Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Moofies - Bright Star, In The Loop

It's a new year, and so I've decided to start writing my movie reviews a little differently. They're still going to be ranty and stupid, but I'm going to try and structure them just a tiny smidge more. I'm stealing something from the always great something awful, by writing what my expectations of a film are before I see it, and then what I thought of the film after watching it. I'm also going to start using the classic 5 star rating system. If I give something 5/5 then I completely worship it, if I give something 2.5/5 then it was watchable but not that special, if I give something 0/5 stars then I wish I was knocked unconcious for the duration of the film.

SO, I have quite a bit of catching up to do for the films that I've already watched this year, but I have already written about most of them and just not posted it yet. So here we go:

Bright Star

EXPECTATIONS: Jane Campion always makes interesting films so I expect no less from Bright Star. I also have a pretty ridiculously large crush on Abbie Cornish, so watching her carry a film will be fantastic. I know that the film is about the poet John Keats, who died at 25, so I imagine I will either be annoyed at the reliance on a sad ending to make the movie, or I will be moved and upset, blubbering like a baby.

REALITY: Bright Star is a beautiful looking film about the short romance between Fanny Brawne and 19th Century poet John Keats. The performances are all really strong, but Abbie Cornish is the stand out. Her passion for Keats and yearning for him while he is away could easily have come off as silly or too much, but Cornish completely nails that young emo type of yearning and pain. The costumes and settings are all extremely rich with colour and texture and the cinematography is really adds to the atmosphere of the film.

Campion’s love for Keats’ poetry is extremely evident and it was nice to see that his work is very prominent in the film. As the credits roll, and we’re all trying to dry our stupid crying red eyes, we can hear Keats (Ben Wishaw) reading his poetry as the credits roll. It’s like being hammered over the head with beautiful words coming from the mouth of someone we just watched die, and it was pretty much the perfect way to end this film.


In The Loop

EXPECTATIONS: Jesse Armstrong is one of the smartest and funniest writers working on British television (Peep Show), so I expect that this will be really smart and funny. It’s also has the director (Armando Iannucci) and cast of The Thick of It, a great British series about the people who work under the Prime Minister.

REALITY: This is fantastic. Iannucci has made a really biting satirical film about the British government’s involvement in the start of the war in Afghanistan. The performances are all extremely convincing, just as they are in The Thick of It. Seriously, how could Peter Capaldi play anything other than Malcolm Tucker. He just completely inhabits the character. It was also cool to see Anna Chulmsky again (My Girl). Where the hell has she been all these years?? The American cast is all really solid also. You laugh at all the situation set ups and nasty comebacks, but we are also shown complex layers of character.

What really got me about In The Loop was how it began as a funny take on media and government, but by the end of it the reality of the situation kind of smacks you in the face and the film ends on a completely unexpected sombre note. I look forward to seeing if these guys can make another film of this calibre in the future, but The Thick of It continues to be great.


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