Margaret (2011) Film Review


Lisa (Anna Paquin) is a teenager growing up in New York, trying to work out school and boys and a long-distance relationship with her father, and a challenging relationship with her mother. And then she witnesses a woman get hit by a bus and tries to figure out how this fits in with her life.

It’s an interesting film. There are scenes where the action happens in the distance, but the sound is of the events that are happening just off camera – conversations, fights, music, even just roadworks. And other scenes where dialogue is happening but the vision is something totally else. It’s strangely beautiful and mysterious. Unfortunately, for me, I feel like Anna Paquin is just so closely tied to Sookie that I found it very difficult to buy her as anyone else. There is a scene early on with a lot of blood and high emotions, and I couldn’t help feeling that it was all a bit True Blood. And once I got that in my mind, I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

I liked it for the first, perhaps, two hours, but then I just got fed up with the drama that Lisa creates all around her, and the way people either confront her or just go along with her drama. By the end I just was fed up with it all.The accident scene was wonderful, made so in part by the wonderful Allison Janney. And the cast in general is very impressive, with Mark Ruffalo, Jean Reno, Kieran Culkin, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick.


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)

The Lion King (1994) Film Review



Often touted as an animated retelling of Hamlet, The Lion King sees King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) killed by his brother Scar (Jeremy Irons), and the son Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas and then Matthew Broderick) exiled, believing himself to be responsible. He is kept company by Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella), but eventually is forced to face his own fears and return to take his rightful place as king.

Yawn. I did not grow up with Disney animations, and perhaps that is why I find them cheesy and schmaltzy and I really don’t like them very much at all. I understand that this film will be a favourite of many, something they grew up with and will always love. You guys have it. I’m not into it at all.

The Lion King won Oscars for Best Music, Original Song (Can You Feel The Love Tonight) and Best Music, Original Score and was nominated for Best Music, Original Song (Circle of Life) and Best Music, Original Song (Hakuna Matata)