Little Voice (1998) Film Review

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LV (Jane Horrocks) is a painfully shy girl living with her horrible, shouty mother Mari (Brenda Blethyn). LV escapes into the world of her the records that her now-dead father left her – all the classics, Shirly Bassey, Judy Garland, Billie Holiday – all the greats. When her mum hooks up with local talent scout Ray Say (Michael Caine) and he hears LV singing, a plan is cooked up for her to become a star. Not that she wants it. Meanwhile, she has met equally shy pigeon fancier Billy (Ewan McGregor) and he has lit something in her.

I love this film. It’s one of those great little British films that tell a decent story with strong scriptwriting and fabulous performances. Jane Horrocks is just so fabulous in it, especially once she is in the spotlight! Bam! But it is a tough film to watch. So much awfulness. The one bit that falls down for me is the role of the unattractive neighbour Sadie, played by Annette Badland. Her character is mostly silent and acting like a moron like a poor clown. The thing is, the film didn’t need a clown – it was such a tragic film and Sadie was not an appropriate inclusion. Annette Badland would have done a lot better as a strong supporting character.

Little Voice was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Brenda Blethyn).

 

The Dark Knight (2008) Film Review

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Batman (Christian Bale) has done heaps to make Gotham a better place, and wants a quiet life with his love interest, Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Two things stand in his way; he needs a good man to be a public face of good in Gotham, and Rachel is seeing another man. Both of these problems are directly related to Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Then along comes the Joker (Heath Ledger), appearing to “watch the world burn”, bringing his own chaos to Gotham.

I’ve made it no secret that I love a good superhero film, I love the excitement and chaos of a good chase, some explosions and fighting. The Dark Knight is the next step up – dark, sinister, with some truly horrible stuff happening. Clever, and no matter how many times I watch it, I have to look away when the Joker has the pencil. The opening bank raid is one of my favourite film opening sequences, not least because I get a moment of William Fechtner, and that’s always a good thing.

The Dark Knight won Oscars for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Heath Ledger) and Best Achievement in Sound Editing and was nominated for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Art Direction, Best Achievement in Make Up, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best Achievement in Visual Effects.