Friday, March 20, 2009

He Said, She Said "It's Friday" Video Picks

She Said: Frozen River

“Throw the bag out. It can’t be anything but trouble.” Never again will I so quickly utter anything at my television set without thinking more complexly.

Frozen River is about as real and honest a film as I have seen--not just in a long time, but ever. It’s about women, it’s about motherhood, it’s about the power of what ultimately connects us all. It has stark beauty in the ugliest of places and it has the empowerment of humanity.

Courtney Hunt's debut film is a triumph; it is gripping, compelling, and invigorating. Frozen River is a tense story of abject poverty and the inevitable heartbreak such economic despair causes. Melissa Leo's portrayal of a mother in utter desperation deserves every accolade she earned, for her performance anchors the urgency that is the film.

The female centered, "female solidarity" plot line is as important as it is refreshing. This film should not be missed, and since it is on DVD, no one has to!

He Said: My Kid Could Paint That

My Kid Could Paint That begins as a portrait of a child prodigy and the fame that consumes her family. It is entertaining, well-made, and informative.

The film then morphs into a potential expose investigating the validity--the 'truth'--of the child's artwork. In this stage, it provokes anger, stirs passion, and invites us to question the truth and decide for ourselves.

And finally, the film ends as a open-eyed, ponderous meditation on the truth of any artform, especially documentary filmmaking. At this stage, My Kid Could Paint That becomes a brilliant piece, one that immerses itself in the documentary form, yet also stands to the side, questioning the very tools it so seamlessly utilizes.

I have never seen a documentary which so clearly presented the blurred lines between truth and fiction that define the art of documentary filmmaking. And so, in its questioning of its own form, the film masters that form.

In many ways, My Kid Could Paint That is the most honest documentary I've ever seen.


MadMike said...

Once again I loved Frozen River. I watched Cadillac Records the other day, and felt it was lacking something but can't put my fingers on it. I am going to watch Twilight this evening. My niece tells me it is a teen movie and I might hate it, but I love Harry Potter and they said it was a teen movie, so we shall see!

K McKiernan said...

I think you will like it, Mike. Twilight surprised me. I did not love it, but since I went in thinking, "stupid teeny bopper movie," I was pleasantly surprised to be mildly entertained.

Do tell us what you thought of it!

MadMike said...

I was "mildly entertained" K. I hope you guys will do a review on it. Like you I expected a teeny-bopper special but it did have its moments....