Zoe (2018)

Zoe
Director: Drake Doremus
Writer: Richard Greenberg
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Léa Seydoux, Theo James, Rashida Jones, Christina Aguilera, Miranda Otto, Matthew Gray Gubler
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 22.9.2018
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Plot:
Cole (Ewan McGregor) is a programmer. He has successfully developed a compatability test that can very reliably determine whether two people will be happy together. A test that incidentally led to the end of his own marriage to Emma (Rashida Jones). Now Cole develops AI in the form of robots that he brings ever closer to indistinguishable from humans. His latest project is Ash (Theo James) who is remarkably adept at reading human emotions. Meanwhile it’s Zoe (Léa Seydoux) who runs the day-to-day end of his matchmaking business. Zoe has been quietly in love with Cole for a while now but she doesn’t know what to do with her feelings.

Zoe is soft, tender and a little sad. It doesn’t really have anything new to add to the AI/robot genre, but that doesn’t mean that following it as it treads familiar ground isn’t pleasant.

The film poster showing Ewan McGregor and Léa Seydoux embracing in front of a blue-green background.
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Flores Raras [Reaching for the Moon] (2013)

Flores Raras [literally: Rare Flowers]
Director: Bruno Barreto
Writer: Matthew Chapman, Julie Sayres
Based on: Carmen Lucia de Oliveira’s book Flores Raras e Banalíssimas [Rare and Commonplace Flowers]
Cast: Miranda Otto, Glória Pires, Tracy Middendorf, Marcello Airoldi, Lola Kirke, Tânia Costa, Marianna Mac Niven, Marcio Ehrlich, Treat Williams
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 13.6.2015

Plot:
Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) isn’t exactly an easy person, but she is a successful poet. When she receives a travel scholarship she sets out to Latin America. In Brazil, she plans to visit her friend Mary (Tracy Middendorf) there, who lives with the famous archtiect Lota de Macedo Soares (Glória Pires) in a remote location where Lota can fulfill her house dreams and nobody cares about two women in a relationship. Elizabeth and Lota immediately hate each other. But when Elizabeth is forced to stay longer than expected, the two of them grow closer – and Elizabeth’s planned two weeks in Brazil become more and more time.

Flores Rares was good, but not great. Still, even only a good film about two culturally important, complex women is absolutely exceptional and very worth seeing.

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The Homesman (2014)

The Homesman
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
Writer: Tommy Lee Jones,Kieran Fitzgerald, Wesley A. Oliver
Based on: Glendon Swarthout‘s novel
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, David Dencik, William Fichtner, Jesse Plemons, John Lithgow, Tim Blake Nelson, James Spader, Hailee Steinfeld, Meryl Streep
Seen on: 06.01.2015

Plot:
At the very west of the settling effort in the USA, three women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter) have a psychotic break and there are no options for help in the settlements and their husbands (David Dencik, William Fichtner, Jesse Plemons) are partly overwhelmed and partly cruel, but generally of not much use. Reverend Dowd (John Lithgow) suggest that the women should be taken back east to get some help, and the only one willing to do that is Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) who is trying to build her life in the west on her own. Mary Bee stumbles upon George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) who has been left to hang, and saves his life, but demands that he come with her to bring the women to safety. And so the five of them set off on the dangerous trek, despite the general unwillingness of everybody involved but Mary Bee.

The Homesman could have been a good film, if it hadn’t been for George Briggs and the movie’s obsession with him.

the-homesman[SPOILERS]

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The Thin Red Line (1998)

The Thin Red Line
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
Based on: James Jonesnovel
Cast: Nick Nolte, Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Elias Koteas, Ben Chaplin, Dash Mihok, John Cusack, Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Woody Harrelson, Miranda Otto, Jared Leto, John Travolta, George Clooney, Kirk Acevedo, Mark Boone Junior, Nick Stahl

Plot:
The Guadalcanal is an important strategic point in World War II. Therefore a group of soldiers is brought in to battle for an airfield held by the Japanese which quickly turns into a slaughter with pressures from within and without rising for everyone.

I never liked Malick movies. I wanted to watch this one anyway because it’s a classic and so I decided to jump at the chance when it was shown at the Filmmuseum in Vienna. Now that I have seen it, I can say: I really don’t like Malick movies.

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I, Frankenstein (2014)

I, Frankenstein
Director: Stuart Beattie
Writer: Stuart Beattie
Based on: Kevin Grevioux‘s comic, which is in turn based on Mary Shelley‘s novel
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Bill Nighy, Jai Courtney, Caitlin Stasey, Mahesh Jadu, Kevin Grevioux

Plot:
Shortly after the death of his creator, Frankenstein’s creature (Aaron Eckhart) is attacked by demons who seem to need him for something. The creature is saved by Gargoyle Angel Warriors who see his potential as a fighter and want to recruit him for their order. But even though the Gargoyle Queen Leonore (Miranda Otto) gives him his name – Adam – and treats him more like a human than anybody did before, he is not persuaded. But when things continue to get worse, Adam has a choice to make.

I, Frankenstein is an incredibly bad film. But it hits the exact sweet spot between bad and good: the spot of craptacular, shitmazing and so bad it’s good. If you have any love for bad films, I, Frankenstein will give you exactly what you need.

i-frankenstein

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