Review: Pride (2014)

Pride

A truly British film if there ever was one, Pride is a rousing and relevant crowd-pleaser that knows how to entertain its audience, even if it does skimp on the drama. In the summer of 1984, at the height of the miners strike, a determined group of gay activists decide to raise money for the families of those effected – a proposal that comes with its own set of challenging setbacks. Continue reading “Review: Pride (2014)”

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Review: The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (2012)

Labelled a fool by the pirate consortium, Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) enters the world famous Pirate of the Year awards in a bid to prove to his crew and his rival captains – Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven), Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) and Peg Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry) – that there’s more to him than meets the eye. After a false start, the crew cross paths with scientist Charles Darwin (David Tennant) who makes a discovery that’s sure to cement the Pirate Captain’s win.

Made by the creative team responsible for Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run and last year’s CGI holiday fare Arthur Christmas, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Continue reading “Review: The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (2012)”

Review: Another Year (2010)

Mike Leigh returns with a measured, powerful and wholly realistic human drama.

Another Year centres on Tom and Gerry (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen), a blissfully happy married couple and their unconventional, unhappy friends and relatives.

Mary (Lesley Manville), Gerry’s wayward, lonely co-worker, reeks desperation, but hides it underneath her bubbly and free-spirited mask. Mary has a deep love for the life Tom and Gerry lead and wants nothing more than to have someone to simply confide in.

However, when her hidden-desire for their son Joe (Oliver Maltman) results in her mocking his new girlfriend Katie (Karina Fernandez), she is subtly rejected by the household, which leads to her ultimate breakdown.

Mike Leigh’s direction is flawless. Lingering shots may feel uncomfortable to viewers on the outside, but are commonplace in the lives of the characters on screen. By focusing on one single-day per calendar season, Another Year provides a wholly honest insight into the workings of a older couple and their lonely, single friends.

Taking a laid back and detached approach, Leigh let the film’s story and characters breathe, never infringing upon a scene or piece of dialogue. The lack of soundtrack went unnoticed, as it would have deterred from the emotional impact each scene had upon the viewer.

Lesley Manville is pitch-perfect as wayward Mary, making the character convincing, yet never over-the-top. Manville slipped into the character of Mary from the get-go, always pushing her characters desperation to the centre of the film, no matter how many sub plots came and went and never slipping into a caricature.

Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen complimented each other down to a tee, Gerry coming across as a down-to-earth family wife, with a stern, protective inside. Tom is witty, able to glaze over the depressing moments of life, which comes with both good and bad aspects.

The supporting cast each give convincing and afflicting performances and suitably complement the older actors. Even Imelda Staunton’s cameo role towards the start of the film as a troubled mother has an impact on the overall tone and nature of the film.

Another Year is an almost perfect slice of British cinema, digging behind-the-scenes of a quint-essential family in the heart of Britain and bringing to light their turbulent, drab and ultimately tragic lives. Tremendous.