Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

10 thoughts on...Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

1. I prefer my political thrillers with some warmth. This is something that is sparse here, and sadly so. There are a handful of moments that could have developed in such a way (Tom Hardy's romantic encounter) and the film did try to be 'comedic' (e.g. the presence of a bee in the car with Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Roger Lloyd-Pack) but none of this sparked. This is an incredibly cold film.
2. I really want Benedict Cumberbatch's tie.
3. The one moment of joy within the film arrived with the presence of Laura Carmichael, AKA Lady Edith from Downton Abbey. She played a very similar character. And that is not a bad thing. I wish there was more of her.
4. Colin Firth has really made a terrific transformation from romantic lead to dynamic actor.
5. Tom Hardy has one of the most beautiful faces.
6. What will Tomas Alfredson do next?
7. The conclusion was rather dissatisfying.
8. Mark Strong has never struck me as a particularly interesting/talented actor until now. Behind the masculinity (on show through every role I have seen him in) is a desperation that is truly affecting. Hopefully he will be given further opportunities to display his talent.
9. Gary Oldman does deliver a good (if not great) performance but I would be shocked if it attracted Oscar attention. This isn't to say he wouldn't be deserving, the performance is simply too subtle. Of course if the film was nominated for Best Picture...
10. ...This is an unlikely event. The film is a solid espionage thriller with an Oscar friendly cast yet there is very little to get excited about. And they awarded a very British movie last year, I predict they will be slightly more patriotic with their votes in 2012.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How do you describe a feeling?


Monday, September 19, 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 21

Day 21: Your Favourite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film...Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

This was a no-brainer, the first film in the Star Wars series combines the best of old fashioned narratives (the damsel in distress, the heroic adolescent given an impossible task, etc) with some of the most fascinating gadgets and characters in film. Sure this film has a simple plot but it is the detail in its world that makes this a truly terrific film. Just think of the (often silly) detail in the dialogue; we should be wetting ourselves with laughter but instead are enthralled in a world of lightsabers, droids and Jedi.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One reaction. Downton Abbey Series Two.

This blog may primarily be home to my obsession with film but there are rare occasions when this obsession extends itself to television. Such is the case with Downton Abbey, a show that I fell in love with last year and have never stopped raving about. And I am delighted to welcome the second series, which started this evening with an episode that continued the high standard of series one.

The strength in the show are the characters. We have a terrifically moulded collection of people set within a rural England of the early 20th century. Not only does each character have enough personal back story for a show of their own but the clear social changes (from the introduction of electricity to the breakdown of the class system to World War I) throws all sorts of spanners into their worlds. Every episode - thus far - has been nothing less than riveting. I am hooked.

So my one reaction to the second series is to be celebrate the return of these characters. And to giddily anticipate the following seven episodes of their stories. Hoorah.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 20

Day 20: Your Favourite Romantic Film...Beauty and the Beast

I thought this would be a tough as I love my romantic films, whether they're epic, comedic, thrilling or tragic. But there is one film that defines romance for me, Beauty and the Beast.

I can hear the cry feminists who declare Belle is the victim of domestic abuse from the aggressive beast...and I don't care. Sure his terrifying exterior is an obstacle but it is overcome by his underlying affection for Belle, who (literally) transforms him through their flourishing relationship. I have swooned with this film since childhood and will forever treasure it.

But I am grateful that my 'true love' has a more pleasant aesthetic. 

Runners-up: Before Sunrise, My Fair Lady, Pride and Prejudice, Titanic

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Catch-up: my life in the past three weeks.

 House hunting.

Blissfully coupled.

 Working. 

 Theatre-going.

Cinema-going.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How do you describe a feeling?


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Venice excitment. x4

 Alps
 Shame
 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
A Dangerous Method

I can't wait for any of them. You may also want to add Wuthering Heights to this list. And Ides of March. Venice has had some very solid (or so it seems...) line-up this year.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

One reaction. The teaser poster for Young Adult.

...Charlize Theron will be in a movie I actually like. Look here:
 
I've always wanted to celebrate the actress but have never had an opportunity to do so; her films have always disappointed (The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Head in the Clouds, The Road), been disagreeable (Monster) or I have simply been uninterested (The Italian Job, North County, Hancock, Aeon Flux). Starring in the new film by Jason Reitman with a script from Diablo Cody is a definite way to win my affection.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Venice excitement.

I have always had a soft spot for the Venice Film Festival. Not only is it a beautiful location to exhibit a film but it is also an event that has celebrated some of my personal favourite films (recent winners have been The Magdalene Sisters, Vera Drake, Lust, Caution and The Wrestler) and performers (recent winners have been Catherine Deneuve, Jim Broadbent, Rose Byrne, Julianne Moore, Imelda Staunton, Colin Firth). How could I not love the event? 

This year there are a few films I am mildly interested in (David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, Steve McQueen's Shame and Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy) but I was most intrigued by the presence of Madonna's W.E....and am somewhat bewildered by the response it has received. 

Is this not the same W.E. that the Weinstein Company were eager to distribute a few months ago? The one that was gaining buzz as an Oscar contender? Apparently it is "the turkey that thought it was a peacock" rather than the cinematic success I once hoped for.

But at least Madonna looks good, so good that she did perform a rarity as a film director; outshining her beautiful young cast members.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A thumbs up.