Captain Fantastic (2016) MIFF Review


Ben (Viggo Mortensen) lives in the deep forest with his six children, educating them, teaching them to fight, to hunt, to live off the land and to be critical of society. Then they get word that the kids’ mother has died and they go on a road trip to meet the family and honour her last wishes.

Ben drove me insane. I get what he was doing and I get why he was doing it, but it seriously annoyed me because it was clear that when it went wrong, it would really blow up in his face big time. Yet… yet I really enjoyed it. The kids were pretty awesome, it was genuinely funny and also kind of cheesy and delightful.

The Road (2009) Film Review


There has been some kind of nuclear incident (it’s not explained in too much detail) and the world is dying. Man (Viggo Mortensen) is walking with Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) heading south, hoping to find warmth and food as the nuclear winter continues to descend on them. The world is grey and horrible, everything is dead, there are no animals, no living plants, and the few survivors will do anything to survive.

Depressing? Well yes, very much so. The film has captured the dark and awful tones of the novel by Cormac McCarthy, and show a man who still has some hope for his son’s ultimate survival, against all the odds and perhaps even against any sense. The film does have an odd thing going for it, and that it is the soundtrack; by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, the music gives a strange and mysterious sense of hope. This juxtaposition shouldn’t work, yet it is perfect.


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Film Review


And we come to the end. Finally, Frodo (Elijah Wood) must face the final part of the journey as well as himself, but as ever, Sam (Sean Astin) is by his side. And the others are all involved in all manner of fighting, running, joking and generally being pretty darned awesome.

It’s just so much fun, excitement and aceness. And this time, I didn’t even mind the multiple endings. I felt that the wedding of Sam seemed to be there solely to calm people’s concerns that Sam and Frodo were more than friends. To that I say just get over it – but then, it was only a couple of minutes of my life. If it makes people happy, then good on them.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Music – Original Score, Best Music – Original Song (Into the West), Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Film Review


Having watched the first two hobbit films, I wanted to revisit The Lord of the Rings. All I really remember is that the last film had about seven endings and drove me nuts (especially as, being such a long film, I was desperate for the loo) and that it was all pretty epic.

So this, the first one. Wow. It’s everything I remembered. Big, loud, strong, violent, funny at times, full of heart and with both Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom looking more attractive than in anything before or since.

So, Frodo (Elijah Wood) has to take the evil ring to the fires of Mordor to destroy it. In this film, he joins with a bunch of humans, elves, hobbits and a troll, and (of course) Gandalf (Ian McKellen). I couldn’t recall the whole story, and so it was as exciting as the first time. I’m making this a movie marathon. Wonderful.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring won Oscars for Best Cinemaography, Best Makeup, Best Music, Original Score and Best Effects, Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ian McKellen), Best Director (Peter Jackson), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Art Direction – Set Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Song (May it Be) and Best Sound.

A Dangerous Method (2011) Film Review


Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), a student and colleague of Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) cures a patient, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) who then becomes both his student and his lover.

I don’t know how much of this story is true. What I do know is how much of the story is dull. Lots of very long conversations between the three main characters in various combinations. I felt as though it was possible that Keira Knightley may have been quite good in this performance, but I am so fed up with seeing her pouting and flouncing in so many other roles that I just can’t tell.

A Dangerous Method was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Viggo Mortensen)


On The Road (2012) Film Review


Based on the book by Jack Kerouac, On the Road follows beat poet Sal Paradise as he travels across the country with his friend Dean Moriaty who leaves a string of women everywhere he goes.

It’s probably a very good film, but it just annoyed me. I’m far too much of a cynical cow to have any respect of faith for the hippies and beat poets of the past. All that ideology and blah blah. I’d love to travel across the US, but not with any of these people. Perhaps I’d have liked it more if I’d read On The Road. But perhaps less.