The Party (2017)

The Party
Director: Sally Potter
Writer: Sally Potter
Cast: Timothy SpallKristin Scott ThomasPatricia ClarksonBruno GanzCherry JonesEmily MortimerCillian Murphy
Seen on: 1.8.2017
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Plot:
Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) was just appointed shadow minister of health, and she wants to celebrate. So she and her supportive husband Bill (Timothy Spall) have invited their closest friends. But despite the joyous occasion, things are tense. It’s not only the bickering of no-nonsense April (Patricia Clarkson) and her spiritual husband Gottfried (Bruno Ganz), or of butch Martha (Cherry Jones) and her pregnant partner Jinny (Emily Mortimer), or the appearance of the slimy and obviously distraught Tom (Cillian Murphy): Bill has been keeping a secret, and he can’t keep it any longer.

The Party is filled with dark and biting humor, delivered by a fantastic cast. It should be great, but somehow it doesn’t quite work out that way.

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Suite Française (2014)

Suite Française
Director: Saul Dibb
Writer: Saul Dibb, Matt Charman
Based on: Irène Némirovsky‘s (unfinished) novels
Cast: Michelle WilliamsMatthias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas, Margot Robbie, Eric Godon, Deborah Findlay, Ruth Wilson, Sam Riley, Tom Schilling, Harriet Walter, Eileen Atkins
Seen on: 18.1.2016

Plot:
Lucile (Michelle Williams) lives with her mother-in-law Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas). The Angelliers are one of the richest families in the areas and Madame Angellier sees no reason not to continue getting her share from the farmers who work her lands just because it’s war time. Lucile – whose husband is a soldier – doesn’t like that strictness and harshness, their relationship is tense. Their situation grows even more difficult when the Germans reach their village and office Bruno von Falck (Matthias Schoenaerts) is placed in their home. Madame Angellier insists on ignoring him, but Lucile feels drawn to Bruno after she discovers that they share a passion for music.

Suite Française is a strong film although it didn’t quite manage to blow me away. Still, it’s a touching story with a strong cast and I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of them at all.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible (1996)

Mission: Impossible
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: David Koepp, Steven Zaillian
Based on: The TV Series
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Henry Czerny, Jean Reno, Ving Rhames, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vanessa Redgrave
Seen on: 03.08.2015

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is part of a team of spies led by Jim Phelps (Jon Voight). Their newest mission is supposed to prevent the sale of classified material. But things go very wrong and Ethan’s entire team is killed. All but Jim’s wife Claire (Emmanuelle Béart) that is. When Ethan’s loyalty is called into question and he is suspected of killing them off himself, he knows that he has to uncover and solve this mystery. Together with Claire, they ask Franz (Jean Reno) and Luther (Ving Rhames) for help, both disavowed agents and they take on the case.

Mission: Impossible follows the spy formula to the letter and while the plot doesn’t offer much that’s new, the execution is beautiful, although not exactly flawless.

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Only God Forgives (2013)

Only God Forgives
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer: Nicolas Winding Refn
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Gordon Brown, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Tom Burke

Plot:
Julian (Ryan Gosling) manages a boxing club in Thailand, including some drug business with his brother Billy (Tom Burke). When his brother kills an underage prostitute, police man Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm) allows the girl’s father to kill Billy. Her son’s death brings Crystal (Kristin Scott Thomas) to Bangkok, where she demands that Julian avenge Billy. But Julian is hesitant about this.

Only God Forgives is a heavy movie. It’s slow, gory and tells its story in dreamlike fragments. I understand that it isn’t for everybody, but I could lose myself in it.

onlygodforgives

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Dans la maison [In the House] (2012)

Dans la maison
Director: François Ozon
Writer: François Ozon
Based on: Juan Mayorga’s play The Boy in the Last Row
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner, Denis Ménochet, Bastien Ughetto, Yolande Moreau
Part of: Viennale (it was the surprise movie)

Plot:
Germain (Fabrice Luchini) is a French teacher at the high school. When he gets an essay by one of his students, Claude (Ernst Umhauer), where he voyeuristically details a visit to his school friend Rapha’s (Bastien Ughetto) house, Germain not only recognizes Claude’s literary talent, but both Germain and his wife Jeanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) get drawn into the life of Rapha and his family – leading to unintentional consequences.

Dans la maison was extremely entertaining. It had a rather biting sense of humor that I enjoyed a lot and Ozon has the timing and pacing down to make it all work. It may not be the world’s most thoughtful film, but it is fun.

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Director: Lasse Hallström
Writer: Simon Beaufoy
Based on: Paul Torday‘s novel
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Amr Waked, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Mison, Rachael Stirling

Plot:
Harriet (Emily Blunt) works for Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked) – a very rich Sheikh from the Yemen who would loves to flyfish and would love to establish salmon fishing in the Yemen. So Harriet gets in touch with fish expert Alfred (Ewan McGregor) to see if it can be done. Initially dismissive, if not to say hostile, Alfred declines a collaboration but is pressured by press secretary Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas) and finally gives in. But as the project slowly actually comes together, both Harriet’s and Alfred’s private lives are falling apart. But maybe a crazy salmon fishing project is just the thing they needed.

The movie has a whole lot of romcom potential and it does fulfill it for the most part. But in other parts, it just doesn’t work at all.

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Bel Ami (2012)

Bel Ami
Director: Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod
Writer: Rachel Bennette
Based on: Guy de Maupassant‘s novel
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci, Kristin Scott Thomas, Natalia Tenna, Holliday Grainger, Colm Meaney, Philip Glenister

Plot:
Georges (Robert Pattinson) just returned to France after serving as a soldier in Algeria. Pretty much penniless, he tries to get by on his looks when he runs into an old colleague, Forestier (Philip Glenister). Forestier invites Georges into his home, introduces him to his wife Madeleine (Uma Thurman) and several other influential people. Soon Georges’s luck is looking up, as he sleeps his way up the ladder: he starts an affair with Clotilde (Christina Ricci) and works at the newspaper La Vie Française run by Rousset (Colm Meaney), though his articles are written by Madeleine.

I was pretty certain that I would not like the character Bel Ami, but that (female) cast just drew me in, despite myself. Unfortunately not even their awesome put together is enough to balance the combination of Robert Pattinson in that role.

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Elle s’appelait Sarah [Sarah’s Key] (2010)

Elle s’appelait Sarah
Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Writer: Gilles Paquet-Brenner, Serge Joncour
Based on: Tatiana De Rosnay‘s novel
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Frédéric Pierrot, Michel Duchaussoy, Aidan Quinn

Plot:
In 1942, the (jewish) Starzinsky family gets arrested in the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup. In her panic, little Sarah (Mélusine Mayance) hides her even smaller brother in the closet before they all get brought away. While they’re detained, Sarah grows ever more frantic to get back to her little brother.
60 years later, journalist Julia (Kristin Scott Thomas) wants to write an article about the Roundup’s anniversary. But during her research she discovers that her family is a lot closer connected to the events than she originally thought.

The book this movie is based on might actually be good. Kristin Scott Thomas certainly was. But unfortunately both the screenwriting and the directing really were not up for the job.

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Nowhere Boy (2009)

Nowhere Boy is Sam Taylor-Wood‘s first feature film, starring Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey, Ophelia Lovibond and Thomas Sangster.

Plot:
John Lennon (Aaron Johnson) grows up with his aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas) and his uncle George (David Threlfall), his mother Julia (Anne-Marie Duff) never playing a big role in his life. Until his uncle dies and he sees her at the funeral. John starts visiting Julia more and more often and they forge a bond over Julia’s love of Rock’n’Roll. But John soon makes the painful discovery that there’s an actual reason why he doesn’t live with his mother.

Nowhere Boy is a well acted and written examination of an angry adolescent (yeah, I know, a bit of a tautology), which has little to do with the “legend” John Lennon, member of the Beatles. It paints quite a different picture from what we have of him today, which makes it even more interesting.
Unfortunately, I only got to see the German dubbed version and the translation is absolutely grating. [What the hell, OV cinemas in Vienna?]

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Easy Virtue (2008)

Easy Virtue is the adaptation of Noël Coward‘s play by Stephan Elliott. It stars Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ben Barnes. [And for IT Crowd fans: Katherine Parkinson.]

Plot:
It’s the 1920s. John (Ben Barnes) comes from an old British family, which is slowly crumbling apart. When he returns from his travels with his new wife Larita (Jessica Biel), an American race car driver, John’s mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) is shocked, though his father (Colin Firth) takes an instant liking to her. Larita tries her best to fit in with the family, but in the end a war breaks out between her and the mother.

I liked this film. The cast was good, they had some very, very nice jokes, a sweet soundtrack and it was generally entertaining.

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