I Give it a Year (2013) Film Review


So Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) are two opposites who fell in love, got married really quickly and no-on thinks they will last it out. Then there is the other love interests… Chloe (Anna Faris), a charity worker, the ex of Josh, who is a bit dumpy (well, she doesn’t style her hair too much and wears normal clothes, so she must be totally dumpy, yeah?) and then there is Guy (Simon Baker), a rich man whose account Nat is trying to get at work, and who just keeps sleazing on to her even whilst making joke about harassment.

It’s bound to go badly. And really, there are just so many shit things about this film. There is the fact that the married couple only seem to want to stay together to prove other people wrong or to not be the one who walks away, whilst both of them are lusting after other people. And it really is a pretty shit concept. And every time I thought it might go well, it went bad. It’s just not great, but a few things worked….

Okay the things that worked were really just the other people: the always wonderful Minnie Driver, the fabulous Daisy Haggard, and one of my favourite performers ever, the brilliant Olivia Colman.


Sleepers (1996) Film Review


Hell’s Kitchen, 1960s. Four boys, best of friends, hang out, are altar boys together until they play a prank that results in them being sent to juvenile detention. Inside, they are abused horrifically by four of the guards. Fourteen years after they are released, two have become notorious gang leaders and killers, one is a journalist and the other is an assistant DA. A series of events lead to them attempting to get some justice.

At the end of the film, there are statements from several places stating that the several official channels deny the events of the film, but the author of the book it is based on claims that, with changed names and dates, the entire story is factual. Even if this series of events is not true, it is not that much of a stretch of the imagination that such abuse would happen. I think it is an excellent though very tough film; one hell of a cast doing top performances.

Sleepers was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Original Score


Good Will Hunting (1997) Film Review

Good Will Hunting

Will (Matt Damon) works as a janitor at MIT and is secretly a genius, but he prefers to spend his time with his mates. After solving a maths puzzle set by Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellen Skarsgard), he is discovered, but his behavioural and emotional problems need to be dealt with. Eventually, he finds a fit with Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) who is dealing with his own problems. And chuck in gorgeous British beauty Skylar (Minnie Driver).

This film may always be known as the film that rocketed unknown actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck into the spotlight as (or so the legend goes) fed up with not getting work, they wrote an awesome script and here it is. I don’t know if that is true as such, but I will say that after watching several of the Ben Affleck directed films, Good Willing Hunting gives us an indication of his talent. He knows how to craft a good, emotionally engaging story with flawed characters trying to beat the odds. It’s a good film. Real good.

Good Will Hunting won Oscars for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Robin Williams) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck).

Barney’s Version (2010) Film Review


Barney is a television producer or writer or something who is reminiscing about his life, his marriages and everything. A lot of things don’t happen in the most straightforward way (for example, the way he meets the love of his life), and the last twenty minutes or so take the audience a whole different direction.

I don’t think I gained anything from watching this film. It was fine. Kind of interesting, but not compelling. I feel that if I’d been interrupted halfway through watching this, I probably wouldn’t go back to it. There wasn’t not a lot there for me.

Barney’s Version was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup.


Conviction (2010) Film Review


Based on truth, Conviction is the story of a working-class single mother who puts herself through university to become a lawyer to get her brother, Kenny, released from jail. Kenny was always a bit of a wild child, in and out of trouble, but is innocent of the murder that has put him behind bars.

This is one of those genres of stories that I hate to love – the wrongfully committed. I can’t explain why, although I suppose it is seeing an injustice overturned. Perhaps it is watching someone reach their goal; that would explain why I love a good sports film too.

Conviction has a very strong cast, not least of all Sam Rockwell (who I think I am developing quite a crush on after Seven Psychopaths) and my old favourite, Juliette Lewis. Oh, and Hilary Swank and Minnie Driver. It’s not the best true-life prison film I recall seeing, but it’s pretty darn good.