Tag Archives: Cate Blanchett

Carol (2015) Film Review

Carol (Cate Blanchett) is a rich woman, married to Harge (Kyle Chandler) but who prefers the company of women. He has forced the end of her relationship with Abby (Sarah Paulson), but now that Carol and Harge are separated, she feels free to pursue Therese (Rooney Mara). But things cannot go smoothly.

Again, it is one of those films where not a lot happens – it’s slow and beautiful and fabulous. It’s rare to have a film about love between women in the mainstream, and with a cast like Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, this was always going to be mainstream. Setting it in the fifties allows the film to be read with an element of ‘that was then, things are different now’, but I hope people realise that many of the prejudices and fears are still as real now.

Carol was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Cate Blanchett), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Rooney Mara), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Phyllis Nagy), Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.

 

 

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Robin Hood (2010) Film Review

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I remember when this film came out, everyone was going on about how terrible Russell Crowes’ accent was, and I just want to say that it didn’t bother me. There were accents all over the shop, I had no idea who was supposed to be from where, and didn’t really care.

The film tells the story from when Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) and his mates are fighting under King Richard the Lionheart in France, only when the king dies, they nick off home, pretending to be some nobles whose they find dying along the way. After delivering the news to the new king, Robin goes to tell the noble’s father that his son is dead. The father, Sir Walter Loxley (Max von Sydow) convinced Robin to stay and assume his son’s identity to ensure that the land is not taken away from the widow, Marion (Cate Blanchett). And the story continues up to the point where Robin and his mates become outlaws.

In general, I didn’t mind this movie. It’s wasn’t amazing, and personally if I was to watch a film about a rebel in the olden days in Britain, I’d sooner watch Rob Roy or even Braveheart. What really bugged me was that Cate Blanchett had a very average role to play, and there was absolutely no chemistry between her Marion and Crowe’s Robin. It felt like it was close to being a good story but never quite made it.

 

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How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) Film Review

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After Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) found a way for his people to become friends with dragons in How to Train Your Dragon, he spends a lot of time with Toothless investigating the wider world. And then he discovers that not everyone in the wider world is nice. And there are a whole bunch of battles and fights, and not everyone survives.

Made me laugh, made me cry. And I think was a pretty top sequel to the first one. And there are a few decent female characters – sure one chick is totally boy crazy, but she also kicks arse somewhat.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature of the Year and won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film.

 

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The Monuments Men (2014) Film Review

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A group of art historians are brought into the army to save artwork that Hitler has had collected and plans to destroy if he loses power.

That is an interesting story in itself. Yet, watching the trailers, it looked terrible to me. It seemed very lighthearted and possibly too funny. IT didn’t matter that there is an excellent cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban. Or that it was directed by Clooney. It just looked average. But I went.

I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not a total hard-hitting war film. The humour was good and not too much of it, and it was nicely balanced with some heart wrenching moments. I believe it is not true to the original story, but it is not a documentary. I’m happy to forgive that. I’m happy to have just enjoyed it for what it was.

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Blue Jasmine (2013) Film Review

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Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) has lived the life of a high-society woman in New York for years, married to financier Hal (Alec Baldwin). However, he was busted for running some schemes that lost a lot of people all their money.  Broke, Jasmine has gone to stay with her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins) until she gets back on her feet. Despite her own situation and ruin, she constantly criticises Ginger for her choices in life and in men whilst struggling to maintain a semblance of sanity.

I’ve not seen a lot of Woody Allen films, but I think this is a pretty good one. The characters are believable in all their insanity and the emotional discomfort created is quite intense. Cate Blanchett is wonderful in the role of Jasmine, seemingly in control much of the time yet totally incompetent in so many ways.

Blue Jasmine won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Cate Blanchett) and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Sally Hawkins). It was also nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Cate Blanchett), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Sally Hawkins) and Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Woody Allen) and nominated for BAFTAs for Best Original Screenplay (Woody Allen), Best Leading Actress (Cate Blanchett) and Best Supporting Actress (Sally Hawkins)

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I’m Not There (2007) Film Review

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Inspired by the life and times of Bob Dylan, I’m Not There follows a variety of storylines and characters that seem to be Dylan, or certainly are inspired by him. Christian Bale plays a young folk singer, Jack Rollins, whose rebellious folk music inspired a generation. However, when he plays electric guitar at a festival, his fans feel betrayed. He leaves the music scene and finds religion.

Cate Blanchett plays Jude Quinn, a folk/rock singer during the sixties who is living through drugs and identity crisis, fighting against stereotyping whilst trying to keep his voice.

Ben Wishall plays Arthur Rimbaud, a poet whose interjections are commas and fullstops to the rhythm of the film.

Marcus Carl Franklin plays Woody, a young boy who travels America, avoiding the law. He sings beautifully, songs of the depression.

Richard Gere plays Billy the Kid as an older man, a hermit in hiding after being shot by Pat Garrett. After discovering that Garrett is going to destroy Riddle County where he lives, he confronts Garrett and finds himself on the run again.

Finally, Heath Ledger plays Robbie Clark, an actor starring in the bio-pic of Jack Rollins (the character played by Christian Bale). We see him fall in love with Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who he marries. They have children, then split up.

There is so much in this film. I had expected that I would find it pretentious and annoying, especially having a woman cast as a male character. It all seemed ridiculous. Instead, I found it to be beautiful and poetic. It did not bother me that the stories mashed over each other, or that the key connection between the lot was the music. The hypnotic nature of the film lulled me in and took me over. The cast is incredible, with some of the top actors of this generation. I wonder how the film would have gone with unknown actors. I feel that it would have worked in much the same way, but perhaps with less acclaim.

Cate Blanchett was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for her performance in I’m Not There.

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Babel (2006) Film Review

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Sadtacular, sadtacular. Oh, so so so sadtacular. Babel is by director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu who also made Amores Perros and 21 Grams, and I could not bring myself to watch it again. I wanted to; unless I know a film extremely well from multiple viewings, I don’t like to write about them. But I started to watch this and just couldn’t go through it again. Just seeing the two young boys on the hill with the rifle. Oh, no.

Babel tells several stories that overlap during the film. There is the story of the family living in the hills of Morocco who herd sheep and buy a gun to kill the jackals. Then, there is Richard Jones (Brad Pitt) and his wife Susan (Cate Blanchett) who are travelling through Morocco when disaster strikes. Back in the US, their children are being looked after by Amelia (Adriana Barraza), their undocumented nanny from Mexico. She needs to get home to a family wedding, but the children’s aunt does not arrive to take care of the children, so she takes them with her. Finally, there is the Japanese story, which follows deaf teenager Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi) who is struggling to fit in and develops a crush on a police office she believes is investigating her mother’s suicide.

Every story is heart-wrenching. Some parts of the stories go exactly the way you’d expect, but then suddenly, they will veer off into sadtacular land. The film is very good. But totally heartbreaking, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch it again.

Babel won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score and was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Adriana Barraza), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Rinko Kikuchi) and Best Writing, Original Screenplay. It won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama and was nominated for many other awards.

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