Marriage Story (2019) Film Review

Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) are divorcing. They have been based in New York, but Nicole is from LA and returns there with their son. The film goes through their separation and the lead-up to their divorce. We don’t see any real back-story, only the characters interpretations of what their relationship was and how it ended up where it was. Once you add in lawyers, things start getting ugly.

I didn’t mind this, it was fine. I guess it showed that relationships can sour and how tricky things can get once the law and children are involved. It felt like so much of the story could have been bypassed if the characters took the time to actually listen to each other, and in this way, it’s really reflective of the real world.

Marriage Story was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Scarlett Johansson), Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Adam Driver), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Laura Dern) Best Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score). It won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Laura Dern) and was nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Scarlett Johansson), Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Adam Driver), Best Screenplay – Motion Picture (Noah Baumbach), Best Original Score – Motion Picture and Best Motion Picture – Drama.

BlacKkKlansman (2018) Film Review

Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first African-American policeman in Colorado Springs, Colorado who manages to start an investigation into the Klu Klux Klan via one very fortunate phone call. While he is able to develop the relationship on the phone, he’ll need a white guy for the in-person meetings, and in steps Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) and between the two of them (and a few others) they start rubbing shoulders with some extremely bigoted and dangerous people.

One of the things that I always find difficult with historical films about injustice is that I feel like things should have changed. In my lifetime, things should have changed. And Spike Lee was not going to let the audience pat themselves on the back and say that good on us for being in 2018 and things have changed. The KKK still exists and is active and mainstream, and Lee gives us one final punch in the guts right before the credits.

BlacKkKlansman was nominated for Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director – Motion Picture (Spike Lee), Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (John David Washington) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Adam Driver)

Silence (2017) Film Review

In the 1800s, Christianity was banned in Japan, but a group of Portuguese Jesuit priests had established an underground group that was being pursued by the Japanese inquisitor. Ferreira (Liam Neeson) was a mentor priest who went missing, and word returned was that he had given up his faith and now lived in the Japanese way with a wife and child. Disbelieving that this could be true, Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garupe (Adam Driver) travel through the country, hidden by believers and secretly preaching and hearing confessions. However, they are constantly tormented by a cruel regime that torture indiscriminately.

It is an absolutely stunning film – very hard to watch in the torturing scenes, but the scenery is stunning, and the depictions of Japan so long ago was beautiful. However, unsurprisingly, I have some issues with the story. I have a real issue with evangelical missionaries who ignore the local culture and religion to preach their own religion. What’s more, what is shown in Silence is that the poor to continue to be oppressed and abused with the belief that the ultimate reward is after death. It is questionable that there is anything they could do about their oppressed position in those times, so perhaps having this belief is some kind of kindness. I don’t know – to me, it raises a lot of issues relating to colonialisation and destruction of culture and oppression. Who’d have thought discussing religion could be tricky?

Silence was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Cinematography.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) Film Review


It’s many years later. Darth Vader and the Emperor and the Dark Side are all gone. Now, there is The First Order. Ruled by a mysterious creature, but still using a huge bunch of Storm Troopers and with a dude with a mask and cape quite similar to Darth Vader. But there is hope, there is a still a resistance, still with Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) at the helm. Then there are other good folks who get drawn in – the absolutely delightful Finn (John Boyega), the gutsy and fabulous Rey (Daisy Ridley), the far too handsome pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and they manage to bring back Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), both as kick arse as ever.

After disliking or, at the very lease, being totally disinterested, about the Star Wars films for so long, I didn’t want to see this. Then reviews started coming in saying that it was pretty darned good, and I started to have a slight interest. And then I went and saw it and LOVED IT! What a surprise. It was fun and funny and spectacular. Mind you, I’m not keen on seeing it again, because I suspect that is one of my problems with rewatching the first films too many times – when I knew what was coming, I was far less interesting. Not knowing what was going to happen was awesome, and then there were a lot of things that were just about nods to the past. And that was nice, too.


Girls (TV Review)


Hannah (Lena Dunham) lives in Brooklyn with her best mate, Marnie (Allison Williams). She is intending to be a writer, but since her parents cut her off, she is having to work. Meanwhile, she and her hipster mates are exploring their lives and limits.


In case I’ve never made it clear, I love hipsters. I’m not one because I think I’m far too old to be throwing my hat in with a bunch of early twenties cool folks, but I admire from a distance. I don’t know if you could enjoy this show if you hate hipsters; I think Lena Dunham’s extremely clever wit and insight into the characters is by far enough to carry the show, but I can imagine hipster-haters just rolling their eyes as they reach for the remote.


Enough people must think like me, as Girls has become a huge success, winning critical and popular acclaim and Golden Globes.