Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016) Film Review


Well, thank goodness they did a total rewrite and didn’t try to use the most recent Bridget Jones book, Mad About the Boy, as the basis for this film. This is a book spoiler alert – in the book, Mark Darcy is dead and Bridget is raising their kids alone and is (as always) desperate for a man. It was a good book, but oh so sad! Thank goodness Helen Fielding was on board for creating a whole new story.

Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is single again, having broken up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) a few years previous, and he found someone else and married. She’s a successful news producer, although still makes typical “Oh, Bridget” mistakes. That would get most people fired on the spot. Suspend that disbelief. She goes off to a weekend camping festival with news presenter and mate Miranda (Sarah Solemani) and bumps into the very hot Jack (Patrick Dempsey) and they have a good old shag. A week later at one of her mate’s kid’s christening (which for some reason is as big a party as a wedding, these people are insanely rich) she bumps into Mark who reveals he is getting divorced and they have a good old shag. Three months later, Bridget finds out she is pregnant and doesn’t know who the father is. She tells them both and the rest of the film is competition win Bridget over.

It’s great – if you love Bridget Jones and this type of film. All of the old cast are back – Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, Sally Phillips, Shirley Henderson and then get great surprises like Emma Thompson as the fabulous obstetrician and Neil Pearson as one of Bridget’s colleagues. There is the issue of being all about a woman needing a man to fulfil her, which was always the goal of Bridget and always felt to me a bit disempowering for women. However what works here is that Bridget is successful in her career already and has a fabulous flat and great friends. She doesn’t desperately seek the handsome American as probably would have happened in earlier episodes – in fact, only tracking him down when she needed some info about paternity. My favourite moment was that, even though she loves Mark Darcy and clearly they get along well and love each other, she pushes him away because he is a workaholic. She doesn’t blame him, but just clearly states it didn’t work for her for the ten or so years that they were together and she’s not prepared to go back there. Go Bridget!


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) Film Review


Based on a John Le Carr novel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy follows retired spy George Smiley (Gary Oldman) as he attempts to discover which top ranking of MI6 is a Soviet Spy.

It’s an amazing cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds, Kathy Burke and Benedict Cumberbatch just to mention a few. I just wish I’d seen it in the cinema. It is relatively slow-moving, with not a lot of action, and I found at home that my attention kept drifting and I didn’t really follow it all. None the less, it was clearly an extremely good film that should have kept my attention. I blame me on this one.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Oldman), Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Bridget O’Connot and Peter Straughan) and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) Film Review


For me, the film sequel worked a lot better than the book sequel. Especially the whole Thai prison scene – it actually made a lot more sense that she was in that position than in the book. Well, let’s have a quick summary.

Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) has her man; Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). But she suspects him of having an affair, and after appalling counsel from her so-called-friends and a lack of communication between Bridget and Mark, they split. Then her job is changed so that she needs to travel with Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) to Thailand to record a travel show. Shazza (Sally Phillips) comes with her, but then she is tricked into carrying an item back for the man Shazza has been shagging, and it turns out it is full of drugs. Bridget ends up in jail, only to be rescued once again by Mark Darcy.

It’s not the most awesome. But it’s not the worst. The one thing that drove me insane was the group of friends that Bridget relies on. Even with my fav Jessica Stevenson, they still drove me nuts. That and I know that Mark Darcy is supposed to me a bit emotionally idiotic, but surely he could have done something more about the whole situation.



Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) Film Review

Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) is a single thirty-something living in London, desperate to lose weight, stop smoking, reduce her drinking and to find the man of her dreams. But between her friends and family, it seems unlikely that she will make good choices or stick by them. Will she stay with the charming but unreliable Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) or go with the sometimes charming but mostly socially awkward but reliable Mark Darcy (Colin Firth)?

Having recently read the book, I felt this was a darned good interpretation. Renee Zellweger was perfect for Bridget Jones; in fact, all of the casting was perfect. It was a shame to lose Bridget’s love for Colin Firth, though as he was playing Mark Darcy, there was really no way to make this work. Any changes from the book worked well, apart, possibly, from some of the stuff with the three best friends. Personally, I’m quite a fan of all three (Shirley Henderson, Sally Phillips and James Callis) as actors, but found the sycophantic nature of the characters in this flick very annoying. Though I am completely aware that the plot would not have worked had they been much different.


The King’s Speech (2010) Film Review


Prior to this film, I knew little to nothing about King George VI of England. I knew he was the current queen’s father and that he took the throne after his younger brother abdicated to marry his love, a twice-divorced American woman. Also, he was very well-loved. That was it. I didn’t know that he grew up with a terrible stutter, and struggled to make it through public speeches. This film tells the story of the time leading up to the abdication, when ‘Bertie’ (Albert, later to become King George, played by Colin Firth) received treatment from an Australian practitioner based in Harley St, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).

I have my usual issue with film representations of historical events, that being that I am left wondering how much of it is real, but I really should get over this. I am not intending to write a dissertation on the events of the monarchy in the lead-up to the Second World War. If I did, I’d use more reliable resources than a fictional film, regardless of how much it is based on fact. While this film is not a peer-reviewed document, it’s a darned good film.

The story is compelling and the characters totally engaging; that a grumpy man who sees himself as far above everyone else (after a lifetime of being told so) could possibly make for a compelling protagonist says a lot about the quality of the film. I have no doubt that I will watch this film again, and probably more than once. Not for a while, though.

The King’s Speech won Oscars for Best Achievement in Directing, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Colin Firth) and Best Writing, Original screenplay. It was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Art Direction, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Geoffrey Rush) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Helena Bonham Carter).

A Single Man (2009) Film Review



It’s the 1960s in LA. Colin Firth plays George, a college professor whose male partner of sixteen years has recently died in a car accident. He is distraught, and forcing himself to go through the everyday motions of his life. Charley (Julianne Moore) is his close friend and neighbour who is recovering from divorce and Kenny (Nicholas Hoult) is one of his students with whom George forms a strong connection.

This is a very beautiful film; slow and gentle, yet quite heartbreaking. One thing that did bother me was the use of light in the film; there were several points in the film where it was far too heavy-handed. Clearly, it was representing George as being in the dark of his own depression and Kenny as the new light, a ray of hope, but it would have benefitted from being far more subtle.

The film was directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, and this explains the pure beauty of production and cinematography. It’s like watching good art; beautiful and moving.