Biutiful, directed by Inaritu and starring Javier Bardem, was an extremely intense movie. It was like getting a bucket of ice water to the gut before the day had really even begun. The movie was so well done (and Bardem did such an incredible job) that I have no doubt it will come to the States, and I’d be surprised if Bardem didn’t get an Oscar nom for his role.
After Biutiful, I left the theater and promptly got in line again for Another Year, a British film directed by Mike Leigh. Another Year was the best reviewed film of the festival, so I really wanted to be sure and see it. It was a fun (and funny) film, but it was just as the title suggests—another year in the lives of these crazy people. There wasn’t any real climax or resolution (a lot like Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger), so the movie ended feeling a little unresolved. But the characters were so lovable and insane that I left feeling satisfied anyway. And then later, when I found out that director Mike Leigh doesn’t really use scripts and lets his actors improvise during scenes, I fell in love with the movie even more. Those actors have incredible talent.
END-OF-THE-YEAR PROGRAM GET-TOGETHER
The American Pavilion hosted one last get-together for all the students in the program, which gave us a chance to see each other again, take pictures, and exchange contact information (though the beauty of Facebook is that most of us will keep in contact there, making email addresses almost irrelevant).
I took this opportunity to take lots of pictures of the people I’d been spending the last two weeks with, since I had noticed that almost all my pictures of this trip have been of places and not people.
Lisa, Justin, Josh, Julian and Lauren
Gabby playing M.I.A.’s Paper Planes on the banjo
LAST FRENCH DINNER
For my last dinner in France, I ate escargot– snails!!! It was actually quite delicious. I liked them better than the moules frites (muscles and fries) that Sam to my right ordered. And now I can say that I’ve had two of the classic French dishes while in France.