Entries tagged with “David Thewlis”.


I am yet to see a few other promising TV series that were broadcast this year, but I have no doubt that as good as they may be (and some are according to echoes so far), this 3rd season of ‘Fargo’ will still be among the best. The ten episodes continue to explore the universe of the mid-North United States which was first created in the Coen Brothers 1996 film although for the first time in the history of the film and series the story does not happen in Fargo, North Dakota but in Minnesota.  No need to worry – the place is as cold, as white, as populated by frozen infinite landscapes as in the titular place, and the story is at the same time cool and disturbing, populated with a landscape of characters that confront good and bad and bring together the fantastic and macabre with the day-to-day America. The guidance of and  who sign as producers of the seasons is felt in the coherence of world which is being brought to screen despite the different locations, characters and casting.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802850/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2802850/

 

The good woman cop in the small town is now called Gloria Burgle (acted by in a manner consistent with the previous similar characters in the series), she has now a teen-age son and is divorcing her husband who left her for a man. When her step-father is assassinated one of the murders taking place in the area becomes personal. The bad guys are divided on different levels of evil. We have the local businessmen with their local conflicts and misdemeanors. We have the corrupt parole officer who sins into falling in love with one of his parolees (acted by the beautiful and amazing actress ) and from here on things can only spiral down. And the the top of the scale of evil we have the agent of the mob trying to launder many millions of dollars while taking over local businesses, The performance of  in this role is fantastic, it’s one of these role and faces which one will never forget, and will probably never encounter again because the role is all composition. The quartet of exquisite acting performances is completed by  who acts two brothers who are so different in character that it took me reaching the 3rd or 4th episode to realize the same actor is playing both. It is very seldom that such a level of acting happens in TV series.

 

(video source Trailers Promos Teasers)

 

A lot can be written (some was already written) about the action, how it is constructed, how much role the coincidences play, whether there are big holes in the story, continuity problems or gaffes, or whether some of the shorter (the East Berlin opening, the Holocaust survivor intrusion) or longer (the full episode about the comics SF writer grandpa) side stories add value or distract the attention. In my opinion most of the material that was criticized was intentionally made as it appears on screen. Have really the stories described in the season happened in reality, as claimed at the beginning of each episode? I doubt. They are not that much credible in details, but they are true to the world of the Coens. Life is complicated, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, many times scare, we do not understand all that happens around us. So is the universe created on screen by the Coen brothers in the original movie and continued by the TV series. I love it as it is because I love life.

 

So we bought our tickets and our medium sized popcorn box (usually lasts about 15 minutes in the movie), grabbed the 3D spectacles and sat in the theater to watch Wonder Woman. That’s the way to do it. Each genre has its rules and one needs to know a minimum of them before entering the cinema theater or starting to see a movie on TV or on his/her preferred viewing device. When I chose to see a super-heroes comics inspired movie I do not expect a lot of realism or credibility from the story, and these are not the films where I am looking for lessons about life. On the other hand I am ready for fun entertainment, for action and special effects, I hope to see a coherent story with actors performances that make me care about the characters. I do not care about the laws of physics, but I hope there will be some humor and that the good guys will eventually prevail.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451279/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0451279/

 

Many of the super-heroes movies nowadays do actually carry some cultural background, it’s just a different type of culture, and it helps, although it is not mandatory, to know it. ‘Wonder Woman’ is a character that combines the mythology of comics stories with the other mythology, the ancient Greek one, the one we read about and maybe learned about in school. Invented during WWII, at a time when women were playing an increasing role in supporting the war effort, mostly by undertaking the roles played in economy by the men sent to fight, but not on the first line of the front, the character of princess Diana (yes, this is the name of the character) carries a strong feminist message. The authors of the script and director moved the origins of the story to the end of WWI, the war that was supposed to end all wars. By the way, hard to believe that this talented director is at her only second film, and that 14 years passed since her remarkable debut with Monster. They brought the princess from her isolated island somehow hidden in the mist of mythology, in a tentative to really end all wars. We all know that the tentative failed. In the process the hero will learn a few things about men and evils of mankind, will avoid and block a whole arsenal of bullets and bombs and will kick many bad guys to dust.

 

(video source Warner Bros. Pictures)

 

I enjoyed ‘Wonder Woman’ because of a few good reasons. The feminism of the message is never dogmatic and almost always impregnated with a dose of self-irony. who plays the lead role may not be a great actress, but she has the looks, is very well fit physically and typologically for the role. The film is very much the story of her coming to age while learning to understand mankind and fighting on the side of the good guys. She does it with the smile of a teenager on her face and radiates optimism and belief in truth which somehow becomes credible and succeeds to overcome the horrors of the carnage fields of the world war we see on screen. While playing well on the mythology grounds, the story has enough humor to avoid being dry or pathetic and lets us understand we are still in fantasy land. I also liked the special effects, especially in the opening scenes when the Amazons fight the uneven battle with the war machines created by men since they were lost in history. The color palette of the cinematography was well adapted to the different phases of the story, although the 3D spectacles made it (again) too dark – there is something that needs improvement in the technology here. I also liked two of the supporting actors – who succeeded to be the nice guy without being over-sweet (also because of the dose of humor invested in his role), and especially which I have seen previously in Fargo and who develops to be a formidable actor. I liked less the other characters, especially the bad guys, who were, well … cartoonish. The end of the story was a little disappointing. It looked like one of these epic superheroes endings, but the careful preparation and building that preceded prepared me for something better. It leaves however clearly the path open for the sequels and I will be making reservations when pre-sales tickets become available.