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Tag Archives: outstanding lead

JCVD: shows two perspectives of a post office robbery that Van Damme’s involved in… but this isn’t like any other film he’s done. He basically plays himself, in real life. To keep it realistic there’s not much action or explosives outside the opening scene – which is a self-referencing parody – and the DVD box. It’s pretty much an anti ‘Van Damme’ film; foreign language, with subtitles and genuinely clever & complex subject matter. To confuse us further it comments on his life, fame, the media, drug use, his filmography, similar actors and the movie business in general. Above this, Van Damme puts on a sensational performance, peaking with a 6-minute long single-cut soliloquy with his heart on his sleeve – which you absolutely do not expect. Above that it’s shot and executed brilliantly, with stylish visuals and editing. People that don’t ‘get it’ will think it’s just a crap action film, which is no doubt the reason it went straight to DVD. It’s self-indulgent, but it totally blew me away is it was less than 1% what I expected. Damme good viewing!! (Sorry)

Score: 7.5/10

Breaking the Waves: Set in Scotland c. 1970s, it tells the story of a local lass who marries a Norwegian oil worker and their life after an accident. My biggest issue was that it was too long: 2 hours of slow churning, a 30 min spike of insane drama and then back to the churn for another 20 mins. It’s not exactly uplifting, mainly because it covers topics like love / monogamy / religion / disability. It’s filmed using a shaky-cam, which can get quite annoying and the very last scene is 100% totally stupid. The biggest reason to watch this film is Emily Watson’s outstanding performance, first major role and she absolutely stole the show. The rest of the cast are also brilliant – which makes the story more believable and essentially keeps you watching. The soundtrack’s also pretty good. I love Lars Von Trier’s stuff, but this isn’t his strongest film. Overall, a good piece of film that’s well worth watching… if you can last to the end.

Score: 6.5/10