Saint Joan

Saint Joan
Director: Josie Rourke
Writer: George Bernard Shaw
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Fisayo Akinade, Matt Bardock, Niall Buggy, Richard Cant, Hadley Fraser, Arthur Hughes, Rory Keenan, Elliot Levey, Syrus Lowe
Seen on: 16.2.2017

Plot:
Teenaged peasant Joan of Arc (Gemma Arterton) knows that she has a mission to fulfill – voices tell her that she is the one to end the siege of Orléans and to crown the Dauphin (Fisayo Akinade) as King. All she needs is a few men from Robert de Baudricort (Matt Bardock). Baudricort doesn’t really believe her but his Steward (Rory Keenan) does. And faced with Joan’s conviction, Baudricort allows himself to be convinced. So Joan rides off to make her destiny. But not all are taken with Joan’s mission, despite – or maybe because – her success.

Saint Joan is an interesting production in its mixing of period elements with contemporary ones. I also liked this take on Joan, with Arterton shining as always. Nevertheless it falls a little shy of a really great production.

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Byzantium (2012)

Byzantium
Director: Neil Jordan
Writer: Moira Buffini
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma ArtertonSam RileyJonny Lee Miller, Caleb Landry Jones, Daniel Mays, Uri Gavriel, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tom Hollander
Seen on: 1.1.2017

Plot:
Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) and her mother Clara (Gemma Arterton) had to leave their old town in a hurry and have ended up in a small coastal town where they try for a new start. Being centuries old vampires, this is not the first time they had to do this. Eleanor is struggling with what she is, while Clara is pragmatic enough to always fall on her feet. She quickly finds Noel (Daniel Mays), who owns a run-down hotel, and with him shelter and work. Meanwhile Clare meets Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), a student with leukemia, and feels immediately drawn to him. But they aren’t save yet.

Byzantium has a great set-up and a great cast and it could have been utterly brilliant, but it did neither justice. To call it disappointing almost isn’t strong enough.

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Orpheline [Orphan] (2016)

Orpheline
Director: Arnaud des Pallières
Writer: Arnaud des Pallières, Christelle Berthevas
Cast: Adèle Haenel, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Solène Rigot, Vega Cuzytek, Jalil Lespert, Gemma Arterton, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Sergi López, Karim Leklou, Robert Hunger-Bühler
Part of: Scope100
Seen on: 18.12.2016

Plot:
When Tara (Gemma Arterton) is released from prison, she goes to see Renée (Adèle Haenel). Renée works as a school teacher and is trying to have a baby with her boyfriend (Jalil Lespert), but it appears that her past was rather different: Tara demands money from her, money they stole together before she was arrested, at a time when Tara worked with Sandra (Adèle Exarchopoulos). But how does Renée’s life tie in with Sandra or teenager Karine (Solène Rigot) who behaves much more maturely than she is or the small Kiki (Vega Cuzytek) who loves to play outside, even at the dangerous junkyard.

Orphan really impressed me (and was the first of the Scope100 films that year that actually did). It’s a well-made film with fascinating female characters.

[SPOILERS]

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The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)

The Girl with All the Gifts
Director: Colm McCarthy
Writer: Mike Carey
Based on: his novel
Cast: Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine, Fisayo Akinade
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Melanie (Sennia Nanua) has a very regular life. She gets up in the morning, gets dressed, sits herself down in her chair and waits to be strapped down by the soldiers lead by Sergeant Parks (Paddy Considine). When her legs, arms and head are secure, she is rolled to class together with the other children. Her favorite teacher is Miss Justineau (Gemma Arterton) who sometimes tells them stories. But her routine is destroyed when she is first carted off by Dr. Caldwell (Glenn Close) who wants to perform some kind of surgery on her – and then the military base she lives at is overrun by hungries. And suddenly Melanie finds her life turned upside down – and she has to learn the truth about her world and herself.

After having read the novel, I expected many things of The Girl with All the Gifts and I’m glad to say that it absolutely delivered. It’s a fantastic film.

[Very slight SPOILERS]

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The Voices (2014)

The Voices
Director: Marjane Satrapi
Writer: Michael R. Perry
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Jacki Weaver, Ella Smith

Plot:
Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is a little off, but he does his best. He has found steady employment at an appliance factory, he regularly sees his therapist (Jacki Weaver) and he is in love with his co-worker Fiona (Gemma Arterton). So, how much can it really matter that his dog Bosco (Ryan Reynolds) and his cat Mr. Whiskers (Ryan Reynolds) talk to him? When things start to go very wrong for Jerry and everybody in his life, it turns out, it matters quite a bit.

I was afraid that I would miss the film because it only got a very limited release and in Vienna, they didn’t seem to show it in English at all – when I stumbled over a cinema announcing it in a subbed version weeks after the start, right before the last showing (they have since started to show it again, after a two week break). This coincidence, added to my general excitement for the film, really made my expectations higher than ever – and I’m happy to say that those expectations were completely fulfilled. The Voices was really great. It’s funny (in a very macabre way), but it’s also sad and quite touching.

thevoices

[Very slight spoilers]

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Gemma Bovery (2014)

Gemma Bovery
Director: Anne Fontaine
Writer: Pascal Bonitzer, Anne Fontaine
Based on: Posy Simmondscomic and Gustave Flaubert‘s Madame Bovary
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Gemma Arterton, Jason Flemyng, Isabelle Candelier, Niels Schneider, Edith Scob

Plot:
Martin Joubert (Fabrice Luchini) is a literature professor turned baker, living a rather quiet life with his family in a small village. But then new neighbors arrive: Gemma (Gemma Arterton) and Charlie Bovery (Jason Flemyng) who moved there from England. Martin is quickly obsessed with Gemma, believing that she is the real life Madame Bovary since he keeps finding parallels between her life and the book. Soon he starts meddling and that’s not really a good thing, even if done with good intentions.

I really enjoyed Gemma Bovery. It was funny, sweet and it had Gemma Arterton [who is a wonderful actress and one the most beautiful people on this earth, so that’s always a plus].

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Runner Runner (2013)

Runner Runner
Director: Brad Furman
Writer: Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Cast: Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie, John Heard, Sam Palladio, David Costabile

Plot:
Richie (Justin Timberlake) used to be somebody on Wall Street but then his world came crashing down. Now he’s back at uni, struggling to finance his studies and supplementing his income with referring people to online poker games. When he himself loses in one of them, he is certain that he was scammed. So he decides to find Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), the owner of the gambling site, and let him know how people use his site to their advantage. Ivan is impressed and offers Richie a job. But things are not all what they cracked up to be.

Runner Runner was so boring that I actually fell asleep for the last five minutes or so, during the very showdown. I just didn’t care for anything that happened in this film.

runnerrunner

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Three and Out (2008)

Three and Out
Director: Jonathan Gershfield
Writer: Steve Lewis, Tony Owen
Cast: Mackenzie Crook, Colm Meaney, Gemma Arterton, Gary Lewis, Imelda Staunton

Plot:
Paul (Mackenzie Crook) is a subway driver who just ran over two people in a couple of weeks. His colleagues tell him that he can get 10 years pay and retirement if he hits a third person in the same month. Since that would be exactly what Paul needs to finally write the book he’s been dreaming of, he tries to find a suicidal person to jump in front of his train on purpose. And he finds that person in Tommy (Colm Meaney) who just wants to set a few things straight before jumping. And for that he needs Paul’s help.

Three and Out is sweet and it has its fun moments, but it’s also pretty predictable and doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

threeandout

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Song for Marion (2012)

Song for Marion
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Writer: Paul Andrew Williams
Cast: Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Eccleston

Plot:
Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) and Arthur (Terence Stamp) have been married for a long time, despite being opposites: Marion enjoys life to the fullest, while Arthur’s main hobby is being grumpy. But now Marion is slowly dying of cancer. She still spends a lot of her energy in the local seniors’ choir though, led by Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) and tries to reconcile Arthur and their son James (Christopher Eccleston). After Marion dies, Arthur at first risks to fall into complete social isolation. But somehow he ends up taking over Marion’s hobby, singing in the choir.

I went into Song for Marion expecting a fluffy piece of entertainment, with nice music and some good laughs. And I got all that. But what I didn’t expect, but ended up having anyway, was a crying fit (in the best of ways) – I basically started during minute 2 and only stopped when the credits started rolling.

Song-for-Marion

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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Writer: Tommy Wirkola
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Pihla Viitala, Thomas Mann, Joanna Kulig, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

Plot:
Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have been witch hunters ever since they were imprisoned by a witch, when they were kids, but were able to free themselves by killing her. Hansel and Gretel come to Augsburg, where a lot of children have gone missing, suggesting that a lot of witch activity is going on in the area. But when they start to hunt them down, they stumble upon an even bigger event than they anticipated.

Hansel & Gretel has SO MANY ISSUES. It is one of the most stupid, absurd films I have ever seen. It is at the same time offensive to human beings as a whole, and hilarious as hell.

kinopoisk.ru

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