Picks: Best Films
One of the
special moments in the film: when the real Harvey Pekar
talks to his real nerd friend on soundstage, while
in the background sit the actor playing Harvey Pekar
and the acting playing the nerd friend. So
where is the reality here? There is Harvey
Pekar’s life, Harvey Pekar’s comic book series, the film about Harvey Pekar, the real
on one level his choice of making art out of his life—and making his wife and
coworkers costars in that life—is a brilliant example of American entrepreneurship.
Hey, he makes his life a long-running gig.
He gets paid for it! But the other
side of this “art” is that the comic books, the American
Splendor series, is not really an accurate representation of his life
after all. The comic books don’t reveal the essence of
Harvey Pekar; they reveal the persona of Harvey Pekar. He creates a
persona that works for his readers—and Robert Crumb’s drawings of
Barbarian Invasions, dir. Denys Arcand (
Barbarian Invasions, dir. Denys Arcand (
City of God, dir Kátia Lund & Fernando Meirelles. (Brazil, 2002) An amazing film. The orange/yellow cast to the cinematography worked. The film showed desperation, hopelessness, poverty, passion, greed, jealousy, and megalomania. The writer-director created on the one hand a believable universe, the City of God, and he created also one of the most horrific characters in fictional film-a young kid called Little Dice, who at the age of eight becomes a murderer and loves every minute of it. The film was confusing at first because as it began all of the characters were already complete-already had histories we had no way of grasping so quickly without sufficient context. The opening scene focuses on a raucous barbecue going on in the City of God, a poverty-stricken and run-down neighborhood outside Rio de Janeiro. One of the chickens makes its escape and the barbecue-king, as well as the leader of street gangs in the City of God, orders everyone to get that chicken. The chase is on! Suddenly the entire gang of thugs-all of whom are between the ages of six and fifteen, confront another young man who shows up a block away. All of the thugs have guns-some of them have been taking potshots at the chicken. At this moment time seems to stop. The young man confronted by the thugs appears to be in grave danger. Something is going to happen to him.
Then in a mesmerizing series of cuts, using intriguing camera and gliding tracking shot special effects, we see the young man-in each shot a younger person-until he becomes a child playing soccer on the playground with other kids. His voice-over, summarizing the process of his life-in-reverse, fixes our attention on his story. Now the context we need begins, and the writer-director comes up with an organization that helps us grasp the implications of the stories that relate to the main characters. Rocket is the young man we saw confronted by the thugs. He has an older brother-a loser who will meet a cruel end. Little Dice is the toughest of the tough kids growing up on the streets. The first segment is "The Tender Trio," and that story ends with a horrible scene showing a young man shot down for revenge right in front of the woman he was planning to run away with. When young Rocket sees a photographer taking pictures of the dead body, he is inspired-he needs to become a photographer. But he-like all the rest of the kids in the City of God-is the poorest of the poor.
The next segment features Rocket as a teenager. Now comes the story of an apartment-a site where drugs are sold. Little Dice has grown up, too, and we learn in this segment what really happened in a hotel robbery when Little Dice was a child. By the way, Little Dice was the eight-year-old mastermind of the robbery-but he was too little to take part directly in the robbery. What happened after that robbery-well, you have to see the movie to find out. Little Dice is well on his way to becoming the drug kingpin of the City of God. "They had the gift of crime," Rocket says. Only Carrot, played by a gifted actor who was featured in Central Station, escapes Little Dice's wrath. So now Dice and Carrot are the main rivals for all of the drug money in the City of God. The use of voice-overs in these sections (all spoken by Rocket) is extremely effective. The story is based upon events that occurred to a young man in the City of God who became a news photographer.
The scenes in this film are not excessively bloody or gory, although many of the characters in the film are distinctly bloodthirsty. One of the cruelest scenes in the film shows Little Dice's talents as an intimidator, torturer, and crime boss. When too many younger kids (ages six to eight) are causing problems for his drug-money paradise, Little Dice grabs a few of the kids and exacts what he considers to be a splendid torture lesson. He shoots two of the kids in the foot and then orders a third kid to kill one of the two wounded boys. When the news gets around, the elementary-age kids stop messing with Little Dice's universe.
In the section Flirting with Crime, poor Rocket steals his older brother's revolver and decides to begin a crime spree. But each time he tries to commit a crime, something stops him. One victim is "too cool," another is "too sexy." Rocket is destined for a life outside of crime. Somehow he escapes the wrath of Little Dice. Then comes the climactic scene in the film. Little Dice's right hand man, Benny, is set to leave-a good decision, when one considers the likelihood that he will die in some crossfire or assassination attempt sooner or later. The party is loud and runs a bit long. Then comes the assassination attempt, and-you guessed it-Little Dice is left standing. That leads to a confrontation between Little Dice and the boyfriend of a woman Little Dice was harassing. For one reason or another a gang war breaks out, and suddenly Little Dice is handing out guns to scores of six-year-olds every day. Little Dice's right-hand man was the first person to put a camera in Rocket's hands, but later it is Little Dice who hands Rocket the camera again so that Rocket can become his publicist-taking simple pictures of the gang and its leader that are published in local newspapers. Of course, Little Dice's days are numbered. Sooner or later we have get back to the scene that was skipped over at the beginning of the film: the barbecue-king Little Dice, accompanied by a dozen or more child thugs-all facing down Rocket a block away. Then all hell breaks loose, Rocket escapes, Carrot is captured by the police, Little Dice escapes, and Rocket shoots Little Dice in a climactic scene-but keep in mind that for a photographer, choosing a camera over a gun is much safer and much more creative. Rocket has photographs for the ages, and Rocket escapes the City of God.
This film will be hard to top by other films I view in 2003. It was original, creative, heartfelt, respectful of the humanity of its characters, and it moved! Did it ever move! Some scenes ran on too long: but early in the film I could recognize the different characters and soon became immersed in their stories.
The Fog of War, dir. Errol Morris. I awaited this film as a big event! I have taught Morris’ The Thin Blue Line several times in a documentary film course, and I was not disappointed in this most recent effort. Morris has honed the skill of interviewing a subject in such a way that the subject seems to be looking right at us (even though in fact he is staring into a monitor that shows an image of Errol Morris staring back at him). This technical sleight of hand is an important component in getting subjects to reveal themselves on camera. The other key to the success of this film—as well as other Morris films. His B-Roll (the images that cover the voice-over) are extraordinarily imaginative, metaphoric, and even haunting. He helps us SEE the truth of the words by using appropriate visual support. So here are the rules of war (with commentary) as stated by the subject, Robert McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense under Johnson during the Vietnam War:
Girl with a Pearl Earring, dir. Peter Webber (UK). This film has much to recommend it. Most important, the film respects character. We follow a young woman’s development as a character. She maintains a steadfast courage and feistiness and honor throughout; but also she grows as a person and faces each challenge with initiative and purpose. She will succeed in life. She has the right stuff. She also has a unique talent—she respects the light, and thus understands something essential about the art of painting (as she would about photography, if the film had taken place in the 1900s). She refines her natural talent at understanding how light can reveal the three dimensions of a human being, and more importantly, reveal the inner world of the person. Her ability to relate to art is also exactly what the artist Johannes Vermeer needs in 1665 Delft, Holland, in an era when a painter was only as good as the patron who supported his work. And Vermeer has a patron, a rich and insensitive man who controls all aspects of Vermeer’s world. In some respects I regarded this film as a well-crafted soap opera. There is melodrama; there are predictable plot points; and there is great suffering on the part of some of the characters. But as soap opera it was well-done, much like a good episode of Masterpiece Theater. For instance, Vermeer’s mother-in-law (nicely played by Judy Parfitt), is the economic mainstay of the household. Her daughter is busy giving birth to Vermeer’s children, and whether due to post-partum depression, or because of a general emotional instability, she is useless when it comes to running the household. Without the mother-in-law, Vermeer would be ruined. She also knows how to sweet-talk the patron when that is called for. One Vermeer’s daughters is spoiled rotten and brutish and one-dimensional, the one really flat character in the film. The family’s maid is another mainstay of the household. She buys the food, keeps the kitchen and house running smoothly, and knows where the bodies are buried. Then there is Vermeer, aloof, frustrated, emotionally hobbled, unkempt, and remote from his family. In many respects he is the typical 20th century figure trapped in the 17th century. He is alienated from his art and emotionally adrift. He needs a real companion—an equal, someone he can talk to about the process of making art and thinking about art and figuring out how to understand the way light shapes and frames the human face and torso. He finds it all right—in the presence of a young woman (Griet) hired to help the maid with Vermeer’s expanding household. Scarlett Johansson proves again that great acting often depends upon the actor creating an expression that is expressionless—vacant, open, and receptive to the emotions the audience will pour into that expression.
We follow the progression of their relationship—first strictly as employer to employee (where her response is no more than a curtsy), to scenes where the two are mixing paints together, discussing the quality of light as it relates to a particular work of art, and then at its most intimate—when the young woman becomes his model for the famous painting of the film’s title. While these scenes unfold, the film offers several examples of how light is used effectively to create beautiful shots in cinema. There are times when a particular shot reminded me of a Rembrandt painting—with characters lit by golden hues against strong shadows—as if the individuals suddenly pop out against the dark backgrounds. Several times Johansson is placed in shots to suggest the power of light to capture the essence of character. She seems lit from within, her face and neck all one color. I give the film credit for respecting the power of light to convey the subtleties of human emotion, desire, and character. The film was a visual treat to see on a large theater screen. I thought of how Stanley Kubrick utilized lighting in similar ways in Barry Lyndon.
Johansson had few lines in the film, as would befit a woman of her low social standing. In that way the film was about the way class traps individuals into specific and limited roles. She was taught to curtsy and to stay in her place. The climax of the film occurs when Vermeer and she defy those restrictions. When she stands for the famous portrait, and Vermeer’s wife finally sees it, she complains, “It’s obscene!” I think she means that her husband has defiled his marriage by making this nobody (the maid) an object of great beauty in a painting where she stands alone—not as a background character in a typical group of revelers. The pearl earring signifies class; and there would be no way that young woman could ever hope to enter the upper class because she was doomed to the lower class by birth and breeding. “She can’t even read or write!” the wife exclaims, as if to underscore this point.
What happens in a great film about character is that one or more characters breaks the convention of class or other social taboos and becomes something that no one could have expected them to become. And they always have to pay for their transgression! In this case, Vermeer loses because he has to yield to the conventions of class in order to retain his standing and his opportunity to ply his craft—his art. The young maid loses her job—and has no other recourse. But then there is the painting. For some time the patron possesses the painting—and the scene where he observes it its private cabinet is nearly pornographic. He possesses her just as he possesses his stuffed animals. But now where is the painting, almost 350 years later? It hands in a museum in The Hague, Netherlands, for all to see. Of course, this story is a fictional account of how the great painting came to be. But it worked for me as a human drama, as an essay on the eternal power of art, and as a story about how people of like minds found themselves at the right time and made something good come to fruition because of their receptivity and their sensitivity toward each other. The expected outcome, in a lesser soap opera, would be that the painter and his companion would have a sexual relationship. Perhaps she would flee with him to Paris! Ha! But this film does a better job of resolving the conflicts human nature offers in all of its intricacy and confounding paradoxes. That last shot of the film—a tight shot that slowly tracks back until the shot becomes a wide shot of the object. All in one shot we are made to understand the timelessness of works of art—the ways they haunt us, inspire us, and capture our attention and affection.
The Human Stain, dir. Robert Benton. I saw this film twice and liked it both times. I was impressed with the quality of the acting—by Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Gary Sinese, and Ed . This seemed to be an old-fashioned film, something from the 1970s, for instance. It had character, plot, theme. Based on the Philip Roth novel, it places race relations in the foreground. It begins with the ending of the film. We see Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman—relaxed and affectionate in the front seat of his Volvo—drive off an icy roadway in New England. Before the accident occurs, the looks on their faces show resolution and satisfaction. Something has been resolved. The car ends up sinking into the icy water of a lake. They must be dead. Now I’ve always had a sore spot for the work of Robert Benton. His films Kramer vs. Kramer and Places in the Heart got the emotions right, and this film does too. It begins with a classics professor Coleman Silk (Hopkins) being relieved of his tenured position because he refers to two students who never attended his class as “spooks.” He says he meant to call them ghosts; but one definition of the word refers to a negative slam on African Americans. At home, he rages around the house looking for the phone number of his lawyer—and his wife gets as worked up about it as he is. Then suddenly she drops dead, and Benton lowers the boom on us with a powerful example of a tracking shot (away from the action). Fast forward six months. One night the professor pulls up at a remote house in the country, rented by a writer by the name of Zuckerman (a character in several Roth novels). He confronts Zuckerman and accuses him of having writer’s block! I love this scene! After the bizarre encounter, later the two men sit on the porch and listen to music. Suddenly the professor, name, begins to dance around the porch to the jazz and then insist that Zuckerman dance with him. The scene works! The actors pull it off because they are given a stage to work on—that front porch. Later, after the two men are now officially friends, Coleman drops the bombshell: “I’m having an affair with a 34-year-old woman!” What timing! What great writing! And what great delivery of that line.
Now the film begins to move backward in time. We see the meeting between Silk and the younger woman Faunia Farley, played by Nicole Kidman. She is great as a lowlife. “Action is the enemy of thought,” the old man ruminates. At least he will be no Hamlet in this play. He will commit—rather than stay on the sidelines. The two meet again—and then they begin a sexual affair. Why does she choose him? She knows about his being fired as the dean of classics. She knows his wife died of heartbreak. She tells him, “I don’t do sympathy,” and yet she has acted in a sense out of empathy toward his pain, and because she realizes, perhaps, that he will empathize with her pain. It is a delight to watch great actors working off of each other’s energy and focus in a scene. We know now that Coleman will not walk away from this woman; and we know also that she must not walk away from the old man.
She begins to reveal herself to her new lover. We learn that she was abused as a young girl and as an adolescent. She married a nut case—played perfectly by Ed Harris—and later we see Harris talking to a psychiatrist about his reasons for going after Coleman. It was Harris in the truck in the first scene of the film; in his madness he was going to crash head-on into the car where his former wife was a passenger. Amazing that the car averted the head-on crash, but then skidded off the roadway and broke through the ice of the pond. Harris sat in his truck stopped in the middle of the road and marveled at what fate had provided him.
Kidman’s character is easy to read. She has buried her emotions deeply because of the pain and losses she has experienced. She cannot commit because in commitment lies renewed pain. She tells him about her two children, both of whom died in a fire. Most people think she was to blame (because of neglect). She wants to believe she is innocent. Each time Coleman listens to her, shows his empathy, and commits himself to her, she attacks Coleman viciously at times, but it is evident that her vile language is a projection of her inner defenses. Amazing that this old man stays with her. Why?
Just at the right moment the film moves backward to a third level of time. In the present there is Coleman and Zuckerman, in the past is a Coleman and Faunia, and beyond that is a younger version of Coleman, (nicely underplayed by Wentworth Miller) ready to attend college many years ago. We are dropped into that scene at the end of a scene where the old man is confronted by his lawyer, who practically orders him to stop seeing Fonia. He states his biased reasons, and Coleman upbraids him with a venomous line: “I don’t want to ever see your lily-white face!” What would make him say that? In that next scene, we see his boxing trainer back in the late 1940s encourage him to apply to Pitt; he thinks Coleman can get in with a sports scholarship. Then he makes an offhand remark: “Don’t tell him you’re colored.”
Now Coleman’s secret is out. The Dean of Classics for all those years never told anyone, including his late wife, that he was Arican American. He passed as white. Why? How could he have done that? His father is a railway porter, and his wife is an elegant woman, a homemaker. Coleman has a sister and a brother. The family tradition is to send their children to Howard University, a Negro college. But Coleman wants to attend Pitt—because Coleman wants to be white. Having dropped us deep into his past, the filmmaker brings us back to the present—in Zuckerman’s house, with Coleman trying to defend himself. He tells Zuckerman, “This is my last love. Doesn’t that count for something?” Back to the love affair between the young woman and the old man. She dances for him—provocatively. Their love is tender and even whimsical, but at a deeper level absolutely required for both of them. They need each other desperately.
Back to the 1940s again. We see Coleman dating a young blonde woman from the Midwest. She is naïve, shy, and perfectly fragile. On a visit to his apartment she does an unartful strip-tease. She dances for him—not a provocative bone in her lithe body. She declares her love for him. He takes her home—but does not tell her that his parents are African American. (By this time his father has died of a heart attack.) Suddenly we see them walking on a street in his neighborhood. There are black people everywhere. The shy blonde tries to bear up under this new environment, but when the door opens—and there stands Coleman’s mother, obviously an African American woman, and all is lost. A short scene at the dinner table follows, showing the young woman emotionally wilting in front of her lover. She crumbles in the face of his unstated request to accept him as he is—a black man that has passed for white. “I can’t do this,” she cries.
So Coleman (coal-man? black-man?) becomes white. In the boxing ring he beats a black man senseless in order to prove to himself that he is white and therefore superior. That reminds me of his relationship with Fiona. They spar like two boxers in a ring. She is a worthy adversary for Coleman, and she almost defeats him. Back to their relationship. She stays overnight in his house—a first—and a dangerous game. The next morning she assaults him verbally with as much force as he used when he physically assaulted the black fighter in the ring. Then she makes her escape, and it appears that Coleman has lost her. But she comes back the next day, and she calmly recounts the time she tried to kill herself after her children died. But the rope broke. “I don’t think you can measure sorrow,” she says. He listens calmly, and I think he realizes that he has stayed the course and won the most important boxing match of his life. He says, “There is something I need to tell you.”
We know what that has to be. Now Benton returns to the first scene of the film, and this time we see it from Ed Harris’ point of view. Of course, the two lovers are killed—and we cut to the obligatory funeral scene so that we can see the next plot twist. Zuckerman is at the burial site, and he approaches a black woman and learns that she is Coleman’s sister! Zuckerman realizes Coleman was African American. Now we learn the story of what happened to Coleman when he talked to his mother about getting married—to the woman who died in his arms early in the film. When the mother realized that Coleman would never tell his wife that he was the son of a black woman, the mother tells Coleman, “You think like a prisoner. You’re as white as snow, and you think like a slave. Her last word to him: “Murderer!” As Coleman leaves, his brother enters the house and confronts him: “I don’t ever want to see your lily white face again!” he snarls. And now we recall the time Coleman used that same phrase on his lawyer. All that was lost, without content. Then the film returns to a scene between Coleman and Fiona. He has told her everything. “Why me?” He smiles. He has had his last love. He did the right thing—finally. It was not too late. They are happy. They smile at each other. They await their fate at the hands of the crazed ex-husband. Now this was a film to savor, a film about ideas, and a film about a man who finally shared himself fully with another human being.
In America, dir. Jim Sheridan (Ireland, 2002). I appreciated the high-octane energy of the film, the movement of the early montages (when the family arrives in America), the winning faces and gestures and dialogue of the Bolger sisters—cast as the couple’s children, the powerful presence of the downstairs neighbor—played by Djimon Hounsou, the way the story was told from one of the daughters’ point of view, the perfect interactions between the children and their father (“What?” “Nothing!”), the faith in family that is at the core of the film, the central plot point of the father’s inability to accept the earlier death of one of his three children, the amazing carnival scene where the father almost gambles away their entire savings just to win an ET doll for his daughter, the quiet and yet intense affirmation of the mother (“I believe in you and the kids believe in you!”)—and the list goes on. Films are about making you feel something. Feelings are visceral, intense, and often come unbidden from some deep reservoir of memories and longings. I laughed and I cried and I felt real feelings—perhaps revisiting some of my family’s small triumphs when I was a child, or my family’s pathetic failings, or the losses that shook me to my core when I was a young man—the list goes on. Some of the energy is lost when plot takes over and the family befriends Mateo, the AIDS-suffering artist on the first floor. But even the triteness of this formulaic plot point does not derail the film. This autobiographical film flows on, with more family moments, more insights into the husband’s grief, and the insight that one of the girls is right when she says, “I’ve been carrying this family on my back for over a year”! I was shaken by the climactic scene—when Johnny (the husband) breaks down. The little girl was in control of this family; the film was structured around three wishes she makes (and is granted). There is magic when we reconnect to our pasts and try to account for the reasons we turned out the way we did. Now this was a film to savor. I was moved by it even though sometimes I could see the framework of formula shining through.
Lilja 4-ever, dir. Lukas Moodysson (Denmark, Sweden, 2002). I have been a fan of Moodysson since his film Together (Tilsammans, 2000), the story of a 1970s commune and its effect on the children of the commune members. I know that people criticized the excessive hand-held camera used in Together, just as they criticize the Dogma-style cinematography of this film. Yes, I noticed the technique; but no, it did not distract from the powerful stories Moodysson is able to tell in both films. The plot outline for Lilja 4-ever is simple: a 16-year-old Russian girl is abandoned by her parents. They take off—but they don’t take her with them. She befriends a little boy, Volodja. She becomes his surrogate mother/older sister. She meets a young man who seems to care for her. He takes her to Sweden (the boy comes with them), and he turns her over to a man who runs a prostitution ring. This man takes her passport and locks her up in a room and then rapes her—and thus initiates her into his world of prostitution.
Now the film begins with its ending—we see Lilja hanging onto the railing of a freeway overpass. She has been beaten. She contemplates suicide. What will she do? A graphic flashes up back three months to the beginning of her story—outlined above. Moodysson knows how to compose shots, knows when to linger on a shot, knows how to control point of view and reaction shots of the main character so that we get inside of her skin and empathize with her plight. We learn what happens to vulnerable young girls in this world. It is happening not only in Sweden—but all over the world. After her parents leave, Lilja lives with an Aunt, a Man Mountain of a woman—expressionless, uncaring. They live in a miserable flat. At first Volodja is like her mascot; he follows her around like a puppy dog. Then her Aunt throws her out, too. Now she is alone with Volodja. They make themselves a family. Her close friend betrays her; soon Lilja has a reputation of being a prostitute—when the truth is that her close friend was the prostitute (and lied to save herself a beating at the hands of her father). Boys harass her for being a whore. In a fit of desperation she carves her mantra in a park bench—“Lilja 4-ever.” Driven to prostitution, she answers the call finally (when her mother contacts social services and removes herself from any obligations of parenthood). Now she has money to buy presents for Volodja. The relationship between those two young people is worth everything in this film. I could see that the two are doomed from the beginning—but the love that flowed between them was the only redemption in this film.
Of course, she meets what appears to be a caring young man who does not want sex from her. She’s hooked. He drives her a nice car. He takes her to a carnival and they ride about in bumper cars. This guy knows how to hook his fish. Her takes her to McDonalds. Then he suggests, “Let’s go to Sweden!” She wants to take Volodja along with her. But that won’t happen; another destiny awaits the boy. Then there is the trick—the young man has to visit his dying grandmother. He will send her over to Sweden ahead of him and meet up with her later. As you would imagine, he is sending her to the pick-up man (the pimp of pimps), who will confiscate her passport and then lock her in a room like a wild animal until she can be broken. What’s left for Lilja? Escape and the freeway overpass. The ending of this film was perfect. What other way to convey the timelessness of love between two people. First Lilja’s angel comes and tells her the door to her apartment has been left unlocked. But that’s an impossible interaction, since we know the boy died from an overdose of sleeping pills after she left Russia. Then the ending—and then two angels playing with a basketball on a rooftop. This ending invites a cynical response; but by this time in the film I was in no mood to be cynical. I watched the scene unfold and I accepted it for what it was—a dream of that better world, where children are not abused and families are never broken.
in Translation, dir. Sophia Coppola. This film works because Bill Murray is in it.
Coppola has an eye for the image, all right.
Early in the film she places Murray perfectly “within the shot.”
She controls the meaning through the shot and the cuts—and Murray simply
has to “give a look,” or “stare out the window,” or “sigh a little,” or “move
your eyes from left to right.” But after
a while the director begins to give Murray shots of longer duration. She gives him room for his own brand of physical
comedy. And he is brilliant—trying to set
the “right” look for a Japanese photographer, trying to stay afloat on an exercise
machine, and singing Karaoke as if he means it. Watching
also appreciated the quiet poise that Scarlett Johannson
brought to her role as Murray’s counterpart—the young woman who is as stuck in
her life as he is stuck in his own. She
has the right voice for the role and the right moves for the role.
Unfortunately, some of the ways that Coppola used this character did not
work. For instance, that first shot in
the film—a close shot of her body shot from the back as she lay in bed—frustrated
me because I could not figure out how it furthered my understanding of my character.
It was a daring shot—to say the least—in its overt sexuality and yet its
image of ennui. That kind of shot would
fit right in in a French film about a bored young woman.
But it did not work for me. It gave
mixed signals. Much of the film this young woman sat around
Despite my concerns,
I heartily recommend this film because it showcases one of our great comic talents—Bill
Murray. Coppola perfectly realizes
Best films of 2003 M-Z