Byzantium (2012)

Byzantium
Director: Neil Jordan
Writer: Moira Buffini
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Gemma ArtertonSam RileyJonny Lee Miller, Caleb Landry Jones, Daniel Mays, Uri Gavriel, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Tom Hollander
Seen on: 1.1.2017

Plot:
Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) and her mother Clara (Gemma Arterton) had to leave their old town in a hurry and have ended up in a small coastal town where they try for a new start. Being centuries old vampires, this is not the first time they had to do this. Eleanor is struggling with what she is, while Clara is pragmatic enough to always fall on her feet. She quickly finds Noel (Daniel Mays), who owns a run-down hotel, and with him shelter and work. Meanwhile Clare meets Frank (Caleb Landry Jones), a student with leukemia, and feels immediately drawn to him. But they aren’t save yet.

Byzantium has a great set-up and a great cast and it could have been utterly brilliant, but it did neither justice. To call it disappointing almost isn’t strong enough.

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The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Writer: Carey HayesChad Hayes, James Wan, David Leslie Johnson
Based on: a case from Ed and Lorraine Warren
Sequel to: The Conjuring
Cast: Patrick WilsonVera FarmigaMadison WolfeFrances O’ConnorLauren EspositoBenjamin HaighPatrick McAuleySimon McBurneyMaria Doyle KennedySimon DelaneyFranka PotenteSteve CoulterJoseph Bishara
Seen on: 17.6.2016

Plot:
After what happened in Amityville Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) have agreed to take things slowly and not take on any new cases – at the request of Lorraine who has been having visions and premonitions, and none of the good kind. But when they hear about a case of single mother Peggy (Frances O’Connor) who have been having troubles since moving to a new house, most of all with daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe), the Warrens agree to travel to London to see them and, most likely, debunk whatever is going on. But things turn out differently than they thought.

I very much loved The Conjuring and pretty much all the horror films Wan did so far, so my expectations for The Conjuring 2 were high indeed – and I wasn’t disappointed at all. It’s scary and funny and thoroughly effective.

theconjuring-2

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Sing Street (2016)

Sing Street
Director: John Carney
Writer: John Carney
Cast: Ferdia Walsh-PeeloLucy Boynton, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor, Kelly Thornton, Ian Kenny, Ben Carolan, Percy Chamburuka, Mark McKenna
Seen on: 29.5.2016

Plot:
Dublin in the 1980s. Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and his family aren’t doing too well financially, which is why it is decided that Conor should change from his current school with a hefty fee to one that is publicly funded. Conor is appalled, and sticks out like a sore thumb at his new school. But then Conor sees Raphina (Lucy Boynton), an older and beautiful girl. He knows that he has to get her attention somehow and so simply walks up to her and asks her if she wants to participate in his band’s music video. When she says yes, all that is left to do is form a band, write a song and develop a concept for a music video. No trouble at all.

Sing Street is a very funny and sweet film with nice music. It’s also very much a boy’s vision of how his life is supposed to be and that, unfortunately, includes some poor handling of female characters.

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Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Jupiter Ascending
Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Writer: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Cast: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Christina Cole, Maria Doyle Kennedy, David Ajala, Doona Bae, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, James D’Arcy, Terry Gilliam
Seen on: 10.02.2015

Plot:
Jupiter (Mila Kunis) and her mother (Maria Doyle Kennedy) work as cleaners for rich people. Russian immigrants themselves, they can only dream of the riches they are cleaning. But there is something about Jupiter that catches the attention of some very powerful people who are not from earth. Former soldier and wolf/human hybrid Caine (Channing Tatum) is only one of a few people trying to get Jupiter. But he makes it his mission to protect Jupiter, whatever may come. And so Jupiter finds herself whisked from earth and crowned space royalty – and that’s only the beginning of the adventure.

I went into Jupiter Ascending armed with vodka and about 50 extremely negative reviews at the back of my head, expecting the worst. And it is true that it is not a particularly good film. But I had so much more honest to goodness fun in the film than I’d ever thought I would have, I can only recommend it.

jupiterascending

[Slight SPOILERS]

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Albert Nobbs (2011)

Albert Nobbs
Director: Rodrigo García
Writer: Glenn Close, John Banville, Gabriella Prekop
Based on: George Moore‘s short story
Cast: Glenn Close, Mia WasikowskaAaron Taylor-Johnson, Janet McTeer, Pauline Collins, Brendan Gleeson, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Mark Williams, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Part of: The film will be shown on June 6th in Vienna as opening film of the identities Festival.

Plot:
Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) has been working as a butler since about forever and in all this time nobody ever suspected the truth: that he is actually a woman. But then zie gets an impromptu roommate in Mr Paige (Janet McTeer) who turns out to be a woman as well. And not only that, she is even married! So Albert gets it in hir head that zie could get married, too. Especially since zie’s been in love with Helen (Mia Wasikowska) since about forever. So zie starts courting her, despite the fact that Helen is going out with Joe (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

I liked Albert Nobbs a lot – right until the ending, which sucked. But it had amazing performances and interesting characters. So that’s at least something.

albert-nobbs

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