Monday, 14 December 2015

Week 48: Carol

Director: Todd Haynes
Writers: Phyllis Nagy (screenplay) Patricia Highsmith (novel)
Seen: Sunday 13th December 2015
Venue: IMC Galway
Snacks: Peanuts
Mood: Enchanted

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Carol is the story of Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) a privileged housewife in 1950’s New York, the woman who appears to have everything, except she is desperately unhappy until she meets a young shop girl named Therese (Rooney Mara) and from this point both their lives are turned upside down.
As usual I don’t want to say too much about the actual storyline as I feel even trailers these days give us too much information on the film, in some cases you don’t even need to go to see the film if you have seen the trailer (I HATE THAT). Instead I shall try to impart the exquisiteness of this film through my own words.
Without a doubt this is surely an Oscar contender and whilst the subtlety of this film might not be for everyone I, for one found it to be refreshing amidst the all out brashness we sometimes encounter on our cinema shindigs.

Todd Haynes the director really has made a brilliant film, the subtle quiet scenes, slow building and full of sexual tension are just perfect and it is visually beautiful.
Last, but of course not least once again the consistently brilliant Cate Blanchett is shining strong throughout, her performance might be one of her best she is simply outstanding.
A nod must also be given to Rooney Mara who is also brilliant giving a beautifully restrained performance, surely the performance of her career so far.

Many people will view this film under the LGBT banner but it is so much more than that, it’s a film about love on a very human level, the part it plays in all our lives no matter what our sexuality.
In closing go and see this tender, beautiful film that knocks the socks of Brooklyn in terms of true romance.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Week 47: Bridge of Spies

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers:  Matt Charman & Ethan and Joel Coen
Seen:  08th of December
Venue: IMC
Snacks: Popcorn
Mood: Satisfied

Stephen Spielberg’s filmography has a temporal theme running through it. From a futuristic perspective he has made Minority Report (2002) and A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). However I would argue his preferred direction is back in time, he has brought to our screens the political and social landscape of  many an epoch. Including the emancipation of slaves in America with Lincoln (2012) the harshness of the WW2 with Saving Private Ryan (1998) the holocaust with Schindler's List (1993). His next film is rumoured to be Montezuma an Aztecs based film.

His latest historical release is the espionage thriller Bridge of Spies which deals with the Cold War.  Comparable to the latter two films I mentioned, Bridge of Spies deals with a true story from that time. It is the story of a New York lawyer James Donovan, who is played by Spielberg collaborator Tom Hanks (the 4th film they’ve done together), who begins as a defender to an accused Russian Spy but ends up recruited by a CIA operative to negotiate the release of American pilot in East Berlin, you see where its going.

Spielberg captures the historical epoch he often deals with perfectly, whether  its WW2 battlefields or the concentration camps of the Nazis, the production design is flawless and he transports and immerses the viewer in that time. Bridge of Spies does not disappoint, you really get a sense of Germany post World War and at the height of the Cold one.

There is no denying that Spielberg is a master story teller and when he collaborates with the Coen Brothers, who helped out with the script for this, the result is an impeccable film. While there might be a touch of “American exceptionalism” with it (Tom Hanks is certainly the ultimate good guy) this is a brilliant film that is worth seeing.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Week 46: Sisters

Director: Jason Moore
Writer:   Paula Pell (screenplay)
Seen:   2nd December 2015
Venue: IMC Galway
Snacks: Pistachio nuts
Mood: Rolling on floor laughing

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This week we were lucky enough to get to a special preview screening of the film Sisters starring comedy duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the IMC in Galway, all proceeds of the tickets went to the Marie Keating Foundation.
I have long been a fan of both Poehler and Fey but particularly Tina Fey as ‘30 Rock’ is one of my favourite comedy series of all times (seriously it’s all on Netflix - if you have not seen it treat yourself) so I was looking forward to an evening filled with chuckles and I was not disappointed.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play the Ellis sisters, two very different characters Maura (Poehler) being the straight laced goody two shoes and Kate (Fey) the wild child. They are both disgusted when their parents decide to sell the family home in order to move into a smaller retirement village. As the sisters clean out their room they decide it would be only right to have one last legendary party in the house where they grew up.
We have not been to that many comedies over the past year as we tend to find most comedies out there are not great but this is definitely worth going to see and there are several ‘laugh out loud moments’. I would have to rank it funnier than Amy Schumers ‘Train wreck’ which I did think was also pretty good.
Poehler and Fey are two great comic actress’ and there is a nice cameo from the wrestler John Cena (FILM FACT who was actually also in Train Wreck!) and watch out for a very funny scene involving a ballerina.
There is the obligatory morsel of cheese but being a cheese lover I did not mind this. If you want a nice pre christmas giggle with your friends get yourselves down to the cinema when this is released nationwide on 18th December.