Sunday, February 27, 2011

I heard there was an award show forthcoming.

If I were given a ballot to vote for the Oscars it would look something like this:

Best Picture:

Ever since the Academy has expanded the nominees to ten, I believe the way people vote for Best Picture is to rank the nominees from #'s 1-10. With that in mind, here are my rankings-

10. King's Speech
9. Inception
8. Kids Are All Right
7. 127 Hours
6. The Fighter
5. True Grit
4. Toy Story 3
3. Black Swan
2. Winter's Bone
1. Social Network

Whenever I am asked what my favorite Woody Allen movie is, I feel kind of guilty that my answer is Annie Hall because it is the consensus choice. But it is by far my favorite. The Social Network feels the same way. The more I see of The Social Network, the more I admire it. The more I see The Social Network, the more I think Andrew Garfield should be accepting a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Best Director-

David Fincher. The only film's direction that is close to The Social Network would be Black Swan, but I couldn't seriously vote Darren Aronofsky for Best Director of anything.

Best Actor-

Jesse Eisenberg. If you would have asked me 2 weeks ago I would have said James Franco. The more I see of the picture, the more I realize the film hinges around Eisenberg to some degree. He's playing a character that at first seems like an unlikeable version of the nerdy, slightly socially inept character he usually plays. But there has to be just a spark of likability to his Zuckerberg to keep the viewer engaged and if not exactly rooting for him at least interested enough in him for the emotional resonance that the film achieves.

Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor-

I will be totally fine with Natalie Portman winning the Best Actress Oscar, but the answer is Jennifer Lawrence. John Hawkes is my pick for Supporting Actor. No film nominated relies as heavily on the performances as Winter's Bone. John Hawkes is particularly impressive finding the right tonal mix for the performance. He is menacing yet shows a subtle compassion with his character. As good as Jennifer Lawrence is in the starring role, Hawkes is what makes the world they live in come alive.

Best Supporting Actress-

Amy Adams. I know everybody thinks Christian Bale deserves his Oscar he will receive for showboating through The Fighter but after losing all of the weight for the role, he became so hungry he decided he needed to chew up all of the scenery around him. I feel similarly about Melissa Leo's performance. She was much stronger in Frozen River (the poor man's Winter's Bone?). Leo's biggest problem in The Fighter she just doesn't have much to work with. Amy Adams, on the other hand portrayed a toughness I have never seen in her work before. Her character played by the wrong actress could have been easily reduced to a caricature. Adams brings heart to the role without being overly cute, strong but not butch.

Adapted Screenplay-
The Social Network

Original Screenplay- TBD

I'm not overly crazy about the four I have seen which leaves Another Year.

Cinematography- True Grit

The category where somebody is going to win by being overdue for their award. That said, I do think it's deserved like much of his past work with The Coen Brothers, Deakins makes beautifully composed shots that make good use of the widescreen format. I would also be fine with a Black Swan win. As usual with Aronofsky films, Libatique is one of the best things the film has going for it. With apologies to Clint Mansel. Side question- How in the hell did King's Speech get nominated in this category? The cinematography is by far the worst thing about this movie.

Animated Film- Toy Story 3

Original Song- who cares.

I can't say I remember the songs from Toy Story 3 or 127 Hours and looking at the credits I'm sure they are the better of the four songs. I guess I will be able to answer this better after getting the privilege of seeing the four nominated songs on the broadcast.

Costume Design- I Am Love

Not just because it is by far the best film in this category. The costumes did a good job of giving off both a contemporary feel and a retro Euro look at the same time. The clothes did a fabulous job of blending in with the art direction as well.

Art Direction-

I guess Alice in Wonderland or Inception. Both films display the same type of over the top art direction. That said they are definitely the most impressive of the nominees.

The Sound categories- Unstoppable and The Social Network.

I am not going to pretend to know the difference between the 2 categories, but since these are the films nominated that I felt had impressive sound (and are not in the same sound category), they would be the two that would receive my vote.


I have only seen The Wolfman. Not a good film by any stretch of the imagination, but the makeup was impressive and from seeing the trailers of the other two nominated films, I am pretty sure I would still vote The Wolfman.


The Social Network, but if Danny Boyle could have toned down the flash a little I might have voted 127 Hours.


I feel like a broken record with The Social Network. I don't think the score is that great but it is definitely the best nominated score. I thought Inception's score was plain bad in true Hans Zimmer fashion. How to Train Your Dragon is just not my type of score. I vaguely remember 127 Hour's score and I couldn't identify the score to The King's Speech if you paid me.

Foreign Film- Probably Dogtooth.

As of now it's the only film I have seen. In fact I have seen it twice. It is even more impressive now that I have seen Castle of Purity (a film which shares a similar plot with Dogtooth) but I am a fan of Susanne Bier. I wouldn't totally rule In A Better World out as potentially being my favorite.

Best Documentary-

I have only seen Exit and Restrepo. Of the two, I would vote Exit. I wouldn't rule out Inside Job as I was a fan of No End In Sight.

Animated Short-

Day and Night.

Live Action Short-

The Crush. It may be a too cute for its own good and the director's son comes off as this weird mixture of awkward and robotic yet endearing. Charming nonetheless.

Documentary Short-
Nope. Haven't seen any of them and most likely never will.

Visual Effects-
Inception. The film was kind of made for this category.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I have decided to ripoff Pitchfork's 5-10-15-20 feature. This is where they ask artists to talk about their favorite music from when they were 5 years old, 10 years old, up to your current age. The one rule I gave myself is I could only use music which was current at the time. For example at age 35, I can not use the Replacements. The one interesting thing that has occurred to me while thinking about this exercise is wanting to write a revisionist history. Of course it would look cooler if my answers for 5-10-15 were Tusk, Let It Be, and On Fire.

Age 5: Kenny Rogers- "The Gambler"

This answer is by default since I had not discovered music yet. At the age of 5, my life's ambition was to be Howard Cosell and interview Rod Carew. But while eating my breakfast before school my parents had on WIBC back when they were mostly news but they still played a couple of songs an hour and one of those was almost always "The Gambler". My parents were also fans of Kenny Rogers which could be a factor in my recollecting its existence from that age.

Age 10: Bryan Adams- Reckless

By age 10 I was completely into music. Early on i didn't necessarily have favorites. I liked everything I heard and what I heard was the radio. This was around the age I was starting to cultivate my taste and buy cassettes. I mostly liked new wave and mainstream rock that you would now hear in a classic hits format. "Summer of '69" was my favorite song on the album but I was also a fan of the "heavier" songs like "Kids Wanna Rock" and "It's Only Love".

Age 15: Queensryche- Operation: Mindcrime

At 15, my rock tastes had expanded into metal and was starting to head into what was considered alternative music. I could have probably answered Disintergration for this answer, it's definitely the more respectable one but probably not 100% true. If you had asked me at fifteen, who my favorite band was the answer would have been Queensryche. The concept angle was definitely part of the appeal. They were the perfect middle for a kid that wanted a band that was heavier and more serious than the hair metal bands that were all the rage, but accessible to someone who still wanted melody that thrash bands did not offer. As someone who has always liked music that could be identified as poppy or melodic, their follow-up Empire appealed to me even more. I was taken aback a little when I realized that they were becoming a big deal. Back in the days before Al Gore invented the internet, I would check the newspaper every week to see what the top 10 singles and albums were and the week in the fall of 1990 when I saw Empire at number 10 I actually thought it was a misprint. Of course, by the next spring "Silent Lucidity" became an actual hit. Like the rest of the world, by the time they released their next album in 1994 (yeah, the title escapes me and I am not looking it up) I had moved on.

Age 20: Ben Lee- Grandpa Would

Between 15 and 20 I had pretty much (again, like everyone else) gone the alternative route but I went right past it pretty quickly to what was considered College Rock (for those under the age of 25, that's what we called Indie Rock back in the mid-90's). I loved Noise Addict and Ben Lee from the very first time I heard "I Wish I Was Him" which was probably around the fall of '94. The song was very simplistic (it was written by a 14 year-old) yet catchy as hell and about the singer of The Lemonheads, another band I loved at the time. I was totally impressed and bought everything available at the time which was basically 2 ep's under the Noise Addict name. Grandpaw Would came out the following spring and I remember the very first time I heard the album I was disappointed. Something had happened that never occurred to me: puberty. His voice was literally changing during the recording of this album. Sometimes in the middle of songs. What started off as off-putting became endearing after a couple of listens. It didn't hurt that his songwriting was progressing and people like Liz Phair and Rebecca Gates sang backup. During this time I was also really into the television program "My So-Called Life." Since they were around the same age, I had this idea one day that it would be adorable if Ben Lee and Claire Danes would somehow meet and fall in love. A couple of years later, it actually happened when Winona Ryder set it up for Ben Lee to show up at Claire's birthday party (as she happened to be a Ben Lee fan as well). They were a couple for several years until Billy Crudup became the actual worst person on the planet. Don't feel too bad for Ben, he's now married to Ione Skye.

Age 25: Ben Folds Five- The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner

During these next five years I would listen to several bands that would get a following and then start to mature and tweak their sound a little that would usually irritate their fan base. This was exciting to me because I felt I was maturing with the band and I was growing up with the music. However, when this would happen record sales would fall off and in many cases it would also be the band's last album. Ben Folds Five pretty much followed this to a tee. Their first two albums contained jokey upbeat pop songs with a few more serious songs thrown in for good measure. When it came time for album #3 they were starting to outgrow lyrics like "give me my money back, you bitch". In fact, there were only 2 songs on the album I would even call upbeat. The album was very melancholy in a way that fit with my general mood in life at the time. Not all of the album works, but I still think "Don't Change Your Plans", "Mess" and "Magic" are 3 of the best songs the band ever recorded. Of course, the band would break up and Ben Folds would realize he didn't really outgrow the goofiness and that this was just a detour.

Age 30: The Trouble With Sweeney- I Know You Destroy!

A band that time has already forgotten. They were a witty indie-rock band from Philadelphia that released a couple of full length and ep's before falling off the face of the earth. They were the perfect mix of pop melodies with just a dash of wistfulness that had a literate quality to them without coming off as pretentious.

Age 35: Los Campesinos!

They are a rambunctious indie-pop outfit from Wales, just barely out of their teens but both recall and frequently name-drop the Indie Pop Underground bands of the early 90's. This brings me to the present and after all this time I guess I'm still just into catchy pop songs about the opposite sex.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Finally Learned the Name of This Blog.....or More Useless Lists

My original idea for doing this blog was to make lists, comment on lists and tell other people why they are wrong. I really haven't lived up to that idea at all. This will be my first step to remedy the situation.

I- The Top 10 Films of the Year.

This is always a risky proposition for a non-professional to do at the end of December or early January. I can't think of any year that has not had additions into the next year. I usually like to wait, but this year I don't really want to wait. I can always add on later. Besides, if this ends up being my final answer for the year, every title is at least listworthy.

1. Limits of Control- Jim Jarmusch. Jarmusch says that Point Blank was a huge influence on this film. Not only do I find that accurate, but it's a strong compliment to Jarmusch to say Limits belongs in the same company.

2. Inglourious Basterds- Quentin Tarantino. A film I vastly underrated the first time through which grows in stature with every viewing. Immensely rewatchable.

3. Fantastic Mr. Fox- Wes Anderson. Another year, another solid Wes Anderson film.

4 & 5. An Education- Lone Scherfig and Bright Star- Jane Campion. The two best romance films of the year, both directed by females. The former by the underrated director of the world's only dogma romantic comedy (Italian For Beginners) and the other known for her sensuality, shocked the world by making a movie that was rated PG. What's next a David Mamet film that's rated G?

As beautifully shot as both of these films were, the performances wee what elevated both pictures. In An Education, Alfred Molina gave humanity to a role that could have been easily reduced to a one-dimensional heavy and for the role of David to work, it had to be played by someone who could seduce Jenny, the parents and the audience all at the same time. We all knew we were being duped, but Peter Sarsgaard is so damn convincing.

As much as I love Paul Schneider I thought there was a good chance he could be misscast in Bright Star. I was wrong. Between this and Parks and Recreations, he's had one hell of a year.

6. Summer Hours- Olivier Assayas

After a couple of global corporate mindfuck movies, Assayas returns to things he is very comfortable with: France, family drama and using his secret weapon- Charles Berliner.

7. Adventureland- Greg Mottola

Mottola's first film to live up to its potential. The year's best hangout film. Plus, it reminded me how great of a pop song "Your Love" by the Outfield is and made me fall in love with the Replacements all over again.

8. Up- Pete Docter

Everybody talked about the opening 20 minutes of Wall-E. This is where the opening stretch of a Pixar film totally knocked me out.

9. In the Loop- Armando Iannucci
10. The Hurt Locker- Kathryn Bigelow

Top 10 of the Decade Chronologically by U.S. release date:
Almost Famous- Cameron Crowe
Yi Yi- Edward Yang
In the Mood For Love- Wong Kar-Wai
Together- Lukas Moodyson
The Company- Robert Altman
The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou- Wes Anderson
Me, You and Everyone We Know- Miranda July
Marie Antoinette- Sofia Coppola
Dance Party U.S.A.- Aaron Katz
There Will Be Blood- Paul Thomas Anderson

10 Underrated Films of the Decade (also chronologically by U.S. release date):
The Way of the Gun- Christopher McQuarrie
Ali- Michael Mann
Femme Fatale- Brian De Palma
Down With Love- Peyton Reed
Birth- Jonathan Glazer
Spanglish- James L. Brooks
Sky High- Mike Mitchell
Fast Food Nation- Richard Linklater
The Painted Veil- John Curran
Role Models- David Wain

Worst Film of the Decade you have never heard of: Manna From Heaven- Gabrielle and Maria Burton
Worst Film of the Decade you have heard of: The Sweetest Thing- Roger Kumble
Worst Film of the Decade by an otherwise talented director: Redacted- Brian De Palma

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I've seen a few new movies in my absence.... Part 1

Warning: This is a 100% Spoiler Zone

Adam- I feel like I should talk about whether or not to go full retard. But instead as annoying as Hollywood feels this need to have happy endings, Indiewood needs to have either a downbeat or an alternate (i.e, they live better lives only not together) happy ending. I don't care either way along as the ending feels organic. This is a case where the full on happy ending would have worked better or a few different scenes before the big reveal. C+

Adventureland- Any movie that has Jesse Eisenberg looking out a bus window while Unsatisfied by The Replacements is playing is going to receive good marks from me. B (However, I would not be surprised to see this grade rise with a 2nd viewing).

Angel- Loved the first hour. Unfortunately the playful wit Ozon brought to 8 Women, Swimming Pool and the first part of Angel is replaced with a tone shift to the serious that the film never fully recovers. B

Anvil- Enjoyable standard issue rock doc. B

Away We Go- The crass caricatures presented as a cross-section of America does not work, but the human moments between Krasinski and Rudolph work quite well. B

Bandslam- The 15 year old girl in me loved this movie. Todd Graff continues down a similar road as Camp, showing talented teenagers performing all of the onscreen music. Graff seems more at home in the world of pop music than he did in the world of Steven Sondheim. By sticking to a more pop formula, he was able to find a consistent tone that Camp never fully acheived. B (Not a great movie but one I could see myself watching again in the near future).

Brothers Bloom- There are worse things you can do than try to rip off Wes Anderson. This was a vast improvement over Brick. B

Cheri- Engaging enough for awhile until a film stopping monologue by Pfeiffer that seemed to last for 20 minutes. C+

Cherry Blossoms- Starts out as a variation of the Make Way For Tomorrow/Tokyo Story variety that twists elsewhere. The most mature Doris Dorrie work to date. B+

Confessions of A Shopaholic- I'm not sure what planet this movie takes place on, because I'm pretty sure it is not Earth. C

Departures- Sweet story about a man who goes home to find out who he really is. B

Drag Me To Hell- Excluding Evil Dead 2 which is in many ways straight comedy, Sam Raimi needs to stop injecting humor into genre pieces- Darkman, Quick and the Dead, etc. Here he falls flat, although does manage to pull off a couple of visual setpieces. C+

Duplicity- Probably the most smug, self-satisfied movie I will see this year. Are Clive Owen and Julia Roberts playing the con, playing each other, playing the audience? I mostly didn't care, yet at the same time the ending was satisfying enough to give the slightest of recommendations. B-

Easy Virtue- Thoroughly enjoyable romp (minus the slapstick bit involving a dead dog)in the Importance of Being Earnest vein. Stephan Elliott was even able to produce a pretty decent performance out of Jessica Biel. B

Everlasting Moments- A very ordinary story that was full of few surprises, yet visually sumptuous. B

Fast and Furious- Probably my favorite since the first. This time Justin Lin learned his mistakes from Tokyo Drift: he toned down on making every hang out scene look like a skanky rap video, didn't abandon the cars for a huge portion of the first half and as an added bonus he killed Michelle Rodriguez very early into the proceedings. B-

(500) Days of Summer- The most uneven film of the year. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fantastic. Summer's only character traits are 1) she dresses like Zooey Deschanel and 2) her favorite Beatle is Ringo. There are 2 moments where I yelled out the word "really." The first is actually showing The Graduate (wow, we get it) and the other was naming Summer's successor Autumn. Entertaining nonetheless. B-

Flight 666- The story of Iron Maiden refurbishing an airplane flown by lead singer Bruce Dickinson to transport the band, their families, crew and gear across the world so they can play places like Chile and India where they are treated like the biggest band in the world. B

Funny People- After the perfect balance of humor and sentimentality of Knocked Up, Apatow leaned a little too far towards the sentimental side of things. Like Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown, this is messy, slightly long and the director was probably too close to the material. Also like Elizabethtown, I liked it better than most people did. B

Girlfriend Experience- The most sexless movie ever about a porn star. B-

Gomorrah- Pointless movie about the Italian Mafia. C+

Goodbye Solo- Once you know the setup of cantankerous old man who is befriended by an immigrant cab driver with a seemingly sunny disposition while scoping out a teenager who works at an art cinema, you can pretty much connect all the dots without seeing the rest of the movie. Completely fine. B-

Harry Potter 6- The first 3/4 were better than the last two. The finale was underwhelming to say the least. B-

Herb and Dorothy- Fascinating doc about an eccentric couple who have figured out how to cram more art into their apartment than is humanly possible. B

Hunger- Downbeat story with minimal dialogue about Bobby Sands's hunger strike during The Troubles. Gruelling film I don't necessarily want to watch again anytime soon. B

Hurt Locker- A star making performance for lead Jeremy Renner. Definitely the best narrative film about the Iraq war. B+

I Love You Man- Anytime Jason Segel is on screen it's awesome anytime Jason Segel is not on screen very less than awesome. B-

In The Loop- Funniest British film in some time. A subplot with Steve Coogan doesn't really work, but there are some killer one liners. B+

Informers- Gregor Jordan understands what a Brett Easton Ellis movie should look like even if he hammers the "gee I wonder if she is going to die from aids" angle in the most obvious way possible. B-

Inkheart- Another mediocre movie by director Iain Softley. C

The International- Dull conspiracy movie with one good setpiece. C

Just Another Love Story- In some ways similar to the superior Open Hearts, in other ways similar to While You Were Sleeping. Yeah, I'm still not really sure how that's possible. B-

To Be Continued...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One Blink for Yes, Two Blinks For No or Jullian Schnabel is a Talentless Hack

I was going to write something about the Grammy's before the big event, but laziness continues to rear its ugly head. Apathy probably describes it better than laziness. The only category I had strong opinions about was Long Form Music Video. Peter Bogdanovich's 4 hour Tom Petty documentary,Runnin' Down A Dream won, so I'm happy. Its both the 2nd Best Rock N Roll Film and the 2nd Best Documentary I have ever seen.

Instead, here are my top 10 albums of the year:

1) Los Campesinos!- Hold On Now, Youngster. They might be too young to have been part of the International Pop Underground, but they didn't get the memo. This album had an immediacy that I loved from the first listen. Usually, when one thinks of Glockenspiels, you expect some navel-gazing instrumental heavy band or twee pop that hipsters can stand around with their folded arms and bob their heads up and down to without breaking a sweat (although you can still do that if you want.) Their songs present a youthful exuberance missing from most indie pop that at times can sound like controlled chaos although with an endless supply of catchy melodies. Their witty lyrics have come in question by some as pretentious. Fuck the haters.

2. Kanye West- 808's & Heartbreaks

Rumours. Foolish. Dear You. Domestica. I have always been drawn to breakup records. When this came out, everybody was scratching their heads, they wanted to know is it a dance record? a hip hop record? a pop record? Of course the answers are who cares what you call it and yes and no to all of the above. Pushing the boundaries of what is expected from a pop or hip hop record. The main complaint back in November was catchiness. The funny thing is, as time passes and the more people listen to this album, the catchiness issue has mostly disappeared. Now if he could just figure our a way to perform these songs live on television and not sound awful and he needs to lose the mullet.

3. Noah and the Whale- Peaceful, The World Weighs Me Down

They were well on their way to being an "it band" until a car commercial came out using the song "Five Years Time" and ruined the whole thing. Then I was able to hear intelligent ramblings like "it sounds like it should be in a car commercial." No it sounds like it should be in a Wes Anderson film. They made the right choice. Always take money over coolness.

4. Cut Copy- In Ghost Colours

Mgmt may have put out the 2 best dance singles of the year, but Cut Copy put out the best dance/electronic/New Order influenced album of the year.

5. Los Campesinos!- We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

Even if some of it plays as leftovers from the first album, it's still more Los Campesinos!

6. Tall Tale- Pirate Ship

Throwback to the indie/emo crossover bands I was a sucker for in the late 90's, but also plays to my having the taste of a fifteen year old girl. I once played this band for someone and they told me they sound like Vanessa Carlton. I tried to argue a more rocking Vanessa Carlton. I don't know if I won the argument. They are what I wanted/expected Eisley to sound like.

7. Kate Nash- Made of Bricks

Takes the Lily Allen mold and fuses in more intelligence, and much more than just another girl and her piano. She would be huge if she were a train-wreck who found herself in the papers every day.

8. +/-- X's on Your Eyes

Started out as a side project of Versus. +/- finally lived up to the potential I always knew was there.

9. Thursday/envy split LP (mostly the Thursday side).

This is what every screamo band should turn into when they decide to branch out.

10. Black Mountain- In the Future

The only band I know of that is probably equally influenced by Black Sabbath and Fairport Convention. I'm sure if I did drugs this would be my #1.

runners up include Counting Crows (a band no one outside the band and WTTS listeners care about anymore), M83 (sounding like a soundtrack to a lost John Hughes film was expected in Anthony Gonzales making an 80's homage. it's the songs that sound like prince and kate bush that i wasn't expecting.), Mgmt, Mates of State (reproducing twice seems to have taken away some of the rough around the edges aesthetic that surrounded their infectious melodies, which has slightly hurt the last couple of albums, but still fairly solid) and The Teenagers (Eurotrash as a compliment).

Of course, this could all change a month from now.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

best of 2008 (sort of)

My best films and albums of 2008 will come later as I don't think I'm done with all of the films I want to see that were released in the US during this calendar year and I'm going back through any albums that have a chance in hell of making it (sorry, Death Cab For Cutie you didn't make the cut seeing that you released a just above mediocre instead here are my top 10 films I have seen for the first time in 2008.

1. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson) Drainage.
2. Dance Party USA (Aaron Katz) One of the most honest and emotionally rewarding film about teenagers. I'm tired of having to defend this, but yes kids talk like this.
3. In the City of Sylvia (Jose Luis Guerin) The most cinematic film of the year.
4. Quiet City (Aaron Katz) The DIY Before Sunrise.
5. Made in USA (Jean-Luc Godard) Contains the two things Godard did not do enough of in his heyday 1. color 2. 2.35 Plus as a bonus has Jean-Pierre Leaud and Anna Karina in the leads.
6. Taking Off (Milos Forman)

I wish I would have gone seen this and Loves of a Blonde during the Forman retrospectives that played in Chicago and Columbus earlier this year.

7. Movie Movie - The Baxter's Beauties Segment (Stanley Donen)
8. Make Way For Tomorrow (Leo McCarey) Very similar to Tokyo Story- Older couple feel like a burden to their children. Came out 20 years before the Ozu film and the far superior one. I guess it pays to have the "Classic of World Cinema" reputation.
9. Sunflower (Zhang Yang)- The New York Times summed it up perfectly: "Douglas Sirk without the throw pillows"
10. Eureka (Shinji Aoyama) At 4 hours, I felt like I was on the trip with them.

Runners Up: Shadow of A Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock) and A Christmas Tale (Annaud Desplachin)