Review: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017)

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After receiving awards attention for The Lobster, Colin Farrell reunites with its director Yorgos Lanthimos for The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, a pitch black comedy that puts a modern twist on a Greek myth. Steven (Farrell), a cardiac surgeon, leads an idyllic suburban life with his wife, Anna (Nicole Kidman), and their two kids Continue reading “Review: The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017)”

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Review: Paddington (2014)

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Ushered lovingly to the screen by Harry Potter producer David Heyman and director Paul King, Paddington – adapted from Michael Bond’s beloved children’s books – is the epitome of a spirited family treat – a film packed with humour, heart and exuberant adventure by the bucket load. After an earthquake destroys his home in Peru, a young bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) winds up in London, where he finds temporary residence with the Brown family. As the bear – christened Paddington after the train station in which he’s found – attempts to assimilate to his new surroundings, he attracts the unwanted attention of an evil taxidermist (Nicole Kidman). Continue reading “Review: Paddington (2014)”

Review: Before I Go To Sleep (2014)

739d0b7d-14df-435d-a0fe-0060e6f09d62_zps677bb256In what can only be described as a superficial melodrama that squanders the talents of its A-list cast and marks another lacklustre effort for director Rowan Joffe., Before I Go To Sleep – an adaptation of S. J. Watson’s bestselling novel – stars Christine (Nicole Kidman) as a woman who wakes up every day with no recollection of the day before after an accident left her with severe amnesia. Continue reading “Review: Before I Go To Sleep (2014)”

Review: Grace Of Monaco (2014)

Grace Of Monaco

Le Vie En Rose director Olivier Dahan turns his attention to Grace Kelly with Grace of Monaco, an asinine melodrama that wouldn’t be out of place in a bargain bin. Six years after marrying Rainier III, Prince of Monaco (Tim Roth), Grace (Nicole Kidman) is forced to choose between Hollywood and her family when Monaco is catapulted into an international crisis that could end in disaster. Catastrophic from start to finish, Grace of Monaco easily lives up to its reputation. Continue reading “Review: Grace Of Monaco (2014)”

Review: Stoker (2013)

Stoker

Renowned world over by critics and audiences alike for his Vengeance trilogy (Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy and Sympathy For Lady Vengeance), Korean director Park Chan-Wook makes his English language debut with Stoker, a brooding psychological thriller rooted deep in the gothic. It’s written by Prison Break alum Wentworth Miller and boasts many of its directors trademarks: ravishing visuals, strong performances and a deluge of tainted motifs. Continue reading “Review: Stoker (2013)”

GFF 2013 Review: The Paperboy (2013)

The Paperboy

Set in the blistering, sweaty heat of 1960’s Florida, The Paperboy – Lee Daniels’ star-studded follow-up to the Academy Award winning Precious – is a pup-noir crime thriller wrapped in a web of intrigue that’s as trashy and provocative as it is alluring and enormously entertaining. Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey), a newspaper reporter, returns to his hometown with partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) to uncover a salacious story of murder. Continue reading “GFF 2013 Review: The Paperboy (2013)”

Why I Must See The Paperboy

The Paperboy

The Paperboy hasn’t exactly had the best life, yet it’s become all the more appealing because of it. Adapted from Pete Dexter’s 1995 novel of the same name by director Lee Daniels and Dexter himself, The Paperboy centres on Wade Jansen (Matthew McConaughey), a reporter who returns to his Florida hometown in order to investigate a murder case involving death row inmate, Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack). Continue reading “Why I Must See The Paperboy”

Review: Just Go With It (2011)

Synopsis: A plastic surgeon (Adam Sandler), romancing a much younger schoolteacher (Brooklyn Decker), enlists his loyal assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his soon to be ex-wife, in order to cover up a careless lie. When more lies backfire, the assistant’s kids become involved, and everyone heads off for a weekend in Hawaii that will change all their lives.

The overall set-up (mooted by Allan Loeb and Timothy Dowling) borders on farce, but through short-sharp bursts of comedy, manages to make a commendable attempt to break-free of rom-com conventions and head into surprisingly heartwarming territory.

Still, no matter how hard it tries, it unfortunately remains a desperately uneven film, suffering from Dennis Dugan’s basic, overly glossy direction and a ludicrously bloated, lingering running time.

The two leads, Sandler and Aniston, display a very natural comedic flare and, to the films advantage, combine their strengths – Sandler’s acerbic sweetness with Aniston’s down-to-earth warmth – to reasonable avail, establishing a tenable and charismatic on-screen duo.

It’s a testament to Aniston who, no matter how deadpan her post-Friends career has become, remains one of the best comedic actresses of her generation, wonderfully transferring her glowing off-screen, warm-natured personality, and sizeable womanly assets, into Katherine’s likeable and winning nature, essentially bringing her to life.

Prevailing in a supporting role, Bailee Madison, who plays Katherine’s youngest daughter, delivers a bubbly, witty and energetic preeminent performance.

Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, stars as Katherine’s frenemy Devlin Adams. It’s a somewhat inspired role, and certainly brings a breath of fresh air to the trailing central plot, but Kidman’s performance comes across as forced, unnatural and down right insane. Your never sure whether to laugh or cringe.

Just Go With It is so ridiculously overblown that it’s bereft of any true mentality, with the end wrapped up so hastily it makes the whole ordeal arguably pointless. Yet, through a zealous performance from Aniston and a suitably pushy script, it’s an infrequently entertaining effort.

Review: Rabbit Hole (2010)

Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie Corbett (Aaron Eckhart) are a happily married couple whose perfect world is forever changed when their young son, Danny (Phoenix List), is killed by a car.

Becca tries to redefine her existence in a surreal landscape of well-meaning family and friends. Her experiences lead her to find solace in a mysterious relationship with a troubled young comic-book artist, Jason (Miles Teller) – the teenage driver of the car that killed Danny.

Becca’s fixation with Jason pulls her away from memories of Danny, while Howie immerses himself in the past, seeking refuge in outsiders who offer him sympathy and condolences. The couple, both adrift, make disconcerting and hazardous choices as they find ways to cope with their loss.

Rabbit Hole, based on a stage play by David Lindsay-Abaire’s, is a piercing portrait of a couple struggling to cope with the death of their son. Lindsay-Abaire, who also wrote the screenplay, provides an surprisingly funny, intensely honest insight into how grief can affect people and force them in opposing directions.

The writing style is sly and witty – sometimes crushing, sometimes downright nasty – cleverly punctuating the overriding sense of despair, which, in tell, provides hope to the couple and their future.

John Cameron Mitchell’s direction is nuanced and fraught, encapsulating the grief with a certain level of restraint that manages to keep us far enough out-with the emotional core of the film, so not to become too troubled by the distressed subject-matter.

The emotional outbursts are as accustomed as they are agonising, accentuated perfectly by Kidman and Eckhart’s, whose raw performances never lets the material slip into the melodrama.

The performances from the entire cast are irreproachable. Kidman’s Becca is fragile and antsy, abandoned by her friends and former colleagues she lashes out at her family’s clumsy efforts to help. It’s clear that there is no way of curing the feeling of grief that’s become central to her being, when everyday life and occurrences become harrowing remembrances.

Eckhart’s Howie, on the other hand, is a less intricate but no less integral character, one that naturally exudes warmth and affection. He’s the devoted husband – and former father – who eats, sleeps and breathes his family. Even after all they’ve been through, he still has the desire, and strength, to fight to save his broken marriage.

Rabbit Hole is an impressively crafted, highly emotive and competent piece of cinema, bolstered by stand-out performances from Kidman and Eckhart.