What a Girl Wants (2003)

What a Girl Wants
Director: Dennie Gordon
Writer: Jenny Bicks, Elizabeth Chandler
Based on: William Douglas Home‘s play The Reluctant Debutante
Cast: Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, Eileen Atkins, Anna Chancellor, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver James, Christina Cole
Seen on: 3.1.2020

Plot:
Daphne (Amanda Bynes) lives with her mother Libby (Kelly Preston), an artist and a free spirit. Daphne has never met her father, she only has a photo of him and knows that he is British. Taking a leaf out of her mother’s book, she decides that the best thing she could do is get on a plane, fly to London and find him. So that’s what she does. And things start pretty well. She meets the cute musician Ian (Oliver James) and she actually quickly finds her father – Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth), who is running for political office at the moment and could not learn about an illegitimate teenage daughter at a worse time. So they have a lot of stuff to figure out.

I was actually not sure if I had seen What a Girl Wants before. It feels like I must have, but having seen it now, I’m now certain that I hadn’t before. Anyway, it’s fun in many ways and if you’re looking for 90 minutes entertainment that doesn’t need you to think for a single second, it could be just the film for you.

The film poster showing Daphne (Amanda Bynes) dressed in a shirt with the USA flag standing in front of two beefeaters.
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Vita & Virginia (2018)

Vita & Virginia
Director: Chanya Button
Writer: Eileen Atkins, Chanya Button
Based on: Vita Sackville-West‘s and Virginia Woolf‘s letters
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabella Rossellini, Rupert Penry-Jones, Peter Ferdinando, Emerald Fennell, Gethin Anthony, Rory Fleck Byrne, Karla Crome
Part of: Toronto International Film Festival
Seen on: 11.9.2018

Plot:
Vita (Gemma Arterton) and Virginia (Elizabeth Debicki) move in similar social circles, but have yet to meet personally. Vita has admired Virginia from afar and she is determined to become friends with her. Virginia is taken aback by Vita’s adamant attempts at first, but she has to admit that she is also drawn to Vita. It doesn’t take long and they become friends, then lovers, inspiring each other in their writing. Despite their progressive surroundings, not everybody can deal equally well with their relationship though.

With Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf being who they were and having led the lives they led, it is hard to imagine a film about them that wouldn’t be at least interesting. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the film would have been well-made. In this case, luckily, the film is not only interesting, it is very well-made indeed.

Film poster showing Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki leaning against each other.
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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.

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Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Beautiful Creatures
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Writer: Richard LaGravenese
Based on: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s novel
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, Emma Thompson, Eileen Atkins, Margo Martindale, Zoey Deutch

Plot:
Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) lives in the small South Carolina town of Gatlin. Ever since his mother’s death, his father pretty much hasn’t left his room and Ethan is taking care of him. He dreams of college and leaving. But recently he’s been having strange dreams of a girl. And then Lena (Alice Englert) shows up at his school. She’s the niece of the town’s supposed madman Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons). Ethan feels an instant connection with Lena, even recognizes her as the girl he dreamt about. But even more crazy things happen around and to Lena, and time is running out for her.

What the movie did to this book was incredible. From a nice, if not great young adult story, it was turned into a misogynistic, illogical, offensive crapfest. I actually had to shout DAFUQ several times.

beautiful-creatures

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