Entries tagged with “Colin Farrell”.


The movies of are hard to compare or include in a category. Maybe they should be declared a genre of their own. Dogtooth or The Lobster provided dystopian perspectives of family and love.  With ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer‘ it looks that he made steps ahead. Both in assimilating and processing myths and social relations, but also in creating a disturbing atmosphere. This is a disturbing film from many points of view. Because or despite of it it forwards a strong message that makes the film impossible to forget.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5715874

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5715874

 

The story starts as a medical drama. The successful surgeon dr. Murphy () has it all – a beautiful wife (), two manageable kids, and some kind of a tutoring relation with another teenager of lower social condition which he may lead to becoming a surgeon as well. Yet, the apparent solid fabric of his life is slowly deteriorating as the kid friend starts showing signs of becoming somebody different, who shares dark secrets and has reasons to punish or even destroy his life. The film slowly slides into horror, fantastic, myth. It ends in a very different place from the one it started. It’s shocking and frightening.

 

(video source A24)

 

The art of combines the fluent story telling with the mastering of the different genres, but his roots are deeper, as the hints to Greek mythology that is included in the title. He also makes no effort to avoid controversy of break taboos. It’s not easy viewing, but it’s impossible to get out of the mind if you immersed in his world. Strongly recommended.

 

Director has built a name of herself clearly distinct from the one of her illustrious father by describing the world of women, their fears and tragedies, their anxieties and ambiguities, their relation with the world of men and the results (in many cases tragic) of the clash of cultures between Venus and Mars. I expect any of her movies, wherever and whenever the story is set, to deal with these themes. The Beguiled is not exception to the rule, it even goes farther and digs deeper then her previous films.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5592248

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5592248

 

The movie is based on a novel by Thomas Cullinan which was already brought to screen in 1971 by with a cast that included and However, it’s not a remake but rather a different interpretation of the story, told from the point of view of the community of women gathered in a school for Southern girls in Virginia by the end of the Civil War, who save the life of a wounded Yankee soldier they find in the wood near the premises of the school. The whole story builds around the mixed feelings of distrust and human compassion, desire and sexual awakening, social and cultural differences between the wounded soldier () on one side, and the school principal (), her assistant () and the other girls on the other side. That was time of war and that was a war that changed America, in which social and class taboos were broken. The characters came to revelations not only about the nature of the enemy but also and most of all about themselves.

 

(video source Focus Features)

 

I liked the way the story was told and the characters developed, with the exception of the character played by who is supposed to play a key role in the change of pace and perspective in the middle of the action, but offers few arguments excepting her age and appearance. All the other actors – , , and especially give fine performances. Dunst especially grows into a fine actor undertaking more complex roles. The story building is carefully supported by actors work, by the sets (the mansion that hosts the school, the woods around with the nature threatening to take over the building same as the realities of the war threaten the close universe of the girls school), the background sounds of the war. The characters keep a useful dose of mystery for themselves, none of them is a saint or a full devil. They are human in extreme conditions, war made them political enemies, nature made them enemies in the war of sexes, but they find out that the enemy is not what they believed – for the good and for the worse. This story of reprieved passion that turns into historic thriller and horror works well under Coppola’s screen direction. Do we still need to remind which of the Coppolas?

Here is an interesting situation. I love cinema and I like the ‘movies about movies’ genre which I believe has provided some of the best films in the history of the seventh art. Saving Mr. Banks is however a film about a movie that I did not like – Mary Poppins. I was a kid when it was released but I was already disliking melodramas and I failed to be captivated by musicals unless they included my kind of favorite music which was pop and rock. I am still looking for a film by the Walt Disney studios that is credible and contains enough emotion and less sugar to make me feel good during the screening and after it. Director ‘s film about the making of Mary Poppins could not change my mind. From my point of view the film inherits many of the flaws of the original. Of course, fans of the original may like Saving Mr. Banks as well, but I do not belong to the category.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2140373/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2140373/

 

The period is the early 60s, the action takes place in London and California, but do not expect anything about the emergence of the pop or hippies to show up in screen. The background is actually exactly the world against which the pop and hippie movements revolted. Famous British writer P.L. Travers goes to Los Angeles to work on the screen adaptation of her novel by famous producer (and theme parks owner, and author of the most charming animated cartoons in history) Walt Disney and his studios. The cultural clash between the two personalities although filled of stereotypes is the funniest part of the film, with the feelings of the estranged author surrounded by what she considers the Californian kitsch superbly brought to screen by . I like much less the parallel story line about the childhood of the author where the authors of the script of Saving Mr. Banks sought the ‘deep’ motivation of the novel and the resulting film. All this parallel run of the stories looked to me melodramatic and superficial. The scene that is supposed to be the emotional peak, with Walt Disney () flying to London to reverse the decision of the author and obtain the screening rights includes a short speech that is close to ridiculous.

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

We all know the end of the story. Mary Poppins was eventually made, it was the first ‘serious’, big stars, big screen movie of the studios which have achieved in the decades after a front range position with combinations of the animated and actors movies, becoming champions of the ‘family films’ genre. The film about its making gathers a lot of acting talents, beside Hanks (who must have put about 15 extra kilos for this role) and Thompson we have in the role of the loving but failed father of the writer and in a charming supporting role of the only Californian that P.L. Travers ended by really liking.

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ eventually delivers what some people and the producers expect from it – squeezing tears. It does it however the same way the original ‘Mary Poppins’ film did – using the melodrama tools. So it’s a melodrama about the making of a melodrama. Nothing more, a little less. Mary Poppins had the music.

 

 

There is a magic about the number ‘seven’ in cinema among other places. Some say it started with Snow White, other will mention Kurosawa. Fact is that many successful films used this magic and succeeded, some of them succeeded great. So when we get this number in the title, when we see on the poster a cast that would make any blockbuster in Hollywood, and when we know that the script and directing belongs to the exquisite drama writer whose appearances as a film maker are scarce but special, and whose previous film In Bruges was smart and funny, the expectations for Seven Psychopaths run high.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1931533/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1931533/

 

What we get is a ‘film in film’ formula of a special kind. A scriptwriter in Hollywood seeks inspiration for his next film in stories about psychopaths. He starts collecting them, and the stories start happening around him. His best friend is building a revenue stream from kidnapping dogs and returning them to their owners for happy dog reunion awards. Murders and horrors multiply in the script and around, and the border between real and fiction is never clear. The formula is not completely new, Hollywood loves stories about Hollywood, and screen heroes have more than once crossed the line of separation between screens and viewing halls (Woody Allen, Charlie Kaufman, etc.). The tone here is crazy, with reverence to the older and newer horror movies, but also to Tarantino.

 

(video source Movieclips Trailers)

 

The execution is less fun that it could be. is a smart script writer, but as a director he seems to be too much in love with his own script. Something is missing, maybe the cynical look or the extremes that make Tarantino’s violence on screen entertainment. Out of the good cast I especially liked the performance of , while , , and deliver as expected. Overall ‘Seven Psychopats’ makes true only part of the promises of number 7.