Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Based on: Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont‘s fairy tale
Remake of: Beauty and the Beast
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Seen on: 29.3.2017

Plot:
Belle (Emma Watson) lives in a small village with her father Maurice (Kevin Kline), an inventor. Her life wouldn’t be so bad if the local library had more books and if village beau Gaston (Luke Evans) wasn’t constantly harrassing her with marriage proposals. Then one day, Maurice doesn’t return from the market as planned. When Belle sets out to find him, what she finds is an enchanted castle, where a Beast (Dan Stevens) is holding her father captive. Fearless as she is, Belle takes Maurice place. And she might just be what the Beast needed to break the curse that weighs on them all.

This live-action version of the film isn’t strictly necessary and there were a couple of things that really didn’t go all that well, but the film was nevertheless enjoyable and managed to capture the magic of the animated version at least in part.

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Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)

Bridget Jones’s Baby
Director: Sharon Maguire
Writer: Helen Fielding, Dan Mazer, Emma Thompson
Based on: Helen Fielding‘s novels
Sequel to: Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Cast: Renée ZellwegerColin FirthPatrick Dempsey, Gemma Jones, Jim Broadbent, Sally Phillips, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Shirley HendersonJessica Hynes, Ed Sheeran, Emma Thompson, Celia Imrie
Seen on: 5.11.2016

Plot:
Bridget (Renée Zellweger) is in her early 40s now, still single, still childless and she’s just been to the funeral of her ex Daniel where she met her other Ex Mark (Colin Firth) who is married now. So it’s a good thing that she’s focusing on her career, even though things aren’t entirely problem-free there. So Bridget needs a break and she catches not one, but two in short succession: First she meets the handsome Jack (Patrick Dempsey) and sleeps with him and then Mark tells her that he’s actually getting divorced and the two reconnect. In bed. But things will never be easy for Bridget: it turns out that she’s pregnant and she really doesn’t know who the father is.

It’s been many years that I saw the first two movies, but I remember them very fondly. And Bridget Jones’s baby was a very worthy successor: superfunny and very sweet.

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Burnt (2015)

Burnt
Director: John Wells
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, Riccardo Scamarcio, Omar Sy, Sam Keeley, Henry Goodman, Matthew Rhys, Stephen Campbell Moore, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, Lily James
Seen on: 16.12.2015

Plot:
Adam (Bradley Cooper) was the rising star in the cooking world before alcohol and drugs got the better of him. When his career was completely destroyed (plus the career of some of his friends for good measure), he set himself  the penance of shucking a million oysters. Three years later he is sober and as he reaches the final oyster, he is ready to give his career a new start. Activating all his old connections and bullying himself into a restaurant kitchen, he is ready to get that third Michelin star.

Burnt is a film about an asshole that for some reason is be believed the coolest person on the planet. The best that I can say about it is that it’s watchable and the cast is good. Other than that, though, I was mostly annoyed by it.

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Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Saving Mr. Banks
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin FarrellRuth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Kathy Baker, Rachel Griffiths

Plot:
Despite her trepidations about it, P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson) agrees to work on a screen version of her Mary Poppins novel for Walt Disney (Tom Hanks). She just really needs the money. But Mary Poppins is more to her than just a fictional character and she wants to make certain that Disney does justice to that. So she flies to L.A. to try and ensure that, while at the same time working through her own family history.

There are many things to enjoy about Saving Mr. Banks and some things that I didn’t enjoy very much. But it’s certainly a film that I liked watching.

Saving_Mr._Banks

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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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Brave (2012)

Brave
Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell
Writer: Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Irene Mecchi
Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson

Plot:
Merida (Kelly Macdonald) is King Fergus’ (Billy Connolly) daughter. But despiter her mother Elinor’s (Emma Thompson) best efforts, Merida is not really interested in being a princess. She much rather spends her time shooting her bow and riding through the woods. When the queen decides that it’s time for Merida to marry, Merida decides that she needs a way to change her fate – by changing her mother. When she stumbles on a witch’s cottage, she gets a chance to do so – with unforseeable consequences.

I loved Brave. It was funny, sweet, entertaining, touching and beautifully animated. An absolute success.

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Men in Black III (2012)

Men in Black III
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writer: Etan Cohen
Based on: Lowell Cunningham‘s comic
Sequel to: Men in Black, Men in Black II
Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Jemaine Clement, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Hader, Emma Thompson, Will Arnett, Michael Chernus, Alice Eve, David Rasche

Plot:
Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), one of the most dangerous criminals in the universe, manages to escape from Lunar prison, where he was sent by Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) many years ago. With his mind set on revenge, he finds a way to travel back in time to 1969, where he kills Agent K before he can arrest Boris. That is not only tragic on a personal level, but puts the entire earth in jeopardy. Fortunately, Agent J (Will Smith) somehow still remembers K and travels back in time, too, to save his then young partner (Josh Brolin).

I did not have very high hopes for this film, but it turns out that it is actually quite nice. While it is not quite as good as the first film, it has its heart in the right place, it’s entertaining and it manages to steer clear of the sexism that ruined the second one. I’d say that’s a win.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the last movie in the Harry Potter series originally written by Joanne K. Rowling. The film was directed by David Yates, written by Steve Kloves and starring pretty much every British actor ever Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Matthew Lewis, Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch, Jason Isaacs, Warwick Davis, Bonnie Wright, David Thewlis, Ciarán Hinds, Julie Walters, Kelly Macdonald, John Hurt, Helen McCrory, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Robbie Coltrane, Jamie Campbell Bower, Gary Oldman and Emma Thompson.

Plot:
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) slowly uncovers the final secrets surrounding his life while his fight with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) draws to an end. After pretty much everything has gone to hell, things – and people – are finally coming together for the final battle while Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) try to destroy the remaining horcruxes.

After HPatDH:1 2 pretty much had to be a cinematic revelation (I still can’t believe how boring 1 was), just in comparison. And that worked out. Is it the best movie ever? Well no, David Yates is still its director. But it’s a decent and fitting ending to the series.

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An Education (2009)

An Education is the newest movie by Lone Scherfig, written by Nick Hornby and starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Olivia Williams, Alfred Molina, Cara Seymour, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike and Emma Thompson.

Plot:
The 60s. Jenny (Cary Mulligan) is an ambitious student, trying her best to get accepted to Oxford, constantly pushed by her father (Alfred Molina). When one day Jenny meets the charming, but much older David (Peter Sarsgaard) the life she wants to achieve with an Oxford education seems to be at her fingertips. David takes her to concerts, to Paris and shows her the big world. But it soon turns out that David is not all he cracked up to be.

An Education is a wonderful movie – especially the cast is perfect. Unfortunately, the last fifteen, twenty minutes of it, turns it all a little sour. But only a little – it’s still very much worth to see this film.

[SPOILERS]

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Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2010)

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang is the sequel to Nanny McPhee, directed by Susanna White, written by Emma Thompson and starring Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Ewan McGregor, Bill Bailey, Ralph Fiennes and Maggie Smith.

Plot:
Mrs. Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has a rather difficult life: Her husband (Ewan McGregor) is at war (and hasn’t sent a letter for quite some time). Her brother-in-law (Rhys Ifans) is pressuring her to sell her half of the farm they own. She works for the elderly Mrs. Docherty (Maggie Smith) who shows signs of dementia but doesn’t recognise it. Her three kids (Asa Butterfield, Oscar Steer and Lil Woods) are really wild and especially nervous since their cousins (Eros Vlahos and Rosie Taylor-Ritson) are about to come live with them to escape London in the war. That’s when the magical Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) appears, to make Mrs. Green’s life a little easier, but mostly to teach the five kids five lessons.

If you’ve seen the first Nanny McPhee film, you know what to expect: adorable entertainment for the whole family. Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang does not disappoint at all. Quite to the contrary, it might even be more spectacular and even sweeter.

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