Belle (2013)

Belle
Director: Amma Asante
Writer: Misan Sagay
Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sam Reid, Tom Wilkinson, Emily WatsonPenelope Wilton, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson, James Norton, Tom Felton, Matthew Goode

Plot:
18th century Britain. John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) had a relationship with a black woman which resulted in a daughter. He decides to accept Belle as his own despite being a nobleman and she being black and brings her to his aunt and uncle, Lady (Emily Watson) and Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) while he himself has to go back to sea. Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) grows up as a noblewoman together with her cousin Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon). But in a country where slavery is still going strong, Belle will never be a fully accepted member of society.

Belle was a wonderful film: sweet, romantic, political, feminist, outspoken and beautiful. It became my favorite Jane Austen movie without actual Jane Austen involvment straight away.

belle

Continue reading

Advertisements

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Muppets Most Wanted
Director: James Bobin
Writer: James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller
Based on: Jim Henson‘s characters
Sequel to: The Muppets
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey
Cameos by [put in camouflage so you can still be surprised by the people who show up, if you don’t know already. If you wanna be surprised, don’t read the tags, either]: Tony Bennett, Hugh Bonneville, Jemaine Clement, Sean Combs, Rob Corddry, Mackenzie Crook, Céline DionLady Gaga, Zach Galifianakis, Josh Groban, Salma Hayek, Tom HiddlestonTom Hollander, Toby Jones, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, James McAvoy, Chloë Grace Moretz, Usher Raymond, Miranda Richardson, Saoirse Ronan, Til Schweiger, Russell Tovey, Danny Trejo, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz

Plot:
After solving their problems in the last film, the Muppets hit a bit of a low. They don’t really know what they should do now. That’s when Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) shows up and proposes a world tour to them. Kermit is hesitant but the others are in love with the idea. But Badguy has ulterior motives – he is teamed up with the most evil frog in the world, Constantine. And for his plan to work, Constantine impersonates Kermit while banishing the real Kermit to a Russian gulag.

I think I liked Muppets Most Wanted a little better than the first Muppets film. Maybe I’m starting to have more of a connection to the Muppets themselves. (There are so many Muppets in this paragraph alone. Muppets. Muppets. Muppets.) Either way, there is not much of a quality difference between this one and the first one.

muppetsmostwanted

Continue reading

Made in Dagenham (2010)

Made in Dagenham is the newest movie by Nigel Cole, starring Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Geraldine James, Rosamund Pike, Miranda Richardson, Richard Schiff, Rupert Graves and for about 5 seconds, there’s Andrew Lincoln. It’s a fictionalised account of the 1968 Ford Sewing Machinists Strike.

Plot:
Therea are 187 women working in the Ford factory in Dagenham, sewing together car seats. Their work environment is pretty crappy which is why they’re considering a strike. It is more by coincidence that Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) gets involved, but when she does, she challenges not only the working conditions and payment but soon heads a nationwide protest for women’s rights and equal pay.

Made in Dagenham is a very enjoyable little film with great performances and a nice sense of humor. Not to mention that it’s about an important and interesting topic, which it handles intelligently even if not in-depth.

Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is – as you all probably now – Number 7 in a series of seven books by Joanne K. Rowling. It was made into two movies, this here is Part 1, which was directed by David Yates and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, (continuing in no particular order) Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Julie Walters, Bonnie Wright, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham-Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Imelda Staunton, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Jamie Campbell Bower, Timothy Spall, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, David Thewlis, John Hurt, Miranda Richardson, Warwick Davis and Michael Gambon.

Plot:
[Hell, if you don’t know what Harry Potter is about, you might not want to start here. Anyway.]
Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) leave school to find and destroy the horcruxes that keep Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) alive. But the search is more difficult and dangerous than they anticipated.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I think both the books as well as the movies have reached their peak with number four (though The Prisoner of Azkaban is a close second). HPatDH1 did nothing to change my point of view on that. The pacing’s bad, the direction is worse and there’s no reason to drag this out in two films, since nothing really happens in this one anyway.

Continue reading

The Young Victoria (2009)

The Young Victoria was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, written by Julian Fellowes and stars Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Mark Strong, Jim Broadbent, Miranda Richardson and Thomas Kretschmann.

Plot:
The movie tells the story of how Victoria became Queen Victoria and how she met her husband, Prince Albert.
Victoria (Emily Blunt) is the niece of the current King of England. Since she’s the only child of that generation, she’s going to inherit the throne. Her mother (Miranda Richardson), under the influence of Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong), tries to make her sign over the regency, which Victoria succesfully resists. But her mother is not the only one who wants to influence Victoria: Her uncle, the King of England (Jim Broadbent), sends her Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany) as a political advisor and her other uncle, the King of Belgium (Thomas Kretschmann), sends her his nephew Albert (Rupert Friend) as a potential husband.

The movie is wonderful. I mean, of course it’s a kitsch-fest, but it’s a beautiful, well-acted kitsch-fest that hits all the right notes and manages to stay mostly historically accurate. What’s not to like?

Continue reading