Thankful for World Cinema – Paradise: Faith (2012)

Introduction

For an introduction to the concept of Thankful for World Cinema please go here.

Paradise: Faith (2012)

With his initial installment in this trilogy, Paradise: Love, Siedl established his template for the precipitous decline away from any hopes of fulfillment that his leading ladies face. In this film, the starting point is a far different one wherein Anna Maria (Very ably played by Maria Hofstätter) seems to have her devoutly religious, stern life well in hand and then things change.

The challenges that this particular tale faces are some of the same the first film does in terms of borderline exploitative narrative. Where it falls is that while the prior film only seemed over-extended; here the film frequently has a vacuous feeling. Certain points are raised and later expounded on, but they frequently over-stay their welcome and scenes last long after they cease to function. Not only is this a pacing issue but a question of narrative necessity.

Furthermore, it’s plainly apparent here that he works off loose outline and through improvisation. There’s nothing wrong with that, except when it shows. In other improvisational works (See any Mike Leigh film or even the prior film) there’s nary a hint of the nature of how the script/narrative is constructed.

Whereas the film does have some undeniably comedic moments, where some may even laugh in spite of themselves; it seems a bit of spite exudes the narrative. There doesn’t seem as detached and analytical an eye to this tale as there is with Love. Instead it seems we’re given a protagonist to pillory whether we want to or not and there’s only so much gratification one can derive from that.

Again, this is not a complaint about protagonist likability. Blue Jasmine is one of the best films of the year. I wouldn’t say I like Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), however, I do understand her and am made to invest in her fate. With Anne Maria, who shares (at least in her own perception) a similarly tragic fate, it’s as if we’re watching her slowly being tied to the stake and burned – and when all is said and done this film has not aroused vengeful glee, pity or disgust but rather ennui.

5/10

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2013 BAM Award Considerations – October

Last year I had one massive running list and it became very cumbersome to add to, and to read I’m sure. By creating a new post monthly, and creating massive combo files offline, it should make the process easier for me and more user-friendly for you, the esteemed reader. Enjoy.

Eligible Titles

The Book of Manning
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Metallica: Through the Never
The Almost Man
Romeo and Juliet
Machete Kills
League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis
Captain Phillips
Big Shot
No Más
Free Spirits
Gravity
The Stream
Carrie
Escape Plan
Paradise: Faith
Jug Face
Haunter
Bad Grandpa
The Counselor
Stitches
Mother, I Love You
This is What They Want
Enough Said

Best Picture

The Almost Man
Romeo and Juliet
League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis
The Counselor

Best Foreign Film

The Almost Man
Mother, I Love You

Best Documentary

Last year this was an omitted category, due mostly to the fact that too few total candidates existed to make the slate feel legitimate. I will hope to be able to rectify that this year.

The Book of Manning
League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis
Big Shot

Most Overlooked Film

As intimated in my Most Underrated announcement this year, I’ve decided to make a change here. Rather than get caught up in me vs. the world nonsense and what a film’s rating is on an aggregate site, the IMDb or anywhere else, I want to champion smaller, lesser-known films. In 2011 with the selection of Toast this move was really in the offing. The nominees from this past year echo that fact. So here, regardless of how well-received something is by those who’ve seen it, I’ll be championing indies and foreign films, and the occasional financial flop from a bigger entity.

Machete Kills
The Almost Man
Romeo and Juliet
Mother, I Love You

Best Director

The Almost Man
Machete Kills
Romeo and Juliet
The Counselor
Mother, I Love You

Best Actress

Solvei Grimen Fosse The Almost Man
Hailee Steinfeld Romeo and Juliet
Amber Heard Machete Kills
Sandra Bullock Gravity
Maria Hofstätter Paradise: Faith
Lauren Ashley Carter Jug Face
Vita Varpina Mother, I Love You
Julia Louis- Dreyfus Enough Said

Best Actor

Dane DeHaan Metallica: Through the Never
Henrik Rafaelsen The Almost Man
Douglas Booth Romeo and Juliet
Tom Hanks Captain Phillips
Danny Trejo Machete Kills
George Clooney Gravity
Nabil Saleh Paradise: Faith
Michael Fassbender The Counselor
Ross Noble Stitches
James Gandolfini Enough Said

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Morante Romeo and Juliet
Sofia Vergara Machete Kills
Julianne Moore Carrie
Natalya Baranova Paradise: Faith
Penelope Cruz The Counselor
Cameron Diaz The Counselor
Toni Collette Enough Said
Catherine Keener Enough Said

Best Supporting Actor

Thomas Arana Romeo and Juliet
Barkhad Abdi Captain Phillips
Demian Bichir Machete Kills
Mel Gibson Machete Kills
Paul Giamatti Romeo and Juliet
Rene Rupnik Paradise: Faith
Steohen McHattie Haunter
David Hewlett Haunter
Javier Bardem The Counselor
Tommy Knight Stitches
Thommas Kane Byrnes Stitches
Ben Falcone Enough Said

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

Hailee Steinfeld Romeo and Juliet
Noura Jost The Stream
Chloë Grace Moretz Carrie
Abigail Breslin Haunter

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Jacob M. Williams The Stream
Kristofers Konovalovs Mother, I Love You

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Eleanor Zichy Haunter
Kelianne Coughlan Stitches

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Kodi Smit-McPhee Romeo and Juliet
CJ Diehl The Stream
Michael Capperella The Stream
Alex Maizus Jug Face
Peter DaCunha Haunter
David Knoll Haunter
Jackson Nicholl Bad Grandpa
Matis Livcans Mother, I Love You
Ryan Burke Stitches

Best Cast

The Almost Man
Machete Kills
Romeo and Juliet
Paradise: Faith
Haunter
Bad Grandpa
The Counselor
Mother, I Love You
Stitches
Enough Said

Best Youth Ensemble

Romeo and Juliet
The Stream
Haunter
Mother, I Love You
Stitches

Best Original Screenplay

The Almost Man
Machete Kills
Haunter
Mother, I Love You
Stitches
Enough Said

Best Adapted Screenplay

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Romeo and Juliet
Haunter
The Counselor

Best Score

Romeo and Juliet
Captain Phillips
Machete Kills
Gravity
The Stream
Haunter
The Counselor
Mother, I Love You
This is What They Want

Best Editing

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Romeo and Juliet
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Escape Plan
Jug Face
Haunter
The Counselor
This is What They Want
Stitches

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

Captain Phillips
Gravity
Jug Face
Haunter
This is What They Want
Stitches

Best Cinematography

Romeo and Juliet
Gravity
Escape Plan
Paradise: Faith
Haunter
The Counselor
Mother, I Love You
Stitches

Best Art Direction

Romeo and Juliet
Machete Kills
Escape Plan
Paradise: Faith
Haunter
The Counselor
Mother, I Love You
Stitches

Best Costume Design

Romeo and Juliet
Machete Kills
Haunter
The Counselor
Stitches

Best Makeup

Romeo and Juliet
Machete Kills
Bad Grandpa
The Counselor
Stitches

Best Visual Effects

Machete Kills
Gravity
Haunter

Best (Original) Song

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Metallica: Through the Never
The Almost Man
Haunter
Mother, I Love You
Enough Said