Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage (El Orfanato); plus: two cents on the Oscars and a nod to Anthony Minghella

saw The Orphanage today. i'll let Peter Bradshaw tell you about it, over at The Guardian:


The Orphanage is far more complicated and intelligent and yet also more heartwarming and somehow more conventional than Alejandro Amenabar's The Others. personally, i prefer the latter.

i guess i just like it when things are subtly unusual. as a f'rinstance, i liked both There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men (the only two films from the Academy's most recent list of nominees i've seen) but prefer the former, the strangeness of which i find harder to define than the overt weirdness of the latter.

also, i think Daniel Plainview and his limp (or his bowling ball, take your pick) are more bad ass than Anton Chigurh and his captive bolt pistol. but that's just me.


the most striking things about the work of Anthony Minghella (that i've seen) for me are wisdom and compassion. displaying a thorough understanding of the moral complexities of modern life, Minghella somehow managed to remain uncynical without seeming naive. his films were unambiguously moral without being black and white: they showed us that knowing right from wrong is all it takes and yet hardly ever enough. they seemed completely aware of the flawed nature of humanity and yet refused to see that as a reason to lose faith in it.

Moriarty paid tribute to some of Minghella's best work (imho) over at ain't it cool news:


meanwhile, Colin Vaines at The Guardian posted a more conventional tribute: