Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Film Review

There are a lot of films and television shows made of this Agatha Christie novel, this is probably the most well-known, perhaps on par with the recent 2017 remake. The cast for this – wow. Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York. Wow. What a line-up!

It’s slow. Very slow. Perhaps it is that films were made differently back in the day, perhaps people had more time, perhaps with that cast it was difficult to cut it down. It’s sooooo long (feels a lot longer than it actually is) but there are truly some moments of absolute gold.

Ingrid Berman won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film was also nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Albert Finney), Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material (Paul Dehn), Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.

Bombshell (2019) Film Review

In 2016, Rogie Alies resigned from his high-up position at Fox News after being accused by multiple women, including several on-air personalities. Bombshell tells this story of how the accusations came to light, how it was handled and, to some extent, what the fall out was for the network and the people involved.

I’ve watched a few movies of a similar style, that show events of recent times as a movie, and what I’ve found for several of them is that they are interesting, but not necessarily very captivating. Is this the difficulty of trying to get a balance between facts and drama? Like, to have a more exciting story, perhaps it would need to stray further from the truth? Maybe these stories are better told as documentaries. I mean, it’s a very good film, a strong cast, a compelling story, and a story that needs to be told. I just wasn’t as engaged as I felt the story deserves.

Bombshell won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Charlize Theron) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Margot Robbie)

Promising Young Woman (2020) Film Review

I’d highly recommend going in to this without knowing much, so I’m not going to say much. I just want to say that I loved it, I’ve seen it a second time and it was even better as a second viewing, and I want to see it again. It’s excellently crafted, and a film which the cleverness is only improved by discussing it afterwards. I think this is brilliant cinema.

Promising Young Woman won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (Emerald Fennell) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Carey Mulligan), Best Achievement in Directing (Emerald Fennell) and Best Achievement in Film Editing.

Moonstruck (1997) Film Review

Loretta (Cher) is a widow living a safe life in New York with her parents, courted by the very safe Johnny (Danny Aiello). When Johnny proposes, then heads to Italy to be with his ill mother as she dies, he sends Loretta to invite his estranged brother, Ronny (Nicholas Cage) to the wedding. Despite his highly aggressive outburst (which is apparently romantic), Loretta falls for him. Meanwhile, there are a whole heap of others in Loretta’s world all having romantic struggles. It’s the full moon. It’s sent them all love crazy.

The soundtrack is wonderful. The style is stunning. The story is somewhat questionable, seriously, and both my friend and I were far more interested in the story of Loretta’s mother, Olympia Dukakis, as she deals with her philandering husband. Cher won an Oscar for this, as did Olympia Dukakis, and it also won a screenwriting Oscar.

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (2019) Film Review

While I was watching this, I put up a Facebook status asking if this film actually got good at any point and may have lost a friendship or two over it… because apparently it’s an amazing film. I guess that sentence makes it pretty clear that I disagree… it is stunning, but maybe I’ve just reached a point where I’ve had enough Tarantino in my life. I was just bored. So bored.

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood won Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Brad Pitt) and Best Achievement in Production Design and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Quentin Tarantino), Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing. It won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Brad Pitt), Best Screen Play Motion Picture (Quentin Tarantino) and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Best Director – Motion Picture (Quentin Tarantino).

Baby Driver (2017) Film Review

So many people told me I’d love this film, and that the soundtrack was amazing, and that it had so many things that they knew I loved in films – car chases and fast action and coolness and fancy camera stuff, and all of it. And yet…

There’s a driver for hire, Baby (Ansel Algort). He’s a bit odd… doesn’t talk much, constantly listens to his headphones, is amazing at what he does, can get criminals from their crimes to their endpoints all controlled to the beat of his personal soundtrack. But he needs to do one more job…

I can’t explain why I didn’t like this. Perhaps too much anticipation. Perhaps it was just too cool for me. I’m a huge fan of Edgar Wright, and there’s no real reason for me to have not liked this, but I really didn’t.

Baby Driver was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Ansel Elgort) and BAFTAS for Best Editing and Best Sound.

Parasite (2019) Film Review

There’s a family who are struggling – none of them have a job, they live in a tiny flat in the worst part of a poor neighbourhood. Then the son,  Ki-woo (Choi Woo Shik) gets a job tutoring a girl in a wealthy and, one-by-one, they all end up enmeshed with this family. But things are never quite as they seems, and things get… strange. So strange. So funny.

I loved this film so much. It was weird and strange and funny and unexpected and crazy and sad and funny and weird… Oh, I seem to be going around in circles.

Parasite was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Bong Joon Ho), Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, Best Achievement in Production Design and Best Achievement in Film Editing. It won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language and was nominated for Best Director – Motion Picture and Best Screenplay- Motion Picture.

Milk (2008) Film Review

Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) was a gay activist in San Francisco who ran numerous times for official position and once in, fought for the rights of the gay community until his life was cut tragically short.

As with all biopics, I’m aware that some license is taken with the telling of the story. But this is an important film which came at a time when same sex marriage was starting to be legalised across the Western world. None-the-less, there are still ongoing battles for the rights of our fellow humans, and while we may feel that things are mostly pretty good, it’s important to recognise and honour those who fought to gain these rights in the past. And to hope that these rights are not stripped away.

Milk won Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Sean Penn) and Best Writing Original Screenplay (Dustin Lance Black) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Josh Brolin), Best Achievement in Directing (Gus Van Sant), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.

Coraline (2009) Film Review

Neil Gaiman writes amazing horror for kids – I once read a great article where he talks about the fact that his child wanted horror and he was surprised to discover that little existed, so he created it himself. Coraline is about a girl who moves to a small town with her parents who are so wrapped up in themselves that they barely notice she’s there. She discovers an alternative world where things are magical and fantastic, but she can only stay is she lets her eyes be replaced with buttons. How does that make sense? And yet, it totally does. Fabulous story, beautiful animation. Overall, this is just totally wonderful.

Coraline was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature film of the year.

Broadcast News (1987) Film Review

Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) is a reporter for a Washington news show and Jane Craig (Holly Hunter) is the producer who, unbeknownst to her, has his heart. Along comes pretty boy Tom Grunick (William Hurt) who has no experience but eventually shows some natural talent and there is a love triangle.

I don’t know why, but I always thought this was a drama about serious news things rather than being a love story. It’s great, very much of its time, though Holly Hunter gets to play a pretty awesome woman, and so it was a little frustrating that it ended up having a main plot around her love life. Still, definitely worth a watch.

Broadcast News was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (William Hurt), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Holly Hunter), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Albert Brooks), Best Writing – Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (James L. Brooks), Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing.