Cape Fear (1991) Film Review

Cape Fear

This Martin Scorsese remake of the 1962 film has Robert De Niro playing Max Cady, just released from prison after serving fourteen years for beating and raping a young girl. Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte) was his lawyer who buried evidence that his victim had been promiscuous, concerned that this may have reduced Cady’s sentence. Cady begins to stalk Bowden and his family, wife Leigh (Jessica Lange) and fifteen-year-old daughter Danielle (Juliette Lewis). When the law cannot help him, Bowden tries to take things into his own hands.

The heavy influences from Alfred Hitchcock are most obvious in the unnerving camera angles and intense music, but for me, instead of making it a classic, strong thriller, it was fairly absurd. I’m generally not great with thrillers, but this really didn’t bother me too much at all. Although I found it a bit difficult to get past De Niro’s accent.

Cape Fear was nominated for Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robert De Niro) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Juliette Lewis).



The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) Film Review


Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) was a stock broker who, after the Black Monday crash in 1987, found himself out of a job. After finding a small company in the suburbs that traded in penny stocks (don’t ask me – its starts getting technical here), he discovered a way to make a lot of money in the stock market using dodgy, if not downright illegal, practices. Along the way he accumulates a lot of very loyal staff and friends, loses a wife, gains another, takes a lot of drugs and end up extremely rich. And the FBI notice.

It’s based on a true story, and it’s pretty interesting. It’s a fun film that I really enjoyed, but it didn’t seem all that original. It is certainly worth a watch, but it didn’t scream out as a story that needed to be told,  and I cannot see how it has been nominated for so many awards. It is absolutely worth watching for two things: Jonah Hill (or even just Jonah Hill’s teeth) and the brief appearance of Matthew McConaughey at the start.

The Wolf of Wall Street was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jonah Hill), Best Directing (Martin Scorsese), Best Writing: Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter). It was also nominated for Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture,  Musical or Comedy, Best Actor in A Motion Picture,  Musical or Comedy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and for BAFTAs for Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter), Leading Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Director (Martin Scoresese) and Editing.

Hugo (2011) Film Review


Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is an orphan who lives about the Paris train station, hiding from the evil Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), watching and stealing small parts from toy booth owner Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley) and rebuilding the automaton his father (Jude Law) was fixing before he died. Before long, Hugo befriends the god-daughter of Georges Melies, Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) and they embark on the adventure of finding what the world hold, and what place they have within it.

It’s a sweet little story, tying in with some of the real history of cinema, but it just didn’t win me over. Why, I wonder? The story and characters were strong, and it was certainly beautiful. Perhaps it was the acting.  I felt that the young lead was doing far too much eyebrow and mouth acting, like Daniel Radcliffe throughout the Harry Potter films. I think when you see films with amazing child actors, you know that there is better than this. I really had very little interest in what happened to Hugo, and I guess that is pretty important to the film. I think there was also the element of brushing over the ugly side of life; yes, the orphans were captured by the evil Station Inspector, but I didn’t feel the fear that they were trying to portray here.

Hugo won Oscars for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Achievement in Visual Effects and Best Achievement in Art Direction. It was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Martin Scorsese) Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (John Logan), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.