RELEASES! The Descendants (2011) | BASIC CLASSICS! 12 Angry Men (1957)

January 17, 2012

RELEASE: There are not British releases this week so I am going to recommend the more interesting Hollywood release: The Descendants. This could be one of the best films of the year, with an inspired George Clooney and a good director like Alexader Payne who made the satiric movie Election (featuring a funny Reese Witherspoon), About Schmidt (starring Jack Nicholson) and the romantic comedy Sideways (translated into spanish like “Entre copas”).

This film has received great praises like “Mr. Payne, with a light touch and a keen sense of place has made a movie that, for all its modesty, is as big as life.” (New York Times) or “It is an exceptionally smart and enjoyable comedy” (The Wall Street Journal).
We cannot miss this movie!

The Descendants [Los Descendientes] 2011-Directed by Alexander Payne
Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (Novel: Kaui Hart Hemmings)
Cast: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Matthew Lillard, Judy Greer, Robert Forster
Genre: Drama
Length: 115 min.
Sinopsis: Matt King (George Clooney), an indifferent husband and father, has to reconnect with his two young daughters when his wife is involved in a boating accident and falls into a coma. While struggling to make a decision about whether he should sell the family land that has been handed down through the generations, he uncovers a troubling secret about his wife.

Review: (from Rolling Stone)

Trailer (VOSE):

BASIC CLASSIC: The next 21th Saturday we can watch an extraordinary film directed by Sidney Lumet, 12 Angry Men (12 Hombres sin piedad), the aclaimed movie about trials, with a very theatrical staging and starring Henry Fonda. It was the Lumet’s debut and a film with a perfect narrative structure based on spectacular plays and dialogues. Essential!

Cine Doré (Filmoteca Española), Santa Isabel 3 [Metro: Antón Martín]
20:20h. Sala 1. VOSE. Price: 2’5 e.

12 Angry Men [12 Hombres sin piedad] 1957-Directed by Sidney Lumet
Screenplay: Reginald Rose (Theater: Reginald Rose)
Genre: Drama
Lenght: 97 min.
Synopsis: The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young Spanish-American is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open and shut case of murder soon becomes a mini-drama of each of the jurors’ prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other. Based on the play, all of the action takes place on the stage of the jury room. (IMDb)

Review (from New York Times):


Trailer (VO):



  1. Good morning:

    I don’t know anything about the George Clooney’s film, so I cannot recomend it, but Twelve Angry Men is fantastic. Not a masterpiece, but a very, very recomendable film based on a theatrical play and one of the first films in the histroy about trials. I watched it many years ago at the Garci’s TV program, it’s a shame that there are no more programs about classic films at the TV broadcastings. Henry Fonda, altough he is not one of my favourite actors, is superb. Indeed, he was a very good actor. There is also a Spanish version of this film which is not bad at all (it’s surprising to find a Spanish remake of an American movie which is not bad), whith Jesús Puente and many other remarkable Spanish actors of the fifties and sixties. Even you could find it on DVD not a very long time ago, in the Estudio 1 Collection.

    By the way, there are schools of bussiness, personal coaching, human ressources and thinks like that in which this film is shown as a complement of the lessons, and the Fonda’s character is put as an example of efficient boss, who knows how to negociate and convince the others.

    Have a good day.

  2. Clooney’s film seems quite advisable

    I will go to see “12 Angry men”, I am living near the Filmoteca and I still have not seen this classic. Unforgivable!

  3. Ah, Rosa, sometimes there are film screenings of silent movies with live piano. It is an amazing experience.

    I will write a post when the Filmoteca organizes some of this movies with live music in the monthly programm.

  4. Thank you!

  5. Iranian cinema was fashionable in nineties, specially Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi. Quickly, this cinema become in a style full of stereotypes until this brilliant movie that has broke this rules: “Nader and Sirim. A separation”. It is a film more similar to “Kramer contra Kramer” than “El sabor de las cerezas” (by Kiarostami).

    If you would like to discover some Iranian masterpieces I recommend you:

    1. “A través de los olivos” (1994) by Abbas Kiarostami, the most important director but his movies are not easy to understand.
    2. “The apple” (1998) by Samira Makhmalbaf. Start with it!
    3. “Las tortugas también vuelan” (2004) by Bahman Ghobadi. It had a great success in occident.
    4. “El globo blanco”(1995) by Jafar Panahi.
    5. “Children of paradise” (1997) by Majid Majidi.Typical (and beautiful) Iranian film.

    However, “Nader and Sirim. A separation” is a perfect movie to start.

  6. Thank you very much! I see you are a real expert!

  7. Antonio, my name is Laura, I am in the advanced level in the same class as Rosa (who is brilliant). I have to congratulate you for this little corner and all the information you bring us. I am not as expert as you are, but I love cinema, one of my passions is reading scripts. I can’t wait to see The Descendants…George Clooney always surprised me, every year. I think that I have underestimated him many times. For this kind-comedie of movie, he is perfect, I agree he is inspired.

  8. Good nigth:

    Oh, Laura, you are flattering me. I am like Maggy, and take great pains in improving myself.

    Indeed, George Clooney has some unbearable films, like any other great actors. Marlon Brando was great, and he appeared in some terrible films, and he was not the best in the film. So did Orson Welles. Which is more, he has the problem of being a fashionable actor and a handsome guy, and for actor, specially actresses, it could be a handicap. I think that Paul Newman said that he thought in certain moment that he was not going to go very far, because he was too handsome, and he was an extremely gifted player. But I think that, altough he has appeared in some bad movies, in general, he does it well, and his performances are generally intelligent and funny. I recommend you O Brother!. I don’t like Coen Brothers’ fims, but this one is very good, and Solaris, by Stephen Sordenberg, who generally doesn’t get good reviews, but whose films I like.

    If you like movie scripts, perhaps you should visit the web page of Aellea.


  9. Well, ANTONIO, THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH, for the effort you are doing with the film club, it is amazing how much you know, you are an expert!!!
    I have seen Rosa´s Twelve Angry Men, cannot remember if it was in Garci´s Programme, which was fantastic. I will definetly go and see both.
    So glad that Clooney made it to recogition, which proves that working you improve!!
    Folks! we are writing and discussing in….ENGLISH!!! think about it.

  10. I will not be able to see 12 angry men as I will be in Santander!!!! so sorry because I remember it as fantastic!! But..duty..calls me there.

  11. Thanks for the support!
    I still can not write well but I love writing about cinema and discuss it.
    I would like reccomend only Brithish films, it is more logical, but there are not new realeses every week.

    Every British release is going to be like an event.

  12. Hello everybody!
    First of all, Antonio, thanks for the blog. I also recommend Filmoteca Española. It usually has a wonderful program and the tickets are cheap. I am fan of classical movies so I go there frecuently.
    I would like to add a iranian film to the list that antonio proposes: “Offside”. It is a comedy which mixes football and women.
    Have a good day
    Mar Advanced

  13. Thank you, Mar. I hope we will read more posts of you very soon.
    I usually don’t go to Filmoteca because it is far away of my house. In fact, I have a problem, there is no cinemas in my neighborhood, so if I want to go to the cinema, I have to take the bus, or the tube, and neither public transport nor cinema tickets are cheap in Madrid.

    When my parents were young, they had seven, and of the big ones. Now, we have only the Morasol, and I don’t like it, I usually don’t like the filmes that they put there, and they don’t put films in original version, and now I am used to watch films in original version and I don’t like them when they are dubbed.

  14. well, it amazes me how much you know about films!!! Mar, an iranian film!!!
    Rosa, I know!! it is disgusting that we cannot see films in many areas in Madrid, let alone provinces. I´m currently in Santander and here you cannot go to the cinema in the city centre, practically. They have now opened a cinema, but years ago you went to one of those Malls or you couldn´t. I remember as a little girl that my greart aunt and her cousin went to the cinema everyday!! and they were widows!! Now it would be impossible. You can use internet, of course and download things, but have you read the paeprs today???
    here it is raining!! off to bed to read little Dorrit.

  15. Good night:

    Yes, I have read them and I have my own opinions about that, but, knowing what`s going on in Spain with the Ley Sinde, and what has happened with the SGAE, I would prefer not to talk about that. I will say only that, in my opinion, the person who downloads illegaly a film and the person who asks twenty euros for a thing that only worths ten, are equally guilty. I am fed up of going to the Fnac o El Corte Inglés and find always the same films on the shelves, not the films that I really want to watch, many of them, avaliable in other countries, but not here, and pay expensive prices for cheap editions. Do we have less rights because we are in Spain?
    Talking about Litle Dorrit, one of those magazines about history, this month, has made an issue about Charles Dickens (I don’t know if ti was Clio, La aventura de la historia, or Historia y Vida, I’ll try to tell you tomorrow).

  16. I have seen the film and liked it. There isn´t much talking, and most of all is swearing, but you can grasp the feelings of the characters. The story is not very original, but the way it is told. I like George Clooney and her eldest daughter, and also the eldest daughter´s friend… (a very smart American guy, you will see…). Anyway, I will wait for you to see it so as to comment on it. night!

  17. his eldest daughter… sorry…

  18. Good morning:
    Rosa, I agree entirely with you about downloads and culture industry. By the way. I´ve also bought Victor Sjostrom´s film. Years ago there was an amazing season of Sjostrom films at the Filmoteca. And with piano music live!!
    Have a nice sunday. I have to write the composition so I have to start right now!

  19. I hope it doesn´t take you a very long time to watch the film… Otherwise I will have to write down notes of my ideas not to forget! Anyway, I think I can say, without spoiling the plot, that George Clooney (Mat in the film, I think) is the one that suprises me most. He wants to know which is not usual in men… I think that the reason why he wants to know is related to the sense of property… That´s all I can say so far…

  20. 12 angry men… I don´t understand why my parents, who introduced me to classical films, didn´t introduce me to this one! Wow, all the performances are so good, especially that of Fonda, the old man (I found the close-ups quite thrilling) and the “last convinced”. It is amazing how they manage to transmit the tension and the heat. It is very claustrophobic, but, isn´t it the reason why the twelve men are angry? I found the rain quite annoying, I couldn´t understand very well the guy with the hat. What kind of accent was his?
    Thanks, Antonio, for your recommendation. I´m glad that I´ve seen it at last, “you know what I mean, my friend?”

  21. a belated entry and my opinion of the Descendants: I liked it, the story is good, teh acting too, I liked the women I think that the eldest daughter is quite good, I wonder if she will be niminated (haven´t had time to check on that, I´m always in a hurry), and the “abandonata” is also quite good in the silly wife with the happy life and the stupid children, I don´t know why I said that but it kind of gets me the “ha ha attitude, everythng-perfect-in-life of the American “happy” family, happy but with a third jumping in and out of husband´s bed. The sene of “I forgivve you” when she wanted to gve the nearly deceased mother a piece of her mind is rather good, though a bit exagerated with that close up.
    There was too much swearing. Good God! whoever would llke to belong to a society that swears so much and lacks respect for any feeling as embodied in the thck muscly, what was his name, Sid? by the way he is the only one to react (so the family´s pilgrimage towards reencounter and forgiveness, has given him some brains) and take the two daughters out of the way when the abandonata comes to say goodbye, given that the lover refuses to do so.
    George clooney is well suited, does it well and…well mucks it up a bit when he says good-bye, don´t you think? however it would not surprise me if he made to the Oscar as he has been in many films lately and the Americans need a Firth counterpart.
    very pretty scenario, Hawai, though it surprised me to see that the water was not as clear as we see it in advertisments, same with Thailand by the way if you want blue I´m afraid it has to be the Caribbean (I hope I got it right).

  22. Clooney, Firth counterpart? In thousand years times, perhaps.
    George did muck it up when saying good-bye, I agree. But I loved the running, he is funny when he runs, isn´t he? His face when he sees the lover running in the beach…, or when he runs to ask his wife´s friends… very funny.

    The pilgrimage towards reencounter and forgiveness, I like it. Shall I use it in my essay?

    The end is nice. The three of them watching telly on the sofa, sharing the blanket… He becomes responsible of what is his, as well as his family property that he decides to keep.

  23. Good nigth:

    I know I am saying this a bit late. But I have just watched again Twelve Angry Men, and I remembered all the things that make this film special. We have a black and white film, without female characters, whose action runs entirely in the same room, during the same afternoon, and, even so, it is not a boring film. We have great acting, specially Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb and the old guy, whose name I do’t know. This is a film about words and personalities, aboute characters who suffer an evolution. If you can watch it again, do not miss the oppornunity.

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