Plot: Meggie (Eliza Bennett) and her bookbinder father Mo (Brendan Fraser) have always lived rather withdrawn lives surrounded by books, traveling around where Mo’s work is needed. This gives Mo a chance to look for a rare book. Just when he finds a copy, Dustfinger (Paul Bettany) shows up. It’s clear that he is actually an old acquaintance of Mo’s. He warns of Capricorn (Andy Serkis) and his men who are coming for Mo. Meggie and Mo immediately head towards her greataunt Elinor (Helen Mirren). But Dustfinger is right behind them as he desperately needs something from Mo: his ability to read things out of books. It’s that ability that Capricorn is looking for, too and that puts all of them in danger.
Now that I finally finished (re-)reading the trilogy, I wanted to watch the film again, too. It is still a sweet adventure film that captures the essence of the book very nicely, albeit overshooting the goal a little.
Plot: Marthe (Isabelle Huppert), Michel (Olivier Gourmet) and their children Judith (Adélaïde Leroux), Marion (Madeleine Budd) and Julien (Kacey Mottet Klein) live right next to a piece of unfinished highway. The highway has remained unfinished for a decade and has become their personal playground, separating them from their mailbox and the road that lead to the next town. Much to their surprise, though, overnight the highway is finished and opened, completely disrupting the life they built together.
Home is an intriguing film with an unusual setting that grows increasingly more absurd and remains captivating throughout. I really enjoyed it.
Plot: Poppy (Emma Roberts) lost her mother and ever since she has gone from spoiled to unbearable. When her father Gerry (Aidan Quinn) is at the end of his wits, he sends her to boarding school in England – her mother’s boarding school. Poppy is not on board with that plan, so she quickly resolves to do everything in her power to get expelled and back home. But while she doesn’t leave a very good impression, the school, the girls and the headmaster’s cute son (Alex Pettyfer) do start to grow on her.
Wild Child is a cute teen film about belonging and growing (up) that doesn’t tread any new ground whatsoever, but it is entertaining enough.
Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) is an undercover cop. He is successful, but he rarely sticks to the law. Neither does his superior, Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker), which is how Tom got away with it for years. But now Internal Affairs in the form of James Biggs (Hugh Laurie) have started to investigate, just as Ludlow’s colleague Terrence Washington (Terry Crews) has espressed doubts about Ludlow and his methods. It doesn’t take long for things to go from bad to worse for Ludlow.
Street Kings is an utterly grueling film, and not in a good way at all. While the cast promises much, the script doesn’t deliver and what you get is a boring film filled with unlikeable characters.
When Michael Peterson (Tom Hardy) is 19 years old, he robs a post-office. He is apprehended pretty quickly and sentenced to 7 years in prison. But due to his violent behavior, his sentence keeps getting prolonged and he spends most of the decades he ultimately is imprisoned in solitary confinement. There he grooms his public persona Charles Bronson, who started as a bare-knuckle fighter. Peterson/Bronson notoriously becomes Britain’s most violent prisoner.
Bronson is not an easy film to watch but it’s a film that leaves a mark. It definitely left a deep impression on me.
Fisher Willow (Bryce Dallas Howard) has spent some time overseas. Now she’s back home and supposed to come out to society. But while she was gone, her father caused some trouble in their town and is now hated. Fisher herself is rather wild and outspoken. The two things in combination leave her rather ostracized. She can’t even find a date to accompany her. So she pays Jimmy (Chris Evans) to accompany her. Jimmy’s family used to have a big name, but they have since fallen in standing. And Jimmy has his fair share of troubles to contend with, but he desperately needs the money.
I do wonder why nobody ever talks about The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond. Not only is it by Tennessee Williams (a “lost screenplay” that resurfaced 50 years after it was written), it’s a really good film.
In 1999, Eva Testor and Niki Mossböck wanted to start a documentary cycle where they interview filmmakers (each other and others) about their creative processes and activities. They started with Jörg Kalt, who cooked them dinner and the opened up about his thoughts. It took them almost another 10 years to finish the film, which they only completed after Kalt had passed away.
The first half of the about 15 minutes of the film, we watch Kalt cooking, explaining the recipes, seeing him move in his own kitchen. It’s an effective way to get an impression of his personality and an intimate and very private look at him as a person. The second half seems a little more distanced, as he talks about his work but I quickly realized that the privacy of the setting also transferred to his disclosures. In fact, I hadn’t known before that Kalt had committed suicide, but after this short interview I was very ready to assume that he suffered from depression.
But apart from hobby-psychologing it was also intersting to hear him talk about making art, making films and what drives him. The film shows how much you can uncover when you just let smart, knowledgeable people talk (to each other).
When Lily (Dakota Fanning) was a little child, she accidentally shot and killed her mother (Hilarie Burton) who was about to leave her and her father T-Ray (Paul Bettany). Now Lily is fourteen and stuck with her volatile, abusive father. Her only positive relationship is with housekeeper Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson). After Rosaleen is attacked for trying to register to vote while black, Lily decides to run away. She breaks Rosaleen out of the hospital and together they make their way to a place where Lily thinks her mother has spent some time before her death. This leads them to bee-keeping August (Queen Latifah) and her sisters May (Sophie Okonedo) and June (Alicia Keys) where they find refuge.
The Secret Life of Bees is an interesting mix of harsh and naive: it takes many hard realities of the 60s for (black) women and transforms them into a tale of sweet, dreamlike sisterhood. It’s a tale of what should have been possible, even given bad circumstances.
Walt (Clint Eastwood) just lost his wife and the rest of his family – his children and grandchildren – doesn’t particularly like him and vice versa. Mostly Walt is being stubborn about everything which means that he is practically the only white person left in a neighborhood increasingly inhabited by Hmong people, despite the fact that Walt is virulently racist. When the neighbors’ kid Thao (Bee Vang), pressured by a local gang, tries to steal Walt’s car, a pristine Gran Torino, Walt catches him. Thao’s family insists that Thao make it up to Walt and they slowly grow closer.
Gran Torino is a hypermasculine, sexist and racist catastrophe of a movie. To add insult to injury, it’s even boring. In short, it completey re-affirmed to me why I usually hate Eastwood films.
Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) and JT (Noah Segan) decide to ditch school and explore the local abandoned mental hospital (as you do). In the basement of said hospital they stumble upon a chained, naked woman (Jenny Spain) who isn’t dead, much to their surprise. Or at least nor really. JT sees the perfect opportunity to acquire a sex slave, while Rickie is a little more hesitant.
Deadgirl could have been an interesting comment on rape culture and the (sexual) objectification of women. Unfortunately instead it tries to be clever without actually understanding what it is about. And that just means it sucks so much there are hardly any words for it.