Love & Friendship (2016)

Love & Friendship
Director: Whit Stillman
Writer: Whit Stillman
Based on: Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Morfydd Clark, Tom Bennett, Jenn Murray, Lochlann O’Mearáin, Sophie Radermacher, Chloë Sevigny, Stephen Fry, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell, Justin Edwards
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 26.10.2016

Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) is a widow with a 16-year-old daughter, Frederica (Morfydd Clark). Susan very much enjoys her widowhood and has garnered quite a reputation as a seductress. Her most recent conquest, Mr. Manwaring (Lochlann O’Mearáin), has left her in a bit of a delicate situation, so she retreats to her brother’s (Justin Edwards) estate. Her sister-in-law Catherine Vernon (Emma Greenwell) is not pleased as she suspects Susan’s scheming ways. Catherine’s brother Reginald (Xavier Samuel), on the other hand, is rather intrigued by her, despite the warnings. Susan knows she will have to find good husbands for Frederica and herself to secure their futures, so that’s what she sets her mind to.

Love & Friendship was an utterly delightful film. Funny, romantic and filled with great characters, the film is the novel Jane Austen could have written if she had wanted to spend more time on Lady Susan. I absolutely adored it.

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Frankenstein (2015)

Director: Bernard Rose
Writer: Bernard Rose
Based on: Mary Shelley‘s novel
Cast: Xavier Samuel, Carrie-Anne Moss, Danny Huston, Tony Todd
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Viktor (Danny Huston) and Elizabeth (Carrie-Anne Moss) have been working on artificial life for a while and they finally seem to have made it: their specimen (Xavier Samuel) fulfills all expectations, but it is not quite stable yet. As tumors start to take it over, Viktor and Elizabeth decide to put it down. But it manages to escape its own death sentence. Unleashed in the world far from laboratories, it starts looking for a place where it can stay and fit in.

Frankenstein is a very clever new take on a story that sometimes feels done to death. But I’m not sure whether it doesn’t ultimately undermine its own attempts as well. Be that as it may, it is certainly worth checking out.

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Anonymous (2011)

Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: John Orloff
Cast: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, David Thewlis, Edward Hogg, Xavier Samuel, Sam Reid, Jamie Campbell Bower

Edward De Vere (Rhys Ifans) is the Earl of Oxford and as such it is very much frowned upon that he writes plays, even though the aging Queen Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave) loves (his) plays very much. But Edward has the idea of letting the rather unknown writer Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) take credit for his plays. But instead the obnoxious actor William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) puts his name to it – and that is only where the trouble starts for Edward.

Holy crap, this movie was bad. I mean, I expected it to be bad, but I also expected it to be entertaining with it. But when I wasn’t headdesking, I was bored. Not what I think of as a good time. It does have its moments, but they are few and far between.

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The Loved Ones (2009)

[/slash Filmfestival.]

The Loved Ones is Sean Byrne‘s first feature film. It stars Xavier Samuel and Robin McLeavy.

Brent (Xavier Samuel) is out for a drive with his dad, when suddenly a weird guy stands in the middle of the road. Brent swerves, hits a tree and his dad is killed.
Half a year later, Brent’s life revolves around three things: pot, metal music and his girlfriend Holly (Victoria Thaine). So he’s quite surprised when his school mate Lola (Robin McLeavy) asks him to the school dance. He declines, saying that he wants to go with Holly. But before he can actually go, Brent is kidnapped by Lola and her dad.

The Loved Ones is a very solid, classic horror movie, especially for a first time director. Unfortunately the ending is a little too much. Nevertheless, it’s worth a watch.

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