Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Beauty and the Beast
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Based on: Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont‘s fairy tale
Remake of: Beauty and the Beast
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Seen on: 29.3.2017

Plot:
Belle (Emma Watson) lives in a small village with her father Maurice (Kevin Kline), an inventor. Her life wouldn’t be so bad if the local library had more books and if village beau Gaston (Luke Evans) wasn’t constantly harrassing her with marriage proposals. Then one day, Maurice doesn’t return from the market as planned. When Belle sets out to find him, what she finds is an enchanted castle, where a Beast (Dan Stevens) is holding her father captive. Fearless as she is, Belle takes Maurice place. And she might just be what the Beast needed to break the curse that weighs on them all.

This live-action version of the film isn’t strictly necessary and there were a couple of things that really didn’t go all that well, but the film was nevertheless enjoyable and managed to capture the magic of the animated version at least in part.

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Ricki and the Flash (2015)

Ricki and the Flash
Director: Jonathan Demme
Writer: Diablo Cody
Cast: Meryl StreepKevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Rick SpringfieldAudra McDonald, Sebastian StanNick Westrate, Hailey Gates, Ben PlattBill Irwin
Seen on: 9.9.2015

Plot:
Ricki (Meryl Streep) is a singer with her own band, but also a dayjob at a supermarket. Many years ago, she decided to pursue her music rather than stay with her family and is estranged from both her ex-husband Pete (Kevin Kline) and her children Julie (Mamie Gummer), Josh (Sebastian Stan) and Adam (Nick Westrate) who were brought up by Pete’s new wife Maureen (Audra McDonald). But after Julie separates from her husband and falls into a deep depression, Pete calls Ricki for help, forcing all of them to take stock of their relationships with each other.

Ricki and the Flash is an entertaining film with a great cast. I probably won’t remember it forever, but I had fun while it lasted.

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The Conspirator (2010)

The Conspirator
Director: Robert Redford
Writer: James D. Solomon
Cast: James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Evan Rachel Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Justin Long, Danny Huston, Colm Meaney, Alexis Bledel

Plot:
After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the conspirators are quickly arrested. Among them is Mary Surratt (Robin Wright) who is pretty much suffering for the crimes of her son. But the whole country is so riled up that nobody really cares. Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) takes on her defense in the military trial that is set up for her and where her constitutional rights are abused the whole time.

The Conspirator is a movie with a mission that gets so righteous and sanctimonious that it’s barely bearable. The cast ends up being its only redeeming feature.

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No Strings Attached (2011)

No Strings Attached is Ivan Reitman‘s newest film, starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Cary Elwes, Greta Gerwig, Lake Bell, Olivia Thirlby, Ophelia Lovibond and Ludacris.

Plot:
Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) keep bumping into each other. And after Adam finds out that his father (Kevin Kline) is sleeping with his ex-girlfriend Vanessa (Ophelia Lovibond), he gets drunk, lands on Emma’s couch and then in Emma’s bed. But since Emma isn’t that much into commitment, they agree that it shouldn’t become more. But can that really work?

No Strings Attached is exactly what it promised to be: a funny RomCom – and definitely one of the better sort. Is it a cinematic revelation? No. But it’s very entertaining.

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The Tale of Desperaux (2008)

The Tale of Desperaux is the new animated movie based on the book by Kate DiCamillo, directed by Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen and with a very long, very prolific cast list: Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Watson, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci, Ciarán Hinds, Robbie Coltrane, Tony Hale, Frances Conroy, Frank Langella, Richard Jenkins, Christopher Lloyd, Charles Shaughnessy and Sigourney Weaver. [Phew!]

Unfortunately, in Austria we got only the German version, so I got exactly nothing from that cast – and not even famous German actors to do the parts. [Which is not to say that the speakers didn’t do a good job…]

Plot:
The kingdom of Dor has one thing they’re absolutely famous for: Soup. Every year, they have the Day of the Soup where everybody gets to eat the royal soup and party. One year, an accident happens – Roscuro [Dustin Hoffman], a rat, drawn in by the smell of the soup, stumbles and falls into the plate of the queen. When he tries to apologise, the queen has a heart-attack and dies. Filled with grief, the king banishes all soup and all rats from the kingdom and Roscuro goes into exile.
This is the world Desperaux [Matthew Broderick] is born into – a mouse, who unlike all the others, is not afraid, doesn’t cower, duck or shoo. When he crosses paths with Roscuro, they set out to save themselves and the kingdom.

The movie is really very sweet, quite funny and the story is interesting, though it did feel a little unconnected in the beginning – probably a problem of the adaptation. [And I did have some issues.] But it’s definitely a movie that kids will enjoy.

despereaux-poster

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