The Idiot

The Idiot

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

1951

The Idiot is Kurosawa’s Japanese language adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel of the same name. Overly melodramatic and thematically confused, The Idiot, neither particularly insightful nor entertaining, is one of Kurosawa’s rare missteps.

Would not see.

Au revoir les enfants

Au revoir les enfants

Directed by Louis Malle

1987

Au revoir les enfants is a mostly autobiographical French language narrative film about a Roman Catholic boarding school in occupied France. The film is well made, but cautious. The emotion is finely wrought rather than overplayed or sentimental, and though nothing is revelatory, Malle is consistently perceptive.

Would see.

Red Beard

Red Beard

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

1965

Red Beard follows an altruistic rural clinic director and the young doctor he is training in 19th century Japan. At 185 minutes, the film is plodding, but purposeful, and its occasional melodrama is more than excused by its sincerity. A period piece of immediacy and conviction, Red Beard is thoughtful and heartfelt.

Would see.

Sicario

Sicario

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

2015

Sicario follows an FBI agent into the violent world of the drug trade on the border between the United States and Mexico. The film is well acted, expertly shot, and tightly plotted, although the pacing is a little uneven. Sicario defies expectation and cliché to create a punishing and unflinching look at the nature of violence that only grows bleaker on reflection.

Would see.