The Queen’s Corgi (2019)

The Queen’s Corgi
Director: Vincent Kesteloot, Ben Stassen
Writer: Rob Sprackling, Johnny Smith
Cast: [I saw the German dubbed version, but the original voices are:] Julie Walters, Tom Courtenay, Jack Whitehall, Matt Lucas, Colin McFarlane, Ray Winstone
Seen on: 2.5.2019
1-gif-review

Content Note: rape culture, sexism, misogyny, domestic violence/abuse

Plot:
When Rex (Jack Whitehall) is given as a gift from Prince Philip (Tom Courtenay) to the Queen (Julie Walters), he has probably won the lottery. He certainly holds a special place in the Queen’s heart, much to the jealousy of Charlie (Matt Lucas), another of the Queen’s corgis. When Donald Trump comes on a state visit, Rex gets in a bit of trouble and, needled on by Charlie, believes himself to be hated and unwanted now. Rex leaves Buckingham Palace – and that is only the beginning of his troubles.

I didn’t expect much from The Queen’s Corgi and I wouldn’t have watched it at all, if it hadn’t been for my nieces. But what I got was so much worse than what I expected, I was actually horrified by the sexist catastrophe that is this film.

The film poster showing the corgi Rex with a crown, scepter and royal purple.
Continue reading

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Director: Mike Newell
Writer: Don Roos, Kevin Hood, Thomas Bezucha
Based on: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’ novel
Cast: Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay, Katherine Parkinson, Matthew Goode, Glen Powell, Penelope Wilton
Seen on: 7.12.2018
1-gif-review

Plot:
Shortly after WW2. Juliet Ashton (Lily James) is a successful columnist who recently published a book with collected essays and is now struggling to find a topic for a new book. That’s when she receives a letter from Guernsey from Dawsey Adams (Michiel Huisman). Juliet becomes interested in the history of Guernsey during the war, and in particular the history of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Dawsey writes about, and decides that she wants to go there to find the stuff for her new book.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was nice, but I didn’t like it as much as I liked the book, despite many good things. Still, it’s a good watch and will probably motivate you to join/create a book club of your own.

The film poster showing Juliet Ashton (Lily James) arriving on Guernsey.

[Slight SPOILERS]

Continue reading

45 Years (2015)

45 Years
Director: Andrew Haigh
Writer: Andrew Haigh
Based on: David Constantine‘s short story In Another Country
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James
Seen on: 10.10.2015

Plot:
A week before Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay) celebrate their 45 year anniversary together, a letter arrives in their home from Switzerland. The contents of the letter brings Geoff’s past into the present and causes great friction between him and Kate who finds herself re-evaluating their marriage.

With 45 Years you get exactly what you’d expect: a perfectly acted film that focuses on characters over plot and gets a little too miserable in its realism.

45Years Continue reading

Gambit (2012)

Gambit
Director: Michael Hoffman
Writer: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Remake of: Gambit
Cast: Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Tom Courtenay, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Cloris Leachman

Plot:
Harry Deane (Colin Firth) is the art adviser for rich business man Lionel Shahbandar (Alan Rickman). He hates Shahbandar with a passion, so he hatched a plan to let him buy a fake Monet, painted by Major Wingate (Tom Courtenay). For that he needs the help of cowgirl P.J. Puznowski (Cameron Diaz). But as soon as they set the plan in motion, things are already going wrong and the entire plan is soon in jeopardy.

Apparently Gambit got really bad reviews. I don’t get it. It’s a perfectly entertaining film that makes its roots in the 60s felt and has a very nice sense of humor. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

gambit

Continue reading

Night Train to Lisbon (2013)

Night Train to Lisbon
Director: Bille August
Writer: Greg Latter, Ulrich Herrmann
Based on: Pascal Mercier‘s novel Nachtzug nach Lissabon
Cast: Jeremy Irons, Martina Gedeck, Jack Huston, Mélanie Laurent, Lena Olin, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Tom Courtenay, Charlotte Rampling

Plot:
Raimund (Jeremy Irons) is a teacher who leads a rather lonely life. But it takes a sudden turn, when he keeps a young woman from comitting suicide who leaves her coat with him. Inside that coat he finds a book and train tickets to Lisbon. The book resonates with him, so on a whim he boards the train to find the author of the book. But instead of finding the author, he finds a whole story of love and betrayal during António de Oliveira Salazar‘s dictatorship.

There is only word I can use to describe Night Train to Lisbon: boring. It was so boring, I fell asleep for half an hour during the film. And despite cutting the movie short that way, it was still way too long.

night_train_to_lisbon

Continue reading

Quartet (2012)

Quartet
Director: Dustin Hoffman
Writer: Ronald Harwood
Based on: Ronald Harwood’s play
Cast: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon, Sheridan Smith, Andrew Sachs

Plot:
At a home for retired musicians, the inhabitants are preparing for their yearly concert with which they also wish to raise some funds to keep the home opened. But things get disrupted when Jean (Maggie Smith) arrives at the home. Not only does Jean still stick to her diva ways, though she refuses to sing, she used to be married to Reggie (Tom Courtenay) who also lives in the home. Things between Reggie and Jean are unresolved, to put it mildly. But with the help of their friends Cissy (Pauline Collins) and Wilf (Billy Connolly), plus a planned quartet performance by the four of them, they start to put the past to rest.

Quartet was okay, but it certainly wasn’t great. Though it’s actually short, it dragged on. Plus, it remained annoyingly shallow and I just took an immediate dislike to Billy Connolly’s character.

quartet

Continue reading