Jackie (2016)

Jackie
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writer: Noah Oppenheim
Cast: Natalie PortmanPeter SarsgaardGreta GerwigBilly CrudupJohn HurtRichard E. GrantCaspar PhillipsonJohn Carroll LynchBeth GrantDeborah FindlayCorey Johnson
Seen on: 31.1.2017

Plot:
A year after the assassination of John F. Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson), his widow Jackie Kennedy (Natalie Portman) gives an interview to a journalist (Billy Crudup) about the difficult path she had to navigate in the time since. Weighed down by her own shock and grief, she still has to make sure she upholds the Kennedy’s reputation and her own husband’s legacy.

Despite a great cast and a great look, Jackie did not work for me. It continuously bored me and I just could not get into the story, the film or the characters.

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Man and Superman

Man and Superman
Director: Simon Godwin
Writer: George Bernard Shaw
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Indira Varma, Nicholas le Prevost, Tim McMullan, Elliot Barnes-Worrell, Faye Castelow, Nick Hendrix, Corey Johnson, Christine Kavanagh
Seen on: 14.5.2015

Plot:
After the death of her father, Ann (Indira Varma) is supposed to get two new guardians: Roebuck Ramsden (Nicholas le Prevost) and Jack Tanner (Ralph Fiennes). The problem is that the two of them hate each other, Tanner has no interest in being a guardian and Ramsden does not want to share the position with Tanner who he considers a dangerous revolutionary. But Ann is headstrong and smart and manages to convince both of them to do it anyway, not only fulfilling her father’s wishes but also her own: she has plans for and designs on Jack and is bent on making them real, no matter what Jack might think about it.

Man and Superman has very funny moments, but it left me reeling from the blatant misogyny that soaks every scene.

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Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina
Director: Alex Garland
Writer: Alex Garland
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Corey Johnson
Seen on: 28.04.2015

Plot:
Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) can’t believe his luck when he wins the employee lottery and will be allowed to meet the company’s – Bluebook, a search engine and more – owner, the reclusive genius Nathan (Oscar Isaac). And not only meet him – they will get to spend a week together in Nathan’s home, working on a project together. When Caleb arrives, Nathan announces that he has been working on an AI – and he wants Caleb to test her, Ava (Alicia Vikander), to see if she can pass as completely human. But the more time Caleb spends with Ava, the less he trusts Nathan and his intentions.

Ex Machina is great. Smart, political and surprisingly feminist science fiction, beautiful images, excellent script and a wonderful cast. I was blown away by it.

exmachina

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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire
Director: Benedict Andrews
Writer: Tennessee Williams
Cast: Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster, Vanessa Kirby, Corey Johnson
[I reviewed reading the play here.]

Plot:
Blanche DuBois (Gillian Anderson) comes to visit her sister Stella (Vanessa Kirby) in New Orleans. The two of them come from a family of plantation owners who have been slowly but steadily going bankrupt. Now their plantation (Belle Reve) is gone and Blanche, who has always been a nervous type, is falling apart due to her alcoholism and the fact that she can’t really deal with her growing age and fading looks. Stella is happy to see Blanche, but Stella’s husband Stanley (Ben Foster), a factory worker, doesn’t trust Blanche or her story about how Belle Reve was lost. Blanche herself is shocked about the circumstances Stella lives in. As Blanche’s and Stanley’s worlds collide, something has got to give.

I love A Streetcar Named Desire. It really is one of my favorite plays. And because I love it so much, I have high expectations and a clear image of what the play should be like. Unfortunately, Benedict Andrews did not fulfill them.

streetcarnameddesire

[SPOILERS]

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