A United Kingdom (2016)

A United Kingdom
Director: Amma Asante
Writer: Guy Hibbert
Based on:  Susan Williams’ book Colour Bar
Cast: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton, Jack Davenport, Laura Carmichael, Terry Pheto, Jessica Oyelowo, Vusi Kunene, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Arnold Oceng, Abena Ayivor
Seen on: 3.4.2017

Plot:
Ruth (Rosamund Pike) works as a clerk and would mostly have a boring life if her sister (Laura Carmichael) didn’t drag her out every once in a while. On one of those outings, Ruth meets Seretse (David Oyelowo). He is charming, good-looking and taken by Ruth. But as Ruth discovers he is not just a student, but also the prince and future ruler of Bechuanaland. Despite the difficulties by their difference in status, the two want to get married, not anticipating that the real (diplomatic) scandal for both Bechuanaland and Great Britain is the fact that their relationship is an interracial one.

A United Kingdom covers a bit of history that is virtually unknown here (Austria or most likely Europe or the global North in general) and Asanta packs this fascinating story into an easily understood and emotionally engaging film with a great cast.

Continue reading

Advertisements

What We Did on Our Holiday (2014)

What We Did on Our Holiday
Director: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
Writer: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin
Cast: Emilia JonesBobby Smalldridge, Harriet Turnbull, Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Celia Imrie, Ben Miller

Plot:
Abi (Rosamund Pike) and Doug (David Tennant) are in the tricky part of their divorce where they can’t even stand to be in the same room together. Nevertheless they decide to pack up their three kids – Lottie (Emilia Jones), Mickey (Bobby Smallridge) and Jess (Harriet Turnbull) – and celebrate Doug’s father Gordy’s (Billy Connolly) birthday together like nothing happened. Which certainly isn’t easy for the kids, since they have to keep up the lies as well. But in the commotion surrounding Gordy’s birthday, nobody but Gordy himself seems to notice them anyway.

I expected What We Did on Our Holiday to be this classic RomCom, mostly about the parents and how they find back to each other. I was quite surprised when it turned out that it was actually about the kids and then it even took a turn into dark humor. And I liked the result a lot more than I would have liked the usual.

What-We-Did-on-Our-Holiday Continue reading

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Gillian Flynn
Based on: Gillian Flynn‘s novel
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon

Plot:
Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy (Rosamund Pike) used to be in love. But as their fifth anniversary approaches, things don’t look so good anymore. There’s been a lot of tension between them recently. And then Amy disappears after what looks like a break-in into their home. Nick seems upset but he’s also obviously hiding something – and the police are quickly narrowing in on him as a suspect.

I really loved Gone Girl. The story, the cast, the pacing – I was completely into it the entire time, even after having accidentally read a spoiler that could have potentially ruined the entire thing but turned out to be not quite as major as it appeared at first. Everything about the film just works completely.

gonegirl

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014)

Hector and the Search for Happiness
Director: Peter Chelsom
Writer: Maria von Heland, Peter Chelsom, Tinker Lindsay
Based on: François Lelord‘s novel Le voyage d’Hector ou la recherche du bonheur
Cast: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgård, Toni ColletteVeronica Ferres, Jean Reno, Christopher Plummer

Plot:
Hector (Simon Pegg) is a psychiatrist with a well-going practice and a beautiful girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike). But he is stuck in his routine and his safety and his mind keeps wandering back to the “One Who Got Away” (Toni Collette). So he decides that he needs to go on a trip to look for the secret to happiness. Alone, leaving Clara quite take aback. He starts in China but his search will take him to quite a few places.

Hector and the Search for Happiness was perfectly nice, in the slightly derogatory meaning of nice. There was nothing very wrong about it, but nothing very right, either.

Hector-And-The-Search-For-Happiness[SPOILERS]

Continue reading

A Long Way Down (2014)

A Long Way Down
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Writer: Jack Thorne
Based on: Nick Hornby‘s novel
Cast: Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Sam Neill

Plot:
Martin (Pierce Brosnan) decides that he’s had enough. On New Year’s Eve he heads to Topper’s House to throw himself off the roof there. But Topper’s House is a popular spot for suicide and so he meets Jess (Imogen Poots), J.J. (Aaron Paul) and Maureen (Toni Collette) who have had the same plan. Instead of following through, circumstances let’s the four of them make a pact that they’ll wait until Valentine’s Day with it.

A Long Way Down is sweet, even if a little inconsequential. But it does have its heart in the right place.

alongwaydown

Continue reading

The World’s End (2013)

The World’s End
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy ConsidineMartin Freeman, Rafe SpallEddie MarsanRosamund PikePierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy, Michael Smiley, Steve Oram, Alice Lowe, David Bradley, Julia Deakin, Reece Shearsmith, Peter Serafinowicz, Mark Heap, Ben Whishaw (at least I’m pretty damn certain it was him)
Part of: The Cornetto Trilogy
[Here are my reviews of the other two movies in the trilogy.]

Plot:
When they were still young and living in Newton Haven, Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his friends Andy (Nick Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Ollie (Martin Freeman) and Steven (Paddy Considine) tried themselves at a pub crawl and came short. 20 years later, Gary is still obsessed with the idea of finishing and convinces the old gang to come. But things are a little weird in Newton Haven – weirder than in other small towns.

Since I love both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I was very worried that it this film wouldn’t be able to fulfill my expectations. But fortunately it did. It was awesome.

The-Worlds-End

Continue reading

Jack Reacher (2012)

Jack Reacher
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writer: Christopher McQuarrie
Based on: Lee Child‘s novel One Shot
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David OyelowoJai Courtney, Werner Herzog, Robert Duvall

Plot:
After a sniper shoots 5 people, the police quickly identify and arrest a possible suspect: ex-soldier Barr (Joseph Sikora). Barr doesn’t say a word, but to request Jack Reacher, a former military investigator who disappeared a while back. The police and the DA Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike) are stunned by that request, and even more suprised when Reacher (Tom Cruise) turns up himself. He saw a news report on Barr and having investigated him before, he wanted to make sure that he is put behind bars this time. But Barr’s request makes him doubt his guilt, so Reacher starts to dig deep.

Jack Reacher really moves through all shades of horribleness. There is “just horrible”, there is “so horrible, it’s hilarious” and then there’s “so horrible I just wanna cry.” Unfortunately, it spends the least time in the second category.

Jack_Reacher

Continue reading

Wrath of the Titans (2012)

Wrath of the Titans
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Writer: Dan Mazeau, David Johnson
Sequel to: Clash of the Titans
Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Édgar Ramírez, Toby Kebbell, Danny Huston

Plot:
People are stopping to believe in or pray to the gods, which weakens them considerably. Zeus (Liam Neeson) tries his best to avoid that, even asking his son Perseus (Sam Worthington) for help, who now leads the life of a quiet fisherman and doesn’t want to hear about it. But when Ares (Édgar Ramírez) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) betray Zeus and Poseidon (Danny Huston) and capture Zeus, Perseus sets out ot save his father – and the world with the help of Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and Poseidon’s son Agenor (Toby Kebbell).

Much like the first film, Wrath of the Titans is a movie of the “plot? What plot?” variety. But the special effects are still great, the cast mostly has fun and the dialogues are cringe-worthingly awesome. There are also more daddy issues to ridicule in this one film than in all of the Nolan movies put together, which is quite an achievement. It’s entertaining.

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

Fracture (2007)

Fracture is a movie by Gregory Hoblit, starring Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike and Billy Burke.

Plot:
When Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) discovers that his wife has an affair, he hatches a plan to kill her and immediately confesses to the murder. So, when young up-and-coming DA Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) gets this case as his last before starting at a prestigious law firm, he thinks that it will be a short one. But as soon as the trial starts, Beachum discovers that Crawford has been meticulous in his planning, and that his opponent is not as easy as he thought.

Fracture has all the rigt ingredients for an excellent thriller – good idea, awesome cast and an experienced director. But it falls a little short of the mark nevertheless.

Continue reading