Category Archives: Films & Television

Ilo Ilo (2013)

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This film was Singapore’s submission for the 2013 Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film category. It is also the first Singaporean film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival, bagging the Camera d’Or award meant for début directors. This makes it the highest profile Singaporean film of recent years. I was particularly curious about how it stacks up compared with The Journey, arguably its closest Malaysian equivalent.

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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

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All indicators point towards The Wolf of Wall Street being an excellent film. It is the fifth collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DeCaprio. It is based on the real story of the colourful life of Jordan Belfort. It was nominated for multiple Academy Awards. After being impressed by Margin Call, I looked forward to watching another good film depicting the finance industry. Unfortunately, it turned out to be something of a dud.

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The Burmese Harp (1956)

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This one was a pick by my wife who had heard about it as a notable film about Buddhism long ago but had never seen it. It is apparently quite highly regarded, being a nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film during the first year that the category existed. Note that I’m going to be more spoilery than usual partly because this is such an old film but mostly because it’s hard to say anything worth saying about it without revealing much of the plot.

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Blue Jasmine (2013)

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I don’t consider myself a fan of Woody Allen’s films. Sure, there is much to admire about them including the clever dialogue and witty social commentary, but on the whole, they’re not to my taste. Blue Jasmine gained attention recently both for being one of the better Allen films of recent years and one that departs significantly from his usual form. Since this film also won Cate Blanchett the Best Actress Oscar, I thought I should check it out.

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The Lunchbox (2013)

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This modestly produced Indian film has been making waves all  over the world. It’s been a commercial and a critical success both for domestic audiences in India and in foreign markets. I think this is because it feels very authentically Indian, yet at the same time it tells the kind of timeless, universal story that Hollywood excels at, making it a film that travels exceptionally well.

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