Been So Long (2018)

Been So Long
Director: Tinge Krishnan
Writer: Che Walker
Cast: Michaela Coel, Mya Lewis, Arinzé Kene, George MacKay, Jo Martin, Ronke Adekoluejo, Joe Dempsie, Rakie Ayola, Luke Norris
Seen on: 2.2.2020

Plot:
Simone (Michaela Coel) has devoted her life to her daughter Mandy (Mya Lewis) – sacrificing her social life pretty much entirely for her. Her best friend Yvonne (Ronke Adekoluejo) does drag her out every once in a while though and on one of those nights, Simone meets Raymond (Arinzé Kene). He is charming and they hit it off, but he was also just released from prison and still wears an ankle monitor. Now Raymond has to figure out his life in general and Simone has to decide whether she has space for him in hers.

Been So Long is a musical with an interesting central couple and less interesting music. It was nice while it lasted, but I probably won’t remember it for a long time.

The film poster showing Simone (Michaela Coel) and Raymond (Arinzé Kene) leaning in for a kiss.
Continue reading

1917 (2019)

1917
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Cast: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays, Colin Firth, Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, Richard McCabe, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden
Seen on: 26.1.2020

Plot:
Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) are called on by their superior officer General Erinmore (Colin Firth) to go on a special mission: they learned about a trap set for another battalion and if they aren’t warned, it will mean the death of 1,600 men. As Blake’s brother would be one of them, it falls to Blake and with him Schofield to deliver the message about the trap. The only problem is that they have to do it on foot and moving through enemy territory and if they don’t get there by morning, it will be too late.

I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to see 1917 at all, as my interest in war movies is limited. But I went to see it anyway (because Mendes, Deakins, that cast) and it’s definitely a film that hits home, despite some of my reservations about the general set-up.

The film poster showing two soldiers running into the sunset.
Continue reading

Where Hands Touch (2018)

Where Hands Touch
Director: Amma Asante
Writer: Amma Asante
Cast: Amandla Stenberg, George MacKay, Abbie Cornish, Christopher Eccleston, Tom Goodman-Hill, Alec Newman, Will Attenborough
Part of: Toronto International Film Festival
Seen on: 9.9.2018

Plot:
Leyna (Amandla Stenberg) is a German bi-racial teenager. When Hitler rises to power in Germany, she gets caught between the lines: her German-ness is disputed because of the color of her skin, no matter how hard Leyna fights for her place. Lutz (George MacKay), on the other hand, is just what the nazis like: blond, German, member of the Hitler youth and son of a high-ranking SS officer (Christopher Eccleston). When the two of them meet, they are drawn to each other, but they are in the worst position to live their love.

Where Hands Touch tackles a really interesting topic that hasn’t been looked at a lot (at least in popular media): what happened with and to black Germans in World War Two? Unfortunately, the way it goes about it, is a little clumsy.

The film poster showing Amandla Stenberg in front of a building with nazi flags and airplanes flying over it.
Continue reading

Captain Fantastic (2016)

Captain Fantastic
Director: Matt Ross
Writer: Matt Ross
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell, Trin Miller, Kathryn Hahn, Steve ZahnErin Moriarty, Missi Pyle, Frank Langella, Ann Dowd
Seen on: 31.8.2016

Plot:
Ben (Viggo Mortensen) is trying to raise his six kids (George MacKay, Samantha Isler, Annalise Basso, Nicholas Hamilton, Shree Crooks, Charlie Shotwell) away from capitalist society. They live in the woods, engage in rigorous physical exercise and study hard and for the most part, they are really happy. But Ben’s wife and the mother of the kids, Leslie (Trin Miller) isn’t with them: she had to go to the hospital to treat her mental illness. Unfortunately, though, instead of getting better, she commits suicide. Ben and the kids decide to go to the funeral, despite the fact that it means that they have to confront not only a world very different from their own, but also Leslie’s parents (Frank Langella, Ann Dowd) who are critical of Ben and Leslie’s lifestyle choices.

Captain Fantastic is an interesting film set to inspire political debates, but with a – to me – disappointing ending.

captainfantastic Continue reading

Pride (2014)

Pride
Director: Matthew Warchus
Writer: Stephen Beresford
Cast: Ben Schnetzer, George MacKayFaye Marsay, Joseph GilgunPaddy Considine, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Russell Tovey

Plot:
Mark (Ben Schnetzer) is not only gay, but a big supporter of the miner strike and wants to do his part, especially because he feels that there is a certain kinship – the miners struggle under Thatcher just as much as the homosexuals struggle. So he decides that he will start to raise funds for them, with the help of new to the scene Joe (George MacKay), big-mouthed Steph (Faye Marsay) and flamboyant Jonathan (Dominic West). But it turns out, it’s surprisingly hard to get miners to accept “gay donations”, until finally a Welsh village accepts, not really knowing what they’re in for.

Pride was funny, cute and most charming. It probably isn’t the most complex analysis of the situation, but it gave you an impression while being very entertaining.

pride Continue reading