Category Archive: Drama

Malèna (Day 70)

My Opinion: 5.4 || Beautifully shot but the tone is awkward and inconsistent, with a story that struggles and mostly fails to amount to something. The film continually adopts a farcical tone that’s discordant… Continue reading

The Color of Paradise (Day 69)

My Opinion: 7.7 || Gentle movie that teeters between heartwarming and heartbreaking. The characters are believably rendered, the scenery is lush, and the story successfully balances the bitter and sweet.

Woman in the Dunes (Day 68)

My Opinion: 7.6 || Unique film tha’s a kind of horror parable – no blood or chills, just growing existential dread. The story is subtly surreal, but it’s filmed with a deep-focus naturalism that… Continue reading

Babette’s Feast (Day 66)

My Opinion: 6.1 || The feast itself is fun and lovely, but the set-up is longer and less entertaining than it should be. The movie leaves you feeling good, but the first half feels… Continue reading

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Day 65)

My Opinion: 9.5 || I don’t think I can provide a commentary that will do the movie justice (though I’ll try). It’s perfect.

The Kid With A Bike (Day 63)

My Opinion: 8.1 || A direct and unadorned story about abandonment and kindness. Free of melodrama and predictable story turns, it has the tone and structure of a great documentary. If there’s a flaw, it’s that we never understand the motivations of the pivotal character.

A Man Escaped (Day 60)

My Opinion: 7.2 || Intellectually absorbing prison film that ignores the usual genre elements to focus on the mechanics of escape. The minimalist approach means that although we spend every minute with the protagonist… Continue reading

Touchez Pas Au Grisbi (Day 57)

My Opinion: 6.1 || A crime drama on the outside, but really a drama about friendships. It’s nothing special as a thriller, but once you stop looking for genre satisfaction and accept the film… Continue reading

The Scent of Green Papaya (Day 56)

My Opinion: 6.9 || Sumptuous, sensual movie with brilliant use of visuals and ambient sounds. More a sensory experience than a piece of storytelling, though, as the plot and characterizations are disappointingly thin. Notwithstanding… Continue reading

Miss Bala (Day 55)

My Opinion: 6.4 || A point-of-view immersion into Mexico’s drug wars that emphasizes subjective experience over narrative structure or character development. The protagonist Laura is buffeted by circumstances she can’t control or understand, and… Continue reading

  • About Me


    I'm an author and consultant in Portland, Oregon. My novel 'Beheld' will be published this June.

  • The Mission

    To watch and write about one new foreign film a day for 100 days. It's a cinematic world tour -- with an emphasis on diversity of language, era, and style.

    In addition to the daily commentaries, I'll post weekly and monthly wrap-ups. And explore cool ways of graphing the films and my responses to them.