Rebecca (2020)

Rebecca
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Jane Goldman, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse
Based on: Daphne du Maurier’s novel
Cast: Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ann Dowd, Tom Goodman-Hill, John Hollingworth, Keeley Hawes, Sam Riley, Bill Paterson
Seen on: 20.2.2021

Plot:
Working as a companion to Mrs van Hopper (Ann Dowd) has brought the unnamed protagonist (Lily James) to Monte Carlo where Mrs van Hopper spies Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer), whose somewhat tragic story precedes him: he is a widower and lives at the grand estate of Manderley, now all alone. When Mrs van Hopper falls ill, the protagonist and Maxim de Winter start to spend more time with each other and finally he asks her to marry him. But living in Manderley, where the shadow of Maxim’s deceased wife Rebecca hangs over everything and her housekeeper Mrs Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas) makes sure it doesn’t leave, proves quite a challenge for them.

Rebecca is an okay adaptation of a really excellent novel. That squandered potential leaves a film that is decidedly meh, but very pretty.

The film poster showing Maxim (Armie Hammer) looking into the distance as he holds the protagonist's (Lily James) face. She is looking up at him.
Continue reading

Misbehaviour (2020)

Misbehaviour
Director: Philippa Lowthorpe
Writer: Rebecca Frayn, Gaby Chiappe
Cast: Keira Knightley, Jessie Buckley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ruby Bentall, Lily Newmark, Maya Kelly, Loreece Harrison, Suki Waterhouse, Clara Rosager, John Heffernan, Rhys Ifans, Keeley Hawes, Phyllis Logan, Greg Kinnear, Lesley Manville
Seen on: 14.10.2020

Content Note: (critical treatment of) sexism, racism

Plot:
Sally Alexander (Keira Knightley) is active in the women’s group on her campus and struggles against the sexist condecension she encounters every day. Through that group she also meets Jo (Jessie Buckley) who has a more radical approach to feminism and doesn’t mind a little rule-breaking here and there – the system needs to be overthrown, after all. Sally is taken aback by Jo’s brash manner at first, but she is also drawn to her and her group. When they start to plan a big protest against the Miss World pageant, Sally joins in. Meanwhile, the Miss World preparations are going strong, especially after they had to face some criticism in the past few years. Among the contestants is Jennifer Hosten, Miss Grenada (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who is hoping to win, as unlikely as that is for a Black woman.

Misbehaviour tries many things, and with most things it is rather successful in its attempt to marry light-hearted comedy with complicated political and feminist issues.It’s both fun and gratifying to watch.

The film poster showing Jennifer Hosten (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) seated on a throne, Sally (Keira Knightley) and Jo (Jessie Buckley) in front of her and Dolores Hope (Leslie Manville), Eric Morley (Rhys Ifans), Julia Morley (Keeley Hawes) and Bob Hope (Greg Kinnear) behind them.
Continue reading

High-Rise (2015)

High-Rise
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump
Based on: J.G. Ballard‘s novel
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes, Peter FerdinandoAugustus Prew
Seen on: 18.7.2016

Plot:
Laing (Tom Hiddleston) just moved to the 25th floor of a new apartment building. That building is equipped with pretty much everything and follows a very hierarchical structure. Soon Laing meets his neighbors. The alluring Charlotte (Sienna Miller) lives on the floor above him, documentary film maker Richard Wilder (Luke Evans) on the lower floors, together with his family. At the very top there is the architect and owner of the entire building, Royal (Jeremy Irons). Laing hopes to rise through the ranks and thus up the floors, but unrest starts brewing in the building more and more.

High-Rise is very stylish in many ways and definitely an interesting film, but it didn’t quite blow me away. Still there’s a whole lot going on that’s worth looking at.

high-rise Continue reading