011) – Hugely entertaining, Joe Cornish’s alien invasion narrative also offers a true insight into contemporary societal issues. 4/5 

Lawn Dogs (1997) – A beautifully painted tale of a child struggling with her growing feelings of isolation.Mischa Barton and Sam Rockwell are both wonderfully engaging, resulting in a truly moving film. 4/5 

Dogtooth (2009) – Filled with both dark humour and moments of real horror, Dogtooth is truly original in its portrayal of bizarrely twisted familial relationships. 4/5 

Black Swan (2010) – Revelling in its deliberately trashy depiction of the world of ballet, Aronofsky’s film may have its detractors, but there’s surely no denying the power of Natalie Portman’s performance as the tortured Nina. 4/5

Blue Valentine (2010) – Heart-felt lead performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling add to this emotionally-wrought, ultimately upsetting drama. 5/5 

Julia’s Eyes (2010) – Chilling, tense and intelligent, Julia’s Eyes, despite its fairly weak ending, is wonderfully entertaining. 4/5

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