Plot: Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives at the court of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), a distant relative of the queen and her new servant. But Anne is frail and it’s her confidante Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) who actually holds the reins to the country. Struggling for a place at court and a share of her power, Abigail tries to insinuate herself into Anne’s close circle, leading to a power struggle with Sarah.
The Favourite is an extremely funny film with an ending that doesn’t quite fit the rest in tone. I’m still undecided whether I liked that or not. But either way, the film is really entertaining.
Plot: Donald Crowhurst (Colin Firth) is an inventor and a dreamer. He hasn’t always had the best luck with his business, but he still dreams big. When he hears about a race to sail alone around the world without stopping, amateur sailor Donald decides to go for it, hoping that the cash prize will finally mean financial security. He throws everything he has and more at the project, designing his own boat and getting ready. But everything takes longer than he planned and despite the problems and the increasing worries of his wife (Rachel Weisz) and children, Donald sets off delayed and with an unfinished boat to try and win anyway.
The Mercy is an impressive film with a stellar cast and a healthy dose of criticism of the “if you just work it hard enough, you can have it all” notion. It’s tough to watch but mostly worth it.
Philip (Sam Claflin) was brought up by his cousin Ambrose who recently died after going to Italy. There he got married to a distant cousin but things seem to have taken a wrong turn and Philip received a letter from Ambrose claiming that he was being slowly killed by his wife. Philip determines to avenge Ambrose, a plan that get substantially easier when Ambrose’ widow Rachel (Rachel Weisz) announces coming to visit Philip. That Rachel is entirely different from what Philip imagined and he finds himself enchanted.
The film is a mixed bag of beans. Despite many strengths, it loses itself in the last third. But it did keep me watching attentively for most of the film.
Tom (Michael Shannon) and his wife Ramina (Azita Ghanizada) expect guests for dinner. Ramina is a jewelry designer who has recently been accepted into a design program across the country. Tom is ambivalent about moving and leaving his work behind. But before they can fight about this (again), their guests arrive and interrupt. Among them is Tom’s co-worker Clyde (Michael Chernus) who brought a date – the lovely Alice (Rachel Weisz). Michael is sure he knows Alice, but refers to her as Jenny. Her sudden re-appearance in Tom’s life throws him for a loop.
From the description I expected Complete Unknown to be an entirely different film, a thriller, something dramatic, dark and tension-filled. Instead I got a dialogue-driven rumination on identity. It wasn’t bad by a long-shot, but I did feel a little disappointed by that as the turn to darkness never came. Fortunately not for long, though.
Hester (Rachel Weisz) is married to William (Simon Russell Beale), but left him because she fell in love with Freddie (Tom Hiddleston). Now the two of them are kind of living together, but actually it’s more like they are continuously tearing themselves apart. It gets so bad that Hester tries to kill herself, which leads the three of them to finally confront the situation they find themselves in.
I already liked the film the first time round, but it was even better to watch it a second time. It’s fascinating to see myself reacting differently to the film again (it’s not been that long that I saw it for the first time) and to see the film again with new eyes.
Tom (Michael Fassbender) has signed up to be the lighthouse keeper on a small island just off the coast of a small town in Australia. On the rare occasions that he gets to come to the main land and see people, he meets Isabel (Alicia Vikander) and they quickly fall in love. Isabel is happy to lead the solitary lighthouse keeper life with Tom and would love nothing more than a baby. Much to her chagrin, she keeps miscarrying though, so it feels like fate when a boat with a baby washes up on their island during a storm. Tom only wants to see Isabel happy, so he agrees to keep the child. But when they hear of Hannah (Rachel Weisz) whose husband and child were lost during the storm, they will have to make a decision.
The Light Between Oceans is one of the cheesiest films I ever saw. It’s high-quality cheese, no doubt about it, but it was all a little too much for me, ultimately keeping me at a distance.
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.
Fred (Michael Caine) is on holiday in a Swiss resort with his best friend Mick (Harvey Keitel). Mick is trying to write his latest screenplay, supposed to be his big oeuvre, together with a group of young writers. Fred is just trying to get some peace and quiet, when an emissary (Alex Macqueen) from the Queen of England approaches him to ask him to conduct his most famous symphony for Prince Philipp’s birthday, much to the surprise of the emissary and Fred’s daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz). Lena comes to visit but stays longer than planned when her husband and Mick’s son Julian (Ed Stoppard) announces that he’s leaving her.
I was very reluctant to see Youth. I was afraid that the film would be all about a couple of old guys olging young women (the poster suggests nothing different). Fortunately the lusting was kept to a minimum and there was a lot about the film that I enjoyed. It won’t become my favorite film ever, but it was far from as bad as I expected.
Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) are broterhs and con artists. They are working together with Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi) and have successfully pulled off quite a few heists already. But Bloom has grown weary of their work. He quits, only to be hauled back in by Stephen for one last job. Their target: Penelope (Rachel Weisz), incredibly rich, very weird and beautiful. Even though it goes against his instincts, Bloom agrees to go along with it as he’s intrigued by Penelope. But things keep twisting and turn out quite differently than originally planned.
The Brothers Bloom is fun and especially with Penelope they created such a wonderful character that you can’t help but love it all. It’s a really nice, entertaining film.
Oz (James Franco) is a second rate magician in a small travelling circus and a great womanizer. When he gets into trouble for sleeping with the wrong woman, he flees in a balloon, but ends up caught in a tornado. When the wind calms down, Oz is – surprisingly – still alive and finds himself in the magical country of Oz. He is greeted by Theodora (Mila Kunis), a beautiful witch, who tells him that his arrival has been prophesized and he needs to save the land from the evil witch. Oz takes on the challenge because there seems to be money on the horizon, plus a chance to get into Theodora’s pants. But it turns out that there is more to the story than that.
I have so many issues that I’m surprised I managed to enjoy Oz the Great and Powerful at all. But enjoyment was had, though the issues outweigh it by far.