Based on the Stephen King novel, Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a girl only recently taken from being home schooled by her mother (Julianne Moore) and put into school where she is relentlessly bullied, but with her newly found powers, she is able to extract bloody revenge.
The book Carrie was fabulous, the first film was wonderful, even the stage musical was pretty interesting, so why make a new one? I had heard that this was pretty average, but I quite liked it. The addition of some internet posting and the like was cool, Julianne Moore was amazing as usual, and I also love Chloe Grace Moretz, but essentially, it captured the awful bullying really well, and the explosions at the end were heaps of fun. Still, I’d probably go the old one over the new, but hey. Still worth watching.
Having not posted my review for the first part of Mockingjay until after watching this one, I was pretty surprised at how excited I’d been. Given how much I was bored during the second part.
While the books kept my attention right through to the end, this film bored me deeply. I couldn’t care about how it all ended – despite going it at the start loving it. Yes, it follows the same mood and world created, but *yawn* I just got sick of it.
So Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is sick of being the ‘face’ of the rebellion, so she sneaks off to do her own thing. Only then she ends up with a crew around her. And stuff happens. For me, not enough action, and these last two films should have been just the one.
I’d been bit concerned that I’d lost my Hunger Games mojo… I couldn’t really recall the second film, and while I was very interested in seeing how they deal with the intense darkness of the third book, if the second film hadn’t stuck in my mind, would it be worth it? Me and a couple of mates watched the first two films in the lead up to Mockingjay and it still wasn’t sticking – though I was feeling a lot of love for the character and the overall story.
If you haven’t seen the first two and want to, here’s a big spoiler alert.
At the end of Catching Fire, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) had been rescued from the arena and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) had been left behind. Katniss is now with the resistance of District Thirteen, under the rule of President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and guidance of Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman). But, she is not willing to just be their face, they need to let her find her leadership, and she does. In the meantime, a whole heap of people die and are injured, and rebellion is happening all over the place.
It’s quite a slow film in that there is a lot of ground to cover. It seems to be the thing to break single books into multiple films and it sometimes works well (Harry Potter) and sometime less so (The Hobbit), but this seems to be a case of needing to split it. The really dark stuff is yet to come, although the end of this film saw the first hints of it. I just wish they didn’t make us wait a whole year for it – I know, I know, it’s all about the money, but I want it NOW!!!
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song – Motion Picture.
Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman) is battling her mental health issues and attempting to write Mrs Dalloway. Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is a mother of a small child, pregnant to a second in the 1950s, reading Mrs Dalloway and struggling with depression. Her doting husband Dan (John C Reilly) seems to not notice how much she is struggling, even though her small child, Richie (Jack Rovello) seems acutely aware of it. Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) is a woman living in present-day New York who is throwing a party for her closest friend, Richard (Ed Harris) who has just won a literary award. He is ill with AIDS and between the illness and the medication, he is not mentally all that aware of what is happening around him. A long-standing joke between them is that he refers to her as Mrs Dalloway.
The film is beautiful and tragic and wonderful and only ruined by one thing – that nose. Nicole Kidman has a prosthetic nose, presumably because she is considered to beautiful to portray the plain Virginia Woolf. Bullshit. She does some decent acting here, but it is all taken away by the constant staring at that stupid lump on her face. If they really couldn’t handle having her with her normal face playing the role (and hey, if they wanted to make her Hollywood ugly, doesn’t she just need a frumpy dress, bad hair and glasses?), then perhaps they should have cast someone plainer. The whole nose thing made me so angry, because it treats the audience like morons. Grrr.
If you can get past the nose, do. Oh, and the unrelenting, too loud and melodramatic soundtrack. All three storylines have pain and sadness and so much depth in a short amount of time. The supporting cast is pretty fabulous as well, but it is the three main women who carry the weight of this heavy film.
The Hours won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Nicole Kidman) and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ed Harris), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Julianne Moore), Best Director (Stephen Daldry), Best Writing Adapted Screenplay (David Hare), Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Music, Original Score.
Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) and their two children Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson) live a pretty idyllic life – they have plenty of money, Joni is about to head to college and things are great. Then, when Joni turns 18, Laser pushes her to contact their donor father, Paul (Mark Ruffalo). When Paul enters their life, things become difficult for everyone.
It is a great film, which is clear by the quality of the cast it attracted. The story is plausible and it doesn’t shy away from difficult scenes. Having said that, I did wonder (spoiler alert) about how easily a woman in a strong, long-term same-sex relationship was wooed away by a man. Seems quite insulting to the strength of the relationship and dangerously could be seen to suggest that a lesbian just needs to meet the right man. Perhaps it was just that it all seemed fast – the passing of time is not overly clear throughout the film. There are a couple of moments where characters seem to take the easy way out of a situation, but for believable reasons. As far as a story is concerned, this is generally a good yarn.
The Kids Are All Right was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Annette Bening), Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Mark Ruffalo) and Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg).
2027. All of the people in the world are infertile. The youngest human, eighteen-year-old “Baby Diego” has just been killed and everyone is mourning. Theo (Clive Owen) is suddenly and violently approached by his ex-wife Julian (Julianne Moore) to assist in getting Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey), a young, pregnant woman to safety.
It’s an amazing thought – the human race dying out not from illness or disease but just not being able to make more. What drives people as a species to keep going? And what would really happen to the miracle – the occasional person who falls pregnant? This is not an easy film to watch. It’s violent and emotional and does not pull punches at any time. But it is wonderful, and beautiful, and I hope that I have the guts to watch it again sometime.
Children of Men was nominated for Oscars for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Alofonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby) Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Film Editing.
No matter how many times I see this film, I can watch it more. It’s funny, tragic, quirky and ridiculous, and is one of my favourites ever.
So, there’s a guy called Lebowski who is better known as The Dude (Jeff Bridges). He’s an old hippy who potters around, getting through life somehow until one day his house is broken into by thugs who threaten him and urinate on his rug. When realising it is a case of mistaken identity, his best mates and bowling buddies Donnie (Steve Buscemi) and Walter(John Goodman) advise him on how to resolve this issue. And along the way are nihilists, artists, acid flashbacks, kidnappings, beating up cars and a lot of swearing.
If you’ve not seen the film, you may well not like it. Because if you have friends who like the film, they’ve probably forced it on you. If you didn’t like it, you may no longer have those friends – it’s one of those films that people get crazy passionate about. Use this as a test: watch this clip that shows the entrance of Jesus (John Turturro). If you don’t think this is the most magnificent introduction of a character in cinematic history, you may not like the film. And I’ll chuck it out there: what other character entrances are magnificent? (My second would be Ray Winston in the opening of Sexy Beast. Find that one yourself – I couldn’t find it on youtube. You need the full version with Peaches by The Stranglers)
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.
Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is devastated when his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore) asks him for a divorce, seemingly out of the blue. He moves in a nondescript apartment and spends his nights sitting alone at a local bar moaning about David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon), the man his wife slept with. Ladies man Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) takes pity on him and helps him to reinvent himself, but all Cal wants is his wife and family back. Meanwhile, Jacob meets a woman that makes him question his life choices, Cal’s son is in love with his babysitter, and the babysitter is in love with Cal. It’s a complex series of plots, and that hasn’t even gone into half of it.
I make no apologies of my love of the performing of so many members of this cast; Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Kevin Bacon; even Marisa Tomei has a hilarious role. Plus, the film is so well-structured that I did not pick the twist and I thought it was a doozy. It’s not an easy film to watch; there are elements that are like an emotional car crash, but it’s just wonderful.
I read The Shipping News last year and found it a dense read that I could not predict translating to film. I was extremely impressed, when I finally got around to hiring it, at how well the story was told. In just under two hours, the film captures the essence of the book; all of the characters, including the character that is the house when Quoyle and his family find themselves living.
There was a couple of immediately noticeable changes that I worried initially could be a problem; in the film, Quoyle only has one daughter and the dog is missing altogether. However, whilst both of those characters serve important roles in the book, they are not missing in the film.
It is a long and slow film, and usually, that’s what I complain about. I still think that the plot of the majority of films can be told in an hour and a half, but it’s almost as if ‘film’ has heard my complaint and is sending me all of the good long films. This film couldn’t have been a moment shorter; if anything, it could have been longer. However, there were single shots in the film that covered many pages of the book and encapsulated everything about this.