From the studio responsible for Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit, Arthur Christmas is a festive delight through and through. Santa (Jim Broadbent) is coming to the end of his service, with his eldest son (Hugh Laurie) in line to take the reigns. But when a present fails to be delivered, it’s only Arthur (James McAvoy) who seems to care, taking it unto himself to ensure no child is left out. Continue reading “Review: Arthur Christmas (2011)”
Christopher Smith, the director behind Severance and Triangle, is the unlikely source of Get Santa, a fairly satisfying, if unremarkable, festive fable. Fresh out of prison, Steve (Rafe Spall) attempts to put his shady past behind him and reconnect with his son. But when Santa (Jim Broadbent) turns unexpectedly asking for help, Steve finds himself back on the run, in a desperate bid to save Christmas. Continue reading “Review: Get Santa (2014)”
Le Week-End marks somewhat of a return to smarts for director Roger Michell. After helming two disappointments in a row (the mildly entertaining Morning Glory and the dreary Hyde Park On Hudson), Michell reteams with regular screenwriter and friend Hanif Kureishi for their third feature collaboration and an altogether richer affair. Together, they’ve carved a resonant, heartfelt and adult drama that’s exponentially superior to Michell’s aforementioned missteps. Continue reading “Review: Le Week-End (2013)”
As I’ve mentioned before in several posts, film blogging can mean a lot of hard work for very little reward. Sure, I – and I’m assuming this goes for many others – do it principally to showcase a love of film, perhaps even influencing others along the way. That said, it’s always nice to be recognised for what you do, whether it’s through positive comments on your posts, the opportunity to receive advanced copies of films or even to attend film-related events, such as screenings, festivals and, urm, premieres.
Never one to bask in my own creative success, it came as a huge shock to me when I opened my inbox up a few weeks ago to find an email from Film4 thanking Continue reading “Premiere: The Iron Lady”
Margaret Thatcher is, and always will be, a controversial figure. In her time it was unheard of for a woman to climb the political ladder, let alone to reach the top and remain in power for as long as she did. Never one for deferring to tradition, she spent her time in office changing society as she deemed fit, with her ruthless, self-assured nature losing voters, friends and colleagues along the way.
To most people, this would be an excellent conceit for a straightforward, politically charged biopic. However, in the eyes of director Phyllida Lloyd Continue reading “Review: The Iron Lady (2011)”
Synopsis: The final instalment begins as Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermoine (Emma Watson) continue their pursuit to find and destroy Voldemort’s three remaining Horcruxes, the enchanted components responsible for his perpetuity. But as the mystical Deathly Hallows are unearthed, and Voldemort learns of their plan, the ultimate battle begins. Life as life as they Continue reading “Review: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)”
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.