Film Review: Rust And Bone

Posted on by 5WC in Film

In 2008 Marion Cotillard won the Best Actress Oscar and yet, since then her star seems to have hardly risen. She’s been in some big name movies: Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Public Enemies to name three, but she’s always been hiding in the back, a small supporting player, forgotten for the talent she really is.

And it’s annoying, because when she does get a chance to shine she truly is stunning. Her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose won her an Oscar, she was nominated again for her lead in Two Days, One Night and sandwiched between the two is Rust And Bone. A film in which she plays an amputee Ocra trainer and a performance that cements her in my heart as a hidden gem that deserves a greater audience. Because Marion Cotillard can act and deserves to lead the line. Read more

Film Review: Now You See Me

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I had been interested in Now You See Me since I first saw it’s trailer and you can see from director Louis Leterrier’s filmography that his is a film maker prepared to take on big projects (he directed the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk as well as 2010’s panned Clash Of The Titans) but I think this might be one idea too far. Not because there is anything really wrong with the plot or premise behind the film, but rather it’s execution is just too far fetched for you to really buy into it.

I think everyone likes a magic trick, and of course we all then pretend to know all along how it was done, but I also think that magic and movies struggle to go together. Especially when you start to increase the scale and complexity of the trick. The reason for this, I believe, is that Hollywood already falsifies so much, that when you then involve magic, honest trickery, everything blends into a muddle and as a viewer you instantly become lost as to what is Hollywood fakery designed to enhance the story visually and what is on-screen magic designed to be part of the act. Read more

Film Review: The Hundred Foot Journey

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I hate to say it because it’s clichéd and cheesy but Helen Mirren is apparently like a bus! You go for years and years and years without seeing a single film she has been in and then suddenly, you watch two in two days. And what makes this even more surprising is that I was prepared to give her a second chance after she left me so repulsed by her personality and tone in the Woman In Gold.

I hadn’t actually heard much, and certainly nothing memorable, about The Hundred Foot Journey. I have vague memories of it getting a small and short lived cinema release, but I can’t remember exactly when. And the only reason I was even contemplating watching it now was that my Mother wanted to see it and I don’t refuse to watch much, especially when somebody else is paying! Read more

Film Review: What We Do In The Shadows

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I can clearly remember my first enlightenment to What We Do In The Shadows. Eating lunch and reading a feature in Empire Magazine. Details of how this low budget spoof vampire documentary was a spectacularly clever and original film and an innovative twist on a genre that had become slightly stale over recent years through franchise outings.

This was then backed up when the reviews and critics started falling over themselves to lavish praise upon the film. Hyperbole, superlatives, the Synonyms section of all getting thrown heavily towards the merest mention of the film. I wanted to see it, but sadly being a small, low budget, Kiwi film meant its release in the UK was less than mainstream, and so I’ve had to wait, patiently, for it to finally arrive on the small screen in the UK. Read more

Film Review: Moulin Rouge!

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It’s been a very long time since I saw Moulin Rouge! In fact, I am fairly certain I have only ever seen it once before. A long, long time ago during it’s big screen release and I remember it well because I watched it from virtually the front row – this was back in the day of unreserved seating and I arrived late. But craning my neck and 20 foot high characters is not the reason I remember it so vividly, but rather, because the night I watched it, I was with a girl on our first “proper” date.

The relationship didn’t last, and didn’t end well, and as a result I have always shied slightly away from the film because of the memories it potentially stirs up. Even the merest mention of the name and I can picture the cinema and feel the excitement of sitting their next to the girl of my apparently short sighted dreams, and I watch something else instead. But 14 years have passed since I was sitting in that cinema, and they say that time heals all wounds, so things felt right to take a trip back to the Moulin Rouge! Read more

Film Review: What We Did On Our Holiday

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It’s a strange situation, I had heard good things about What We Did On Our Holiday and yet having watched the film I can’t for the life of me see where or why this praise was earned. I just found it farcical balderdash and a poor imitation. A side from a few quick one liners dotted sporadically throughout, I struggle to find any redeeming feature.

It was written and directed Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin and is obviously their way of attempting to bring the successful formula for Outnumbered, their hit BBC sitcom in which two parents are run ragged by their three ad-libbing children, to the big screen. The problem is though, the formula doesn’t translate without the characters. Firstly because you spend the entire time comparing the characters from one to the other, and secondly, because the story becomes too stretched out, and the madness of a flexible script ends up more distracting and annoying as time goes on. Read more

Film Review: ’71

Posted on by 5WC in Film

Like a lot of people I have an indifferent relationship with The Troubles in Northern Ireland. They didn’t directly affect me, after all, while close they were still happening in a different country and my relationship and knowledge to them is born out the media portrayal. Imagery more powerful than fact, with the depiction of guns, poverty and painted murals used to shape my opinion rather than reasoned debate and learned understanding.

I’d heard very good things about ’71. Both as a film and as a performance by lead Jack O’Connell. Set on the mean streets of Belfast directly at the height of The Troubles, it is a film that is collectively lauded by critics. Most shouting from the roof tops about how director Yann Demange has so graphically managed to turn the residential streets of Belfast into a full, and inhumane, war zone. Read more

Film Review: What If

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I’m not ashamed to admit that the first time I saw the trailer for What If I actually thought it didn’t look too bad. I thought it looked like your typical non offensive, no doubt formulaic teenage rom-com that would leave you slightly bored but in a strangely good way having given you a seemingly uplifting boy meets girl, overly simplistic love story.

And so, as is always the case with teenage romantic comedies, I ignored it cinema release. This is the kind of film that for reasons of stereotypical judgement you never want to admit to seeing in public. Especially as a male in his thirties. This is the type of film you watch at home, as if it’s somehow better to sit alone and pretend you don’t have a soft spot for unrealistic tales of love (and you can remove the tasteless thoughts from your head right away.) Read more

Film Review: Pride

Posted on by 5WC in Film

It’s amazing how when you search for something, it seemingly goes into hiding. I had wanted to find a “pair” of movies, an original and a sequel, and watch them back to back. But I couldn’t find anything obvious, and the few that came to mind (Cars, Kick Ass) all fall flat with the second album, so to speak.

And so I turned to Twitter where a friend, having the same fruitless answers, suggested that I give up looking and instead watch Pride. A tale about gay’s, lesbian’s and the miner’s strikes of the 1980s. I must admit, it’s been on my list of films to watch for a while, after all, people laud it as a true British comedy and Wittertainment, the BBC Film Podcast that I am a happy listener of, even proclaimed it their film of 2014. Read more

Film Review: A Thousand Times Goodnight

Posted on by 5WC in Film

I was hooked and grabbed by A Thousand Times Goodnight from the minute I saw the trailer. While the subject matter maybe potentially a little harrowing for some, there was just something about it that isn’t drew my attention. An appealing quality, a visual clarity that seemed to suggest that whatever the moral debate of a plot based around photographers in danger zones, this film would provide more than just a shock tactic story, or a flimsy narrative argument. If I’m honest, it just looked visual class.

And it also stars Juliette Binoche, who I absolutely adore, even if I can never work out why as I never seem to come out of her films as impressed as when I went in. Chocolat and Certified Copy being perfect examples. And sadly, this sense of unmet expectations has happened again, because the movie the trailer sold me is a long, long way from the story that you get to enrol in. Read more