Misbehaviour (2020)

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

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.
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Phantom Thread (2017)

Phantom Thread
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Vicky Krieps, Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville
Seen on: 15.2.2018

Reynolds (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a famous dress maker. He is very much set in his ways and likes things just so. And one of the things he likes is Alma (Vicky Krieps), a waitress much younger than he is who immediately catches his eye. Becoming his lover and muse, Alma is introduced into Reynolds’ world, but she doesn’t fit in without causing a few ripples, especially in his relationship with his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) who was the woman in Reynolds’ life so far.

Phantom Thread is an utterly exhausting film. I felt drained of energy after having seen it and I still don’t know what the film was getting at in the first place. I can’t say that the film was really bad, but it was pretty horrible for me.

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Maleficent (2014)

Director: Robert Stromberg
Writer: Linda Woolverton
Based on: Disney’s Sleeping Beauty / the fairy tale
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Sam Riley

When Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) was a young fairy, she met a human boy and they became friends – until Stefan (Sharlto Copley) betrayed her in the worst possible way. Bent on revenge, Maleficent curses Stefan’s baby girl Aurora (Elle Fanning). For Aurora’s protection, three fairies (Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple) remove her from her parents’ castle and raise her. But Maleficent herself is never far from Aurora.

I was really looking forward to Maleficent and my expectations were rather high going in. And they were actually surpassed. I absolutely loved Maleficent.

maleficent[SPOILERS, also for Frozen]

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Another Year (2010)


Another Year is the newest film by Mike Leigh*, starring Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Oliver Maltman and Imelda Staunton.

Tom (Jim Broadbent) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) are a happily married couple in their mid-sixties. Their lives revolve around their work, their allotment garden, their son Joe (Oliver Maltman) and their friends who come to visit. Most notably there’s Mary (Lesley Manville), who never really found her place in life, instead hops from man to man and now that she’s older can’t really handle the fact that men’s interest is waning.

Another Year is an excellent film. Extremely warm and compassionate and at the same time, it doesn’t flinch from the casual cruelty of everyday life. The cast is glorious and it really is a wonderful piece of cinema.

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