Snowden (2016) Film Review

Most people who live in the world with news services and the like will have heard of Edward Snowden. He’s the guy who worked for the US government and blew the whistle on the mass surveillance in place of all Americans – and indeed, kind of the whole world. This is the biopic of him. And it’s quite beautiful.

Snowden is played by Joseph Gordon- Levitt and Shailene Woodley plays Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. I know that every film has to choose what they put in and what they leave out, but when the role of the girlfriend is to be sweet when falling in love and then to nag, nag, nag, it’s just not a great role. What’s more, the concept of the film is that Snowden creates and/or discovers the way different technology is being used against ‘the people’. But, in real life, I doubt things would have been explained in such simple terms. It made me think that this film is a very polite and nice version of what happened – and I don’t feel much closer to the truth. If I ever will be.


Big Little Lies vs Big Little Lies *spoiler alerts*

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (audiobook read by Caroline Lee)

Set in the fiction Sydney beachside suburb of Pirriwee , Big Little Lies investigates a death that happens during a school trivia night at the local primary school. However, it’s revealed in gradual dribs and drabs, first introducing the colourful cast and then eventually reveal who dies, how and why. It’s fabulous. The audiobook reading by Caroline Lee is wonderful – she brings the characters to life in a fabulous way, each separate and perfect. I found the book a very funny read, even though when I mentioned the humour to friends who had watched the show, they said that it definitely wasn’t a comedy. And it’s not, but it is very funny!

When I heard that the show was set in the US, I was surprised because, to me, it feels like a really Australian story. But with all that juiciness, it was going to translate well.

Big Little Lies (TV Review)

There were a lot of little things that I didn’t like being changed in this adaptation – like the fact that the book starts on Madeline’s 40th birthday. It’s not a big thing, but it’s important. Then there is the whole “Avenue Q” thing, which I didn’t see as being a great addition, and then the French au pair takes a backseat, and that for me, was a delightful addition to the tension in the book. I also didn’t like the changes to Jane – in the book, she is initially in denial about the events of the night when she conceived Ziggy, but the film has her with far more of a need for closure/revenge, and I liked her as someone still dealing with her trauma. One thing that translated beautifully was the Celeste/Perry situation – very, very hard to watch and a massive hats off to Nicole Kidman. I also really liked that there were some characters who, in the book, were quite flat that were really filled out in this. Did I love it? Yes, I loved the book, I loved the show, I’m quite concerned that they are going to squeeze another series out… will it work? I don’t know.

Insurgent (2015) Film Review


Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are in hiding after thwarting the effort of Jeanine (Kate Winslet). They make their way back to the big city, and they have the option of hooking up with another group of rebels. Things get a lot confusing along the way, but there is a box. It opens up if a divergent does a strange challenge type thing. But, no matter how many divergents Jeanine hooks up, they all just keep dying. It’s a real shame. Of course, it has to be Tris who unlocks it. But it is not what they expect… oh, where to next, dystopian future?

I liked it, a lot more than the last couple of Hunger Games films. And I liked the end a lot. I’m interested in seeing more, I want to know where it is all going. I reckon that makes it a somewhat decent flick. But I’m not shouting its greatness from the rooftops, perhaps I’m just a bit over this genre?


Divergent (2014) Film Review


A dystopian future. Society is divided into faction they depending on predominate virtues, and at a certain age, teenagers chose which group to be in after a test – they can either stay with the faction they were raised in, or chose their own. Tris (Shailene Woodley) discovers she is Divergent – a risky category that spans all the factions. Her life is at risk if she tells anyone, but in her new faction, she meets and falls in love with Four (Theo James). Then, when Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the head of one faction, uses technology to possess the minds of a the fighting faction to attack and kill others to gain power, and Tris and Four find themselves in a lonely battle.

Loved it. I really do like these fighting, exciting films. I find it very easy to get sucked into the world and to want to see the good guys win. I just totally and utterly love it. Can’t wait to watch the next one, and the next.