Shame (2011) Film Review

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Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a businessman living a lonely life – apart from the prostitutes. And the masturbation and porn. Then his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan) turns up and he needs to change his behaviour somewhat. But she is also flawed. Life is tough for these siblings.

It’s slow and the characters are all really annoying and terrible, but I actually quite enjoyed it. While some parts were quite beautiful, much of it was pretty creepy, and not a lot was resolved. Yet, I still enjoyed it, although I’m not sure enjoyed is quite the right word.

 

The Great Gatsby (2013) Film Review

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Nick Caraway (Tobey Maguire) decides in the boom of the 1920s to become a trader in New Work, taking a small house in Long Island. He soon becomes lured into the wild, decadent life of his neighbour, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). In the spin of things are his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton).

 

The idea of Baz Luhrmann making the film got me quite excited – it really needs the lavish touch that only Baz can bring. I had been concerned that some of the deeper moments may be lost – especially as I’d heard on the grapevine that the film was only about glitz and glamour and lost the key themes. I must read the book again, but for me it worked beautifully as is. I must keep my eyes open for if it gets re-screened in 3D. I’d like to see that, especially the tracking shots through the amazing parties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Education (2009)

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It’s the 1960s in London. Schoolgirl Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) plays cello and is studying hard to get in to Oxford, pushed by her parents who have high ambitions for her. Suddenly, in the rain, she is swept off her feet by David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard), an older, rich man who charms her parents into allowing her to go on sophisticated dates and even weekends abroad.

This doesn’t feel like an unfamiliar film, but I cannot say why. Certainly, the wonderful Carey Mulligan who plays the eager yet naïve schoolgirl beautifully brings it to life. It’s not a slow film, but it doesn’t race to go anywhere. Also, somehow, I wanted more from the end. I’m not sure what. I’m not sure that it could have put any more in to the end without annoying me, but I felt like I wanted just a bit more.

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.