Posted in Film, Review, Uncategorized

Brooklyn

brooklyn-movie-poster1

What is it about?

An Irish immigrant, Eilis Lacey, lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emroy Cohen, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Domhnall Gleeson,

Directer: John Crowley

Writer: Nick Hornby

Based on the novel by Colm Tóibín

See the trailer here

Is it on Netflix? Yes!

*Spoiler Alert*

From here on there will be possible spoilers as I explore the meanings of the film and what I personally liked/disliked about it. Okay, moving on!

What I thought…

You know you like a film when you watch it three times in three days. I watched this film on Saturday, and then on Sunday and now it’s Monday I should be doing school work and instead I have watched it again and NEED to talk about it.

I’m not entirely sure why I like it so much. The first time I ever watched it was like a year ago and wasn’t as in love with it as I am now. Purely because the first time I thought the romance between Tony and Eilis wasn’t… I don’t know… wasn’t for me the first time round. However, watching it on Saturday I was like this Tony guy, love him. Absolutely love him. He’s SO sweet! And he treats her so well and just…!

So you guys probably don’t know but I’m Scottish (all my family is from Scotland and I lived there for 4 years) but was born in England and I live in England now. I know they’re Irish, but they have a similarity to the Scots, in the way they deliver lines and the dialogue is quite direct, blunt almost, and I’ve lived with that directness my whole life and often get told ‘Get to the point Emily’ so when watching it I found some of the almost blunt lines quite humorous and just generally quite endearing. And when the old Irish guy began singing the Gaelic song I was almost in tears for how beautiful it was.

I love the transition of Eilis, as we see her as naive at the beginning not knowing about eating on the boat, her sense of fashion with no make up very plain simple clothing, and by the end of it when she goes back to Ireland she stands out so much and you really appreciate her transformation with bold colour choices such as bright yellow and green and the use of make up to show her growing up to be a fully independent woman. Within the character of Eilis I really enjoyed the fact that she was studying book-keeping and that she was going to be an accountant, and how she had so much ambition because the film is set in the 1950s and it was not common for women to have jobs let alone jobs of that status, so I found that a really lovable aspect of the film too. And just generally I really loved the character of Eilis, she’s true to herself, is innocent but not too innocent or naive and by the end when she stands up to Miss Kelly about questioning her about her marriage I was just like YES Eilis! And when she’s like I have a husband in America to her mum, although its really sad that she didn’t tell her mum before then, and she tells her the way she does, but nonetheless she tells her and she stays true to Tony and its just great.

I REALLY like the relationship between Tony and Eilis. When I first watched it I really did not like it whatsoever, I’m going to sound really shallow, but I just felt like Tony was a little small for her and it just seemed a bit awkward at times – like the sex scene looked awkward and the bit where they are walking down the street before he proposes and shes kind of leaning on him but she has to bend to do it and it just looks uncomfortable to say the least. However! Now that I am a bit older, and have been studying Film for a year now, I kind of appreciate all of this; because so often in Hollywood, you always see the perfect couple and the prefect kiss, its so staged that we’re now used to it and expect that. In this film it felt a lot more honest and real, what relationships are like, and I think the use of hugs more than kisses is a really interesting portrayal of the romance.

If you notice in this film, Crowley directs them to hug where perhaps a traditional kiss would have been used. For example, when Tony says he loves her for the first time he hugs her and kisses her on the cheek before he says it, again at the end of the film where she waits for him outside his work they hug (or embrace each other) rather than kiss and it ends with them hugging. I think this is so lovely, because I think hugging is a very emotional, comfort-giving, (I don’t really know how to describe it…) like you get a lot from a hug, you get love, comfort, reassurance, its not necessarily associated with romance. However it is a very true representation of people, you are more likely to hug someone than kiss them, also quite often a kiss comes from a hug in the first place. Like if you hadn’t seen a loved one for months you are more likely to hug them first and kiss them after because you want to embrace them you want to feel that love. However, the use of hugs can also make it slightly less romantic which is perhaps why I didn’t like it to begin with. I think a favorite bit of mine is when she shows her swimming costume to him and he wolf-whistles; I think that’s just so lovely, it made me smile all three times I watched it this weekend.

So I know that this was a bit all over the place and a bit waffley, I didn’t use my usual method of planning what film and then taking notes and everything, i just was like huh.. I’ve watched that film 3 times in 3 days, I must really like it, hey lets write about it. So anyway yeah, I really like it, I like the representation of women in it, I like the fact that its about a journey and making a new life for yourself, I love the romance in it because its so honest and cute, I like how it shows that as a person you can grow out of a place and move on, I like how it kind of implies that a home isn’t a place it’s a person and I liked the simplicity of it all.

5/5 for it. Muchly Enjoyed.

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Posted in Big Fish, Film, Review, Uncategorized

Big Fish

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What’s it about?

This film is primarily about the relationship between a father and his son whose relationship is strained. William (the son) visits his dying father and is frustrated because he feels that his father has told him fictional or exaggerated accounts of the past all his life, and soon he will not have time to hear the truth from his father. The film takes you on the story of Edward Bloom (the father) and all the adventures he has been on through his life, as William begins to understand the man and his anecdotes.

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Helena Bonham Carter, Danny DeVito, Jessica Lange, Albert Finney, (there is such a good cast! I can’t name them all but so so good!)

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: John August

Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace.

See the trailer here

Is it on Netflix? Yes!

*Spoiler Alert*

From here on there will be spoilers as I explore the meanings of the film and what I personally liked/disliked about it. But I advise that if you haven’t already seen it, see it before you read this because the ending is definitely my favourite bit, hope it is yours too! And then come back, please 🙂 Okay, moving on!

What I thought…

I LOVE this film. Absolutely love it. For one, I love Ewan McGregor so I’m biased but also its just such a charming film! It almost takes me back to when I was read bedtime stories, or when life was full of that magical imagination which I link so closely with childhood, it just has something comforting and innocent about it. Its not a children’s film obviously, but it is as innocent as a child’s mind that you could easily watch this with your child.

To start I really like the way that the relationship between father and son, Edward and William, is introduced from the close up shot gliding along the young boys listening to Edward Blooms story of catching the fish, completely fascinated by it to little William on the end bored as he knows it so completely. Then William getting ready for prom and Edward is telling his date the same story and William saying ‘make him stop’ shows that he is starting to lose respect for his father because he always tells that story. And finally we see Edward telling the ending of that story at Williams wedding during his speech and William walks out. The fact that he is telling the end of the story at the wedding and how after that William doesn’t talk to him for 3 years, to me this indicates that Burton wanted to suggest that at that point, it was the final straw for William.

I also think its really lovely how William is narrating the story of his father, although there are pockets within the film where Edward himself is narrating but the film starts with William saying ‘In telling the story of my fathers life, it is impossible to separate fact from fiction, the man from myth’ and I think that truly sums up this film and the beauty of Edward is that you can’t separate them, but why would you want to? His stories are worth listening to.

I absolutely love the randomness of this film; from one of the opening sequences of Edward wrestling with a fish, to him being born and literally sliding down the hospital corridor, to the fact that there are Siamese twins who help him get back to america . With this film you just kind of have to go along with whatever quirky thing happens and just be like ‘oh okay’ and the fact that it goes between possible fictionalized story to present reality (but not in a confusing way, just a ‘oh okay’ way). I just love it. I’m not entirely sure why but I do.

Also with this film, I feel like you can’t help but love Edward Bloom, I mean yes he’s a little arrogant and definitely confident, but he’s also romantic and caring and devoted to people; he’s well liked by everyone he meets (except maybe Don Price who kicks the bejeezus out of him) but like with the people in Spectre (the weird little town) adored him and everyone from his home town loved him (except Don Price). That has to say something…

So you know when he’s going through Spectre the first time? I literally think he was on drugs.. becausssse when you see shoes thrown over a wire it often means there is a drug dealer near by (I think, I’m not an expert on street/gang signs 😛 ) and then there’s the whole thing where the people are acting really strange, the use of fireflies when he’s talking to the poet, Norther Winslow, is similar to the effects used in Moulin Rouge when they all get absolutely high or drunk (I can’t remember, but the bit where Kylie Minogue is a fairy on a bottle)… Anyway, and there’s the bit with the lady in the water and he thinks its a snake that’s about to bite her but really its just a stick. I dunno.. just connecting the dots here people!

I find the whole story about how he fell in love with Sandra Templeton at the circus completely adorable and romantic and just lovely to watch really… Although now-a-days you’d be a classed as a complete stalker and weirdo if you did that to somebody… just turning up to their house like ‘I’m going to marry you, I love you’. But it’s the kind of thing that you just love to watch in a film isn’t it? LOVE IT.

But what I really love, and my absolute favourite part of the film, is the ending. It just gets me every time. It really does. When Edward asks William how he goes and William is at first like, ‘you never told me that story’, and then he realizes what his dad is saying, and wants him to imagine a story. And so he does and you can tell he’s really getting into it, I like to think that at that point William begins to understand why his dad might exaggerate his stories or fictionalize them completely, it’s a lot better than the reality. At this point you really start to believe that all the Edward Bloom stories really are just that, fictional stories. And then, THEN, there’s the funeral and all the characters from his stories, Carl, Amos Calloway, Norther Winslow, the Siamese twins, they all come to his funeral and William begins to realize that his father wasn’t completely making up his past and that these people really did exist. And then you see how many people come to his funeral and you see them sharing stories about him and its a happy kind of sad. Its just really touching, and you start to think, would that many people come to mine? and it just makes you that bit more conscious of how much you could impact someones life.

I love the parting idea that Edward Bloom’s stories have been told so many times he becomes them, and the stories live on after him making him immortal.

5/5 for this movie. One of my all time faves!

Thanks for reading if you made it this far! Feel free to share/like/follow if you want to read any of my future reviews! 🙂

 

 

Posted in City of God, Favela, Film, Review, Uncategorized

City of God

city-of-god-danish-movie-poster-2003

What is it about?

Based on a true story, the protagonist Rocket grows up in the favela ‘City of God’ and has the aspiration of becoming a photographer. The movie is quite complex and has at least 3-4 stories within it. But to sum it up, the film is about the drug gangs in The City of God and how they came about . Our narrator is Rocket as he witnesses how the favela changes. One of the main characters is Little Ze who is the same age as Rocket and the film looks at how they take very different paths, one becomes a gang leader and the other a photographer.

Cast : Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen

Writer : Braulio Mantovani

Director : Fernando Meirelles

Based on the novel written by Paulo Lins.

*Spoiler Alert*

From here on there will be spoilers as I explore the meanings of the film and what I personally liked/disliked about it. Okay! Moving on!

What I thought…

This film gripped my attention from start to finish. Rocket takes you on a journey through the gang generations of the ‘City of God’ starting with the ‘Tender Trio’. I loved the idea of the Tender Trio as it has that Robin Hood ideology, like when they steal the cargo from that truck and give it to the community. This is a nice image and suggests that the boys involved are not ‘hard cold criminals’. However, within the Tender Trio, Goose is Rockets brother so it would suggest that it may be biased. During this story of the tender trio we meet Little Ze when he still is little, it is interesting to see him grow throughout the film and it leads me to question whether he would have always turned out the way that he did, or if the older guys gave him any kind of recognition or praise his life may have been different.

Throughout the film I enjoyed the fact that when Rocket is telling a different story he always sub-titles it, or announces it. It gives us, as an audience, an interaction with Rocket and feel as though we truly are being told a story.

I enjoyed the twists and turns throughout the film, like the transformation of Benny and how when he is killed, as an audience you really feel it and you can for once sympathize for Little Ze. It also set a path for the rest of the film and you see what Little Ze can really do when there is no-one to keep him sane. I think this was needed within in the film as in the City of God there are few ‘happy endings’ and it sets the pace for the rest of the film. There is now nothing to stand in the way of Little Ze and Carrot, which then creates another turn.

I really like the fact that they used real people from a near by Favela to act in this movie, and how many of them couldn’t read so a lot of it was improvised, I think that gives this film a slight ethical edge for one of the many reasons as to why it’s great.

The ending of this film is great as it is both happy but unresolved we see the unveiling of the corruption of the police and gang leaders, gang warfare, the circle of justice, Rocket as a photographer and the circular pattern of how the little boys at the end say that they’re going to create a ‘kill list’ and its basically how Little Ze and Benny started out, when they were kids. It’s as though, once one gang leader/ gang is gotten rid of, another comes to take its place.

To sum up this brief, what I would call very loosely a ‘review’; I really enjoyed The City of God and no doubt I will add to this later when another theme or part becomes very clear to me, however I think this film fully encapsulates the favela atmosphere, it is full of twists and turns and although it is full of violence, drugs and guns, it is very easy to watch as Rocket guides you through his experiences with ease and Meirelles has used wonderful cinematography and editing to create an incredibly power film.

Posted in Uncategorized

Into the wild

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What’s it about? 

Based on a true story set in the 1990s, it follows the adventure of Christopher McCandless who leads a very middle class life style having just graduated from Emory University. Instead of opting for a very promising career, he decides to donate all of his savings to a charity and get rid of all of this material possessions. Without telling anyone, he embarks on a journey to the Alaskan wilderness alone. The film follows him on his travels and who he meets along the way. It is inspirational, thought-provoking, and one to watch.

Cast : Emile Hirsch, Kirsten Stewart, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener (that’s just a few!)

Director : Sean Penn

Writer : Sean Penn

Based on the  Jon Krakauer’s 1996 non-fiction book ‘Into the Wild‘ which was based on Christopher McCandless’ adeventures.

See the trailer here

Is it on Netflix? : Yes!

*Spoiler Alert*

From here on there will be spoilers as I explore the meanings of the film and what I personally liked/disliked about it. But I advise that if you haven’t already seen it, see it before you read this because the ending is just *mic drop* seriously. And then come back 😉

Okay! Moving on!

What I thought…

Originally when I first saw this film, it had a pretty big impact on me as that night I went and deactivated my Facebook account, and didn’t reactivate it until 4 months later. To me that shows how powerful this film can be. It’s a very artsy film the way that it is shot and the soundtrack that accompanies it, also if you can’t stand poetry then you might not have enjoyed this film as it is littered with poetry however if you like poetry or can at least appreciate it like me then you will have enjoyed it a little more. I’m not entirely sure where to start with this film, so I’ll start at the beginning.

Into the wild starts with a quote, with the last line being ‘I love man not the less, but nature more.’ (its a poem by Lord Bryon) however the last quote Christopher writes at the end of the film is ‘Happiness is only real when shared’ which is contradicting and shows how his focus and thoughts change over time, I think that sums up this film, as the audience journey with Christopher/Alex as he learns what life is about and enlightens us with his many nuggets of wisdom.

There were a few major themes that ran through this film such as; his resentment towards materialistic attitudes such as when his parents want to buy him a car and he is upset with this and says why would he need another car, and he makes a big issue you out of it, and how he burns and donates his money, he gives back his money after he earns it because he says that his days were more exciting when he was penniless. This aspect of the film kind of angered me, because for some he may just seem really spoilt and I understand where he’s coming from with the idea that he doesn’t need material items in order to be happy, but at the same time his parents were trying to be kind and reward him with something, remember the saying ‘It was the thought that counts’ ? But then it can be argued that his parents were doing it for their own self interest. Either way he just seemed to be making a scene and I thought he was being a little ungrateful, and the fact that he found it more exciting to be penniless annoyed me as he then relied on others to give him a lift, or when he went to stay the night at a homeless shelter, it’s like if you have the opportunity to have a little money in your pocket do, don’t rely on others to help you get to your Northern Adventure.

Another theme was his resentment towards his parents who subjected him to domestic violence and lied to him throughout his childhood, this is notable throughout the film like the fact that he never tells them where he is, or when he meets Ron Franz (the old man) he says that he doesn’t have a family. I do understand this theme, I think he had a right to go off and do what he wanted because his parents put him through a lot as a child, and I get that his parents stood for everything he disliked about the world a.k.a material obsession. However I do think he should have sent like a postcard or something to his parents or his sister to tell them that he was alive and what he was doing (not in detail) but just to let them know he was happy. Because no matter how bad a parent is they still love you in some way and will worry, and nobody deserves to worry about a loved one for 2 years. I guess I’m just a family orientated person, I think he realizes this though when Jan (Catherine Keener) asks if his family know where he is and he doesn’t reply but has a tear in his eye.

And the last theme I spotted was the idea of being self sufficient which springs from the conversation he has with Wayne (Vince Vaughn) when he says that he wants to be in the Alaskan Wild, and Wayne asks what he’s doing there, and he says he’ll just be living, taking it all in. He just wants to live and live by being sufficient on the land and himself. I don’t particularly get this but I respect it because that’s what he wants to do and he has a vibrant life because of it.

It sounds from what I just wrote that I don’t like the film… I did like it I think I just have a different mind set to Christopher/Alex. However I did like how he was living his life the way he wanted to, I loved how he met people along the way and made life-long friends like Jan and Rainey. And I loved the character Ron as he is adorable that he wants to adopt Christopher, and he wanted the company, my favourite quote from him was ‘When you forgive you love. And when you love, Gods love shines on you’ because it makes Christopher reflect a little on the real reason why he was living like he was. I thought the way that Christopher just left Ron was a little sad, I really wanted that to work…

But my favourite part was the ending because I just completely didn’t expect it. I thought he would have his Alaskan adventure and then come home and either confront his parents or live another life. I didn’t expect him to die but I think, although it is extremely sad, it was just so fitting as he died after doing what he always wanted to do, and that he imagined being welcomed back into his parents life and forgiving them. It was so painful to watch though because you know he knew he was going to die as he says ‘I am trapped in the wilderness’ in his writing,and the fact that he essentially starved to death was just awful to watch and quite shocking.

I have so many notes on this film and if I wrote about all of them I would bore you all to death so I won’t. But my final note is this; he forgave in the end and that’s what the true message of this film is about, in my eyes.

This is such a good film to see if you want to think about deep questions. Yes it can be a little long but the questions you think about afterwards are interesting and it really makes you think.I’m giving it a 3/5 just because at times I was annoyed with his attitude but I liked the end messages. And I think it was very well crafted, and all of the themes and points within a scene are threaded throughout the film. Thank you for putting up with my rambling if you did, please comment if you have any opposing views or just thoughts in general. Bye!

Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome!

Welcome anyone who has managed to stumble on to my blog! I’m Emily and I greet you with a very warm welcome! So I am starting this blog because I am a Film Studies Student at AS Level and often I will go to the cinema, or watch something on Netflix, and be able to talk about what I had just watched for hours and I enjoy talking about all the details including the messages behind it, the soundtrack, setting, how it was filmed, budgets… I could go on… In short, I am passionate about films and would love to chat and explore them with you. I’d love to hear what you think of certain films and share what I think too.

In this blog I hope to bring to you my reviews on films as a fairly normal 17-year-old girl, and hopefully you’ll find them useful. Especially seeing as Netflix can sometimes feel like a vast whirlpool of films and it takes you what feels like an eternity to decide what to watch! Also cinema ticket prices keep going up so there’s no point going to a film that you don’t like and wasting that money, when you could be spending it on buying something that you’ll actually value.

I don’t like to be formal when I’m writing so try to expect lots of ‘…’ and ‘I just’ or ‘I can’t even’. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!