Tag Archives: Alex Sharp

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Review

The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Time: 130 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Strong coarse language
Cast:
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Deale
Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman
Daniel Flaherty as John Froines
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Richard Schultz
Michael Keaton as Ramsey Clark
Frank Langella as Judge Julius Hoffman
John Carroll Lynch as David Dellinger
Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden
Noah Robbins as Lee Weiner
Mark Rylance as William Kunstler
Alex Sharp as Rennie Davis
Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin
Director: Aaron Sorkin

The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

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The Trial of the Chicago 7 was one of my most anticipated movies of 2020. The cast alone had my interest, with the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Eddie Redmayne and more involved. Then there’s the writer and director Aaron Sorkin, who’s the writer behind fantastic scripts for The Social Network and Steve Jobs. Not only that, but the event it’s based on has a lot of potential for a great movie, with it being quite significant and infamous. This film had been in development for quite some time, Sorkin wrote the script in 2007 and it had been passed around to other directors before finally he decided to direct it himself. The Trial of the Chicago 7 ended up being a really great movie and I loved watching it from beginning to end.

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One of the strongest parts of the film no surprise is Aaron Sorkin’s script. It has all the things you’d expect from his writing, snappy and captivating dialogue, a fast pace, and memorable moments. I was actively captivated throughout, Sorkin does very well at locking you in with what’s happening from beginning to end. Much of the movie is a courtroom drama, and this certainly ranks among the best courtroom dramas from recent years. There are some very strong parallels to current events with regard to protests, police brutality and the like (even when the story takes place in the late 60s), and there are many impactful moments. You can get quite frustrated with some of what happens during the trial, and this really showed the movie’s effectiveness. Some people have complained about Sorkin’s ‘Sorkinisms’ in this movie, with some of the dialogue choices and especially with how he chose to represent certain events on screen, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get some of the criticisms. There are definitely moments that didn’t happen like that in real life. The ending especially is such a feel good ending that might actually be too much for some people, it’s one of those scenes from biopics where you don’t even need to read up on the real life events to tell that it never happened. I would’ve liked to have seen a darker and more accurate representation of events for sure. Then again this is Sorkin, and we’ve come to expect this from him.

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There’s a massive ensemble cast for this movie, and everyone is great on their parts. I’ll start with my favourites from the film. Sacha Baron Cohen and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II were the scene-stealers for me. Yahya particularly had such a screen presence and does so much in his screentime, I just wish we got more scenes of him because he was truly fantastic. Another standout performance was from Mark Rylance, who is also great as the lawyer defending the Chicago 7. Eddie Redmayne plays really the lead of the movie, he’s the character who goes through the most development over the course of the movie. It’s certainly a different performance from him, but it’s a surprisingly effective performance, and particularly plays off Cohen very well. The rest of the Chicago 7 were acted well by actors like John Caroll Lynch and Jeremy Strong. Other performances were also great, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the federal prosecutor, Michael Keaton as an attorney general in an important role later in the story, as well as Frank Langella as the judge.

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As many people will say, Aaron Sorkin the writer is way better than Aaron Sorkin the director. I did like his first film Molly’s Game, but it showed that he still had a way to go as a filmmaker. His work on Trial of the Chicago 7 is definitely a step above his first movie. The strongest part of the movie on a technical level is the editing, which really works in favour of the script. This is particularly the case in the opening 10 minutes which efficiently sets up and explains so many things that happened prior to the event that sparked the trial. Additionally in the script there are many flashforward and flashback scenes, and while it could’ve been disorientating, Sorkin really pulled it off and made it effective. With all that being said, whenever Sorkin’s scripts are made into movies by top tier directors like David Fincher and Danny Boyle, they brought the scripts to another level to create fantastic films. If Trial of the Chicago 7 was given to someone of that caliber, it probably would’ve been even better. Still, I would say the direction was good. The score by Daniel Pemberton is also good, not amongst his all time best work, but it worked really well for this movie.

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The Trial of the Chicago 7 is currently one of my favourite movies of the year. It felt like an inspiring courtroom thriller made in the 90s, and I mean that in the best way possible. The timely, entertaining and engaging story, the fantastic script and outstanding acting alone makes it really worth watching.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2018) Review

Time: 102 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1]
Cast:
Elle Fanning as Zan
Alex Sharp as Enn
Nicole Kidman as Queen Boadicea
Ruth Wilson as PT Stella
Matt Lucas as PT Wain
Director: John Cameron Mitchell

Worlds collide when Enn (Alex Sharp), a shy teenager in 1970s London, meets the beautiful and rebellious Zan (Elle Fanning) at a party. They set in motion the ultimate showdown between their rivaling worlds and test the limits of how far they will go for true love.

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I heard about How to Talk to Girls at Parties for a while, I knew that Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman are in it and I watched the trailer, and I could tell that it was a sci-fi romantic comedy of sorts. Outside of that I wasn’t really that sure what to expect. I finally got around to it and it was a bit of an odd movie. Not a great movie and I’m not even sure I can call it a good movie, however I guess I was entertained enough while watching it.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties is based off a science-fiction short story of the same name by Neil Gaiman. I haven’t read said short story so I can’t comment on the movie as an adaptation. The movie is an hour and 40 minutes long and I wasn’t really bored throughout, but it was mostly because this movie is so odd and weird that I was paying attention to which direction it would take next. There were so much insane sequences and things that happened that it kept me entertained. With that said I wasn’t really that invested in the actual story, I guess I was on board with the main characters and what they are trying to do, but not hugely, I didn’t care that much about the characters. There were some things that were going on that I didn’t really understand with regards to the aliens, I just sort of went along with the insane things that were going on. There is quite a bit of a comedy as well, some of the comedy can be a little too on the nose, especially with the whole typical ‘alien is discovering and exploring Earth and misunderstandings happen’ comedy, but it was okay enough. I don’t remember much from the movie despite having a reasonably decent time with it.

We really don’t get a sense of any of the characters, but the cast are decent enough in their roles. Alex Sharp is pretty good as the lead human character. Elle Fanning is one of the standouts as the lead alien character, as said previously her character does fall into many of the familiar clichés that alien characters who are learning about the world do, but Fanning plays the role well. We don’t really get invested in Fanning and Sharp’s relationship, but they have decent chemistry. Nicole Kidman is in a supporting role as a punk rocker and she’s also a standout whenever she’s on screen. Ruth Wilson and Matt Lucas are also pretty good as aliens.

The direction by John Cameron Mitchell was interesting, it could be very rough at times but it did add a little something to the movie and just added to the weirdness. Some moments visually were also really trippy. There are also some other pretty weird things that happen in the movie, especially with regard to the aliens. I’ll just say if that was their intention to just be weird, they definitely achieved that.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties was… a weird movie, definitely the weirdest movie I’ve seen released in 2018. It’s not going to work for a ton of people and it’s perfectly understandable why. The performances are good and the strangeness of the movie was enough for me to be entertained, however I don’t think on the whole that it was a good movie. I guess if you’re okay with potentially wasting 100 minutes of your time and you’re the least bit curious about it, then check it out. Otherwise you’re not really missing much.