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A funny lunch
I can start by saying that Chef is a simple, light and satisfying comedy that despite not having a great script, conquer you by the charisma of the characters and by the good vibe of the movie, which shows a recognized head chef, who leaves his job in a restaurant after having his creative freedom denied, and starting a new business outside of the professional kitchen, taking advantage to narrow neglected family ties. We still have great performances from Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr. and Dustin Hoffman, in this written, directed and starring Jon Favreau movie.
An empty space
In Shame (2011) the core of the plot is the life of Brandon (Fassbender), and his addiction to sex and pornography. It would be easy to explore this film with controversial and explicit scenes, but Steve focuses on showing the emotions, the loneliness and the details of this existential emptiness that is present in the protagonist's life, this emotional chaos extends with an indefinite time visit of his sister. Which also seems destined for self-destruction. With another magnificent performance from Fassbender, it's a powerful, intense and yet another beautiful work by Steve McQueen.
12 Years a Slave (2013)
A wonderful struggle
In 12 Years a Slave (2013), we are introduced to the story of Solomon Northup, a black and free New York violinist, who is abducted during a tour in Washington and sold as a slave to a Louisiana plantation, brutally portraying which took place in the southern United States around 1840. It is a cruel film with the spectator and will make you suffer practically from beginning to end, leaving you discredited by seeing so much barbarism being made by the human being, but at the same time hypnotizes you with so much beauty in the frames, the lighting and the outstanding performances of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o and Michael Fassbender, is certainly one of the best films of this decade and for me the best in portraying slavery, it is surely a must see for anyone who likes cinema.
An exciting mystery
Park goes back to the origins, with its cinema full of mystery, brutal but mostly exuberant. In his new film, Park, brings surely one of his best works, the plot is set in Korea in the thirties, in a time of Japanese occupation, and focuses on four main characters, Hideko, a Japanese heiress who lives isolated in the camp with Kouzuki, his domineering uncle, Sook-Hee, a newly hired maid, and a con artist who presents himself as Count Fujiwara to teach painting to Hideko. Being divided into 3 parts of lies and betrayals, the film has a huge camera work, abusing well-designed plans and space, both indoors and out, traveling through a mixture of English and Japanese architecture, the film is a breeze in the eyes of so beautiful, from the very accurate track, immersion in the beauty of Japanese erotic literature, the film explores well-developed characters, and of course, returns plot twist on plot twist, as the director knows well how to do, no doubt one of the best films of the year.
A painful vision
Hunger shows us Irish Republican Army (IRA) activists, whom prisoners demand to be treated as political prisoners (their goal was to separate Northern Ireland from the UK and re-emigrate to Ireland), receiving inhuman treatment, being humiliated and having to cope with daily violence, led by Bobby Sands (Fassbender), decide to go on a hunger strike to have their orders met. Not deepening in the political aspect of the story, Steve does show the dehumanization suffered by both prisoners and prison guards, beautifully done, with incredible takes, marvelous dialogues, it's a heavy film that is not easy to digest, but it's worth it to be seen. Besides, Fassbender still delivers a performance like Christian Bale in The Machinist (2004), leaving you totally paralyzed.