Tag Archives: Ralph Fiennes

Hail Caesar (2016) Film Review

Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a studio ‘fixer’ in the studio system in 1950s Hollywood, dealing with communists, divas, scandals, gossip columnists and the untalented.

Fun, funny and gorgeous – this is one of the Coen brothers’ lighter films, with a top cast and great lines. I guess my only criticism is that it all just seemed a bit too easy; often the Coen brothers films really challenge my viewing, but this was like a bubble bath. Nice and relaxing and familiar.

 

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Spectre (2015) Film Review

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James Bond (Daniel Craig) is off around the world, against agency orders following some interesting leads. M (Ralph Fiennes) is not happy. Especially because there is a new group coming in, headed by C (Andrew Scott) who wants to put the 00 program to bed. Then there’s the bad guy, who’s name I’m not going to give because that alone is a bit of a spoiler alert, but he’s played by Christoph Waltz yet again doing a magnificent job as a bad guy. And there’s a lot of plot and action and the like.

And it is awesome. I was the only James Bond watcher in the world who didn’t like Skyfall (or so it seems), so I was glad to enjoy this. Bond films have a wonderful reputation for magnificent opening sequences, and this is no exception. Worth seeing for it alone!

 

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The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Film Review

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I had held of watching this film for two reasons: firstly, I didn’t love Wes Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, and was a bit concerned I wouldn’t love this, and I have truly loved many of his previous films; second, I saw a trailer early on and thought that I had seen most of it. I was wrong on both counts. I love it and the trailer actually gave very little away.

Essentially, the film tells the story (in a somewhat convoluted fashion) of a bell boy working at The Grand Budapest Hotel. No, that is not it. There is a lot more, there is theft and betrayal, sex and love, cakes and guns, prison and trains. But to attempt to tell it could give away too much, and it is a story that it is a delight to simply watch unfold. The typical, beautiful style of Wes Anderson is apparently in every shot, and his large cast of some of the most wonderful actors is great. (Although extremely male-heavy, with no really good female roles. Wes Anderson usually does better on this count… shame)

I think that if you do not like Wes Anderson films, you won’t like this one. If you haven’t seen one, perhaps this might be the best to introduce you to him.

The Grand Budapest Hotel won Oscars for Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score (Alexandre Desplat) and Best Achievement in Production Design. It was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Wes Anderson), Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness).

 

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Clash of the Titans (2010) Film Review

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People have rejected the gods, burning the temples and the like. Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) want to do some stuff about it. Then there is Perseus (Sam Worthington), who does not realise he is a demi-god, being the son of Zeus with a human woman. They need to beat the Kraken, but to do so, much chop the head off Medusa.

Oh, it is so much fun. I saw Wrath of the Titans and was less than impressed, but because it me and I like to feel I have completed things, I decided to watch this, the prequel. It’s a lot better – better story, better performances, just better. Though I have recently had my attention drawn to Clash of the Titans from the early eighties, and I am going to need to track that one down. Apparently it is magnificent.

 

 

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Wrath of the Titans (2012) Film Review

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Wrath of the Titans is set in ancient times with the Gods and the Titans getting upset at each other, and that causes a few issues for mankind. Step in Perseus, half-God son of Zeus.

Did you know that Perseus was Aussie? When he’s played by Sam Worthington, he doesn’t get much more Aussie, but that’s not the most ridiculous thing in this film. Shooting lasers whilst riding a flying horse through a lava creature? That’s pretty ridiculous. And so much more.

Aside from Sam Worthington being extremely hot, there’s Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike and Bill Nighy to name but a few. It’s big and ridiculous and kind of not really worth watching, really.

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The Reader (2008) Film Review

The Reader

Germany, 1958. A teenager falls ill on the way home from school and is helped by a woman. He is quite ill, and kept in bed for several months. When he recovers, he returns to her with flowers and unexpectedly, they fall into a romantic encounter. They spend a summer together, with him reading to her between lovemaking, and then she disappears. He does not see her again until, as a law student, he attends a trial of a group of female SS guards who were charged with crimes committed during the war and she is one of them. He struggles to control how he feels about this; how he can reconcile the picture of the woman he loved with the actions she committed in her past.

As happens with me sometimes in films, one thing bothered me from the start and it took a lot of work for me to overcome it. That was, the accents. The film is set in Germany, but is an American made film. Consequently, it was not made in German; however, did everyone need to speak English with German accents? I had an issue recently with the mini-series The Spies of Warsaw for finding it difficult to know who was from which country, so perhaps it is contradictory of me to have a problem with this, but I do. I did eventually get over this.

I found this a very interesting film that raises a lot of questions and debate. When you get into a relationship or even just a friendship with someone, it is not possible to know their whole past. But when part of their past is as huge as this, how would you bring it up? How does a country that has been through the atrocities that Germany did during the war ever get past it? What happens to all of the soldiers, guards, whoever who committed the crimes after the war, and what about everyone else? This was a superb film, with strong performances, especially Kate Winslet as the lover/criminal, David Kross as the young lover and Ralph Fiennes as the lover as an adult.

The Reader won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Kate Winslet) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay and Best Achievement in Cinematography.

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In Bruges (2008) Film Review

In Bruges

Things on a hit have gone wrong, and Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) have been sent to lay low in Bruges, Belgium by their boss, the psychopathic Harry (Ralph Fiennes).

I could see this film a hundred times and not get bored with it. I love the characters, the absurdity, the pathos and even the horrific violence. It is beautifully made and really fabulous. Plus, it contains one of my favourite ever lines in a movie: “You’re an inanimate f***ing object.” I nearly choked with laughter when that popped up. Geez, I love Ralph Fiennes.

In Bruges was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Martin McDonagh)

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