The Nun (2018)

The Nun
Director: Corin Hardy
Writer: Gary Dauberman
Prequel to/Spin-Off from: The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2
Cast: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons, Ingrid Bisu, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor
Seen on: 4.10.2018
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Plot:
After the suicide of a nun there, Father Burke (Demián Bichir), an exorcist weighed down by his past, is sent to Romania to investigate her suicide and to figure out if something more is going on. By his side is the novitiate Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) who had visions that might relate to the incident. As they arrive at the convent in the middle of nowhere, they find that there is more to the suicide and to the convent itself than they had anticipated.

As a fan of the Insidious and Conjuring movies, I wanted to see The Nun, but I have to admit that it can’t quite keep up with this films. It’s an okay horror film, but I just expected a little more.

The film poster showing a young nun in white, but the image is torn across her face, revealing the creepy face of a nun in black behind her.
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The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The Conjuring 2
Director: James Wan
Writer: Carey HayesChad Hayes, James Wan, David Leslie Johnson
Based on: a case from Ed and Lorraine Warren
Sequel to: The Conjuring
Cast: Patrick WilsonVera FarmigaMadison WolfeFrances O’ConnorLauren EspositoBenjamin HaighPatrick McAuleySimon McBurneyMaria Doyle KennedySimon DelaneyFranka PotenteSteve CoulterJoseph Bishara
Seen on: 17.6.2016

Plot:
After what happened in Amityville Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) have agreed to take things slowly and not take on any new cases – at the request of Lorraine who has been having visions and premonitions, and none of the good kind. But when they hear about a case of single mother Peggy (Frances O’Connor) who have been having troubles since moving to a new house, most of all with daughter Janet (Madison Wolfe), the Warrens agree to travel to London to see them and, most likely, debunk whatever is going on. But things turn out differently than they thought.

I very much loved The Conjuring and pretty much all the horror films Wan did so far, so my expectations for The Conjuring 2 were high indeed – and I wasn’t disappointed at all. It’s scary and funny and thoroughly effective.

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The Judge (2014)

The Judge
Director: David Dobkin
Writer: Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio,Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Leighton Meester, David Krumholtz, Denis O’Hare

Plot:
Hank (Robert Downey Jr.) fled from his hometown and his harsh, strict father (Robert Duvall), a well-respected judge, as soon as he was able to and never returned. Now a successful lawyer, Hank finally has to make the trip back home after his mother dies. But practically as soon as he arrives, his father becomes a murder suspect, forcing Hank to stay longer and not only confront his feelings about his father, but also his two brothers Dale (Jeremy Strong) and Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio), and even his old girlfriend Samantha (Vera Farmiga).

I wouldn’t have thought it possible that a film with that cast could ever bore me – because if all else fails, there’d still be this brilliant cast to watch – but thanks to a really bad script and uninspired direction, the film managed just that.

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The Conjuring (2013)

The Conjuring
Director: James Wan
Writer: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Based on: on a case from Ed and Lorraine Warren
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Shannon Kook, John Brotherton, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland, Joey King, Mackenzie Foy, Kyla Deaver

Plot:
The Perrons, mother Carolyn (Lili Taylor), father Roger (Ron Livingston) and their five daughters, have just moved to a slightly decrepit house. But as soon as they move in, weird things start happening. They uncover a hidden cellar. One of their daughters starts sleepwalking again, another has a new invisible friend. Clocks stop at precisely the same time every night. Pictures fall from walls. As things keep getting worse, Carolyn calls on the help of demonologist Ed Warren (Patrick Wilson) and clairvoyant Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga).

After Insidious, I expected big things of The Conjuring. Extremely big things. And I’m happy to say that it absolutely delivered and scared the crap out of me (again).

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Safe House (2012)

Safe House
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writer: David Guggenheim
Cast: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Liam Cunningham

Plot:
Matt (Ryan Reynolds) is in a charge of a CIA Safe House in South Africa. Which means that he spends most of his time sitting around an empty house and being bored, hoping for a promotion or some kind of action. But that changes when rogue and recently apprehended agent Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) is brought in. As if an actual guest in his Safe House wasn’t enough excitement, they are attacked right after Tobin’s arrival. And suddenly Matt finds himself in deeper shit than he ever hoped for.

Safe House was amazingly and deeply boring. It’s amazing that a movie with so much actual action can be so unexciting.

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Dummy (2002)

Dummy
Director: Greg Pritikin
Writer: Greg Pritikin
Cast: Adrien Brody, Milla Jovovich, Vera Farmiga, Illeana Douglas, Jessica Walter, Ron Leibman, Jared Harris

Plot:
Steven (Adrien Brody) works a thankless office job and still lives at  home, where he dreams of becoming a ventriloquist. And one day he decides to actually go for it. He quits his job and starts training, with the support of his best friend Fangora (Milla Jovovich), who dreams of being a successful singer herself. Steven’s unemployment agent Lorena (Vera Farmiga) even finds a job for him, which leads Steven to express his crush on her in a rather unfortunate way. But bit by bit, he pieces his new life together.

I didn’t expect much of this film, despite the cast, because it apparently just disappeared directly into the bargain bin when it came out. But actually tht disappearance was absolutely uncalled for: it is a very sweet movie with a very nice message.

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Down to the Bone (2004)

Down to the Bone
Director: Debra Granik
Writer: Debra Granik
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Hugh Dillon, Clint Jordan, Caridad De La Luz
Part of: Real America

Plot:
Irene (Vera Farmiga) is a mother of two boys, stuck in a rather joyless marriage with Steve (Clint Jordan) and a drug addict. When she even takes her son’s birthday money to buy coke, she realizes that she’s hit her low and goes into rehab. In rehab, she meets Bob (Hugh Dillon), a nurse with whom she immediately forms a bond. But it’s not that easy to get away from her old lifestyle.

Down to the Bone blew me away. Especially Vera Farmiga is a-ma-zing. But not only that, it’s also an honest look at drug addiction, without the usual narratives that often muddy the waters a little bit.

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Source Code (2011)

Source Code is the newest film by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan and Jeffrey Wright.

Plot:
Colter (Jake Gyllenhaal) keeps waking up in a strange body on a train, 8 minutes before said train explodes. He is sent there by Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) and her boss Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright) to figure out who bombed the train. But at first it seems that the most success Colter is going to have is with fellow train passenger Christina (Michelle Monaghan). But as he gets more confident with his task, we also discover that there’s probably more behind the project than we thought at first.

I loved Source Code – up until the last 10 minutes or so. Everything was going so very well up until then: the plot had me hooked, the performances were great and the premise (while admittedly a bit ludicrous) worked. And then the ending just had me headdesking.

[SPOILERS]

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Up in the Air (2009)

Up in the Air is the newest movie by Jason Reitman, starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, J. K. Simmons and Zach Galifianakis.

Plot:
Ryan (George Clooney) works for a company who fire people for other companies. He’s good at his job and he loves the life that comes with it – loads of travelling, no real responsibility for anybody, barely any contact. When his young colleague Natalie (Anna Kendrick) proposes a system to fire people via webcam, he takes her on the road to show her the reality of the job. Around the same time he meets the attractive business woman Alex (Vera Farmiga) and starts an affair with her. Slowly he begins to question his whole lifestyle.

Up in the Air is probably not the best movie you’ll ever see (like the various award nominations would have you believe). Nevertheless, it’s a very nice movie, full of vivid characters, wonderful performances and a good sense of humour.

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