Darkest Hour (2017) Film Review

I don’t know a lot about Churchill – I know of his alcoholism, his depression (famously, his black dog) and the ‘We will fight on the beaches” speech. I found it fascinating in the Darkest Hour to learn about how Churchill became Prime Minister, at a time during the war when the Nazi forces were their strongest there was a real threat of losing much of the British forces. It’s a film about politics, about personalities battling against each other and the devastation of war.

This film reminded me a lot of Lincoln in that both show that politics has never been straightforward as coming up with a good idea and following through – it is about backroom deals and double-crossing and planning against each other, and it is truly a dirty world. I loved the world around Churchill – the upstairs/downstairs and breakfast served in bed and backing out of the room with royalty, though I am hoping that this world is long gone. Though… probably not. I also was very aware that this is a dramatization and it makes me wonder what was real and what wasn’t. How much of an influence was his wife, his secretary, the King of England?

Darkest Hour was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Gary Oldman) and for BAFTAs for Best Leading Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Make-up/Hair, Original Music, Best Film, Best Supporting Actress (Kristin Scott Thomas), Outstanding British Film of the Year, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Film Review

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When did I become so cynical and horrible? I used to love this film so much, a story of true love that just takes a while to finally bloom. Now, I see an idiot chasing a terrible woman with no real personality who plays with him like a cat with a small toy.

Okay, so Charles (Hugh Grant) is a man who has had a long string of serious relationships, but laments that none have led him to marriage even as many around him wed. Carrie (Andie MacDowell) is a mysterious American who he immediately falls for despite her having very little personality (quite an achievement since she has some absolutely charming lines, yet still comes across as being boring). And they end up taking this kind-of romance through four weddings and a funeral.

I think it is a very good film, but watching it now I found some of the key parts quite unbelievable and overly convenient. Still, overall I love the characters and the humour and it will still always make me cry. A Lot.

 

Four Weddings and a Funeral was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Richard Curtis)

Only God Forgives (2013) Film Review

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When Billy (Tom Burke) is killed after raping and murdering a sixteen-year-old girl in Bangkok, his mother Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas) sends her other son, Julian (Ryan Gosling) to obtain justice.

That’s pretty much it. There is some karaoke and a fair bit of police corruption, but essentially, there is very little plot. For the first half of the film, I wanted to call it ‘Ryan Gosling stares at things’ because that’s almost all that happens. This film was made by Nicolas Winding Refn who also directed Drive, and I think if you are looking for a stylish and extremely violent drama, just watch Drive again. This is like Drive but without the story.

The Valet (2006) Film Review

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A valet is in love with a bookshop owner. But when he proposes, she says she wants someone with more ambition. Then, a crazy moment leads the valet to have to share his house with a supermodel to save the marriage of a cheating CEO and it is all on like a French farce. In fact, exactly like a French farce. Though not a really great one.

It was okay, a bit cute, some fun but the plot was pretty weak. Fun, but a bit meh.