Saturday, November 18, 2017

Pause.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

An image to treasure.


Two greats sharing the screen together in Evil Under the Sun after they sang ‘You’re the Top’. Glorious.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Gratuitous male lusting.


I’m reviving this series to recollect something about Ghost: Tony Goldwyn. His presence confused my young self whenever I watched the film as I wanted him. Am I alone? His ‘spilt coffee’ routine may not have succeeded and his generally a dick in the film, but somehow he captured my imagination. Should I be worrried?

Side note: for whatever reason I never fancied Patrick Swayze, maybe that’s even odder.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

How do you describe a feeling?


Myself and some friends are dressing up for the day...sadly without a dog.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

My favourite shot...The Post trailer


Is The Post the film we need in 2017? The trailer makes it seem so and, for my money, this image sums up what I hope this film does: give hope that doing the right thing will bring about change in ‘the system’. And I cannot think of another person who I’d prefer to be the leader of this change than Meryl Streep. In a world where an egotistical businessman was voted the US President over a vastly superior opponent potentially because she was a woman, it’s refreshing to see a narrative such of this be told from the female perspective. 

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Sunday, November 05, 2017

10 thoughts on...Murder on the Orient Express.


  1. All hail Michelle Pfeiffer. Yes she may have a slim role here (as do all the stars other than Kenneth Branagh) but she delivers and more. 
  2. I like a murder mystery but I have never enjoyed Poirot. He’s a character that invites broad performances and Kenneth Branagh is no different. In fact he struggles more than most as he tries to gives some depth to the detective...
  3. ...but who could take anyone seriously with that moustache?! 
  4. There are too many shots of a boat then the train itself travelling with beautiful scenery around it. Despite the grandness it somehow manages to be dull rather than glamorous, which is how I imagine an expensive train journey in the early 20th century to be.
  5. How can Johnny Depp still be working and celebrated after all those recent (and shocking) allegations of assault?!
  6. Olivia Colman deserves more film roles. I remain in awe of her performance in Tyranosaur.
  7. Surely this is one of the starriest casts we’ve had in some time I can only think of Nine to compare. 
  8. I’m going to think of a dream cast for Death on the Nile, perhaps the next in a series if this was a success(?). 
  9. I can’t believe the previous version was nominated for several Oscars and won one! Penelope Cruz must have got the short straw in this remake...
  10. Despite all this I would say I loved spending time is this unsuccessful but entertaining romp. And applaud studios for not making something for a teen audience.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Pause.


Saturday, November 04, 2017

An image to treasure.


Isabelle Huppert becomes a pop diva in Souvenir (the lightest film so far?) to joyous effect. Sure this isn’t a masterpiece but watching her perform Eurovision type songs as a woman daring to dream again is wonderful. I’ll be it watching again soon.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Thursday, November 02, 2017

10 thoughts on...Call Me By Your Name

  1. Armie Hammer looks too old compared to Timothee Chalamet. And that's a problem, especially in light of recent conversations following allegations against Kevin Spacey. Hammer does have a youthful energy for much of his screen time but it still does not feel right to me. An Andrew Garfield or similiar would have been a better choice.
  2. Michael Stuhlbarg's speech towards the end of the film is one of this year's cinematic highlights.
  3. The non-diegetic music feels at odds with the rest of the film's tone. The sudden (and often loud!) bursts of piano seem to signal a mechanical change in scene rather than moving with the narrative's emotion. And the Sufjan Stevens songs feel like we're watching a quirky US indie dramedy.
  4. I'm not sure I will ever love a film by Luca Guadagnino. It is refreshing that, unlike I Am Love and A Bigger Splash, this doesn't feel indebted to another filmmaker or film but the shot and editing decisions he makes feel at odds with the emotion of the story. Why do we watch Elio and Oliver cycle away into the distance that has none of the energy of that moment the story is building up to? And why do we have a wide shot of Stuhlberg delivering his speech to Chalamet for a few minutes and then jump into closes ups?! His cinematic language is one that I don't understand, and I don't think I ever will.
  5. I wish I was sat writing this in a warm Italian summer.
  6. Perhaps I liked the book too much to ever enjoy a film adaptation? My biggest issue is that the sense of yearning that dripped off every page of the book feels limited in the film. Instead we jump to plot points without the emotional weight behind it. An example is Elio and Oliver's trip where Elio goes full throttle into living a life with Oliver then ends with him vomiting. Instead of seeing Elio push himself and feeling on par with Oliver, we cut to them drunkenly walking along the road where Oliver dances with a stranger and Elio vomits. It feels more like a lads holiday than an escapist moment the characters that goes beyond what the characters dreamt about...it feels much more empty. Thankfully the script is faithful to the book and the performances are strong.
  7. My reactions are so strong because my hopes were so high for this film from the book and the ecstatic reviews. I did enjoy and liked the film. And I did cry towards the end. But it's not the masterpiece I wanted it to be and think it could be.
  8. I couldn't help but have flashbacks to A Room with a View whilst watching this...Chalamet's passionate piano playing, a young conflicted protagonist, the sunny Italian setting, the wild water swimming...if only James Merchant was here to direct.
  9. Despite my general disputing with the film, I will not begrugde it's likely award success. Especially if it's got Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor (Chalet) and Supporting Actor (either/both Hammer and Stuhlberg). 
  10. Perhaps I'd like it more on a second viewing...

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Kiss.


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

An irresistible question.


‘Would you be interested in coming over to my house sometime to sleep with me?’

Monday, October 30, 2017

6 ways to celebrate...Julia Robert’s 50th birthday


This is a belated celebrated of one of the most charismatic actors in American film. And an underrated actress that deserved and still deserves more challenging roles I’d say! Anyway here’s 6 ways to mark her big birthday...
  1. Have a bath and listen to Prince.
  2. Uncover a huge corporation’s abuse.
  3. Photograph an emotional Natalie Portman.
  4. Get your hair done by Dolly Parton.
  5. Force Cameron Diaz to do karaoke.
  6. Attempt an Irish accent and somehow remain charming even when you fail.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

10 thoughts on...Breathe


  1. Claire Foy deserves to be celebrated and I cannot wait to see her career continue to thrive. She sits alongside Deborah Kerr, Emma Thompson, and Kate Winslet as British actors whose gift naturally command the screen. As much as I love her in The Crown, I am glad she will be able to spread her wings.
  2. I feared this would be the type of film that would soften reality to tell a softened version to become a crowd pleaser (like The Theory of Everything). It does this but it feels true to the characters it’s portraying who had a romanticised view of life themselves. This is unashamedly romantic perspective on a successful couple’s determination to live. I’m sure many will declare this as schmatlz but I adored its personality...
  3. ...however I do wish the film would focus more on its female protagonist rather than the male. The film repeatedly points out (visually and in dialogue) how important she is to her husband but has little to do outside of their shared world.
  4. Andy Serkis is a director to watch. And I wouldn’t mind if his version of The Jungle a Book didn’t happen.
  5. Andrew Garfield is a good actor that manages to make his character sympathetic, even when his attitude pits him against his wife. But it is the type of performance I’d think less of if suddenly it becomes an awards magnet...
  6. Does this have a chance at awards success? Foy has a strong Best Actress category to break into and surely Dunkirk and Darkest Hour will be representing ‘Britain’? It would be a shame if it’s completely overshadowed by other films but hopefully BAFTA doesn’t forget it.
  7. Nitin Sawhney’s score is beautifully evocative of old fashioned romance without feeling old. I look forward to hearing more of his work.
  8. Why were there Tom Hollanders!? I’m not complaining but it felt like a failed attempt at a joke.
  9. A close elderly family member is nearing the end of his life currently and I hope my family give him the joy in his last few days that Robin Cavendish had.
  10. I highly recommend this to anyone who loved old fashioned, romantic and pleasant films. With heartbreak. You will weep.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cinematic hero...Andrew Bolton


I’m resurrecting this series to share my joy at watching The First Monday in May and discovering Andrew Bolton, the chief curator at the Met’s Costume Institute at the time of filming. His passion for work and determination to deliver ambitious project that push the boundaries of his more conservative colleagues. He is inspiration for anyone who wants to make their mark in the arts.

Friday, October 27, 2017

10 thoughts on...The Death of Stalin


  1. This isn’t cut from the same cloth as The Thick of It, In the Loop or Veep. There is less joy to the humour, and is spot on departure fro Armando Iannucci as he’s dealing with a very different type of moment in politics, although the dynamics feel strangely similar.
  2. It’s wonderful to see Simon Russell Beale bring his considerable acting talent to cinema. I have seen him countless times (my favourite being his performance of the titular Timon of Athens) and have wondered whether he would crossover onto film...this feels like a good step after The Deep Blue Sea and Into the Woods.
  3. I really didn’t know much about this time in history. And really didn’t expect this film to feel like a historical lesson, albeit an interesting one.
  4. Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive but why couldn’t there have been more women in this world? I understand that men were given the positions of power historically but if they were casting non-Russian actors to speak in their own accent then I don’t think it’s too far a stretch to have women cast too? There is also a discussion between the all male committee about a woman who is good at oral sex in addition to being able to source a doctor, a moment  which I hope doesn’t go unnoticed so that future filmmakers with similar ‘jokes’ in mind will back it up with some observation so it doesn’t feel like the film is enjoying such behaviour. 
  5. Andrea Riseborough is terrific in a part that feels grounded in an emotional reality that’s too abstract to the rest of the characters. She always delivers good performances. When’s her moment coming?
  6. All the cast is terrific. Michael Palin and Jeffrey Tambor are particularly great to watch, even if Riseborough probably gives the best performance.
  7. The dynamic between the character feels strangely similar to my current working world, although from the outside they are polar opposites. I guess that’s a great achievement by Iannucci?
  8. I hope this doesn’t get forgotten about when it comes to award season. It’d be sweet to see it nominated at the BAFTAs (Supporting Actor for Russell Beale?) and for Musical/Comedy ar the Golden Globes. But that feels unlikely...
  9. This is definitely much darker than the trailer. Be warned.
  10. I will forever giggle as Tambor’s ‘When I said, ‘No problem’, I meant ‘No. Problem.’’

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

5 wishes for...Renee Zellweger’s career


  1. That the announced Judy Garland biopic Judy is as good as it potentially could be. I was lucky enough to see The End of the Rainbow with Tracie Bennett and if this film is half as good as that production then we are in luck!
  2. This news is the start of new interest in Zellweger. She is a charismatic screen presence with a considerable talent, and does not deserve the vitriol that seems to be thrown her way. 
  3. Do some stage work. I bet she’d be fantastic.
  4. Get her Chicago co-star Catherine Zeta Jones another large role in some two-hander movie (musical?). 
  5. That people stop talking about how she looks and focus on her work.

Monday, October 23, 2017

My favourite shot...Phantom Thread trailer


Her character may not be the focus of the trailer or film, but Lesley Manville looks like she could have a plum part in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. Is it too much to hope she’ll get the attention she deserved a few years ago with Another Year - one of the greatest performances in a Mike Leigh film, and that’s saying something!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Top of the class...performances in The Lobster


  1. Olivia Colman
  2. Colin Farrell
  3. Ariane Labed
  4. Jessica Barden
  5. Ben Whishaw
  6. Angeliki Papoulia 
  7. John C. Reilly
  8. Emma O'Shea 
  9. Rachel Weisz 
  10. Ashley Jensen

Monday, October 23, 2017

How do you describe a feeling?


Award ceremonies are usually something I work at rather than be invited to, rarer that I’m attending as a nominee. Tonight I was also, to my surprise, a winner. I was Anne Baxter minus the glamour, the bad feelings towards her (I hope) and questionable journey...

A good day.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

10 thoughts on...The Party


  1. All hail Kristin Scott Thomas! What a joy it is to see someone give something more meaty than a repressed woman to play. Her she delivers a terrific performance that manages to meet all the many tones of the film...
  2. ...she doesn’t manage to give the final ‘twist’ much reality but that is not her fault. Enter: Sally Potter.
  3. I’m not sure whether I should admit this but I loved the active disinterest in pregnancy. Probably because I find Emily Mortimer a deeply dull screen presence and to have the likes of Patricia Clarkson put her down is delicious. (Note: I love babies and am much more enthusiastic in my own friendship/family group)
  4. Sometimes I’ll find myself wanting claiming that Sally Potter deserves to be recognised as widely as her British contemporaries such as Mike Leigh or Ken Loach. Then I remember the work, which is nowhere near as iconic or accomplished as those two particular filmmakers. And, worse, I don’t think any have connected with an audience in a meaningful way. Orlando is an exemption in my books (what a film!) but the others never reach those heights. The Party is one of her more crowd pleasing but empty films where the discussions on politics, belief, society, feminism, etc feels forced and distracting from the simple pleasure of seeing some terrific actors play out a rather simple concept.
  5. Can we get a buddy comedy with Clarkson and Scott Thomas please? They’re a hoot here.
  6. It’s difficult to make a film focused on four rooms feel cinematic but Potter does. Especially those smacks and punch.
  7. I wish Potter had given Clarkson and Cherry Jones characters that were less a repetition of their previous great work. (Sidenote: I need to start the new series of Transparent!) 
  8. It’d be nice to see less stories about privileged white people in British film. Perhaps another reason Potter’s work doesn’t find resonance with a wide audience?
  9. Cillian Murphy is on fire here. And looks incredibly handsome. His character and performance give the film some much needed variation from the polite aggressive elsewhere.
  10. I must rewatch Orlando soon.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

One reaction to...A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot


It is a testament to the documentary genre that a title such as A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot loses its provocativeness within the first few seconds of the film. It follows a republican community in Derry, post-Good Friday Agreement and the only word I can think to describe this community is broken. Although they are living in a 'peaceful' Northern Ireland, the readiness the community has to use and accept violence is shocking. It does not seem possible that this is so close to home. Documentary is absolutely the best way to have told this story, that guiltily feels foreign to me despite being an Irishman living in the London. Surely this is something Irish and British people should be aware of? I do hope it gets a wide release, this is documentary filmmaking at its most relevant.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Kiss.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Revisiting...The Fabulous Baker Boys

I'm shoehorning this into a 'revisit' as I'd actually never seen this film before, but it's the type of film you feel you've seen purely because it's an iconic moment.

I decided to revisit because of Michelle Pfeiffer, her recent 'comeback' buzz and the fact this film was the focus in a recent Broad Appeal podcast (a great series for cinephiles, check it out on iTunes!). I had high hopes for her performance but less for the film itself...yet I was left disappointed. 

There is a reason why I've never heard someone gush over this film: it has almost zero personality. It's a simple story about two male nondescript characters going through a predictable arc. And thankfully Pfeiffer's Susie Stone enters to complicate their arc, with an energy that is vastly more exciting than anything else inter film. Sadly the narrative more interested in the story of one man's frustrations with artistic freedom in a world of commerce and Susie Stone is sidelined. It feels like the type of film that ignores it's MVP to its detriment.

I wish I had rewatched Married to the Mob instead, a film that knows how to make the most of Pfeiffer's talent.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Smile.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Top of the class...sequels


As Blade Runner 2049 has just proved, sequels can be magnificent experience for fans of the original. This isn't always the case (The Lost World: Jurassic Park anyone?!) but now feels a good time to celebrate ten of my favourites. For this list the focus is the second film.
  1. The Empire Strikes Back
  2. Before Sunset
  3. Addams Family Values
  4. Aliens
  5. The Godfather Part II
  6. Blade Runner 2049
  7. Toy Story 2
  8. Batman Returns
  9. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  10. X2

Friday, October 13, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

My favourite shot...A Fantastic Woman


A shot that perfectly portrays A Fantastic Woman's narrative: a character attempts to overcome obstacles to be with her partner. There's also a hint of colour in the otherwise grey, metaphorically and visually, moment.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

One reaction...Harvey Weinstein


Since I can remember I've loved films and this fascination really kicked off in the late 1990s in my teens. It'll come as no surprise then that Harvey Weinstein had been an idol of mine. He championed the type of filmmaking I felt passionate about over the years such as My Left Foot (Irish stories on the big screen!), The Crying Game (another Irish story and with a trans character!), Pulp Fiction (new cinema!), The English Patient (swoon!), Shakespeare in Love (more swoon and celebrate its Oscar victory against male-centric war films), Chocolat (rather simple but effective female led narrative with buckets of charm) and Philomena (Irish, female led). His style of producing echoed the past where he could create stars, bring a mass audience to all sorts of films and was rewriting the rules of Hollywood. He was, in my mind, a rock star. 

There were stories of his bullying from a filmmaking perspective, such as his unfair Oscar campaign tactics and the post-production of Grace of Monaco, but I romantically saw this all as passion. Passion may have been one element of hat behaviour but with hindesight it now seems a symptom of something much more disturbing. His abuse of power to assault women will forever stain his reputation and there should be no forgiveness in light of the three decades and countless women who have suffered. There are many other 'dinosaurs' who will no doubt come to light over the next few weeks and months. We as a society should applaud those who have suffered abuse and are now coming forward to share their story. And hope that this awful news will lead to a more equal industry. Harvey Weinstein may have changed cinema but as a white man in a position of power, he should be held accountable as a message to the industry and beyond - particularly as there's a similar 'dinosaur' in the White House currently.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Smile.