The Good Liar (2019)

The Good Liar
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Jeffrey Hatcher
Based on: Nicholas Searle’s novel
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter, Mark Lewis Jones, Laurie Davidson, Phil Dunster, Lucian Msamati
Seen on: 13.12.2019

Content Note: rape

Plot:
Betty (Helen Mirren) meets Roy (Ian McKellen) online and soon a romantic relationship starts between the two of them. Betty’s grandson Stephen (Russell Tovey) is a little suspicious of Roy, and rightly so: Roy is a con artist out to relieve Betty of her money. But maybe this time, he actually starts to have feeling for Betty. And maybe Betty isn’t quite as naive as she seems at first.

You’d think that Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen starring in a film together is all you need to make great entertainment, but The Good Liar proves that a bad story can ruin even that pairing.

The film poster showing Betty (Helen Mirren) and Roy (Ian McKellen). She is wearing a white coat in front of a white background, he is wearing a black suite in front of a black background.

[SPOILERS]

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Angels in America

Angels in America – Part One: The Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika
Director: Marianne Elliott
Writer: Tony Kushner
Cast: James McArdle, Andrew Garfield, Russell Tovey, Denise Gough, Susan Brown, Nathan Lane, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett
Seen on: 20. and 27.7.2017

Plot:
It’s the 80s and the AIDS crisis is in full swing. Louis Ironson (James McArdle) just found out that his boyfriend Prior Walter (Andrew Garfield) is infected and he doesn’t know how to deal. Joe Pitt (Russell Tovey) also isn’t able to deal: as a Mormon and a Republican and married to Harper (Denise Gough), he can’t possibly be gay, can he? Joe and Louis both work for Roy Cohn (Nathan Lane), a lawyer who may enjoy fucking other man, but that doesn’t make him gay. But Roy’s health is also on the decline.

Angels in America is an affective and effective play, and this production feels monumental. It weighs heavily – as is only right for the topic matter.

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The Lady in the Van (2015)

The Lady in the Van
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Alan Bennett
Based on: Alan Bennett’s actual experience with Mary Shepherd
Cast: Maggie SmithAlex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Deborah Findlay, Roger Allam, Dominic Cooper, Frances de la Tour, James Corden, Russell Tovey, Alan Bennett
Seen on: 3.6.2016

Plot:
Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) moved to a new neighborhood and he quite like it. Part of the neighborhood is Mary Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a woman living in a van parked in his street. She’s weird, often rough and has issues, but Alan does take a liking to her. So when her existence is threatened because her road is being declared a no parking zone, Alan permits her to park the van in his driveway. What was supposed to be only a temporary solution, turns into a long-term fact and Alan starts to find out more about Mary’s past.

The Lady in the Van was a sweet film, told with a sly sense of humor that keeps the story from turning too dark, even when the realities it faces are harsher. It’s an enjoyable mix, although it stays a little too shallow to use the potential for social criticism it would have.

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Pride (2014)

Pride
Director: Matthew Warchus
Writer: Stephen Beresford
Cast: Ben Schnetzer, George MacKayFaye Marsay, Joseph GilgunPaddy Considine, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Russell Tovey

Plot:
Mark (Ben Schnetzer) is not only gay, but a big supporter of the miner strike and wants to do his part, especially because he feels that there is a certain kinship – the miners struggle under Thatcher just as much as the homosexuals struggle. So he decides that he will start to raise funds for them, with the help of new to the scene Joe (George MacKay), big-mouthed Steph (Faye Marsay) and flamboyant Jonathan (Dominic West). But it turns out, it’s surprisingly hard to get miners to accept “gay donations”, until finally a Welsh village accepts, not really knowing what they’re in for.

Pride was funny, cute and most charming. It probably isn’t the most complex analysis of the situation, but it gave you an impression while being very entertaining.

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Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Muppets Most Wanted
Director: James Bobin
Writer: James Bobin, Nicholas Stoller
Based on: Jim Henson‘s characters
Sequel to: The Muppets
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey
Cameos by [put in camouflage so you can still be surprised by the people who show up, if you don’t know already. If you wanna be surprised, don’t read the tags, either]: Tony Bennett, Hugh Bonneville, Jemaine Clement, Sean Combs, Rob Corddry, Mackenzie Crook, Céline DionLady Gaga, Zach Galifianakis, Josh Groban, Salma Hayek, Tom HiddlestonTom Hollander, Toby Jones, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, James McAvoy, Chloë Grace Moretz, Usher Raymond, Miranda Richardson, Saoirse Ronan, Til Schweiger, Russell Tovey, Danny Trejo, Stanley Tucci, Christoph Waltz

Plot:
After solving their problems in the last film, the Muppets hit a bit of a low. They don’t really know what they should do now. That’s when Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) shows up and proposes a world tour to them. Kermit is hesitant but the others are in love with the idea. But Badguy has ulterior motives – he is teamed up with the most evil frog in the world, Constantine. And for his plan to work, Constantine impersonates Kermit while banishing the real Kermit to a Russian gulag.

I think I liked Muppets Most Wanted a little better than the first Muppets film. Maybe I’m starting to have more of a connection to the Muppets themselves. (There are so many Muppets in this paragraph alone. Muppets. Muppets. Muppets.) Either way, there is not much of a quality difference between this one and the first one.

muppetsmostwanted

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