Handsome Devil (2016)

Handsome Devil
Director: John Butler
Writer: John Butler
Cast: Fionn O’Shea, Nicholas Galitzine, Andrew Scott, Ardal O’Hanlon, Amy Huberman,
Ruairi O’Connor, Dick O’Leary, Mark Doherty, Michael McElhatton
Seen on: 4.1.2018
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Plot:
Ned (Fionn O’Shea) and Conor (Nicholas Galitzine) attend the same boarding school and are forced to share a room. But other than that they really have nothing in common. Ned is a shy social outcast who can’t even be bothered to pretend to like rugby, while Conor is a star rugby player at their rugby-centered school. Against all odds, they start bonding though. But their friendship doesn’t go uncommented

Handsome Devil is a sweet film that takes on a different direction from what I thought it would. It’s not a fantastic film, but it is an all-around good watch.

[Slight SPOILERS follow]

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This Beautiful Fantastic (2016)

This Beautiful Fantastic
Director: Simon Aboud
Writer: Simon Aboud
Cast: Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, Jeremy Irvine, Tom Wilkinson, Anna Chancellor, Eileen Davies
Seen on: 26.6.2017
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Plot:
Bella (Jessica Brown Findlay) works at a library and dreams of writing children’s books. But first, she has to get a handle on her life because it’s currently falling apart: because she has to check her locks a lot to make sure they’re really closed, she’s always late to work and her grumpy neighbor Alfie (Tom Wilkinson) has sicced her landlord on her who threatens to evict her if she doesn’t clean up her garden. The only trouble is that Bella really doesn’t like plants. But fortunately she can win over Alfie’s cook Vernon (Andrew Scott) to help her out. And there’s also the befuddled library patron and inventor Billy (Jeremy Irvine) who takes a liking to her and vice versa.

This Beautiful Fantastic tries very hard to be Amélie but fails on almost all levels, becoming sickly sweet and so very twee that I could barely stand it.

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Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Director: James Bobin
Writer: Linda Woolverton
Based on: Lewis Carroll‘s novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
Sequel to: Alice in Wonderland
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham-CarterSacha Baron CohenRhys Ifans, Matt LucasLindsay DuncanLeo Bill, Geraldine James, Andrew Scott, Richard ArmitageEd Speleers, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall
Seen on: 2.6.2016

Plot:
Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is working very hard to keep her father’s shipping company together, but things aren’t going well. Things seem doomed after her mother (Lindsay Duncan) signed over their shares to Alice’ former suitor Hamish (Leo Bill). It is just then that bad news reaches Alice from Wonderland and she sets off there to help the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) who hasn’t been himself. In fact, he seems to have crossed the line into absolute madness, believing firmly that his family isn’t actually dead, but can still be brought back. Reluctantly Alice agrees to help by speaking to Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) and trying to get to the chronosphere which would help them clear matters up. But things get more complicated when it becomes obvious that the Red Queen (Helena Bonham-Carter) is also involved.

The first Alice film wasn’t particularly good, though I did enjoy watching that cast in that production design for the most part. That’s why I figured I would give Alice Through the Looking Glass a try as well. Unfortunately, it was even less convincing than the first film.

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Victor Frankenstein (2015)

Victor Frankenstein
Director: Paul McGuigan
Writer: Max Landis
Based on: Mary Shelley‘s novel
Cast: Daniel RadcliffeJames McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay, Bronson Webb, Daniel Mays, Andrew Scott, Freddie Fox, Charles Dance, Mark Gatiss
Part of: Fright Nights
Seen on: 12.5.2016

Plot:
Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) works in a circus as a clown. Due to his hump, he is decried as a freak and mistreated at every turn. People certainly aren’t seeing his medical talent, even though they are okay with him treating them. Things change drastically for Igor, when Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) turns up in his circus one night. Victor realizes how much of a diamond in the rough Igor is, helps him to flee, cures him of his hump and enlists him in his own experiments: Victor is set on freeing the world from death itself.

How many Frankenstein adaptations does the world need? No matter, there’s always one more. Victor Frankenstein isn’t a particularly good one at that, but I’m pretty damn sure it is the gayest one in existence. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen gay porn that wasn’t that homoerotically charged. And that did make it pretty fun to watch.

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Spectre (2015)

Spectre
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth
Based on: Ian Fleming‘s James Bond novels
Sequel to: Casino Royal, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall
Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Rory Kinnear, Judi Dench
Seen on: 10.11.2015

Plot:
The 00 program is still reeling from recent (forced) restructures. Now M (Ralph Fiennes) has to fight to keep it going at all as C (Andrew Scott) tries to establish a more technological data gathering approach to spying. Meanwhile, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is on a mission. A mysterious message from the old M (Judi Dench) reaches him, sending him to a funeral in Italy and with it right in the middle of Spectre – a secret organization that seems to have its hand in every major global event.

I’m not a huge Bond fan – which is probably why I enjoyed the most recent efforts in the franchise (well, apart from Quantom of Solace) as it seemed a step away from the worst of Bond’s inherent sexism. Plus, they were good actions films. Spectre, unfortunately, is a jump back into the 70s and with it, into all the Bond-pitfalls that the Craig-Bond-era has at least partly avoided. I was disappointed.

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Pride (2014)

Pride
Director: Matthew Warchus
Writer: Stephen Beresford
Cast: Ben Schnetzer, George MacKayFaye Marsay, Joseph GilgunPaddy Considine, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Russell Tovey

Plot:
Mark (Ben Schnetzer) is not only gay, but a big supporter of the miner strike and wants to do his part, especially because he feels that there is a certain kinship – the miners struggle under Thatcher just as much as the homosexuals struggle. So he decides that he will start to raise funds for them, with the help of new to the scene Joe (George MacKay), big-mouthed Steph (Faye Marsay) and flamboyant Jonathan (Dominic West). But it turns out, it’s surprisingly hard to get miners to accept “gay donations”, until finally a Welsh village accepts, not really knowing what they’re in for.

Pride was funny, cute and most charming. It probably isn’t the most complex analysis of the situation, but it gave you an impression while being very entertaining.

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Jimmy’s Hall (2014)

Jimmy’s Hall
Director: Ken Loach
Writer: Paul Laverty
Based on: Donal O’Kelly‘s play
Cast: Barry Ward, Simone Kirby, Andrew Scott, Jim Norton, Brían F. O’Byrne, Aisling Franciosi

Plot:
Jimmy Gralton (Barry Ward) returns to Ireland from the USA where he had to flee after opening a community dance hall that went against everything Father Sheridan (Jim Norton) stood for. Now he’s back and actually wants to take it slow. But the demand for the hall is still there and Jimmy is too invested in the original idea not to give it another shot. Since Ireland is in the middle of the communist scare and this dance hall a decidedly socialist project, Jimmy is bound to make some enemies again.

Jimmy’s Hall is a beautifully shot, engaging and political film set in Ireland – so pretty much what you’d expect from Ken Loach (though he sometimes makes films that are set in the UK as well). And that’s a very good thing.

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Locke (2013)

Locke
Director: Steven Knight
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, Tom Holland

Plot:
Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a construction manager and loving father who prides himself in being absolutely reliable. Nevertheless he gets into his car after he receives a call one night and drives away from the biggest challenge his company ever faced and from his family.

Locke is an amazing film that proves once again how little you actually need to tell a compelling story. Despite the fact that all you see is Tom Hardy driving, I was glued to the screen for the entire time.

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