L’enfant d’en haut [Sister] (2012)

L’enfant d’en haut
Director: Ursula Meier
Writer: Antoine Jaccoud, Ursula Meier, Gilles Taurand
Cast: Léa Seydoux, Kacey Mottet Klein, Martin Compston, Gillian Anderson
Seen on: 8.5.2019

12-year-old Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein) lives in a Swiss ski resort with his older sister Louise (Léa Seydoux). She only works rarely and Simon has found a way of making a living by stealing from the wealthy skiers and reselling the things to the poor locals like him. When Simon is caught by seasonal worker Mike (Martin Compston), they start to work together. But it’s still a risky endeavor.

Sister is a harsh and really good film that, on the one hand, contrasts rich and poor and, on the other hand, considers families and belonging, bringing both together in a beautiful, yet sad way.

The film poster showing Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein) with several pairs of ski goggles strapped to his arm and Louise (Léa Seydoux) with their backs to each other.
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All About Eve

All About Eve
Director: Ivo van Hove, Nick Wickham
Writer: Ivo van Hove
Based on: Mary Orr‘s short story The Wisdom of Eve
Cast: Lily James, Gillian Anderson, Jessie Mei Li, Monica Dolan, Julian Ovenden, Sheila Reid, Stanley Townsend, Rhashan Stone, Tsion Habte, Ian Drysdale
Seen on: 11.4.2019

Margo Channing (Gillian Anderson) is the Broadway star, though she is worried that she is ageing out of her career. One night after her performance, a friend of hers brings along Eve (Lily James), Margo’s biggest fan and herself an aspiring actress. After Eve reveals her difficult life so far, Margo decides to help her, taking her under her wing. But there might be more to Eve than appears at first.

All About Eve delivers an excellent night of theater with perfect performances. Watching Gillian Anderson is always a pleasure, but it is a distinct pleasure in this play.

The poster for the play showing Eve (Lily James) peeking out from a curtain with Margo's (Gillian Anderson) face on it.
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Crooked House (2017)

Crooked House
Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Writer: Julian Fellowes, Tim Rose Price, Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Based on: Agatha Christie‘s novel
Cast: Max Irons, Stefanie Martini, Glenn Close, Honor Kneafsey, Christina Hendricks, Terence Stamp, Julian Sands, Gillian Anderson, Christian McKay, Amanda Abbington, Preston Nyman
Seen on: 17.12.2018

Charles Hayward (Max Irons) used to be a diplomat/spy in Egypt, but now he is back in London and takes up a business as a private detective. When the rich Aristide Leonides is poisoned in his home, his granddaughter Sophia (Stefanie Martini) calls on Hayward, who was her lover some time ago, to solve the case. Hayward arrives at the Leonides estate to face a complicated family filled with suspects and suspicions.

Crooked House was bad. Holy shit, it was such an exhausting film. I hated it so much, I was very happy that I coincidentally had alcohol-filled chocolates with me so I could dull the pain a little.

The film poster showing the main characters in front of a dark manor.
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Viceroy’s House (2017)

Viceroy’s House
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Writer: Paul Mayeda BergesMoira Buffini, Gurinder Chadha
Cast: Hugh BonnevilleGillian AndersonManish DayalHuma QureshiMichael GambonOm PuriDavid HaymanSimon CallowDenzil SmithNeeraj KabiTanveer GhaniLily Travers
Seen on: 30.8.2017

Lord Louis Mountbatten (Hugh Bonneville) and his wife Edwina (Gillian Anderson) arrive in India as Mountbatten is tasked with overseeing the transition from India to independence from British colonialism. It’s a job where Mountbatten has a very slim chance to come out on top, as religious and political tensions in India are high. A fact that is also very apparent to Jeet (Manish Dayal), a Hindu who just started working at the Viceroy’s palace. There he finds Aalia (Huma Qureshi) again, a young Muslim woman who he used to be in love with. And while Aalia seems to like Jeet as well, things really aren’t easy.

There were a couple of things I struggled with during the film, but it was an engaging film, albeit one that doesn’t quite manage to be the film it could have been.

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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire
Director: Benedict Andrews
Writer: Tennessee Williams
Cast: Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster, Vanessa Kirby, Corey Johnson
[I reviewed reading the play here.]

Blanche DuBois (Gillian Anderson) comes to visit her sister Stella (Vanessa Kirby) in New Orleans. The two of them come from a family of plantation owners who have been slowly but steadily going bankrupt. Now their plantation (Belle Reve) is gone and Blanche, who has always been a nervous type, is falling apart due to her alcoholism and the fact that she can’t really deal with her growing age and fading looks. Stella is happy to see Blanche, but Stella’s husband Stanley (Ben Foster), a factory worker, doesn’t trust Blanche or her story about how Belle Reve was lost. Blanche herself is shocked about the circumstances Stella lives in. As Blanche’s and Stanley’s worlds collide, something has got to give.

I love A Streetcar Named Desire. It really is one of my favorite plays. And because I love it so much, I have high expectations and a clear image of what the play should be like. Unfortunately, Benedict Andrews did not fulfill them.



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Mr. Morgan’s Last Love (2013)

Mr. Morgan’s Last Love
Director: Sandra Nettelbeck
Writer: Sandra Nettelbeck
Based on: Françoise Dorner’s novel La Douceur assassine
Cast: Michael Caine, Clémence Poésy, Gillian Anderson, Justin Kirk, Jane Alexander

Matthew Morgan (Michael Caine) just lost his wife (Jane Alexander) of many years. He moved to France for her even though he barely speaks French and now he’s pretty much lost. And then he meets Pauline (Clémence Poésy) by chance, a young dance teacher who practically picks him up like a stray. Their friendship changes both their lives.

I was disappointed by Mr. Morgan’s Last Love. The movie is too sweet, too forseeable and, worst of all, it is too long. The cast wasn’t bad at all, but ultimately they couldn’t save the plot from itself. It’s still watchable, but you won’t miss much if you don’t see it.


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How To Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008)

How To Lose Friends & Alienate People is the adaptation of Toby Young‘s memoir of the same title, directed by Robert B. Weide and starring Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox, Jeff Bridges and Gillian Anderson.

Sidney Young (Simon Pegg), a moderately unsuccessful British celebrity journalist, gets a call from Sharps Magazine (thinly disguised Vanity Fair) one day to come to New York. Thinking he has arrived careerwise at last, he jumps on the plane, leaving everything behind only to discover that he has to work his way up from the bottom, while drooling over upcoming actress Sophie Maes (Megan Fox) and befriending co-worker Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst).

In this case I will go with Roger Ebert’s opinion on the movie:

How to Lose Friends & Alienate People” is possibly the best movie that could be made about Toby Young that isn’t rated NC-17.

Though I have to add that I don’t think the rating would have changed much.



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