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.

Modern Romance (1981) MIFF Film Review

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Robert and Mary are a couple, but Robert decides to end it. Not for the first time. The film follows Robert’s week or two following the break up, trying to get through work, get fit, start dating other women and finally trying to woo Mary back.

Albert Brooks wrote and directed this awkward comedy back in 1981 and it must surely have had some influence on Larry David, as the film is filled with those uncomfortable and unpleasant moments that many of us have come to love in Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. The character of Mary could have been further developed, although if there had been the opportunity for her to do things that would provoke Robert’s reactions it may have taken away from the humour.

Brooks talks almost constantly throughout the film, sometimes to others, sometimes on the phone, but mostly to himself. Normally, people talking to themselves in movies drives me nuts, but in this film it is quite endearing. However it is the times when he is silent and everything he feels is shown on his face that are the most hilarious.

Drive (2011) Film Review

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A Hollywood stunt-driver and mechanic (played by Ryan Gosling) moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. However, in attempting to help his neighbour who is in trouble, he winds up in an extremely violent and awful situation.

Gosling is the current king of the intense stare that speaks volumes. He doesn’t need to speak; just the slightest change in facial expression tells the audience exactly what they need to know. This film is intense – eventually. I’m late coming to this party, having been told for such a long time what an amazing film this was. I’m always wary of this – so often when I have built-up expectations, I get let down. Not this time.  However, the first half of the film is very slow (apart from the driving scenes which are totally awesome), and I was starting to get worried. Then it all happens. When you have been warned that the film gets quite horrifically violent, you’ve been warned. For me, there were several points when I thought that I’d hit the horrific point. And then it kept going. And kept going. I’m not ashamed to say that there were a few parts of the film that I watched through my fingers.

Drive was nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound Editing.