Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Murder on the Orient Express
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Michael Green
Based on: Agatha Christie‘s novel
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., Penélope Cruz, Josh Gad, Johnny Depp, Derek Jacobi, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Olivia Colman, Willem Dafoe, Sergei Polunin, Lucy Boynton
Seen on: 24.11.2017
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Plot:
Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is supposed to take the Orient Express to travel from one case to his well-earned vacation. But as luck will have it, there’s a murder right there on the train. As it is stopped by an avalanche, Poirot takes up the case, determined to find out who among the illustrous guests was responsible for the death of Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp). Unfortunately, the case is anything but straightforward as Poirot soon discovers.

Murder on the Orient Express starts off strong enough, but with every further plot twist, the film seems to slip more and more out of Branagh’s control. The result was mostly meh with a couple of shiny moments.

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The Lobster (2015)

The Lobster
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writer: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Cast: Colin FarrellRachel Weisz, John C. ReillyBen Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed, Angeliki Papoulia, Jessica BardenAshley Jensen
Seen on: 15.2.2015

Plot:
David (Colin Farrell) was recently divorced. As a single person, he has to check into the Hotel and find a new suitable partner in 45 days. If he doesn’t, he will be turned into an animal – like his brother was turned into a dog – and if nobody is there to take him in, he will be set loose in the woods surrounding the Hotel. So David tries to find somebody who is like him, but that’s easier said than done.

My history with Lanthimos’ movies has been mixed so far but The Lobster might be his best film yet. It’s certainly his most accessible film, although it is still very, very weird and not easy to get into, and my personal favorite.

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Locke (2013)

Locke
Director: Steven Knight
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, Tom Holland

Plot:
Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a construction manager and loving father who prides himself in being absolutely reliable. Nevertheless he gets into his car after he receives a call one night and drives away from the biggest challenge his company ever faced and from his family.

Locke is an amazing film that proves once again how little you actually need to tell a compelling story. Despite the fact that all you see is Tom Hardy driving, I was glued to the screen for the entire time.

locke

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Re-Watch: Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick FrostTimothy DaltonJim BroadbentPaddy ConsidineRafe Spall, Olivia Colman, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Joe CornishAlice Lowe, David Bradley, Bill Bailey, Stephen MerchantJulia Deakin, Cate Blanchett, Steve Coogan, Peter Jackson
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy

Plot:
Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is London’s star police man. But his success makes the rest of the service look bad, so he is reassigned to the small town of Sandford, where he’s partnered up with Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). Sandford might officially be the safest town in the UK, but Nick’s investigations soon turn up some weird things, when a series of freak accidents start.

Man, I really love this movie. It’s funny, fast-paced and riddled with cameos (some of which I only just learned about, like Peter Jackson and Cate Blanchett). It’s just an absolute joy to watch.

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I Give It a Year (2013)

I Give It a Year
Director: Dan Mazer
Writer: Dan Mazer
Cast: Rose Byrne, Rafe SpallAnna FarisSimon Baker, Minnie Driver, Jason FlemyngOlivia Colman, Stephen Merchant, Daisy Haggard

Plot:
Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) just got married after a rather short dating period and despite several signs that it might not be such a good idea. As they return from their honeymoon and settle into their routine, problems start to arise. First, there’s Josh’s ex, Chloe (Anna Faris) who is still one of his best friends but with whom things might not be quite as resolved as both of them thought. And second there’s Nat’s new client, the charming and rich and obviously interested Guy (Simon Baker).

I Give It a Year has some nice jokes and one very good scene, but mostly it has characters one hesitates to call characters at all because they have no personalities whatsoever and everything else has been there before a little too often.

i-give-it-a-year

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Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Hyde Park on Hudson
Director: Roger Michell
Writer: Richard Nelson
Cast: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Olivia Williams, Elizabeth Marvel

Plot:
Daisy (Laura Linney) lives a quiet life, taking care of her mother. But all that changes when she gets an invitation to visit her cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray), President of the United States of America. They hit it off and quickly become friends, and more. But while FDR is hosting the King (Samuel West) and Queen (Olivia Colman) of England, Daisy has to realize that she is not the only woman in FDR’s life.

This film could have been very great, if the writer and/or the director had been a woman. Or at least able to take a female perspective. Unfortunately, the film completely fails in that regard, which destroyed it in its entirety.

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The Iron Lady (2011)

The Iron Lady
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Writer: Abi Morgan
Cast: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Alexandra Roach, Harry Lloyd, Iain Glen, Anthony Stewart Head, Olivia Colman, Richard E. Grant

Plot:
After a long political career, Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) who is slowly losing her grip on her mind and reality, reminisces about her life, career and family, a hallucination of her deceased husband Denis (Jim Broadbent) her constant companion. Born as Margaret Roberts (Alexandra Roach), daughter of a grocer (Iain Glen), she fought her way up, always with the support of Denis (Harry Lloyd).

I did enjoy The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep is amazing and I did like the structure of the script. But I would have wished for a little more of her politics and a little less of her private life.

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Tyrannosaur (2011)

Tyrannosaur
Director: Paddy Considine
Writer: Paddy Considine
Cast: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan, Ned Dennehy

Plot:
Joseph (Peter Mullan) is a lonely, aggressive and alcoholic widower who basically reaches his own low when he kicks his dog to death because he just doesn’t have control over himself anymore. When he flees into a charity shop during a panic attack, Hannah (Olivia Colman) who runs the shop prays for him. Joseph repays her with a rant against her belief, her being middle class and her shiny life. But Hannah’s life with her husband James (Eddie Marsan) isn’t as good as it might seem. Instead it is shaped by constant abuse and humiliation. But despite their circumstances Hannah and Joseph connect.

Tyrannosaur is realistic and awful. There is the tiniest sliver of hope in the end, but it definitely isn’t a feel good film. But what it is, is absofuckinglutely excellent.

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