FILM

FILM REVIEW
Story: Early 18th Century England, Queen Anne who isn't as fit as you'd expect a Queen to be takes full support of her dear friend, Lady Sarah to fulfil her royal duties. When a new fresh air of help arrives in the form of Abigail, Lady Sarah decides to take her under her wing with unexpected consequences. Directed by Yorgos Lanthinos, Cast includes: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult.

Starting the year with a banging film like 'The Favourite' gives us film lovers hope for the calibre of films that'll be hopefully drawing us in for 2019. I'm actually not sure what my preconceptions were before viewing this period film, but I did however know, from watching Yorgos' previous work on 'The Killing of Sacred Deer,' that this particular picture was going to be something deeply dark, distorting and slitheringly graphic. I mean 'The Favourite' definetly carried a few of them elements, but I've never ever seen a film based on a royal quite done like this before. 

Right, I really need to give you some context here.....So Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is reign of England, Scotland and Ireland and doing a really shit job. She will do anything to avoid full responsibility of the position she's found herself in as leader of the Kingdom. So, often relies on the help from her good good friend and confidant, Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz). Lady Sarah is forthright in character (seemingly like the queen) and naturally able to explain all the political going ons to the Queen like no one else can. The film is set right at the period during a war between England and France. Lady Sarah is allowed to be brutally frank with the Queen, and now quite fond of the close bond that they both share, which includes the perks of business and pleasure. However with the impending war negotiations taking place requiring all of Lady Sarah's and Robert Harley's (Nicholas Hoult) attention and time (basically doing all the queens thinking and work). It becomes increasingly impossible for Lady Sarah to keep up and tend to all of the Queens ever-changing needs. 

Queue new girl Abigail (Emma Stone, who has one of the best scenes rejecting a token pretty hunky man in a field that I've ever seen) well timed entrance. Physically thrown onto the palace doorsteps, seeking full time work and accommodation on a whim, filled with street charm and a convincing smile. She quickly storms her way in to the gap Lady Sarah has unnoticeably left behind. 

The writers Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara feed into this script so many quick, sharp one liners. And the C word lands itself very well too. I also personally want to know who choreographed a very impressive ballroom dance sequence (that had me in stitches). Also did I mention that the Queen is increasingly over weight, in very poor health and obsessed with rabbits. I don't even want to patronise my review by writing words like three strong women (because why are women in stories always labelled strong when men naturally aren't), but without no spoilers - All three leading women in this story know exactly what they want. But how far will they really go to truly get it? A big 4**** from me. Go!



Story: Set in rural England, 1865. A women is trapped in a hostile loveless marriage and begins a passionate affair with one of her staff.

Ouch! Brace yourself for this highly graphic cinematic piece. I actually left the theatre feeling rather chilled and if I'm honest slightly disturbed (Lady Macbeth is a right B!). And I think that's down to the amazing adapted screenplay from Alice Birch (original novel by Nikolai Leskov) and a talented cast including; Cosmo JarvisNaomi Ackie and Paul Hinton. Lady Macbeth is director William Oldroyd first feature debut and I really liked the long camera holds which reminded me of director Steve Mcqueen's work, and use of moody colours which made each shot visually insanely unique. The style of this film definitely also has a touch of Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds about it, and just that natural feeling you get off a film that slowly creeps right under your skin. The pace of the story line is full of dark turns and twists, but the strong character choices Florence Pugh (lead) makes of Lady Macbeth are all so powerful. I also secretly love that the majority of the cast are new undiscovered actors. A big 4 **** from me. Go see!

*


FENCES


Story: Set in the 1950's Fences follows an African-American family through the tensive highs and lows.

You can imagine if your going to cast Viola Davis and Denzel Washington alongside one another, we're all guaranteed to view something pretty epic........But Fences for me wasn't that. I love love love Denzel, the man is an utter legend in my eyes and can do no wrong, so inspiring for so many actors across the world. And again watching Viola is like watching a life masterclass, yet I really felt like this particular film dragged on and on. I'm not sure if it was because I've read the play and quite familiar with August Wilson's work (Years ago I saw a staged 'Fences' with Lenny Henry in the leading role at the Duchess theatre). I also felt like the set looked too unrealistic and not really lived in, some of the camera angles made me feel unable to really connect with the dialogue. For me the film lacked spontaneity and spark. I felt like I was watching a filmed stage version of the play (which I know they both did on broadway) rather than a brand new film. I do however applaud the efforts for getting a film like this made and seen in mainstream international cinema. There are delightful good moments but I guess my expectations for this particular film was way too high (don't worry I will always love them both). Still worth the watch. A 3*** from me. Cast also includes:Jovan AdeptStephen Henderson and Saniyya Sidney.  Director:Denzel Washington, Production Company: Paramount Pictures. 


*


Story: Coming of age drama about a young boy growing up in a broken neighbourhood of Miami.

I highly urge you to go see this visually stimulating beast. An astounding visionary new age masterpiece of a film that I can't stop thinking about. I think what took me by huge surprise was how uniquely surprising the concept was. Every single performance was exceptional and it was like nothing I've seen before. The director Barry Jenkins choice to hold heavy long moving still portrait images was incredible and the sea scene is just magical. I really hope this film has opened up many eyes. This story can be set anywhere because it's madly universal. A high 5***** from me. Cast includes:Naomie HarrisMahershala Ali and Ashton Sanders. Production Company: Plan B Entertainment.

*


STORY: LEE CHANDLER IS LEFT TO DEAL WITH THE AFTERMATH OF THE LOSS OF HIS BROTHER WHO HAS A TEENAGE SON.  

UNEXPECTLY HUGELY BLOWN AWAY BY THIS REMARKABLE WELL THOUGHT OUT SCRIPTED AWARD WINNING PIECE. NEVER HAVE I EVER SEEN A FILM TACKLE DEATH AND BEREAVEMENT IN SUCH AN HONEST, POWERFUL YET HUMOROUS WAY. NORMALLY IT'S TEARS AND SORROW WHICH WAS CURRENT IN THIS FILM, BUT IT FELT MORE ROAR AND REAL FOR ME HAVING BEEN THROUGH IT. CASEY AFFLECK DESERVES ALL THE PRAISE AND GLORY FOR THIS ROLE. THE WHOLE CAST LITERALLY BLEW ME AWAY.......DO TAKE TISSUES BECAUSE KENNETH LONERGAN'S WRITING CREEPS UP ON YOU.



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