Jo Thornely

Two hundred and fifty-eighth film: Inception. This film is — for the most part and with an apology for saying so — a dream. The plot, that of a bunch of subconscious-roaming thieves raiding dreamt spaces for corporate secrets and planting ideas, is just accessible enough to be gripping and just complicated enough that watching it again feels like a delicious necessity. A fantastic ending, a generous spray of hints and clues throughout, an only moderately irritating love story, and a double-hotness punch of both Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, I enjoyed this so, so much. The only awkward clang is a strong feeling that Leonardo DiCaprio is just entirely the wrong choice for playing the lead. Still. Wow. Four and four-fifths backwards falls into a bathtub out of five.

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Two hundred and fifty-second film: Il Deserto Rosso (The Red Desert). Look, I don’t know. I find Antonioni mostly impenetrable, which leaves me having to decide if I’m stupid or he is. Either way, I’m pretty sure I don’t like what he thinks of women, including this film’s heroine, Giuliana. Melancholy, suicidal, sexual, overacted and irritatingly fidgety, she wanders around from bleak urban landscape to bleak domestic setting, despairing about the meaninglessness of her life and the ugliness of a world scarred by shipping and factories. Bleak, dense, confusing, most likely highly symbolic and able to make two hours seem like four, this isn’t my favourite. If I’m missing something, I’m okay with that. Might get Giuliana’s haircut, though. One spooky children’s robot out of five.

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