The Cured (2017)

The Cured
Director: David Freyne
Writer: David Freyne
Cast: Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Stuart Graham, Paula Malcomson
Part of: /slash 1/2 Filmfestival
Seen on: 5.5.2018

Plot:
A few years after a disease turned a lot of people into zombies, a cure has been found and the cured are ready to be released back into society. But not everybody is ready to accept them back. One of the cured is Senan (Sam Keeley). after his release, his widowed sister-in-law Abbie (Ellen Page) offers him a home with her and her son. But faced with the suspicions around them, Senan’s guilt for what he did while a zombie and Abbie’s grief, living together really isn’t what you’d call easy.

The Cured started well enough, but in the end it really didn’t manage to convince me. It builds on a metaphor that doesn’t really work the way it is supposed to work. And it relies so much on that metaphor that that failure torpedoes the entire film.

Continue reading

Into the Forest (2015)

Into the Forest
Director: Patricia Rozema
Writer: Patricia Rozema
Based on: Jean Hegland’s novel
Cast: Ellen PageEvan Rachel WoodMax MinghellaCallum Keith RennieMichael EklundWendy Crewson
Seen on: 2.9.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
Nell (Ellen Page) and Eva (Evan Rachel Wood) grow up with their father (Callum Keith Rennie) just outside of a small town in the Redwood Forest. But then something happens and slowly the infrastructure around them falls apart. First there is no more electricity, then no more gas and then they are entirely isolated in their forest home. When they realize that power, infrastructure and life as it was won’t be reinstated any time soon, Nell and Eva have to try and manage their lives on their own.

Into the Forest is not only a great adaptation of the novel I utterly loved, but simply a beautiful film in its own right.

Continue reading

Whip It (2009)

Whip It
Director: Drew Barrymore
Writer: Shauna Cross
Based on: her own novel Derby Girl
Cast: Ellen PageKristen WiigZoë BellEveDrew Barrymore, Andrew Wilson, Juliette Lewis, Marcia Gay Harden, Alia ShawkatCarlo AlbanLandon Pigg, Jimmy Fallon
Seen on: 17.9.2016

Plot:
Bliss’ (Ellen Page) mother Brooke (Marcia Gay Harden) has been raising Bliss to participate in beauty pageants. But Bliss has no interest whatsoever in being pretty or in pageantry. That becomes even clearer to her when she discovers roller derby. On a whim she goes to a match, and falls in love immediately. After talking to team captain Maggie Mayhem (Kirsten Wiig), she decides to try out for the team herself. Despite the fact that her parents can’t know about it or that she isn’t the required 21 years old yet. So she dons skates and starts practicing, findig her place in the team and the world.

Whip It is a sweet film, with a lot of fun moments and it wouldn’t surprise me if it made at least half of its audience fall in love with roller derby. There’s one big draw back though – and that’s the fact that they didn’t dare to make this a queer story. But other than that I enjoyed it a lot.

whipit Continue reading

Freeheld (2015)

Freeheld
Director: Peter Sollett
Writer: Ron Nyswaner
Based on: Laurel Hester‘s life and the documentary about that
Cast: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, Steve Carell, Luke Grimes, Josh Charles
Seen on: 14.4.2016

Plot:
Laurel (Julianne Moore) falls in love with Stacie (Ellen Page) and vice versa. The two build their life together, a life that Laurel carefully shields from her job as a cop and even her partner Dane (Michael Shannon). But then she is diagnosed with cancer and things are not looking good. As Laurel realizes that she’ll probably not survive, she knows that she has to fight to have Stacie and her (civil) partnership with her recogniced by the city council to make sure that Stacie will get the spousal pension after Laurel’s death. But the council is not willing to make that happen.

Freeheld is a conservatively made film about a progressive topic: while the filmmaking here is not revolutionary, the fight for queer rights is and as we keep seeing over and over again, it’s unfortunately far from won. So keep the films on coming and if they push every emotional button in the most obvious way, it’s even better: people obviously still need the basic lessons.

freeheld Continue reading

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]

Continue reading

Touchy Feely (2013)

[Touchy Feely will be shown today at the Framing Reality film festival in Vienna: 20.30, Filmcasino. They have a focus on Lynn Shelton and Barbara Kopple.]

Touchy Feely
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Lynn Shelton
Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Josh Pais, Scoot McNairy, Allison Janney, Tomo Nakayama, Shannon Kipp, Ron Livingston
Part of: Framing Reality

Plot:
Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) is a massage therapist who suddenly can’t touch people anymore at all. This severely hampers her relationship wih her boyfriend Jesse (Scoot McNairy) with whom she was about to move in. In the meantime her brother Paul (Josh Pais), a dentist in a floundering clinic, seems to discover that he has a healing touch which he wants to explore with Abby’s friend and reiki practitioner Bronwyn (Allsion Janney). Paul’s daughter Jenny (Ellen Page) who works as his assistant, is slowly suffocating because of both the routine in her life and her love for and need to touch Jesse.

Touchy Feely is a sweet, calm film with a great cast and a good script. It’s enjoyable and smart, even if I’m not all over it.

touchyfeely

Continue reading

The East (2013)

The East
Director: Zal Batmanglij
Writer: Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij
Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Aldis Hodge, Danielle Macdonald, Hillary BaackJason Ritter, Julia Ormond, Patricia Clarkson

Plot:
Sarah (Brit Marling) works for a private security company. Their newest client is worried about ecoterrorist group The East, so Sarah gets the assignment from her boss (Patricia Clarkson) to infiltrate them. After a long search, Sarah meets Luca (Shiloh Fernandez) who brings her into the group which is (unofficially) led by Benji (Alexander Skarsgard). Even though it isn’t easy to get in at first, Sarah quickly finds herself in deeper than she ever thought.

The East is exciting, interesting and well acted. It asks many smart questions and though the way it ultimately resolves those questions was a little unfortunate, especially since it tries not to resolve anything too clearly for the first 112 minutes (runtime: 116 min). But it is still excellent.

the-east

Continue reading

Super (2010)

Super
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn
Cast: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Nathan Fillion, Linda Cardellini, Gregg Henry
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Frank (Rainn Wilson) has a pretty crappy life. The only thing he really loves about it is his wife Sarah (Liv Tyler). And then Sarah leaves him for the shady Jacques (Kevin Bacon) and Frank’s life completely falls apart. While watching some religious propaganda, Frank has an epiphany: he will become a superhero, save Sarah and win her back that way. Thus Crimson Bolt is born, despite Frank not really being the heroic type. So it comes as no surprise that things start going wrong very quickly.

Super is a to me rather controversial movie. It’s like Kick-Ass but with a morale I can agree with even less. If it wasn’t for the ending – and the way the audience around me reacted to it – I’d say that it’s pretty damn perfect. But as is, I have to show some more restraint.

[MAJOR SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Inception (2010)

Inception is the newest movie by Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine.

Plot:
Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief. But not any thief – he steals ideas out of people’s heads by invading their dreams. One day, he gets drafted by the business man Saito (Ken Watanabe), but not to steal an idea; he’s supposed to plant one in the head of Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy).

Since there’s no such thing as flawless, one of these days Christopher Nolan is bound to make a godawful movie and then it’s probably going to kill me. But until then I can enjoy the masterpieces Nolan continuously produces – and Inception is definitely the best of his films yet.

Continue reading