Beaches (1988) Film Review


As eleven year olds, CC Bloom (Mayim Bialik) and Hilary (Marcie Leeds) meet on holiday. They are from very different backgrounds – CC is working class Brooklyn, and Hilary is from a very wealthy other part of the world. As adults (now played by Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey), they share parts of their lives, but flit in and out. And that’s about it. (Oh, ok, sad ending – but this is a well-known tear jerker, so I’ll leave you to decide that).

I was a mega-fan as a teenager, so much so that I was surprised to find I can still quote large chunks! Now, it is dated and I find some things annoying that didn’t bother me before (like the amount of mooning at any single man in the film was a bit tedious) and the whole structure of it being an extended series of flashbacks was extremely tedious and unnecessary, but overall, it was totally good. Though if I think about it, if you didn’t love it at the time, it might be a bit hard to love it now.

Beaches was nominated for an Oscar for Best Art-Direction- Set Direction.

Lantana (2001) Film Review


Based on the play Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell, Lantana is a relationship film that shows a series of couples going through difficulties. To go into more detail would take a lot away from the gradual unwinding of the stories.

The film won a lot of awards at the time, and it’s really not hard to see why. The script is tight in the way of many films based on good plays. The cast of the film is extremely strong – although that’s not hard to tell with these names: Geoffrey Rush, Anthony LaPaglia, Kerry Armstrong and Barbara Hershey. The story unwinds in small grabs and throughout, my mind was twisting and turning, trying to figure out what had happened, or what was happening. It is truly a fabulous film.

Black Swan (2010) Film Review

Black Swan

Nina is a very fragile young lady, a ballet dancer, extremely controlled by her mother, who scores the role of the Swan Queen in Swan Lake. She has no problem dancing the innocent role of the White Swan, but struggles to find the darkness and depth of the Black Swan.

I’m not great with scary movies. They scare me. Lots. I’m also not great with suspense and anything that involves sudden shocks and loud noises. However, much of this film is very slow-moving and dark in a documentary style, and so the shocking parts are that much more shocking. Some parts that are absolutely horrible; violent, sudden and unexpected. It seems an odd film choice for Best Film Oscar, though Natalie Portman is fabulous as the extremely meek and soft-spoken ballerina.

Black Swan won an Oscar for Best Performance in a Leading Role (Natalie Portman) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture, Best Achievement in Directing (Darren Aronofsky), Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Film Editing.