The Lodge (2019)

The Lodge
Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Writer: Sergio Casci, Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
Cast: Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 19.9.2019
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Plot:
Grace (Riley Keough) plans to spend Christmas with her fiancé Richard (Richard Armitage) and his two children Aiden (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) in their lodge. It’s supposed to be a way for the children and Grace to get to know each other better and to get used to each other a little more – especially because the kids don’t accept her. But Richard has to leave for work, leaving Grace alone with the children. They get snowed in to boot. And their relationship is put to a hard test when strange things start happening around them.

After Ich seh, ich seh, Fiala and Franz had a lot to live up to and with The Lodge, they absolutely did. It’s an atmospheric, gorgeous and above all gripping film that will have your eyes glued to the screen.

The film poster showing a window from a cabin in the snow, three blurry humans can be seen inside.
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Book Club (2018)

Book Club
Director: Bill Holderman
Writer: Bill Holderman, Erin Simms
Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Ed Begley Jr., Richard Dreyfuss, Wallace Shawn, Alicia Silverstone, Katie Aselton, Mircea Monroe, Ravi Kapoor
Seen on: 14.9.2018

Plot:
Diane (Diane Keaton), Vivian (Jane Fonda), Sharon (Candice Bergen) and Carol (Mary Steenburgen) have had a book club for decades. They each take turns picking the books they read and this month it’s Vivian’s turn. Her choice is 50 Shades of Grey, much to the dismay of the other women. But as they start reading, they all start wondering about their own sexual and romantic lives: widowed Diane meets Mitchell (Andy Garcia); perpetual single Vivian reconnects with Arthur (Don Johnson); Carol rekindles the sexual side of her relationship with her husband Bruce (Craig T. Nelson); and divorced Sharon braves online dating.

Book Club is rather inconsequential but it’s fun and it captures something of why the 50 Shades series was such a big success, despite the problematic bits. But ultimately it doesn’t have any big insights.

The film poster showing  DIane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen around a table.
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The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Cast: Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan, Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic, Bill Camp, Denise Dal Vera
Seen on: 24.1.2018
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Plot:
Steven (Colin Farrell) is a successful surgeon with a beautiful wife, Anna (Nicole Kidman) and two children, Bob (Sunny Suljic) and Kim (Raffey Cassidy). He’s also mentoring a young man, Martin (Barry Keoghan) who wants to be a doctor – an unusually intense relationship that seems to take over more and more of Steven’s life and brings Martin into Steven’s family.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer starts off strong, but once the actual story started, it began to lose me and started to drag. Nevertheless, it’s a very interesting film.

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King Cobra (2016)

King Cobra
Director: Justin Kelly
Writer: Justin Kelly
Based on: the murder of Bryan Kocis as written about in Andrew E. Stoner and Peter A. Conway’s book Cobra Killer: Gay Porn, Murder, and the Manhunt to Bring the Killers to Justice
Cast: Garrett Clayton, Christian Slater, Molly Ringwald, James Kelley, Keegan Allen, James Franco, Alicia Silverstone
Part of: Transition Festival special screening
Seen on: 19.1.2017

Plot:
Sean Paul Lockhart (Garrett Clayton) comes to L.A., meets producer Stephen (Christian Slater) and quickly finds himself a rising star in the gay porn scene under the name of Brent Corrigan. Life is good for a while, but when Sean tries to get out from under Stephen’s thumb, he finds ironclad contracts and practically no wiggle room. When he is approached by Harlow (Keegan Allen) and Joe (James Franco) about making a film together, he hopes to find help to get out of those contracts. But that help might look very different from what Sean had in mind.

King Cobra was entertaining enough, but also very problematic at some points. It makes time pass quickly, but could have profited from a less sensationalizing take.

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Vamps (2012)

Vamps
Director: Amy Heckerling
Writer: Amy Heckerling
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Krysten RitterSigourney WeaverDan StevensRichard Lewis, Larry Wilmore, Zak Orth, Wallace Shawn, Kristen JohnstonMalcolm McDowell, Gael García Bernal
Seen on: 1.1.2017

Plot:
Goody (Alicia Silverstone) and Stacy (Krysten Ritter) are best friends, flatmates, vampires and single women in New York. They try to navigate all of this best as they can. They drink only animal blood that they get from their exterminator job and go to Sanguines Anonymous meetings. They have practically no secrets from each other (except Goody can’t really bring herself to tell the recently turned Stacy how old she truly is). They share their dislike of their maker Ciccerus (Sigourney Weaver). But when Goody meets her old flame Danny (Richard Lewis) again and Stacy falls in love with her classmate Joey (Dan Stevens), things will have to be re-evaluated.

Vamps may not be quite up to Clueless standards (Heckerling’s previous film starring Silverstone), but it’s an amusing film that entertains.

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Re-Watch: Clueless (1995)

And coming to a final stop in the big EmmaAdaptationWatching-and-Comparing, we got Clueless, Amy Heckerling‘s modernised adaptation of Jane Austen‘s novel, starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer and Jeremy Sisto.

Plot:
Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is a rich LA teenager whose life revolves around her clothes and her friends, most of all Dionne (Stacey Dash). When Cher gets bad grades in her debate class, she decides to set up two of her teachers – Mr Hall (Wallace Shawn) and Miss Geist (Twink Caplan). And since she enjoys playing the matchmaker, she decides to set up the new girl Tai (Brittany Murphy) as well.

I love this movie so much, I can’t even tell you. This migh taint my judgment, but I think it’s pretty much perfect – funny, intelligent and sweet. The only fault I can find with it is that it doesn’t credit Austen at all. [It’s just different enough to not make it completely indecent, but still.]

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