Bombshell (2019)

Bombshell
Director: Jay Roach
Writer: Charles Randolph
Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Allison Janney, Malcolm McDowell, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Liv Hewson, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Rob Delaney, Mark Duplass, Richard Kind
Seen on: 26.2.2020

Content Note: Sexual Harassment

Plot:
Fox News is ruled by Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) who has, over the decades, found many women he made news anchors – like Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman). And hopeful new anchors like Kayla (Margot Robbie) know that they need Ailes to get to the top. In the middle of the 2016 presidential election campaign, Gretchen Carlson is preparing for battle: she has been quietly demoted for a while now – and she has been collecting evidence of Ailes’ sexual harassment against her, in the knowledge that she surely isn’t the only one he has harassed.

Bombshell suprised me a little – in a positive way – because it doesn’t withdraw into the safety of an apparently neutral “both sides” position, but takes a stand. I did still struggle with some things, but overall, it’s really good.

The film poster showing Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie), Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron).
Continue reading

Re-Watch: Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Moulin Rouge!
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Jacek Koman, Matthew Whittet, Kerry Walker, David Wenham, Kylie Minogue
Seen on: 22.12.2019

Plot:
Young, promising artist Christian (Ewan McGregor) finds his way to Paris where he hopes to be part of the bohemian revolution. He is quickly adopted by a theater group who hope he can help persuade the Moulin Rouge to put on their play by convincing its most important star Satine (Nicole Kidman) of his talents. Satine is quickly convinced, but the Moulin needs the help of the Duke (Richard Roxburgh) to finance the play – and the Duke wants Satine. That Christian and Satine fall in love, then, is the most inconvenient thing.

Moulin Rouge! came out when I was a teenager and it hit me in just the right way in pretty much everything. I still listen to the soundtrack regularly, but it had been years that I have actually seen the film. Now that I have, what can I say but that it’s still one of my faves despite the many (many) problems I can see.

The film poster showing a woman and a man kissing in front of the Moulin Rouge windmill.
Continue reading

Aquaman (2018)

Aquaman
Director: James Wan
Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall, Geoff Johns, James Wan
Based on: Paul Norris and Mort Weisingercomics
Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison, Ludi Lin, Michael Beach, Randall Park, Graham McTavish, Leigh Whannell
Part of: DC movies
Seen on: 21.12.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Arthur (Jason Momoa) grew up with his lighthouse keeper father Thomas (Temuera Morrison), his mother Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) having left the family to return to Atlantis where she is queen. Now Arthur, also known as Aquaman, leads a rather aimless existence, though he does take care of the Ocean. That’s when is Atlantean roots come to haunt him in the form of Princess Mera (Amber Heard) who urges him to get into politics, as war is brewing between Atlantis and land-dwelling humanity. She believes that only Arthur can stop it by reuniting both races.

As with most DC movies, I was hesitant about it at first, but given that the early reactions about the film were pretty good and the trailer (as well as Momoa) looked good, I did allow myself to have some expectations about the film. I’m happy to say that the film absolutely fulfilled them, if not to say surpassed them. It’s very fine entertainment.

The film poster showing Arthur/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) with his trident, and Mera (Amber Heard).
Continue reading

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Cast: Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan, Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone, Raffey Cassidy, Sunny Suljic, Bill Camp, Denise Dal Vera
Seen on: 24.1.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Steven (Colin Farrell) is a successful surgeon with a beautiful wife, Anna (Nicole Kidman) and two children, Bob (Sunny Suljic) and Kim (Raffey Cassidy). He’s also mentoring a young man, Martin (Barry Keoghan) who wants to be a doctor – an unusually intense relationship that seems to take over more and more of Steven’s life and brings Martin into Steven’s family.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer starts off strong, but once the actual story started, it began to lose me and started to drag. Nevertheless, it’s a very interesting film.

Continue reading

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017)

How to Talk to Girls at Parties
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Writer: Philippa Goslett, John Cameron Mitchell
Based on: Neil Gaiman’s short story
Cast: Alex Sharp, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, Stephen Campbell Moore, Matt Lucas
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 2.11.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
Enn (Alex Sharp) loves nothing more than punk music. Having heard about a special concert, he stumbles into a party that seems a little stranger than the usual stuff. But there’s also the cute Zan (Elle Fanning) there and Alex hits it off with her. But as the two spend more time together, Enn realizes that Zan isn’t just a little strange: she’s actually an alien.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties was sweet and funny and colorful and loud and a whole lot of fun. It’s a film designed to make you smile and leave it with a bounce in your step.

Continue reading

The Beguiled (2017)

The Beguiled
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
Based on: Thomas P. Cullinan‘s novel
Remake of: the 1971 film
Cast: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, Addison Riecke, Emma Howard
Seen on: 3.7.2017
1-gif-review

Plot:
John McBurney (Colin Farrell) is an injured Union soldier on the run in the South during the US Civil War. He stumbles upon a girl’s school, led by Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman) and finds pity in the women who don’t turn him in to the Confederate soldiers – at least not until he’s healed and stands a chance to survive. But they keep him under lock and key while they tend to him. The teacher Edwina (Kirsten Dunst) and the girls – above all Carol (Elle Fanning) – are intrigued and excited by the soldier and soon vie for his affections. Not even Miss Martha finds herself unmoved as McBurney tries to turn the situation to his advantage.

The Beguiled is visually stunning, but other than that didn’t blow me away all that much. It’s not bad, but I still prefer the original film (although I didn’t love that one that much either).

Continue reading

Lion (2016)

Lion
Director: Garth Davis
Writer: Luke Davies
Based on: the autobiography A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley with Larry Buttrose
Cast: Sunny Pawar, Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Abhishek BharatePriyanka BoseDavid WenhamRooney Mara
Seen on: 10.3.2017

Plot:
Saroo (Sunny Pawar) lives with his family in Khandwa. He adores his big brother Guddu (Abhishek Bharate) and when Guddu leaves to take a job for a day, Saroo tags along, the start of an oddyssey that leads him to Calcutta without any means to contact his family, or any clear idea where they are. Finally Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman, David Wenham). Many years later, the by now grown Saroo (Dev Patel) tries desperately to find out about his origins and what happened to his biological family.

Lion is practically the epitome of a tear-jerker and it worked very well for me. Meaning I was emotionally invested the entire time and sobbing a lot.

Continue reading

Queen of the Desert (2015)

Queen of the Desert
Director: Werner Herzog
Writer: Werner Herzog
Cast: Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Damian LewisJay Abdo, Jenny Agutter, Holly Earl, Mark Lewis Jones, David Calder
Seen on: 14.9.2015

Plot:
Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) really doesn’t care about getting married, which puts her rather at odds with British society. She was one of the few women who were allowed to study at university, which gives her family an excuse to send her traveling. So Gertrude travels to the Ottoman Empire. With every passing year Gertrude becomes more independent until finally she defies all social norms and starts traveling the desert, really getting to know the area and its people, acquiring insights no other British person was able to get.

Queen of the Desert can be summarized with “Orientalism the Movie”. It’s flabbergasting that such an unquestioned imperialistic view on the Middle East could still make it on the screen today. We should all know better by now.

Queen_of_the_Desert Continue reading

The Railway Man (2013)

The Railway Man
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Andy Paterson
Based on: Eric Lomaxautobiography
Cast: Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Tanroh Ishida, Sam Reid, Hiroyuki Sanada
Seen on: 6.7.2015

Plot:
Eric (Colin Firth) meets Patti (Nicole Kidman) by chance on a train and the two of them immediately hit it off. a short while later they get married and Pattie discovers that Eric is still stuck in his war experiences: as a young man (Jeremy Irvine), he was a prisoner in a Japanese labor camp for a good while and is now suffering from PTSD. When his best friend Finlay (Stellan Skarsgard) brings him a news report that shows his tormentor from back then, Takeshi (Hiroyuki Sanada), now working at a memorial of the labor camp and Eric decides to go back and make him suffer.

Railway Man is way too long and has so many issues I couldn’t like it one bit, despite the great cast.

The-Railway-Man[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Paddington (2014)

Paddington
Director: Paul King
Writer: Paul King
Based on: Michael Bond‘s books
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Julie Walters, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Matt Lucas, Steve Oram, Alice Lowe

Plot:
The bear Paddingtion (Ben Whishaw) was happily living with his aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) and uncle Pastuzo (Michael Gambon) in the Peruvian jungle. But when their home gets destroyed, Lucy sends Paddington to London, hoping that he will find a safe home there, as promised by an explorer who visited them a long time ago. Thankfully shortly after his arrival in London, Paddington meets the Browns –  Mary (Sally Hawkins), Henry (Hugh Bonneville) and their children Judy (Madeleine Harris) and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin). Together they start to look for the explorer to find Paddington his safe place. But not everyone is out to help Paddington.

The trailer for Paddington looked awful, full of unfunny slapstick and grossness. I wanted to see it despite the trailer, but was prepared for the worst. And (apart from the general postcolonial qualms I have about the story) I was pleasantly surprised by the film that is much sweeter and funnier than the trailer made me think it was.

Paddington Continue reading