Helsinki International Film Festival

hiffAs I told you before I participated to Helsinki International Film Festival aka Love & Anarchy as a volunteer. I worked four days at the info of one of the cinemas they had screenings. It didn’t really feel like a job because you had so much free-time to talk about movies with your fellow workers. Because I also met my stepdad and –sister while I was in Helsinki (I live in Tampere that is about two hours from Helsinki) and celebrated the birthday of my best friend, I had only very limited time to see the actual films and in the end, ended up seeing only three. And here are my thought about them.

Una Pistola en Kada Mano (Gun in Each Hand) (2012)

directed by Cesc Gay

written by Tomás Aragay & Cesc Gay

starring Ricardo Darín, Luis Tosar, Javier Cámara, Leonor Watling, Eduardo Noriega, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Candela Peña, Eduard Fernández, Alberto San Juan, Cayetana Guillén Cuervo, Jordi Mollà, & Clara Segura

unapistolaThe first film I saw was this Spanish dramedy, A Gun in Each Hand. Clara Segura from the film was present at the screening and there was a short Q & A (that’s Questions and Answers to all of you who don’t know the term) after the film. She told us that the actors in the film are very popular in Spain and the film did fairly well at the box office in its home country. She also told that they shot the movie within a year but it actual time it took only four weeks to shoot it because the director wanted those actors and made it possible to them to participate by scheduling the shooting based on that how the actors were available.

The film itself is made out of conversations. A lot them. There are many separate scenes with two people talking in a one place like in a car or walking on a street. And talking. The film is about men and the position they have in their own lives and in others. The concept was quite interesting but I guess you would probably have to be a bit older or more experienced in life to really relate to the subject. But in the end the film was good enough and I didn’t feel like my time was wasted. But I wouldn’t probably recommend this one to anyone.

Rating: **½ (out of 5)


Simon Killer (2012)

directed by Antonio Campos

written by Brady Corbet, Antonio Campos & Mati Diop

starring Brady Corbet & Constance Rousseau


The second one that I saw right after the first, was a waste of time. It’s a bit sad to me because I actually had been waiting to see Simon Killer. As you might remember, I like psychopaths, and this film is about one. Or at least about that how he becomes one. But it’s very poorly executed. There’s this unbelievably annoying shaky cam following our anti-hero. That worked in Black Swan (barely) but in this one, I just wanted to punch somebody every time they used that. Really annoying. The script was horrible. No one talks like that. It felt like the characters had been interviewed. There was nothing authentic. And how it is possible to make Paris look ugly? Gosh, it makes me angry just to write about this. Only good thing was the lead, Brady Corbet, he managed sometimes feel real. But only sometimes. And the soundtrack was okeyish. Otherwise this movie felt like a nightmarish wet-dream of a future psychopath and that’s not a good thing. Don’t watch this.

Rating: *½


Nebraska (2013)

directed by Alexander Payne

written by Rob Nelson

starring Bruce Dern & Will Forte

nebraskaI loved Nebraska. Alexander Payne just never disappoints me. He is one of my favourite directors and he hasn’t done wrong since 1999’s Election and I haven’t even seen his work before that. The way he handles his actors (especially older men) is… indescribable. You have to see it. In this one or the others, the actors are always on top of their game. So good. Oh, so good.

There’s been a debate about it if Bruce Dern should run for Oscar in the leading category or the supporting. Even though Will Forte probably has more screen time in Nebraska, the story is about Dern’s character, so I say lead. And he should be nominated at least. His performance is heartbreaking to watch. And otherwise, there’s really nothing wrong with the film. Everyone is acting their butts off. The humour is precious, the lines makes you laugh out loud. The soundtrack is more suitable and the scenery is beautifully shot as are the lingering moments of silence. The only thing to me is that I don’t really get why Payne wanted to film in black and white because the rural area where the movie is shot, would’ve already been plain and quite colourless itself. And the film would have been easier to sell. But it didn’t matter, this is still if not the best film I’ve seen this year, the one of the bests anyway. Go see it. It makes you cry, laugh and smile. And leaves you feeling good about life in general.

Rating: ****½

If you’re interested in my other ratings, check my IMDb profile or keep up at Twitter.


  1. […] about it makes me long for it. To me Catching Fire is the second best film of the year after Nebraska. So far. But then again, I like great adventure films, especially the ones with the message, good […]

  2. […] Alexander Payne is still my favourite director. He is perfect in making characters real (which is kind of funny, that I always admire those kinds if you think that I also appreciate the escapism of movies…). There was so much soul in this one. And it was also the funniest film of the year which is kind of funny itself. I hope it’ll get a lot of Oscar attention even though it won’t probably win anything. I’m glad I saw this during the Helsinki International Film Festival because sadly it won’t come out in cinemas in Finland. The review. […]

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