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.

Continue reading

The Lady in the Van (2015)

The Lady in the Van
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Alan Bennett
Based on: Alan Bennett’s actual experience with Mary Shepherd
Cast: Maggie SmithAlex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Deborah Findlay, Roger Allam, Dominic Cooper, Frances de la Tour, James Corden, Russell Tovey, Alan Bennett
Seen on: 3.6.2016

Plot:
Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) moved to a new neighborhood and he quite like it. Part of the neighborhood is Mary Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a woman living in a van parked in his street. She’s weird, often rough and has issues, but Alan does take a liking to her. So when her existence is threatened because her road is being declared a no parking zone, Alan permits her to park the van in his driveway. What was supposed to be only a temporary solution, turns into a long-term fact and Alan starts to find out more about Mary’s past.

The Lady in the Van was a sweet film, told with a sly sense of humor that keeps the story from turning too dark, even when the realities it faces are harsher. It’s an enjoyable mix, although it stays a little too shallow to use the potential for social criticism it would have.

theladyinthevan Continue reading

Suite Française (2014)

Suite Française
Director: Saul Dibb
Writer: Saul Dibb, Matt Charman
Based on: Irène Némirovsky‘s (unfinished) novels
Cast: Michelle WilliamsMatthias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas, Margot Robbie, Eric Godon, Deborah Findlay, Ruth Wilson, Sam Riley, Tom Schilling, Harriet Walter, Eileen Atkins
Seen on: 18.1.2016

Plot:
Lucile (Michelle Williams) lives with her mother-in-law Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas). The Angelliers are one of the richest families in the areas and Madame Angellier sees no reason not to continue getting her share from the farmers who work her lands just because it’s war time. Lucile – whose husband is a soldier – doesn’t like that strictness and harshness, their relationship is tense. Their situation grows even more difficult when the Germans reach their village and office Bruno von Falck (Matthias Schoenaerts) is placed in their home. Madame Angellier insists on ignoring him, but Lucile feels drawn to Bruno after she discovers that they share a passion for music.

Suite Française is a strong film although it didn’t quite manage to blow me away. Still, it’s a touching story with a strong cast and I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of them at all.

suitefrancaise Continue reading

Coriolanus

Coriolanus
Director: Josie Rourke
Writer: William Shakespeare
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Mark Gatiss, Deborah Findlay, Hadley Fraser, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Alfie Enoch, Jaqueline Boatswain, Peter De Jersey, Elliot Levey, Helen Schlesinger
[Somehow I managed to not review this. Don’t ask me how. But better late than never.]

Plot:
Caius Martius (Tom Hiddleston) is a celebrated general, even though he is not particularly popular with the people of Rome who are starving because the rations go to the military instead of them. Caius Martius fights his blood-enemy Aufidius (Hadley Fraser) in Corioles and is victorious, which gives him enough leverage to run for consul. Even though Caius Martius isn’t completely sold on the idea, his mother (Deborah Findlay) pressures him and he finally caves. But not everyone is a fan of Caius Martius and he quickly finds himself in trouble.

This is a great Coriolanus version. An excellent cast in an interesting set that makes the play shine. Not everything worked for me but it was always interesting to watch.

coriolanus

Continue reading