Black Snake Moan [2007, directed by Craig Brewer]
An old blues man is left by his no good cheating wife – a sex obsessed young girl is left behind as her fiancé reports to the military. When the man discovers the girl beaten and left outside his house – he takes it upon himself to “cure” the girl – thus redeeming himself of his wife leaving.
Black Snake Moan is pretty good – there were some performances that fell flat (namely Justin Timberlake) – but the concept and music was great. The whole film plays out like a blues song – and the rising tension between the characters - as a black man who has a white girl chained to his radiator was palpable and interesting. It’s amazing how much little Christina Ricci has grown up... (I’ll leave it at that since she bares all quite a bit). I give it about a 4 out of 5.
Lemon Tree [2008, directed by Eran Riklis]
A Palestian widow has a lemon orchard on the green line between Israel and the West Bank. When the Israeli Defense Minister moves in next door and it’s determined that the lemon orchard poses a security risk – she has to fight to keep it.
This is a very interesting movie that fails in the area of the relationships between the characters. If the film stayed with it’s sole focus on this lemon orchard and the characters directly involved – it would’ve been a great film. The fact that the film had some interweaving storylines that just didn’t work was disappointing. The acting was great – but the storylines didn’t work for me – and I was confused if I was actually supposed to care about some of them. I give it just above a 3 out of 5 – which I round up to a 4.