The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Director: Lasse Hallström, Joe Johnston
Writer: Ashleigh Powell
Based on: E.T.A. Hoffmann‘s novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, as well as the ballet based on this story by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Cast: Mackenzie Foy, Tom Sweet, Meera Syal, Ellie Bamber, Matthew Macfadyen, Morgan Freeman, Jayden Fowora-Knight, Helen Mirren, Jack Whitehall, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Keira Knightley, Misty Copeland, Max Westwell, Aaron Smyth, Sergei Polunin
Seen on: 26.11.2018
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Plot:
Clara’s (Mackenzie Foy) mother passed away not too long ago, but her father (Matthew Macfadyen) has one last Christmas present from the her for Clara and her siblings. While her siblings’ presents are rather self-explanatory, Clara gets a golden egg that’s supposed to open, but doesn’t. Her godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) is the one who made it, so Clara hopes that at his annual Christmas party, she might find more answers. Indeed, he leads her to the key, but before she can reach it, Clara finds herself transported into a completely different world – a world her mother apparently knew intimately. Clara meets the soldier Philipp (Jayden Fowora-Knight), as well as the regents of three of the four realms of that world. Quickly she is deeply involved in the politics of the four realms.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is nice, but doesn’t really come together. Nevertheless, it is entertaining and cute in an entirely unimpactful way.

The film poster showing the main characters in very colorful outfits.
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Anna Karenina (2012)

Anna Karenina
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Tom Stoppard
Based on: Leo Tolstoy‘s novel (which I wrote about very shortly here)
Cast: Keira Knightley, Aaron Johnson, Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Williams, Holliday Grainger, Emily Watson, Michelle Dockery, Steve Evets, Bill Skarsgard

Plot:
Anna (Keira Knightley) has been married to Alexei Karenin (Jude Law) for quite a while. It’s a marriage of convenience, but one that works quite well. Anna gives all her love to their son and seems content. That is, until she travels to Moscow to reconcile her brother Stiva (Matthew Macfadyen) with his wife Dolly (Kelly Macdonald) on whom he cheated. In Moscow, Anna meets Alexei Vronsky (Aaron Johnson), a young count who had been courting Dolly’s sister Kitty (Alicia Vikander), more or less seriously. Anna and Vronsky feel drawn to each other immediately – so much so that Anna basically flees back to St. Petersburg. But Vronsky follows her there, kicking off events that slowly spiral Anna’s life completely out of control.

The movie started and I immediately and irrevocably fell in love with it. And it didn’t disappoint me for one moment. It is a thing of beauty that I could watch over and over again.

Anna-Karenina

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The Three Musketeers (2011)

The Three Musketeers is the newest movie by Paul W.S. Anderson, written by Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies, based loosely (very loosely) on Alexandre Dumas‘s novel and starring Logan Lerman, Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans, Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz, Juno Temple, Mads Mikkelsen, Freddie Fox and Til Schweiger (for about 3 seconds).

Plot:
D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) has dreamt of being a musketeer since about forever. Now he finally gets to go to the big city to fulfill said dream. But the first thing he does instead is get into trouble with Cardinal Richelieu’s (Christoph Waltz) henchman Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen) and then he makes duel dates with all three of the most famous muketeers: Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Porthos (Ray Stevenson) and Aramis (Luke Evans). But before they really get down to it, they have to unite against the Cardinal’s men and are quickly drawn into a plot devised by the double-to-quadruple agent Milady (Milla Jovovich).

The Three Musketeers is just as you’d expect it: a movie that leaves most qualities behind and concentrates entirely on fun. It’s awesome.

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Robin Hood (2010)

Robin Hood is Ridley Scott‘s newest movie, starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Mark Addy, Matthew Macfadyen, Scott Grimes and Kevin Durand.

Plot:
King Richard Lionheart (Danny Huston) has been on his crusade for many years and is on his way home now. Unfortunately, he never reaches Britain, dying instead in one last battle.
In his army is the archer Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe), who by coincidence stumbles upon a massive conspiracy against Richard, led by Godfrey (Mark Strong), a confidant of Prince John (Oscar Isaac), but ultimately also plotting against John.
Anyway, Longstride takes on the identity of Robert Loxley and they story only gets more convoluted from there.

I hadn’t heard anything good about this movie beforehand (the most positive “review” was from a co-worker who said, “I expected it to be really bad and with that expectation, it was reasonably entertaining”), so I didn’t expect much (even though I’m one of the five people on earth who actually like Gladiator). But even so, I was incredibly disappointed. This movie is not only bad, no, even more damingly, it is boring as hell.

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Frost/Nixon (2008)

Frost/Nixon is Ron Howard‘s new movie, written by Peter Morgan (based on his play) and starring Michael Sheen, Frank Langella, Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Oliver Platt, Matthew Macfadyen and Rebecca Hall.

Plot:
Richard Nixon [Frank Langella] is the first president to resign after the Watergate scandal and shortly after, there’s a general pardon for him. David Frost [Michael Sheen], a talk show host, decides to interview him to get to the truth. What follows is a David vs Goliath style battle between two people who don’t know what to expect from the other.

The casting and playing, the directing, the screenplay are all formidable. It has a few lengths, though, and wouldn’t have suffered from a few cuts.

[I keep saying that about movies. I’m worried about my attention span. Seriously am.]

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