Tell It to the Bees (2018)

Tell It to the Bees
Director: Annabel Jankel
Writer: Henrietta Ashworth, Jessica Ashworth
Based on: Fiona Shaw‘s novel
Cast: Anna Paquin, Holliday Grainger, Gregor Selkirk, Lauren Lyle, Kate Dickie, Joanne Gallagher, Emun Elliott, Billy Boyd
Part of: Toronto International Film Festival
Seen on: 10.9.2018

Plot:
Jean (Anna Paquin) is a doctor who returns to her small hometown. She is slowly settling into her new role, when Lydia (Holliday Grainger) brings in her son Charlie (Gregor Selkirk) who was bullied. The two women instantly like each other. When Lydia, whose husband left her, can’t make rent anymore, she turns to Jean for help and Jean offers her and Charlie to stay with her, quickly deepening their friendship and turning it into something else.

Tell It to the Bees is a wonderful film with one big flaw: it shies away from the happy ending for its two protagonists. But other than that, it is simply lovely.

The film poster showing Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger embracing in front of a honeycomb background.
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The Good Dinosaur (2015)

The Good Dinosaur
Director: Peter Sohn
Writer: Meg LeFauve
Cast: Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Marcus Scribner, Steve Zahn, Peter Sohn, Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, A.J. Buckley
Seen on: 16.12.2015

Plot:
Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) is the youngest member of his dinosaur family, and he is not only small, but scared of everything. While his siblings handle their chores and rites of passage with apparent ease, Arlo still has problems feeding the chicken. So his father Henry (Jeffrey Wright) gives him a special task: catch a critter that has been raiding their silo. Arlo actually manages to catch the little human (Jack Bright), but can’t go through with killing him. When the boy runs off after being freed, Henry and Arlo chase after him. They get trapped in a thunderstorm which leads to a flash flood and Henry drowns. Riddled with guilt, Arlo finds himself washed ashore a long way from home and somehow has to find his way back.

The Good Dinosaur is a weird film. The main plot and characters are nowhere near the high standards that we usually get from Pixar movies. But everything happening on the sidelines is frankly amazing.

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Darkness (2002)

Darkness
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Writer: Jaume Balagueró, Fernando de Felipe
Cast: Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen, Giancarlo Giannini, Fele Martínez, Stephan Enquist
Seen on: 01.04.2015

Plot:
Regina (Anna Paquin) and her family – mother Maria (Lena Olin), father Mark (Iain Glen) and her little brother Paul (Stephen Enquist) – have just moved to Spain. Her father used to grow up there, but left the country when he was a child. His father Albert (Giancarlo Giannini) is still there, though, and looking forward to his grandchildren. But there is something about the rather remote house they’re living that doesn’t seem quite right. And it doesn’t take long until mysterious things start happening.

Darkness has its moments, but it also has an insistent and incessant sound design that annoyed the hell our of me and surprisingly weak performances by its cast.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Based on: The Marvel Comics series
Sequel to: X-Men: First Class
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas HoultHugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Shawn AshmoreEllen PagePeter DinklageOmar SyEvan Peters, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, James Marsden

Plot:
Scientist Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) created an adaptive superroboter to hunt and kill mutants that eradicated mutants almost entirely in just a few short years. The only way to stop their complete extinction is by stopping Trask building the robots in the first place. So Kitty Pride (Ellen Page) sends Logan (Hugh Jackman) back into the past to find Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) from stopping Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) to inadvertently set everything in motion. But neither Charles nor Erik are at a particularly good place in their lives and its up to Logan to make everything happen.

I really, really enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past (I even saw it twice in the cinema), even if I do have certain qualms about it. But the fun pretty much outweigs everything.

x-men_dofp[SPOILERS]

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Margaret (2011)

Margaret
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Anna Paquin, J. Smith-Cameron, Jeannie Berlin, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, Jean Reno, Allison Janney, Kieran Culkin, Rosemarie DeWitt, Matthew Broderick, Olivia Thirlby, Matt Bush, Michael Ealy
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Lisa (Anna Paquin) is a normal teenager until the day she co-causes a bus accident by distracting the driver (Mark Ruffalo). The bus hits and kills Monica (Allison Janney), leaving Lisa distraught and unsettled. Unable to find another outlet for her feelings of guilt, she gets on a crusade to get recompensation for Monica’s death, while everything around her keeps spiraling out of control.

Margaret is 2 1/2 hours long and you get to feel every minute of it.* It’s 2 1/2 hours of an hysteric teenager and emotionally incompetent adults, a combination that is at the same time boring and nerve-wrecking. What it isn’t, is enjoyable.

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Re-Watch: X2 (2003)

X2
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: David Hayter, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
Based on: The Marvel Comics series
Sequel to: X-Men
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Bruce Davison, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Kelly Hu

Plot:
The Mutant Registration Act is still a very distinct possibility and threatens the mutants’ existence. And then a new mutant – Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming) – attempts to kill the president and almost succeeds, adding further fuel to the debate. The retired Colonel Stryker (Brian Cox) is leading among the people against mutants and uses the assassination attempt as an excuse to attack Professor X’s (Patrick Stewart) school with knowledge he gained from drugging Magneto (Ian McKellen).

X2 is the rare case where the sequel is actually better than the first film (even though the first film wasn’t bad). It’s enjoyable as hell.

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Re-Watch: X-Men (2000)

X-Men
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: David Hayter
Based on: The Marvel Comics series
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Anna Paquin, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, James Marsden, Rebecca Romijn, Ray Park, Tyler Mane, Bruce Davison, Shawn Ashmore

Plot:
The world is changing and so are humans. Ever so slowly “mutants” are emerging – humans one step further in the evolution of things who have special powers. Marie (Anna Paquin) is one of them. When her power kicks in, she runs away from home and quite accidentally meets Logan (Hugh Jackman), another mutant. Together they end up at Professor Xavier’s (Patrick Stewart) school for mutants and get caught in the war that is brewing between Xavier, his old friend Eric (Ian McKellen) and the humans.

It’s been ages that I saw the film and I have to say that it holds its own quite well, even after all this time. Yeah, it has the occasional headdesk-worthy dialogue, but it’s fun, has a good cast and treats its premise with respect. Very enjoyable.

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