Review: Spotlight (2015)

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Spotlight, Tom McCarthy’s assured take on the Boston Globe’s expose of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church, is a thrilling procedural that celebrates thorough reporting. Based on real events, it avoids sensationalism and instead opts for low-key concentration as a team of four reporters – played by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian D’Arcy James – are tasked with investigating allegations against one priest, only to be stunned by what they discover as they dig deeper and deeper. Continue reading “Review: Spotlight (2015)”

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Review: A Most Wanted Man (2014)

A Most Wanted Man

Adapted from John Le Carre’s best-selling novel of the same name, and featuring one of the final performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman, A Most Wanted Man is a well-intentioned but unmistakably dreary thriller. In Hamburg, a half-Chechen illegal immigrant (Grigoriy Dobrygin) who stakes claim to his father’s fortune catches the attention of rogue intelligence officer Günther Bachmann (Hoffman), whose suspicions have been heightened since the events of 9/11. Continue reading “Review: A Most Wanted Man (2014)”

Review: About Time (2013)

About Time

Like it or not, British-born actor, director and screenwriter Richard Curtis has built himself a successful career by churning out his own brand of light-hearted, audience-friendly romantic comedies. The latest of which, About Time, deviates ever so slightly from the traditional structure to deliver a quirky, refreshingly touching and well acted, yet overlong and ridiculously predictable story of love and close family bonds. Continue reading “Review: About Time (2013)”

Review: The Vow (2011)

Paige (Rachel McAdams) and Leo (Channing Tatum) are happily married and very much in love. When a car accident puts Paige in a coma, she wakes up without any recollection of her relationship with Leo. Doing his best to cope with the unfortunate situation and escalating distance between them, Leo battles obstacles (an ex-boyfriend and possessive parents) to remind her of the love they once shared in a bid to win her back.

Predicated upon the complexities and emotional resonance contained within the extraordinary events, The Vow, for the most part, breaks from the typical Continue reading “Review: The Vow (2011)”

Review: Midnight In Paris (2011)

Woody Allen’s 41st film, Midnight In Paris is a light-hearted comedy set in the city of love: Paris, marks somewhat of a return to form for the exalted writer-director. Though not without its flaws, it’s a charmingly low-key affair that exudes a certain level of enjoyment that’s been missing since the critically-acclaimed Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Gil (Owen Wilson), a successful Hollywood script writer experiencing a mid-life crisis, and his fiance, Inez (Rachel McAdams), travel to Paris with Inez’ wealthy, conservative parents. After realising how little in common he has with his prospective family, Gil heads off into Paris alone, where he not only Continue reading “Review: Midnight In Paris (2011)”

Trailer: Midnight In Paris

Director – Woody Allen

Starring – Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard and Kathy Bates

Poster: Midnight In Paris

Director – Woody Allen

Starring – Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard and Tom Hiddleston

Review: Morning Glory (2010)

Morning Glory centers on Becky (Rachel McAdams), a hard-working morning TV show producer, who accepts the challenge of reviving struggling show Daybreak.

However, it soon becomes clear that the challenge at hand, including the task of pairing current host Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) with respected newsman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), may be more difficult than even she can handle.

Surprisingly, despite opening with the usual generic rom-com characteristics, this is no predictable rom-com; instead more of a mature workplace comedy.

Director Roger Michell nails the direction, wonderfully transposing the busting and haphazard nature of Daybreak’s workplace to the bright, spacious and orderly environment Becky aspires to be a part of: the dizzy heights of well-rated commercial TV.

Aline Brosh McKenna’s script, in addition, is dynamic and vigorous. It uses some of the better rom-com characteristics and applies them remarkably well to the workplace comedy, increasing the films impact with fast-paced, sharp dialogue and well-rounded, emotive characters.

The performances are strong across the board. Harrison Ford, in particular, is on excellent form as the headstrong Pomeroy, and his sparring with co-star Colleen, played humorously by Keaton, is priceless.

It’s Rachel McAdams that’s the real triumph here. If, say, someone like Katherine Heigl had been cast instead, Morning Glory wouldn’t have the same pizaz it does with McAdams at the centre. Not only does she carry the film with her energetic, sleek and eminent performance, but she lifts it to a whole new level.

As an actress who has consistently delivered performances across a wide variety of genres, McAdams remains one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors. If there’s any justice, Morning Glory will do for McAdams what The Devil Wears Prada did for Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt: propel her to universal stardom.

With a clever, grown-up script and some brilliant performances at work, Morning Glory is able to shred its predictability and become something special.