British film

LADY MACBETH (2017)

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A  film by William Oldroyd

Cast; Florence Pugh, Christopher Fairbank, Cosmo Jarvis

1865, Rural England. Katherine (Florence Pugh) has a unhappy life of a loveless marriage with a Lord (Paul Hilton) who has twice her aged. One day, she falls in love with a young groom who works on her husband’s land and discovers passion.

The focus of the story is Catherine of course. Here is an adaptation of a 19th century Russian novella, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov. When her husband and father-in-law leave their estate on a business trip, Katherine is left alone with the  staff, and embarks on a steamy affair with the groomsman, Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis). Well at the beginning of the films she has trouble to just to her new life with her husband. Katherine isn’t exactly subtle about her cheating, so it does not take long for the star to find out about it.  But her personal maid Anna (Naomi Ackie), is a little scared because she knows she’ll be the one punished for her mistress’s indiscretions. Lady Macbeth has  a complex study of gender, class and racial politics, with  the difficulties of having all three intersecting. It is like she is rebelling against her husband who is unable to satisfy her and her needs.  The actress here is standing out which she is fairly new at this acting thing but delivers a role of a life time by nailing it dead on. As for the rest of the cast they have done an outstanding job as well. Not an easy thing to act with facial expression without saying a word. Light on dialogue, as the director tell his story in a cinematic fashion, with subtle gestures, wicked smiles and nervous faces and beautiful photography. Voila!!!

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THE LOST CITY OF Z (2017)

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A film by James Gray

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland, Sienna Miller

The true story of Percival Harrison Fawcett, one of the greatest explorers of the twentieth century. Percy Fawcett is a recognized British colonel and a loving husband. In 1906, when he was about to become a father, the Royal Geographical Society of England proposed to him to leave to Amazonia in order to map the borders between Brazil and Bolivia. Right a way , the man has a passion for exploration and discovers traces of what he thinks is a very old lost city. Back in England, Fawcett constantly thinks of this mysterious civilization, torn between his love for his family and his thirst for exploration and glory …

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Here is a stroke a genius where James Gray reappropriates a genre fallen into disuse to offer us the masterful portrait of an explorer carried by his thirst for adventure.Here Gray choose to do an interpretation of the novel La cité perdue de Z écrit par David Grann. It is no secret that  Gray makes the viewer follow the adventure of the military man names Fawcett that disappeared somehow into the jungle never to return to England. James Gray’s latest feature film is a beautiful  scenario built around Percy Fawcett’s (Charlie Hunnam’s) back and forth between his home and the heart of the Amazon jungle. Here Gray shot this film à la classic mode the only thing to do to me otherwise the film will fall into the water. Fawcett is not crazy to go to the amazon forest but to reclaim his tile of his name he decided to go which trigger his thirst for adventure and exploration as well as glory. Charlie Hunnam here does a superb job to incarnate his character.It is interesting to see that Fawcett also has other obligations, well he is a  husband and father which his wife makes the sacrifices here  and is beautifully interpreted by actress Sienna Miller. You see  he returns to his home, after several years of travel so it takes a toll on his wife. He has a hard time with the children. The cinematography here is near perfect. I can’t wait until his next picture.

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T2 TRAINSPOTTING (2017)

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A film by Danny Boyle 

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller 

Renton (Ewan McGregor) has been living drug-free in Amsterdam for the past 20 years, but is returning to Edinburgh following his mother’s death. Spud (Ewen Bremner) has been trying and failing to stay away from heroin, losing touch with a wife and son in the process. Begbie (Robert Carlyle) has been in prison, And Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) has been snorting cocaine, running his aunt’s  pub, and blackmailing the clients of a Bulgarian prostitute (Anjela Nedyalkova) Yeah! baby.

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Well is T2 worth the wait judge for yourself. It is 20 years later and they are now 40 something so the film is not going to be crazy and wild like the first one. It is mellower no surprise there, they are older and can’t party as they are used too. The last time they saw each other someone has done a stupid thing ripping off his friends. The misadventures that follow have plenty of familiar Trainspotting elements: snapped pool cues and nightclubs, virtuoso swearing and sudden violence, freeze frames and special effects not as disturbing and the first one . T2 is inferior to T1: the cinematography is darkened with smoke the editing isn’t as frantic, the music isn’t as catchy, and the performances aren’t as sharp. But it is still enjoyable. There are some funny moments,  at times. T2 even stirs up fond memories of a beloved masterpiece T1 when Renton updates his “Choose life” monologue for instants. And what happened to the baby in this one? Yeah! whatever!!!

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TRAINSPOTTING (1996)

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A film Danny Boyle

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller

The movie, based on a popular novel by Irvine Welsh, is about a crowd of heroin addicts who run together in Edinburgh, England. The story is narrated by Renton (Ewan McGregor) who introduce us to his friends Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) who’s never seen a movie of Sean Connery sober, Tommy (Kevin McKidd), who returns to drugs too many times , and Begbie (Robert Carlyle), who brags about not using drugs but is a psychotic and throws bottles of  beers at the patrons. There a nice little bunch that you would mind your daughter be dating.

Those guys are trying to score drugs get high, bed girls, drinks, swear, gets drunks, they are not settled in any way and home is no where. It is a bingeing fiesta at its best.Former alcoholics and drug abusers often report that they don’t miss the substances nearly as much as the conditions under which they were used. How funny is that. But a promising drug deal comes along and may the disturbing imaging begin. When one of them test the drugs the word wonderful comes out of his mouth. Drugs makes you feel good but you are going to crash big time and you are going to fell like shit. They film feels like what it is to be a junkie and it is dark as hell at times. Violence in their life is there. The thing about drugs (I never done them) as one told me makes you feel to want more. What is this baby doing in this film? Yeah! Whatever!!!!

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LADYBIRD (1994)

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A film by Ken Loach

Cast: Crissy Rock, Vladimir Vega, Sandie Lavelle

This film is based on a true story. Unbelievable story here as Ken Loach said in an interview A social worker call me an told me the story about this women and her kids after she was done she told him maybe there is a film to be made here. And there was.

The woman’s name is Maggie, and she is played by a former barmaid and stand-up comic named Crissy Rock who has never acted before. It took a long time to cast this character Loach could not find the right woman for the job, and did she pull the strongest performance here. She had embodied Maggie’s suffering so completely not an easy thing to do. She is short, blond, pudgy, in her 30s, with a nice face, she is a little plum. We meet her at a bar where people are drinking, singing , and talking. On karaoke night, she grabs the mike and brings down the house. She’s good company, tells jokes, holds her own. She is full of life but there is a sadness inside that is eating her slowly. She is in this bar to forget things a bit clear her head, she goes always out with the wrong guy who likely is going to beat the shit out of her. She meets she guy in this bar and he wants to buy her a drink , his name is Jorge (Vladimir Vega), and he is an immigrant from Paraguay with “political problems” at home. He is a nice guy who is trying later on for her to get her kids back. Well social services took her kids away from her because she they think she is an unfit mother. You get flashback of what happen and even when she was abuse by her father who was beating her mother  almost to death. Is she an unfit mother here or is it abusing the power of the social services here. I am going to stop here you will not believe what happen later as the story goes. Here is a most powerful performance of an actress as you can get. Human relation at its best. Also will she survive the ordeal?

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LION (2016)

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A film by Garth Davis

Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara

A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, 1,600 kilometres away from home. He survives despite all of it but then gets adopted by an Australian family and begins his new life.

The true story of this boy who was in India Calcutta lost and survives than get adopted by an Australian family. It is a simple story here. The one that is crucial here is the connection of the family from India and the one from Australia. Five year old Saroo (Sunny Pawar), who suddenly finds himself separated from his brother and left lost and alone. What google earth played a big part for Saroo to find his family ? Amazing !!!!!

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Sunny Pawar is a natural here you want him to succeed in finding his family. You have to understand the terror and the confusion plus the other elements who does he trust? how is he going to eat? and how is he going to find his way home not being able to speak the language. But later he realise that his family will not be able to find him. Later on in an orphanage that took him in gets him adopted by an Australian family. By the time we meet Dev Patel as the grown up Saroo, living a privileged life with his adoptive parents in Tasmania 20 years later. Patel delivers an outstanding performance here. The smart young man embarking on a hotel management course in Melbourne. But when he sees the brightly coloured traditional Indian sweet Jalebi, his memory jungles back in India that is going to make him to find out about himself and try to find his family. Of course he fall in love with an Australian girl. The film goes on and drags a little when Saroo is trying to find the village he was from but it is still interesting how he find out. There will be time of sadness and happiness during this film.

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A CURE FOR WELLNESS (2017)

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A film by Gore Verbinski

Cast: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth

The film opens in a large financial services firm in New York City, a man named Morris works late when  he suffers a massive heart attack and drops dead. Well life ’s is a bitch in finance. Lockhart, an ambitious young executive takes over his position and is sent to retrieve the company’s CEO, Roland Pembroke, from a mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. Of course there is a catch to it you are going to watch the  film. The retrieval is crucial because Pembroke needs to sign papers for the merger.

Ok it is a simple retrieval but once you are in the Wellness center no one ever leaves. Why you say well because everyone love it here. Once lockhart is in they give him the run around nothing new there. They tell him to return later in the evening because visiting hours are past. This is going to be a tough review to do here because this film is not only dark, bold , beautiful but it has twist and turns with hidden  messages so I am going to see the film again to see what I missed, also the audience will interpret the film differently and for a film with a big budget my hot goes out to you to do such a bold film usually it is reserved for the independent film.The character of Lockhart is not a very likable person, yet we follow him throughout the entire film. An other character who is mysterious is Hanna played beautifully well by Mia Goth and her life is a total mystery here all we know she was raised at the center. Gore Verbinksi and Bojan Bazelli Director of Photography create  a beautiful looking film. A cure for Wellness is a rare film you won’t se that everyday. Well I am going to retreat myself in my own Cure for Wellness with cheese, bread and wine .

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