You Can Count On Me (2000) Film Review


Samantha (Laura Linney) and her son Rudy (Rory Culkin) live a life of routine in a small town. He goes to school and to a babysitter after school. She works in the bank and dates a local bloke occasionally. Then their routine is disrupted by two things: Samantha gets a new boss, Brian (Matthew Broderick) and her loose cannon brother, Terry (Mark Ruffalo) returns to town.

It’s a story about getting people out of their comfort zones, of challenging their behaviour and beliefs, about taking risks and about recognising inner strengths and weaknesses. And it’s just fine. It’s not amazing, but it’s not awful. There were a couple of scenes that I found a bit ‘as if’ which was a shame. I think it was because the rest of the film did such a good job of playing to the emotional truth that when something was less than true, it really stuck out.

You Can Count On Me was nominated for Oscars for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Laura Linney) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Kenneth Lonergan)

Breach (2007) Film Review


Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe) is a young, up and coming FBI agent who has been put into a position working on a dodgy senior agent, Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper). It’s based on a true story. I hope loosely, because everything seems dodgy and half-arsed, and surely the FBI are better than that. Surely.

I cannot believe that the young upstart played by Phillippe could possibly so anything the way he does it – from the way he speaks to his superior, played by Laura Linney, to his nervous, wussy demeanor. And surely an agent who has been doing what he has been doing for so long wouldn’t so instantly trust this fool of a kid just because they are of the same religious background. For me, this film was poorly written and not very well executed.

Hyde Park on Hudson (2012) Film Review



Franklin D Roosevelt was the US President from 1933-1945. This film takes place at his mother’s property(where Roosevelt was based when he was not working out of Washington) during the years leading up to the Second World War. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth came for a visit to court US support should war break out.

After recently watching The King’s Speech, it was very interesting to see another representation of King George VI and his wife. In fact, it was the scene with these two on their own which were, by far, the most amusing. The rest of the film was totally boring. I wanted to like it. The general plot was interesting, and the cast was led by one of my favourites, Bill Murray. But I was so bored. What a huge disappointment.

Hyde Park on Hudson was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (Bill Murray).

The Truman Show (1998) Film Review


Truman Burbank is born into a perfect town – he has people who care for him and everything seems to go his way. There’s a reason for this – he is the star of the longest-running reality television show. The world has followed his life from his birth through his childhood, teenage years and marriage, but he is beginning to realise that things are not as they seem.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this, so I was pretty happy to have it turn up on television. It is an excellently structured film, extremely well written and directed, and the acting is marvellous. I really appreciated just how quickly the premise of the film was set up, showing Truman in his daily life, yet very quickly showing his questioning of his life when a light falls from the sky into the street near him. So concise and perfect.

It’s funny and emotional without being overly cheesy. For me, any film that I’ve seen several times that can still make me cry is a top flick.

The Truman Show was nominated for Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Ed Harris), Best Director (Peter Weir) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.