Charlie Says (2018)

Charlie Says
Director: Mary Harron
Writer: Guinevere Turner
Based on: Ed Sanders’ book The Family, and Karlene Faith‘s book The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten
Cast: Hannah Murray, Sosie Bacon, Marianne Rendón, Merritt Wever, Matt Smith, Suki Waterhouse, Chace Crawford, Annabeth Gish, Kayli Carter, Grace Van Dien
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2019
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Plot:
Leslie van Houten (Hannah Murray), Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon) and Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón) were sentenced to death for the murder of Sharon Tate (Grace Van Dien) – a murder they committed for their cult leader Charles Manson (Matt Smith) and that they have no regrets for. When their death sentence is changed to life in prison, graduate student Karlene Faith (Merritt Wever) starts to work with them. Karlene firmly believes that therapy can help rehabilitate the three women and make them understand the gravity of their crimes. Slowly they work their way through their relationship with Charlie and what they did together and for him.

Charlie Says is the perfect example of how you should make a film about a serial killer and cult leader: not by focusing on how charismatic he is, but instead focusing on the consequences of his behavior on the people around him. I was very impressed, both by the narrative and by the film itself.

The film poster showing Charles Manson (Matt Smith), three prison cells and Susan 'Sadie' Atkins (Marianne Rendón), Leslie 'Lulu' Van Houten (Hannah Murray) and Patricia 'Katie' Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon).
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The Bad Batch (2016)

The Bad Batch
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour
Cast: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, Jayda Fink, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, Yolonda Ross, Aye Hasegawa, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna
Seen on: 28.12.2017
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Plot:
Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is released into the Texan desert, a wasteland where all of the undesirables are sent to and have to weather not only the harsh climate but also each other to survive. It doesn’t take long and Arlen is captured by cannibals led by Miami Man (Jason Momoa). But even though she doesn’t escape unharmed, Arlen does manage to escape and find her way in this cruel world.

I wasn’t a big fan of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Amirpour’s first film. But The Bad Batch, her second film, was really bad: racist, ableist and boring.

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Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016)

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Writer: Jennifer Saunders
Based on/sequel to: the series
Cast: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Jane Horrocks, Julia Sawalha, Robert WebbCelia ImrieMark Gatiss, Chris ColferKate Moss, Graham NortonGwendoline ChristieSuki WaterhouseLily ColeAlexa ChungStella McCartneyJerry HallEmma BuntonJon HammKathy LetteJeremy PaxmanDawn FrenchRebel WilsonBarry HumphriesJoan Collins
Seen on: 8.9.2016

Plot:
Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley) have been best friends since about forever, spending most of their time battling the idea that growing older also means growing up. Instead they party in the world of high fashion all of the time. But they’re also struggling with keeping up their standard of living, Edina dreaming of finding a big client she can represent, and Patsy of finding a rich husband. When they hear that Kate Moss (as herself) is looking for new representation, they do everything to get close to her. But it ends in catastrophe: Kate is knocked into the Thames and disappears, and Edina and Patsy have to flee the country.

I’ve never seen the TV show this is based on/a sequel to, but I decided to see the film anyway because it’s rare enough to get such a female-centric film (both in front of and behind the camera). But honestly, I’m a little unsure what to do with this film – and I probably wouldn’t have if I had been familiar with the show before.

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Director: Burr Steers
Writer: Burr Steers
Based on: Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel, which is in turn an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel
Cast: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Ellie Bamber, Millie Brady, Suki Waterhouse, Douglas Booth, Sally Phillips, Charles Dance, Jack Huston, Lena Headey, Matt Smith, Emma Greenwell
Seen on: 12.6.2016

Plot:
Early 19th century, England: A strange plague has befallen the land and the dead are rising. In the middle of all this confusion is the Bennett family. Mr Bennett (Charles Dance) has trained his daughters Elizabeth (Lily James), Jane (Bella Heathcote), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady) and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) in the deadly arts, but their mother (Sally Phillips) tries everything to get them married. So it is just as well, when two new young men enter their social lives – Mr Bingley (Douglas Booth), amiable and sweet and Mr Darcy (Sam Riley), arrogant and proud. Will the Bennett sisters find their perfect guys and not get eaten by unmentionables?

After my experience with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I was very much prepared for needing all my sarcasm and irony (and alcohol) to enjoy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Turns out that many of my fears were unfunded – P&P&Z is often intentionally hilarious, even if it does have some weaknesses.

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Love, Rosie (2014)

Love, Rosie
Director: Christian Ditter
Writer: Juliette Towhidi
Based on: Cecelia Ahern‘s novel Where Rainbows End
Cast: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Suki Waterhouse, Tamsin Egerton, Art Parkinson, Christian Cooke

Plot:
Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin) have always been best friends, so the thought that they might be in love with each other seems extremely weird. But every once in a while both have to think about it – only never at the same time. And every time either of them find themselves in love with the other, life just seems to have something completely different in mind for them. But despite all the very different developments in their lives, they keep coming back to each other.

Love, Rosie is exactly what you’d expect from a Cecilia Ahern-based RomCom. That is to say, prepare for romance, sweetness and tears and if you don’t think too hard about it, you’ll leave the cinema completely satisfied.

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