Persuasion (2007)

Persuasion
Director: Adrian Shergold
Writer: Simon Burke
Based on: Jane Austen’s novel
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Rupert Penry-Jones, Alice Krige, Anthony Head, Julia Davis, Peter Wight, Marion Bailey, Amanda Hale, Tobias Menzies
Seen on: 28.6.2015
[Here’s my review of the 1995 version.]

Plot:
Many years ago, Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins) was engaged to Frederick Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones), but took the advice of her motherly friend Lady Russell (Alice Krige), as well as listened to the opinions of her father Sir Walter (Anthony Head) and her sister Elizabeth (Julia Davis)and dissolved the engagement since Wentworth didn’t have much standing. Quite by coincidence Frederick is back in her life after years in the Navy and has made a name for himself as well as a fortune. Anne is convinced, though, that he will never forgive her for her past actions. And when her cousin William Elliot (Tobias Menzies) starts courting her, she might be getting another chance, despite being alread 27 years old and still unmarried.

Despite my love for Sally Hawkins, this version of Persuasion absolutely did not work for me. Which is not her fault, but mostly due to the script and the direction.

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Paddington (2014)

Paddington
Director: Paul King
Writer: Paul King
Based on: Michael Bond‘s books
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Julie Walters, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Matt Lucas, Steve Oram, Alice Lowe

Plot:
The bear Paddingtion (Ben Whishaw) was happily living with his aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) and uncle Pastuzo (Michael Gambon) in the Peruvian jungle. But when their home gets destroyed, Lucy sends Paddington to London, hoping that he will find a safe home there, as promised by an explorer who visited them a long time ago. Thankfully shortly after his arrival in London, Paddington meets the Browns –  Mary (Sally Hawkins), Henry (Hugh Bonneville) and their children Judy (Madeleine Harris) and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin). Together they start to look for the explorer to find Paddington his safe place. But not everyone is out to help Paddington.

The trailer for Paddington looked awful, full of unfunny slapstick and grossness. I wanted to see it despite the trailer, but was prepared for the worst. And (apart from the general postcolonial qualms I have about the story) I was pleasantly surprised by the film that is much sweeter and funnier than the trailer made me think it was.

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Godzilla (2014)

Godzilla
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Max Borenstein
Based on: Gojira
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Ty Olsson

Plot:
Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) used to work at a nuclear power plant in Japan until an accident claimed Sandra’s life and left Joe convinced that there was something more to it. As he tries to figure out what it could have been, it’s his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who suffers for it. Years later Ford is again called to Japan to help with his father who doesn’t care about the legality of his research that much. And it turns out that Joe was right all along and suddenly Ford finds himself in the middle of a fight against monsters.

Godzilla has beautiful special effects and a good cast but unfortunately also bland characters and a stereotypical story. It just couldn’t hold my interest.

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w Delta z (2007)

w Delta z
Director: Tom Shankland
Writer: Clive Bradley
Cast: Stellan Skarsgård, Melissa George, Ashley Walters, Tom Hardy, Selma Blair, Sally Hawkins

Plot:
Detective Eddie Argo (Stellan Skarsgård) is investigating a series of murders with his new partner Helen Westcott (Melissa George). The bodies all have parts of an equation carved into their skin. They all seem to lead back to a horrific crime that happened a few years ago and that Eddie was deeply involved with. But what do the killings have to do with the equation?

w Delta z is a rather idiosyncratic film. It feels like a philosophical thought experiment in movie form. For long stretches that is interesting, but sometimes the film part suffers for it. But it’s always thought-provoking.

W-Delta-Z

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Blue Jasmine (2013)

Blue Jasmine
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alden Ehrenreich, Louis C.K., Peter Sarsgaard, Andrew Dice Clay

Plot:
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) married rich when she was younger, but then her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) was arrested and she lost everything. So she turns to her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) for shelter, despite their strained relationship and even though Ginger lives way beyond the standards Jasmine is used to. Jasmine tries to get back on her feet but she isn’t in the most stable state of minds to begin with.

Blue Jasmine mostly lives off Cate Blanchett’s incredible performance, but otherwise pretty much continues Woody Allen’s streak of lukewarm films (as far as I have seen them).

bluejasmine

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Jane Eyre (2011)

Jane Eyre
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Writer: Moira Buffini
Based on: Charlotte Brontë’s novel
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Craig Roberts, Harry Lloyd, Imogen Poots

Plot:
Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) is an orphan, growing up with her aunt Mrs Reed (Sally Hawkins), where she suffers a lot of abuse until she is sent to boarding school, where she suffers even more abuse. When she turns 18, she leaves there to take up a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall, which belongs to Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Jane and Rochester quickly connect with each other – but there is a secret in Thornfield Hall.

Jane Eyre was wonderful – one of the rare examples where the movie is actually better than the book. That cast, that cinematography, the costumes (and when I notice costumes, that’s freaking saying something)… Just wow.

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Submarine (2010)

Submarine
Director: Richard Ayoade
Writer: Richard Ayoade
Based on: Joe Dunthorne‘s novel
Cast: Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Oliver (Craig Roberts) is 15 years odl, an outsider and in love with Jordana (Yasmin Paige), who is pretty much out of his league – until he participates in a bit of mobbying and gains her favor. But while things seem to work out fine with Jordana, the marriage of Oliver’s parents (Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor) apparently falls apart when his mother’s first love Graham (Paddy Considine) moves back into the neighboring house.

The first 30 minutes or so are pretty much the perfect coming of age film. Entertaining, smart, sensitive, creative and funny. And then it just loses its momentum and peters out, leaving you wondering what the hell happened there.

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Never Let Me Go (2010)

Never Let Me Go is Mark Romanek‘s (director) and Alex Garland‘s (writer) adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Hawkins, Andrea Riseborough, Domhnall Gleeson and Charlie Rowe.

Plot:
Kath (Carey Mulligan) watches Tommy (Andrew Garfield) go in for his probably final donation and uses this time to reflect upon her life: How she grew up at Hailsham together with Tommy and Ruth (Keira Knightley), slowly discovering and coming to terms with the path chosen for her by her mere existence: she like all the other children at Hailsham is a clone, built for donating her organs and ultimately her life.

Never Let Me Go is an excellent adaptation, though it doesn’t manage to be quite as good as the book. Which probably wouldn’t have been possible anyway. But with a brilliant cast, wonderful soundtrack and very nice cinematography it has everything you need.

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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.

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An Education (2009)

An Education is the newest movie by Lone Scherfig, written by Nick Hornby and starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Olivia Williams, Alfred Molina, Cara Seymour, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike and Emma Thompson.

Plot:
The 60s. Jenny (Cary Mulligan) is an ambitious student, trying her best to get accepted to Oxford, constantly pushed by her father (Alfred Molina). When one day Jenny meets the charming, but much older David (Peter Sarsgaard) the life she wants to achieve with an Oxford education seems to be at her fingertips. David takes her to concerts, to Paris and shows her the big world. But it soon turns out that David is not all he cracked up to be.

An Education is a wonderful movie – especially the cast is perfect. Unfortunately, the last fifteen, twenty minutes of it, turns it all a little sour. But only a little – it’s still very much worth to see this film.

[SPOILERS]

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