The Father (2020)

The Father
Director: Florian Zeller
Writer: Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller
Based on: Florian Zeller’s play Le père
Cast: Olivia Colman, Anthony Hopkins, Mark Gatiss, Olivia Williams, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Ayesha Dharker
Seen on: 13.9.2021

Plot:
Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) is getting older. But that doesn’t mean that he wants any help. After managing to scare off yet another caretaker, his daughter Anne (Olivia Colman) gets more desperate. She tries to convince him to try with another nurse, Laura (Imogen Poots), but Anthony doesn’t trust Anne. And he realizes that he can’t trust what he sees, either.

The Father is not the first movie about a character with dementia, but it is one of the most effective ones in taking on the perspective of someone who isn’t sure about their reality anymore (without ever resorting to fantasy). It’s touching, unsettling and beautifully made.

The film poster showing Anne (Olivia Colman) and Anthony (Anthony Hopkins).
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Re-Watch: The Holiday (2006)

The Holiday
Director: Nancy Meyers
Writer: Nancy Meyers
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black, Eli Wallach, Edward Burns, Rufus Sewell, Kathryn Hahn, John Krasinski, Shannyn Sossamon, Bill Macy
Seen on: 10.10.2020

Plot:
English Iris (Kate Winslet) is apparently the last to know that her long-time crush and colleague Jasper (Rufus Sewell) is getting married to somebody else. Frustrated, she decides to leave on short notice for the Christmas holidays and puts her house online for a house swap. Almost immediately she gets a reply from USAmerican Amanda (Cameron Diaz), a movie trailer editor who just kicked out her unfaithful boyfriend Ethan (Edward Burns) and could use a break herself. They make the change and Amanda finds herself in Iris’ quaint little cottage in the middle of nowhere, when Iris’ brother Graham (Jude Law) knocks on her door, while Iris takes up residence in Amanda’s LA mansion and meets her neighbor Arthur (Eli Wallach), an ageing script writer, as well as composer Miles (Jack Black) who comes to pick up Ethan’s stuff. The change of scenery and the new acquaintances impact both women a lot.

I have seen The Holiday many years ago – too many to remember many details, so it struck me as a good opportunity to re-watch it. And it absolutely is a wonderful RomCom, albeit not reaching its full potential. Nevertheless it was exactly the kind of fluff content I was looking for.

The film poster showing Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Graham (Jude Law) above the film title and Iris (Kate Winslet) and Miles (Jack Black) below it.
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Judy (2019)

Judy
Director: Rupert Goold
Writer: Tom Edge
Based on: Peter Quilter‘s play End of the Rainbow
Cast: Renée Zellweger, Darci Shaw, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Richard Cordery, Royce Pierreson, Andy Nyman, Daniel Cerqueira, Bella Ramsey, Lewin Lloyd
Seen on: 22.1.2020

Plot:
To say Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) has seen better days is putting it pretty mildly: the glory days of the former child star (Darci Shaw) are over. Now she’s fighting her ex-husband Sid Luft (Rufus Sewell) for the custody of their children (Bella Ramsey, Lewin Lloyd). But since she has no money, no home and practically no work, she doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Begrudgingly, she therefore accepts an invitation to do a show in London, even if it means separation from the kids for now – and probably more pressure than she can actually handle.

Judy is, I’d say, okay as a film but elevated above and beyond its overall quality by Zellweger’s amazing performance and the fascination Judy Garland herself can inspire without actually being present herself in the film.

The film poster showing Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger)
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Hercules (2014)

Hercules
Director: Brett Ratner
Writer: Ryan Condal, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Based on: Steve Moore‘s comic
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Reece Ritchie, Joseph Fiennes, Tobias Santelmann, Rebecca Ferguson, Joe Anderson, Peter Mullan

Plot:
Everybody knows the legend of Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) and his heroic deeds, strategically enhanced by his nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie). Now that he completed his twelve tasks and after horrific past events that still haunt him, Hercules works as a sword for hire with his group – Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), Tydeus (Aksel Hennie), Atalanta (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal) and Iolaus. When he is approached by Ergenia (Rebecca Ferguson) for help defeating warlord Rheseus (Peter Santelmann), Hercules takes the job. But it isn’t quite as simple as it appears at first.

Hercules had everything I wanted it to have: self-awareness, nice action, quipping, Dwayne Johnson in a skirt, an excellent cast and so much fun. It was utterly enjoyable.

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith
Based on: Seth Grahame-Smith‘s novel
Cast: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rufus Sewell, Marton Csokas, Jimmi Simpson

Plot:
When Abraham (Benjamin Walker) was a child, he had to watch as the vampire Jack Barts (Marton Csokas) killed his mother. Years later, still filled with thoughts of revenge, he tries to kill Barts and has to be saved by Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) who then goes on to teach him how to fight vampires – but on the condition that Abe only kills the vampires Henry points out. After training is over, Abe moves to Springfield where he works for Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson) as a store clerk, studies law and kills vampires. But his thirst for revenge is still not satisfied.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is absolutely trashtastic. By which I mean, it is not a good movie, in fact quite the opposite, but it is an extremely entertaining one.

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The Tourist (2010)

The Tourist is the newest movie by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, starring Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff and Rufus Sewell.

Plot:
Elise (Angelina Jolie) is spied upon constantly, mostly by Inspector Acheson (Paul Bettany) because she was the lover of the mysterious Alexander Pierce, who stole quite a lot of money. When said Alexander gets a message to her that she should bord a train and pick somebody who looks remotely like him and make them believe it’s himself, Elise picks Frank (Johnny Depp), a math teacher who is trying to mend his broken heart in Italy. Hijinks ensue.

The Tourist falls surprisingly flat. It has a good cast and wonderful sets and a few good jokes. But it never picks up pace or draws you in. Also, it has plot holes the size of Alaska.

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