Film Diary: January 2018

The month kicked off as any year usually does, with a handful of potential Oscar nominees finally hitting UK cinemas after their festival debuts the year before. Darkest Hour featured a blistering performance from Gary Oldman, though little else. Joe Wright’s drama about Churchill in the lead up to Dunkirk rested on the talents of its lead, who mostly kept things afloat even when the script faltered. As someone who disliked Pan, but loved Atonement, I’m also searching for a Wright film to match up to that. This isn’t it, though it can still be admired for what it is. Continue reading “Film Diary: January 2018”

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Review: Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

Florence

It’s without surprise that Meryl Streep shines as Florence Foster Jenkins in Stephen Frears’ pleasantly amusing biopic of the tone-deaf socialite who fulfilled her wish of singing – if you can it call it that – in front of thousands at the Carnegie Hall. This is a biopic that favours frothy entertainment over tragic drama, thus the darker aspects of Jenkins’ life, such as her battle with syphilis, are never dwelled upon. Continue reading “Review: Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)”

Review: Into The Woods (2014)

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Adapted for the screen by original writer James Lapine, Into The Woods – the long running Broadway play – succeeds in its transition under the direction of Rob Marshall. A childless baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) set off into the woods to lift an ancient curse put upon their family by an evil witch (Meryl Streep), where they encounter familiar faces and learn difficult truths. Continue reading “Review: Into The Woods (2014)”

Review: August: Osage County (2013)

August: Osage County

August: Osage County, adapted by Tracy Letts from his own Pulitzer Prize winning play, has awards bait written all over it, from its spectacular ensemble cast to its succession of ravaging put downs. It’s a shame, then, that the force and effectiveness of the film, then, is let down by drab, staid direction and a tendency to be as boisterous and melodramatic as possible where a little more poignancy would have better done the trick. Continue reading “Review: August: Osage County (2013)”

Review: Hope Springs (2012)

Middle-aged couple Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) have been married for thirty one years. Their relationship, however, is in a state of complete disarray, to the point where they’re sleeping in separate rooms and routine has become the only thing keeping them together. When Kay reaches breaking point, the couple embark upon an intense marriage counselling excursion that, despite Arnold’s initial opposition, may be the only hope they Continue reading “Review: Hope Springs (2012)”

Premiere: The Iron Lady

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”

Review: The Iron Lady (2011)

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)”