I have been impressed in a very pleasant way, by this special movie. I may be influenced that it is a Romanian co-production, but I am not. Of course I’m always minimally subjective when I judge a movie, and sometimes it depends on my moods more than the artistry, or if the movie makers respected the manual. I do not have a diploma related with the industry. Actually I consider that there are very few venues where one really needs a stamped paper to be a specialist in a subject or other. If someone has the desired knowledge, he is a specialist, no matter where he got it.
[source for all pics: imdb.com]
Charlie Countryman, or The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman (the “original” title), is a wonderful movie launched at Sundance Film Festival in 2013, and participated in the competition for the Golden Bear in Berlin, of whom was also nominated in the same year.
It is wonderfully played by Shia LaBeouf as “Charlie Countryman”, Evan Rachel Wood as “Gabi Ibanescu”, a cellist at the Romanian Atheneum, Mads Mikkelsen as “Nigel”, a very dangerous fellow, Gabi’s husband, Til Schweiger as “Darko”, Nigel’s partner in crime, Rupert Grint as “Karl”, a young junkie British in a hostel, James Buckley as “Luc”, Karl’s pal, another British junkie, Ion Caramitru as “Victor Ibanescu”, Gabi’s father, a classical music teacher and a conductor at the Romanian Atheneum, Vincent D’Onofrio as “Bill”, Charlie’s father, Melissa Leo as “Kate”, Charlie’s mother. These last two remarkable actors appeared in something a little bit more than a cameo.
The movie has not a good critic at all, on the contrary, the jackals have dissolved it in gastric acid, after they cursed it with their poisonous tags. I understand that there was a trend to dislike Shia LaBoeuf for his eccentricities, but he was really good in this twisted romantic movie, so I’ll end my short review with one even shorter, by a guy who knows what he says and who proved a sense of humor, a sense of ridicule, and really knows more of this world than his nasty colleagues.
Jumping forward a few days, fellow Harry Potter alumnus Rupert Grint plays a small but perfectly formed part in Fredrik Bond‘s excellent and at times uproarious The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman, in which the young Chicagoan of the title, played by Shia LaBeouf, takes a trip to Bucharest to recover from the death of his mother. It takes a while to heat up, but when it does, Bond’s film is a great, sleazy crime caper, with Countryman falling for Romanian gangster’s moll Gabrielle (Evan Rachel Wood), ex-wife of vicious gangster Nigel (Mads Mikkelsen). Unfolding backwards, the film starts with our bloodied, weeping hero hanging from a rope and about to be shot, and Matt Drake‘s script has a lot of fun explaining how Countryman got there. Bond’s use of music is excellent and his vision of eastern Europe both hellish and magical; that Grint plays a wannabe porn star named “Boris Pecker” is just one of the many delights of a gripping, violent film that owes an unabashed debt to the Tarantino-penned love-in-low-places story True Romance. — Damon Wise, Empire Online.
PS: Who named it a “pulpy dross of surpassing dumbness” (LA Times review), is dumb himself, and I have to say once more, that this is not a movie to be judged by punks who are themselves tripping when writing their reviews. I’m disappointed to found that this same guy described Enter the Void as follows: “Suffice to say, unrelenting material like this isn’t for everybody. That it is a gloriously filmic gesture – by turns jaw-dropping, elusive, silly, obnoxious, painful and beautiful – is celebration enough.”
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