Friday, 25 February 2011

Review: True Grit

When I watch a Coen Brothers film for the first time, I can't help but have an expectation that I'm about to see something really special, especially as they've set the bar high with recent films such as No Country For Old Men, I was expecting something special. Of course, my expectations aren't merely based on recent Coen outings - I tend to judge them on their entire careers stemming back to the likes of Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Miller's Crossing to mention but a few.

I always get excited as soon as a new Coen Brothers trailer is released, and their sneak peek of True Grit was all I hoped for. Atmosphere, tension, Jeff Bridges complete with bad ass eye patch, meant I had to wipe the drool from my chin and find ways to busy myself until its February release.

I'm happy to admit I am, in no way whatsoever, disappointed with their latest efforts, even though it sways from their unique and original stories. Based on the Charles Portis novel of the same name, as well as inevitable comparisons to the 1969 version which saw John Wayne claim his first and only Oscar for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn, the Coen Brothers have a different vision of the story which bares little relation to the original film. It is only fitting that such an iconic role would be tackled by the legendary Jeff Bridges. A spot on decision as Bridges creates his own persona with his own characteristics and mannerisms seeping through, which contribute to both the serious nature of the ruthless Cogburn, as well as the dark, quirky humorous side the Coen's are synonymous with.

The story is driven by 13-year-old Mattie (Hailee Steinfeld) who, after her Father is murdered by ruthless outlaw Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), hires Marshal Cogburn to hunt the killer down so she can personally get bloody retribution. With some persuasion Cogburn agrees, but the pair have several run-ins with Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), who is also on the trail of Chaney. The story centres around the pursuit of Chaney, as their journey presents them with various hostilities that allows the rich characters to shine, which is trademark work from the Coen's.

The feel of the film right from the beginning is one of absolute authenticity. It is enough that you are able to completely immerse yourself into the world of the American West. The visual prowess of the film is one of its strongest aspects. Cinematographer Roger Deakins does a fine job as he captures the beauty of the landscapes and danger of the Great American Plains, and genuinely impresses with the realistic look of absolutely everything in every single shot. In fact, the authentic nature, and the way in which the Western genre is tackled here, is something that feels even better on reflection. True Grit is the perfect creation of a Western and is something you will be left wanting more of after you leave the theatre. It really charms without even being self aware.

As I mentioned, Jeff Bridges is great. A man associated with mesmerising performances (as noted by his Oscar win last year for Crazy Heart) is guaranteed to give a class performance. His interpretation of Cogburn, without feeling the need to base it on Wayne, displays the quality of acting I have come to expect from him. Bridges does a compelling job as he creates a very hostile, real character blended with a sense of humanity as he, albeit slowly, warms to Mattie during various points of peril. However, it is newcomer, Steinfeld, that delivers probably the strongest performance of all. She continually dominates her screen time with such a likeable and assertive performance, it wouldn't be unthinkable for her to nab the Best Supporting Female Oscar. She really is that good.

The dialogue within the setting is an intriguing aspect. Would the Coen's use the contemporary, witty dialogue they are so accustomed to, or would they stay true to the time period and retain absolute authenticity? The screenplay includes dialogue straight from the Portis novel and has an old fashioned, real-to-the-time colloquialism that contains subtle Coenisms that enrich the experience, and add conviction to its intended realism, whilst still remaining a Coen movie.

Seeing the brothers succeed outside of their comfort zone was refreshing and somewhat of a relief. It shows that they can tackle any genre whilst weaving their own sense of style into whatever they produce. True Grit is a thoroughly solid Western that oozes authenticity, to such a high degree, that you might actually believe they went back a century to film it. Rich dialogue and the uniqueness so often associated with the Coen's is present in abundance, but True Grit is definitely one of the more subtle films in the pairs filmography.

True Grit is laced with Coen magic, yet holds its roots firmly in the original novel. Regardless of the 'remake' stigma, the film is simplistic in its narrative approach. The stylised setting, acting and story telling ability by the Coens makes True Grit an absolute pleasure to watch.

Sources : Internet Movie Database
Images : Google Images

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Oscar 2011 Predictions (Part III)

Well here it is. We've reached another, albeit the last, of my Oscar Predictions for 2011. As with most final film instalments, they usually turn out to be a mess (suffice to say I don't acknowledge Back To The Future as a trilogy any more). However, there are always the exceptions; The Bourne Ultimatum, Toy Story 3 and, hopefully, The Dark Knight Rises to name a few, which is how I perceive my third Oscars post. So wipe the sadness from your  eyes, pull yourself together and prepare yourself for the final part...
It's likely that this award will be between two contenders. Christian Bale's performance as hot headed Dicky in The Fighter is getting a lot of praise and it's clear he's put the time and dedication in to transform him into a washed out, older, dishevelled persona of real life boxing trainer Dicky Eklund. However, having witnessed the wonderful chemistry in The King's Speech, it would be a somewhat safe bet to assume that Geoffrey Rush will emerge as the winner. His performance is definitely a strong one, so wouldn't be the biggest surprise, especially should his aforementioned film win in other categories such as Best Picutre and Best Actor.

MY WINNER : Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)
PROBABLE WINNER : Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)
Whist Helena Bonham Carter was great as soon-to-be Queen Elizabeth, and even though Melissa Leo has received strong critical appraisal for her role in The Fighter, it is new comer Hailee Steinfeld that absolutely merits this award. For a 14-year-old débutant sharing screen time with the likes of Bridges, Damon and Brolin as well as working with the legendary Coen Brothers is big enough, but to deliver such a sure and assertive performance is nothing short of amazing. Even eclipsing Bridges at times (which I assure you is no easy thing to achieve), Steinfeld is certainly the most deserving of recipients.

MY WINNER : Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
PROBABLE WINNER : Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) / Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
It's regarded as a crime to cinema that Brit cinematographer Roger Deakins has been cruelly overlooked in this category for the past 15 years, having been nominated a whopping 9 times. Considered one of the best in his field, his outstanding vision for beauty is most certainly one to behold. Having never won an Oscar, it's surely his year for the wonderful efforts on the Coen Brother's western; True Grit. There's also a chance the award will go to Danny Cohen for multi-award favourite; The King's Speech, or even Matthew Libatique for Black Swan.

MY WINNER : Roger Deakins (True Grit)
PROBABLE WINNER : Roger Deakins (True Grit) / Mathew Libatique (Black Swan)
Nothing even comes close to Toy Story 3, which concludes a trilogy as close to perfection as you are likely to see. It should be a genuine contender for Best Picture and completes a hat trick of consecutive, top quality Pixar releases (WALL-E and Up) that literally knock the socks off audiences and critics alike. Need I say more?

MY WINNER : Toy Story 3

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Oscar 2011 Predictions (Part II)

I'm having a bit of a Ford Coppola moment; creating a follow up that promises to be as good as, or better than, the first. I could be getting ahead of myself, but with only a week until the Oscars 2011 the mood is tense. Let’s begin, or continue, whichever way you want to look at it...
Arguably the most meaningful award to those at the helm of movie making, the competing choices include Black Swan, True Grit, The King's Speech, The Social Network and The Fighter. It's likely the panel will sway towards The King's Speech and even in the direction of The Social Network, as they seem to be getting most of the pre-Oscar awards, not to mention they often go with the trend of the Best Actor (should Firth emerge victorious). But, in true rebellious fashion, I believe there is only one winner; the brilliant Darren Aronofsky. His direction for Black Swan is simply beautiful and I really admire the techniques he uses as a film maker. His hand held, indie style is something to be adored, which make his films a visual feast to watch. Outstanding.

MY WINNER : Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
PROBABLE WINNER : David Fincher (The Social Network)/Aronofsky (Black Swan)
Personally there is no contest here. The fact that the Coen Brothers have remained faithful to the original Portis novel, as well as created something different and individual to the John Wayne picture of the same name. However, critical appraisal appears to be heading to Facebook story scriber; Aaron Sorkin, where his scripting prowess has propelled him to the summit of the 'most desired writers' pile.

MY WINNER : Joel & Ethan Coen (True Grit)
PROBABLE WINNER : Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
Again, the choice seems somewhat obvious (to me anyway). Chris Nolan's high concept and mightily ambitious script for Inception beats everything else hands down. What's most refreshing is that the biggest film of 2010 is not, I repeat not a remake/reimagining/revamp or sequel. The nearest contender is probably The King's Speech, but I only foresee one outcome.

MY WINNER : Christopher Nolan (Inception)
PROBABLE WINNER : Christopher Nolan (Inception)/David Seidler (The King's Speech)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Oscar 2011 Predictions

On sibling site Movie Meanings we, the contributors, have decided to share our opinions and predictions on who will go home happy, and who will be falsely grinning as they applaud someone else’s acceptance come February 27th at the Oscars. So without further ado...
Very tough category with the likes of Inception, Black Swan, True Grit, The Social Network and Toy Story 3 all competing, it is difficult to say where the award will go. Professionally speaking, it's most likely heading towards Colin Firth based; The King's Speech or Fincher's The Social Network. It would be nice to see Nolan pick up the Oscar for Inception, but would require a massive change in tradition from the committee to hand it to a summer blockbuster; it's the type of film they tend to stay clear from. Personally I would like to see True Grit walk away with the spoils. The Coen's produce something perfect in its genre, with such an authentic feel, not to mention excellent acting, but wait, that's for another story...

MY WINNER : True Grit
PROBABLE WINNER : The King's Speech/The Social Network
…I'll jump straight in and follow on from my True Grit appraisal and go for Jeff Bridges. His portrayal of Rooster Cogburn is truly his own. He bases the character on Portis’s novel and not on John Wayne's 1969 Oscar winning performance. Having said that, the academy will more than likely go for Colin Firth as seems the trend at the BAFTAs, but don't rule out the outside bet of Javier Bardem for his gripping portrayal in Biutiful

MY WINNER : Jeff Bridges
Considering Natalie Portman scooped the prize at the BAFTAs it would be no shock to see her succeed at the Oscars. I was half expecting Annette Benning to snatch it for The Kids Are Alright if I’m being honest, but there you go. Again the competition is fierce, with gut wrenching performances from Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine) and Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole). I would bet my money on Portman who thoroughly deserves such acclaim for her role as ballerina Nina, shame she went on to star in No Strings Attached (the term ‘a hit and a miss’ springs to mind).

MY WINNER : Natalie Portman
PROBABLE WINNER : Natalie Portman

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Dead Island Trailer

Ok, so not technically a film related post, but having just seen the announcement trailer for upcoming game Dead Island courtesy of IGN, I felt compelled to share this brilliant 3-minute teaser and show that video games can evoke just as much emotion as film, if not more. The concept for the trailer is fantastic and the music is a perfect and chilling choice. Enjoy.

Source : You Tube

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

DVD Review: Buried

BURIED - On Blu-ray & DVD Now

I previewed the cinema release for Buried way back in September, promising to watch and review the film. Well I failed on my latter promise, yet succeeded with the first. Admittedly, I was surprised to discover it was actually included in my local VUE listings. Not your average film I would have assumed would been showing, as they rarely stray from endless repetition of mainstream, blockbuster-type rubbish a la Transformers 2, but there you go.

To some, the concept of a man trapped in a coffin for 90 minutes would turn them off instantly. Some will begrudgingly give it a chance when they realise Ryan Reynolds is starring. One thing I would say - one must be open minded to all film to appreciate the medium of film as a whole, and this is certainly applicable in this instance. For me, I took my own advice and was positively excited about the entire prospect.

I've always been fascinated by films that depict regular people (often based on 'true events') finding themselves in perilous situations, as per 127 Hours, which was my most recent enjoyable experience of such a genre. The concept of joe average thrown into an impending doom scenario (for example in the case of Open Water; stranded in the ocean about to be devoured by sharks) significantly ups the interest factor...That doesn't make me a masochist, does it?

Firstly, the script for Buried is very well written. The story focuses on truck driver Paul (Ryan Reynolds) whom awakens to discover his unfortunate fate of not only being sealed in a coffin, but being buried alive whilst working in Iraq. Left with little more than a lighter, pen and mobile phone, these 'tools' end up proving to be essential devices that expand and drive the story. 

It's important to note that, as I first saw this film in the cinema, the DVD or Blu ray experience tends to differ, but only in a minor way.  For example, the opening scene starts in complete darkness, leaving the cinema in complete darkness too, with only the desperate gasps and grunts of someone shuffling around in what sounds like a very confined space. Experiencing the same scene, even on a 40-inch television, doesn't quite capture the same intensity, nor does it transport you into the coffin as effectively as the cinematic experience does. However, whilst subtle criticism can be made in regard to atmosphere and audience engagement of certain scenes (although some may deem it 'nit picking'), the film still convinces as a powerful and desperate story of a man essentially awaiting death.
The pace of the narrative moves at a slow, yet intense rate.  As the claustrophobia begins to set in, the all too real panic accentuates just how Paul is feeling, yet it is Reynolds’s excellent portrayal that allows the story to succeed in making you feel every tense moment as the reality of his predicament becomes clearer.

Shot last year in Barcelona, director Rodrigo Cortés undertook a short and highly intense shooting schedule which saw the set void of green screen or CGI, with Reynolds actually trapped inside a make shift coffin for the entirety of the shoot. Naturally such a tough schedule would cause problems for the most hardened star. Having squeezed more than 30 shots per day in little over 2 weeks is, gruelling to say the least, but Reynolds, being the professional he is merely got on with it. It was reported that as the filming went on, Reynolds became more claustrophobic, which comes across realistically in his character. The commitment he shows is evident in Paul's increasing unstable persona, which forces you to genuinely root for him in his bid to escape. 

Buried is a highly riveting watch proving that big budgets and extravagant set pieces aren't always needed to produce a tense, thrilling and very well constructed film. Not half as effective during a repeat watch, it's important, no, imperative when renting for that first time that the lights are out, volume cranked up and I guarantee Buried will please. Cortés's film is a true gem that, unfortunately, gets lost amongst the masses of remakes, reimaginings and big budget films out there, so don't let it slip you by.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Review: Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky is a name synonymous with unfamiliarity. In fact, you may never have heard of him. It's a name people will become more familiar with over the coming years, especially after his latest, and arguably finest effort Black Swan. He's so far notched up a concise, yet impressive filmography including 2008 Oscar almost, The Wrestler, and less well known, 10-year-in-the-making, The Fountain. Each film he produces conforms to his somewhat bleak, indie, psychological style and his latest sure fire Oscar winner is no exception.

In many ways, Black Swan has parallels to The Wrestler. Its protagonist is a lonely, tortured soul, who strives to unhealthily push themselves to their limits (and beyond) to succeed in their demanding career. Ultimately, as per Aronofsky trait, his leads inevitably struggle and dramatically crumble. Desire. Success. Obsession (sound like a Calvin Klein ad?) and downfall are character arcs he uses recurrently. The idea of a fractured, fundamentally flawed lead is always explored expertly, whether it be Randy "The Ram" Robinson, or, in this instance, ballet starlet Nina Sayers, the result is a bittersweet, psychological metamorphosis we witness throughout Black Swan.

Strongly tipped for Oscar glory after its hype even before the cinema release, Black Swan definitely has what it takes to snatch Best Director. With fierce contention from strong runners such as the brilliant True Grit competing in the catogory, other accolades may go elsewhere, but that's not to say his Swan Lake inspired tale of sexuality, psychology and ballet isn't superb.

Aforementioned similarities can be drawn to The Wrestler, especially in reference to its directing style. Aronofsky thrives on producing independent, gritty realism that oozes authenticity from the setting right down to the excellent, naturalistic performances he inspires from his cast. From early on the camera tracks Nina (Natalie Portman), following her movement as she enters rooms, turns corners, teasing with a lack of a facial or frontal shot. An identical shot is used on The Wrestler, yet to much greater effect, as tracking the rear of a petite Portman doesn't quite have the same impact as following a bruised up, hard-as-nails, grappler like Mickey Rourke, but we are assured by the feel of the scene that we are in fine auteur territory, with a highly skilled director.

The story of Black Swan focuses on Nina. A young virginal, gifted ballerina whom, with the 'support' of an overbearing, controlling Mother (Barbara Hershey), performs with a New York Ballet company run by Thomas (Vincent Cassel). It quickly becomes apparent that Nina is but a girl of innocence and has no real control over her life, let alone experience, which she has come to accept. The catalyst for the film isn't defined when Nina is cast as the Swan Lake lead, but is in fact triggered when new girl, Lily (Mila Kunis), attempts to steal the sought after role. The cracks begin to show in Nina when she is bluntly informed by Thomas that, whilst she encapsulates the White Swan perfectly, she fails to convince with her interpretation of the sexy and seductive Black Swan. Her character begins to show glimmers of a more feisty, aggressive and sensual girl becoming a woman. The film takes a dark and disturbing path towards Nina's sexual awakening and inevitable loss of innocence in order to succeed as the Black Swan.

Both Aronofksy and Portman do a truly convincing job of portraying how ambition can consume. What follows is a deep and twisted exploration of her personality, and the strain she is under, in a world that demands only the best. A down and out Beth (Winona Ryder) plays a small role as the former Swan Queen whom Nina replaces, but is a stark reminder to her, and indeed everybody in the industry, that one day you can be untouchable, then the next; thrown on the scrap heap. Beth's reaction to being replaced by a younger, more attractive model doesn't fare well, as the chilling reality of the cut throat nature of ballet is emulated nicely.

From the beginning, the theme of reflection and self perception is clear, with the use of mirrors and multiple reflections becoming a relevant and key device to represent emotional fragility and the implication of personality disorders. We are exposed to the vulnerability of Nina as our emotional protagonist begins to transform herself into the Black Swan, which in turn sends the film into even darker, sexually explicit territory that psychosomatically affects her.

The lighting throughout, in the ballet rehearsals and especially during stage performances, is simply beautiful. The grace in which dancers, including Portman and Kunis, glide with effortless fluidity is hypnotic to watch. These are the sort of scenes we see too little of, as our focus throughout is on Nina and her battle to overcome her demons. The script is a tightly written and multi layered effort and, as it's something Aronofsky's been working on for years, really shows in its quality. The pacing is never too slow, yet never rushed, forming a climactic finale of Swan Lake performance that is simply to die for.

Portman does a more than convincing job in her role as Prima Ballerina, as her months of gruelling training are evident throughtout the film. Her interpretation of a sexually repressed girl that transforms into a confident, determined and manipulative woman is the films biggest achievement. Portman's ability to convince in her role is what brings the story to life.

To fit into the theme of the film and to really feel the emotional fragility of Portman's character, Aronofsky offers, at times, a twisting narrative that suggests ambiguously contrived events to raise questions whether what we are experiencing is real or, in fact, in Nina's imagination. Similar to the ambiguous finale of The Wrestler, Aronofsky vaguely hints in a direction that invites the audience to interpret as they see fit, which is a device I admire in film making.

A master of modern film; Aronofsky
To put it simply, Black Swan is a memorable film that, with a unique style of direction, leaves a very real and lasting impression. However, whilst overall performances are good, with the exception of a compelling portrayal by Portman, no others are worthy of any real acclaim. Even if you've never seen Swan Lake or attended the theater, you can't not be left sitting in sheer admiration at both the sophistication and elegance of ballet, as well as the man you are now familiar with Darren Aronofsky, and his phenomenal vision.
Sources: Internet Movie DataBase 
Images :  Google Images

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Review: The King's Speech

As narrow minded as one may appear, one never has been partial for Monarchy-based debauchery, especially on the big screen. One tolerated 2006's The Queen and have, as a rule, avoided the genre due to its lack of appeal. I did however break such a tradition when I was swayed by dazzling write ups of The King's Speech being hailed a surprise package, a sensation, a gem if you will. Amidst claims that the film is so splendidly written and acted, the Oscar nominations were tipped to arrive in abundance. Which it did. Did I mention I acquired myself some free tickets? So thought I'd give it a go, and why the hell not?
My preconceptions regarding a film focusing on Prince Albert (Colin Firth) documenting his battle with a life long stammer, bullying Brother David (Guy Pierce) and subsequent rise through the monarchy, were those of scepticism. Director Tom Hooper's only other outing, The Damned United and a long list of television, left me questioning if I would take anything from this film at all. Upon exiting the cinema, I wasn't left with a profound sense of emotion, nor shock, probably because the film wasn't set up in such a way. Whilst I was neither speechless nor astounded, I was, in fact, pleasantly surprised.

The feel to the film is typically British (obviously), yet deviates from past Royal interpretations positively. The stiff upper lip and high brow setting is complimented by intelligent humour and an obscene amount of, if you pardon my low brow blasphemy; fucks (amongst other profanities during one memorable scene). The outcome is a sharp, witty and entertaining script brought to life brilliantly by Firth and support; Geoffrey Rush, who plays speech therapist Lionel, who, to be honest, steals several scenes and proves worthy of his Best Supporting Male nod.

In honesty, aside from a well written script, it's Firth and Rush that carry the film, along with a gracious support from Helena Bonham Carter who plays Bertie's wife Elizabeth. The film progresses at a slow and methodical pace as Albert (or Bertie as he is affectionately referred to) attempts to overcome his speech impediment as the family hierarchy restructures, due to his Father, King George V's death. A sense of urgency is then established to rid himself of his crippling stutter as Bertie panics over his ascension to the throne and impending speech to the nation.

The King's Speech is an entertaining watch and exuded sympathy during some delicately handled scenes. The simplicity of emotion is played to great effect, allowing the audience to empathise with both Bertie and Lionel, respectively. The film reaches a contrived climax with heart warming and a somewhat pleasant outcome, a comforting satisfaction and conclusion in fitting with the straight and narrow story arc.

The Oscar buzz surrounding The King's Speech is inevitable and, to an extent, justified. With nominations for Firth, Rush, Bonham-Carter as well as Best Picture, Screenplay and Director short listings, it's certainly made a lasting impression with the people that matter. Rush is more than worthy to pick up Best Supporting Male, which should leave the remaining gongs, in my opinion,  to more deserving contenders such as Black Swan (Directing) or Inception (Original Screenplay).

The King's Speech sets out to tell a real and simplistic story and, to it's credit, does so very effectively. Whilst nothing revolutionary takes place in terms of film making, its craftily devised script and genuine performances are what makes it a good, but not great film. I, for one, would be a little disappointed to see it clean sweep the Oscars later this month, where, I feel, there are others more worthy of acclaim. One surely can't have ones cake and eat it, or can they?
Sources : Internet Movie DataBase
Images : Google Images

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Review: Catfish

Social networking is at the forefront of modern life. Such sites account for well, everything from communication to advertising. Naturally the popularity of Facebook prompts film makers to create stories revolving around said tool, in an attempt to encapsulate its generational defining impact. The success of 2010's Oscar tipped, The Social Network, proves it can be successful if done correctly. David Fincher's masterpiece eclipsed anything else of its kind and now in 2011, sensing the genre is exhausted, pitching an idea about Facebook seems kind of lame, as the youth of today would phrase it.

However, late last year I stumbled upon the bizarrely titled Catfish. A docu-film following Nev, a photographer from New York, who begins an Internet relationship with members of a family living on the other side of America.

Sounds innocent enough (although just why a 24-year-old man befriends an 8-year-old Abby, adult sister Megan and Mother Angela online, does raise certain questions). Feeling skeptical? Cynical? Probably, given the fragility of modern society, especially where children and Internet are mentioned in the same sentence. A 9 month relationship forms with our naive protagonist and his new found friends, as they exchange phone calls, texts, gifts (including paintings, the significance to be revealed), as well as the classic Facebook wall messages. Things heat up when Nev begins to develop (mutual) romantic feelings for Megan, prompting him to suggest that they take things to the next level by actually meeting in person.

To cut a long story short (and the fact that any further detail would give away the plot and the film's shocking reveal), Nev becomes suspicious about how genuine the family really are after making unexpected discoveries regarding the family's, ahem, musical talents. All along Nev's brother, Rel, and friend, Henry, decide to document the relationship as, being independent film makers, they sense something intriguing about to unfold.

The film offers an honest and shocking conclusion when Nev decides to confront the family face-to-face and finally meet up with his new love, Megan. What happens then is a chilling social commentary, strongly focused on the nature of how social networking sites can be used. This is a film with heart and ultimately compassion, as Nev's reaction to certain revelations prove.

Suffice to say, the documentary/film is a fascinating one, interspersed with humour, a likeable focal character, as well as tension- especially in the build up to the film makers travelling to meet said family.

A refreshing alternative to current mainstream fodder, Catfish is a well crafted and sharply edited film, that transcends the genuine emotional highs and crushing lows of Nev's experience, which certainly makes for a compelling watch.

Sources : Internet Movie DataBase , YouTube