1. the secret in their eyes...
a lumpy by-the-numbers meat and two veg thriller. how it got an oscar (beating white ribbon) and so much praise is beyond me. solid but completely and utterly ordinary in every way. felt like it could've been an episode of some standard british cop show. maybe that's why people liked it so much. something completely familiar and dependable but all fancy and foreign so they were happy to lavish the praise. probably the most disappointing foreign language film i've seen since mesrine. i imagine i'll forget i ever watched this film after i type this last word.
2. a single man.
just short of being really good. firth is great, and everything is done really well. the effect of going from grey to blush when matching the mood of his character was really brilliant. but it didn't all quite add up to a completely amazing whole and some moments were over-stylised to the point of being distractingly fetishistic. sort of what mad men flirts with, but always just gets away with.
funny and smart and tender and brilliant. the fact that it had the wit to adopt all the bullshit hollywood traits that it had spent the entire film denouncing for the last 20 minutes (chase scene, sex, guns, dues ex machina) made me love it even more and makes me think that charlie kauffman is pretty wonderful at what he does.