Film Review: The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman cast a starry glow over Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl

“When was it that people stopped thinking of ambition as a sin and started thinking of it as a virtue?”

There’s something almost anarchic about the way in which The Other Boleyn Girl casually disregards history in favour of melodrama. But there’s no other way in which Justin Chadwick’s film could reasonably play it, concertinaing some 15 years of tumultuous history into less than two hours of really rather enjoyably trashy entertainment.

Peter Morgan’s screenplay adapts Philippa Gregory’s novel of the same name, and fully embodies the bodice-ripping nature of the historical fiction on which she has made her name. They reimagine Mary Boleyn as a virtuous, wholesome younger sister for Anne, thereby creating an unexpectedly complicated rival for Henry VIII’s affections. Continue reading “Film Review: The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)”

2017 Oscars – pre-ceremony thoughts

“For whatever reason, he spared a hamster”

When you see as much theatre as I do, it can be difficult to keep up to date with cinematic releases – if I have a night off, I rarely want to spend it in a dark room… – but I have tried my best this year to see at least some of the Oscar-nominated films, so that I can chip in once they’ve been distributed in a way that will doubtless cause some controversy or other.

Continue reading “2017 Oscars – pre-ceremony thoughts”

70th British Academy Film Awards nominations

BAFTA Fellowship
Mel Brooks

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema
Curzon

Best Film
Arrival – Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, David Linde, and Aaron Ryder
I, Daniel Blake – Rebecca O’Brien
La La Land – Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, and Marc Platt
Manchester by the Sea – Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward, and Kevin J. Walsh
Moonlight – Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Adele Romanski Continue reading “70th British Academy Film Awards nominations”

23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards nominees

Film
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea as Lee Chandler
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge as Desmond T. Doss
Ryan Gosling – La La Land as Sebastian Wilder
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic as Ben Cash
Denzel Washington – Fences as Troy Maxson

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams – Arrival as Dr. Louise Banks
Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train as Rachel Watson
Natalie Portman – Jackie as Jackie Kennedy
Emma Stone – La La Land as Mia Dolan
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins as Florence Foster Jenkins Continue reading “23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards nominees”

22nd Critics’ Choice Awards winners

Best Picture
La La Land
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Lion
Loving
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
Sully

Best Director
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
David Mackenzie – Hell or High Water
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
Denzel Washington – Fences Continue reading “22nd Critics’ Choice Awards winners”

22nd Critics’ Choice Awards nominees

Best Picture
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Lion

Loving
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
Sully

Best Director
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
David Mackenzie – Hell or High Water
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival
Denzel Washington – Fences Continue reading “22nd Critics’ Choice Awards nominees”

DVD Review: Cold Mountain

“This war, this awful war, will have changed us both beyond all reckoning”

You gotta love Hollywood – who else to lead a film about the American Civil War than a Brit and an Australian directed by another Brit. But such is Cold Mountain – Jude Law and Nicole Kidman starring for director Anthony Minghella – a surprisingly enjoyable watch for someone who doesn’t really like war films nor has that much interest in this period of US history. It tells the story of a wounded deserter (Law) from the Confederate army close to the end of the war, who is on his long-winded way to return to the love of his life (Kidman).

The road-trip element of the film allows for some beautiful episodes to emerge as Law’s Inman treks across the country – Eileen Atkins’ gruff goatwoman with her healing compassion, Natalie Portman’s distraught young widowed mother, Cillian Murphy’s conflicted Yankee soldier, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s perverted man of God, Giovanni Ribisi’s opportunistic hustler. Through them we see how the conflict is reshaping the nation and the lengths to which people are forced to go in order to get by in war-torn society, not least Inman himself.  Continue reading “DVD Review: Cold Mountain”

64th British Academy Film Awards winners

BAFTA Fellowship
Sir Christopher Lee

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema
Harry Potter film series

Best Film
The King’s Speech – Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin
Black Swan – Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin
Inception – Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan
The Social Network – Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin
True Grit – Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen Continue reading “64th British Academy Film Awards winners”

17th Screen Actors Guild Awards winners

Film
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech as King George VI
Jeff Bridges – True Grit as Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn
Robert Duvall – Get Low as Felix Bush
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network as Mark Zuckerberg
James Franco – 127 Hours as Aron Ralston

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Natalie Portman – Black Swan as Nina Sayers
Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right as Dr. Nicole “Nic” Allgood
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole as Becca Corbett
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone as Ree Dolly
Hilary Swank – Conviction as Betty Anne Walters Continue reading “17th Screen Actors Guild Awards winners”