Obsession

Obsession
Director: Ivo van Hove
Writer: Jan Peter Gerrits, translated by Simon Stephens
Based on: Luchino Visconti’s movie
Cast: Jude Law, Halina Reijn, Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Chukwudi Iwuji, Robert de Hoog, Aysha Kala
Part of: Wiener Festwochen
Seen on: 3.6.2017

Plot:
Gino (Jude Law) doesn’t really have a home, instead he just moves around. When he reaches a new town, he finds employment with gas station owner Joseph (Gijs Scholten van Aschat) and decides to stick around for a bit. But work is only a small reason: the bigger motivation is Joseph’s much younger, beautiful and obviously bored wife Hanna (Halina Reijn). As Gino and Hanna fall for each other, Joseph becomes an obstacle they plan to get rid of.

Just reading the plot description, I had my doubts about this play, but I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to see Jude Law live on stage. So I went for it anyway – and all of my worst expectations came true, plus even some bad expectations I didn’t know I should be having. It was a profoundly bad production.

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram,
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox, Craig McGinlay, Tom WuKatie McGrathDavid BeckhamMichael McElhatton
Seen on: 22.5.2017
1-gif-review [alternate take]

Plot:
When King Uther (Eric Bana) is betrayed by his brother Vortigern (Jude Law), Uther barely manages to get his baby out of the danger zone. The baby grows up to be Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) who has no idea of his family background, but gets a whole lot of street smarts. And then Uther’s sword is uncovered, stuck in a stone. Since it can only be removed by Uther’s son and nobody knows where he is, Vortigern forces all men in the country to give it a try. And nobody is more surprised than Arthur when he is actually able to pull the sword out – a fact that immediately pits him against Vortigern and the powers he commands.

I expected King Arthur to be pretty bad and it was, but it was also a little better than expected. Which is not to say that it’s actually a good film or really worth seeing.

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Spy (2015)

Spy
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Paul Feig
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law, Miranda Hart, Rose ByrneAllison Janney, Morena Baccarin, Jason Statham, Bobby Cannavale, Will Yun LeeNargis Fakhri, Peter Serafinowicz, 50 Cent
Seen on: 8.6.2015

Plot:
Bradley Fine (Jude Law) is a superspy as you imagine him: good-looking, suave and mostly investigating within the upper class. But he wouldn’t be half the spy he was without Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy), his handler: Susan might not be in the field herself, but with the help of visual and audio equipment, she sees the world through Bradley’s eyes – with multiple enhancements. And she is the best at what she does. But when Bradley ignores her advice, is killed by Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne). And Rayna goes on to blow the cover of every active field agent. While uncovered spy Rick Ford (Jason Statham) goes rogue, Susan herself steps up – and out into the field.

Spy does many things right, but it does enough that didn’t work for me to keep me only very mildly enthusiastic about it – despite the good stuff.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Based on: Stefan Zweig‘s writing (very loosely)
Cast: Ralph FiennesTony Revolori, F. Murray AbrahamJude Law, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Karl Markovics, Bob Balaban

Plot:
Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes) is not just a concierge, he is probably the best concierge there ever was and he has his fans. One of them is his newly acquired protégé Zero (Tony Revolori), another a frequent guest at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Madame D. (Tilda Swinton). When she is f0und dead, though, suspicion falls on Gustave and he has to try and clear his name and to claim his inheritance, all with Zero in tow.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is probably the best film Anderson made since The Life Aquatic, if not his best film so far, period. It is crazy, enjoyable, funny, aesthetic and weird and has an awe-inspiring cast. Wonderful.

grandbudapesthotel

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Side Effects (2013)

Side Effects
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Cast: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-JonesVinessa Shaw, David Costabile, Mamie Gummer

Plot:
Emily’s (Rooney Mara) husband Martin (Channing Tatum) was in prison for the last four years, for fraud. Now he’s finally out and Emily should be super-happy as her life is slowly falling into place again. But unfortunately she’s not. Instead she’s depressed and really not doing well. After she drives her car into a wall, she starts treatment with Dr. Banks (Jude Law) who prescribes her various medications. But every medication has its side effects.

I really enjoyed the first half of this film. Unfortunately it then gets lost in a clusterfuck of tropes and plot twists and starts to suck really badly.

side_effects

[SPOILERS]

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Anna Karenina (2012)

Anna Karenina
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Tom Stoppard
Based on: Leo Tolstoy‘s novel (which I wrote about very shortly here)
Cast: Keira Knightley, Aaron Johnson, Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Williams, Holliday Grainger, Emily Watson, Michelle Dockery, Steve Evets, Bill Skarsgard

Plot:
Anna (Keira Knightley) has been married to Alexei Karenin (Jude Law) for quite a while. It’s a marriage of convenience, but one that works quite well. Anna gives all her love to their son and seems content. That is, until she travels to Moscow to reconcile her brother Stiva (Matthew Macfadyen) with his wife Dolly (Kelly Macdonald) on whom he cheated. In Moscow, Anna meets Alexei Vronsky (Aaron Johnson), a young count who had been courting Dolly’s sister Kitty (Alicia Vikander), more or less seriously. Anna and Vronsky feel drawn to each other immediately – so much so that Anna basically flees back to St. Petersburg. But Vronsky follows her there, kicking off events that slowly spiral Anna’s life completely out of control.

The movie started and I immediately and irrevocably fell in love with it. And it didn’t disappoint me for one moment. It is a thing of beauty that I could watch over and over again.

Anna-Karenina

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Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Rise of the Guardians
Director: Peter Ramsey
Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire
Based on: William Joyce‘s books
Cast: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Dakota Goyo

Plot:
The Guardians – that is Santa (Alex Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the Sandman – protect the children of the earth. But when a new threat shows up in Pitch (Jude Law) aka the Boogey Man, the Man in the Moon appoints a new guardian – Jack Frost (Chris Pine). Everybody is bewildered by that choice, most of all Jack himself, who is more preoccupied with finding out who he actually was before he became Jack Frost. But for the sake of the children, they start working together.

Rise of the Guardians was amazing. Beautifully animated, wonderful story and it all comes together in a way to make you cry and laugh and to leave you with a magical feeling and a smile on your face.

rise_of_the_guardians

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360 (2011)

360
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Writer: Peter Morgan
Based on: Arthur Schnitzler‘s Reigen (loosely)
Cast: Lucia Siposová, Gabriela Marcinkova, Johannes Krisch, Jude Law, Moritz Bleibtreu, Jamel Debbouze, Dinara Drukarova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Rachel Weisz, Juliano Cazarré, Maria Flor, Ben Foster, Anthony Hopkins

Plot:
Starting with a whore Mirka (Lucia Siposová) and her pimp Rocco (Johannes Krisch) in Vienna, 360 moves through various stories that are all somehow connected. From Paris to London and Denver it takes a look at the various kinds of relationships, infidelities and betrayals.

360 is a bit uneven. It has a good cast and some of the stories work perfectly, while others are bland or don’t fit. In short, it just doesn’t really come together.

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Hugo (2011)

Hugo
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: John Logan
Based on: Brian Selznick‘s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, Jude Law

Plot:
After the death of his father (Jude Law), Hugo (Asa Butterfield) started to live in Paris’ Central Station, winding the clocks and trying to rebuild an automaton he and his father were working on. When he tries to steal some cogs from Papa George (Ben Kingsley), he gets caught and George takes the notebook in which Hugo’s father detailed the plans for the automaton. So Hugo enlists Papa George’s ward Isabelle (Chloe Moretz) to get it back. But what is George’s connection to the automaton in the first place?

Hugo is a beautiful, engaging and very entertaining. Plus, it’s basically a love letter to George Méliès – and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that. I really enjoyed every minute of it.

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney
Based on: Arthur Conan Doyle‘s characters
Sequel to: Sherlock Holmes
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Kelly Reilly, Geraldine James, Rachel McAdams, Eddie Marsan

Plot:
A series of bombings has hit all over Europe, unsettling the political atmosphere so much that war is in the air. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) suspects Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) of instigating the events. Unfortunately at the same time, Sherlock’s best friend and partner Dr. Watson (Jude Law) is finally getting married to Mary (Kelly Reilly) – and thus about to end their partnership. But Moriarty won’t leave Watson alone, so Holmes has to involve him in this case anyway.

The movie does do some things better than the first one, but overall it dragged a bit and wasn’t quite as satisfying. Nevertheless, I had fun.

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