Frank (2014)

Frank
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writer: Jon RonsonPeter Straughan
Cast: Domhnall GleesonMichael FassbenderMaggie GyllenhaalScoot McNairyFrançois CivilCarla Azar
Part of: Viennale
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) dreams of becoming a musician. When he stumbles upon the idiosyncratic indie band Soronprfbs on the beach while their keyboardist tries to drown himself, he offers to step in for him that night. Band member/manager Don (Scoot McNairy) agrees after talking to Frank (Michael Fassbender), the band’s lead singer who always wears a big papier-maché head. It doesn’t take long and Jon is invited to join the band for good, despite band member Clara’s (Maggie Gyllenhaal) hesitation about him. But being part of the band isn’t at all what Jon expected.

From what I heard about the film before, I was afraid that it would be another hipster movie about oh-so-quirky people and an indie-soundtrack. But Frank might look like that but it is way, way more. I was really very taken by the film.

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Writer: Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan
Based on: John le Carré‘s novel
Cast: Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Ciarán Hinds

Plot:
Control (John Hurt), head of the British Intelligence, suspects that there is a double agent very high up the ladder in “the Circus.” So he sends Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong) to Hungary to meet a source who can reveal the identity of the mole. But things go wrong, Prideaux gets shot and Control and his right hand George Smiley (Gary Oldman) have to retire. But then the agent Ricki Tarr (Tom Hardy) also brings the info about a double agent and Smiley gets hauled out of retirement to find said agent.

I was so looking forward to this film. I mean – look at that cast! What more could you wish for? [Except for a few women.] Unfortunately the movie ended up being so incredibly boring, I don’t even have words. Also, the brown, the brown! It kinda started hurting my eyes after a while.

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The Debt (2010)

The Debt
Director: John Madden
Writer: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, Peter Straughan
Based on: Ha-Hov [I haven’t seen it. Yet.]
Cast: Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson, Ciarán Hinds, Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, Marton Csokas, Jesper Christensen

Plot:
1997: Rachel (Helen Mirren) is a retired Mossad agent. Her daughter is launching her book about Rachel’s most important assignment when Rachel’s ex-husband Stephan (Tom Wilkinson) brings her the message of David’s (Ciarán Hinds) suicide. In 1966, Rachel (Jessica Chastain), Stephan (Marton Csokas) and David (Sam Worthington) were in Germany together on said assignment: they were supposed to find the Nazi doctor Jürgen Vogel (Jesper Christensen) and bring him back to trial in Israel.

The movie is absolutely excellent. The cast is great, the story (while not completely surprising) was tense and I was completely involved. It did have some weaknesses but they hardly mattered.

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