Tag Archives: Elle Fanning

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.

The Neon Demon (2016) Review

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Time: 118 minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence, Horror, Sexual Material and Necrophilia
Cast:
Elle Fanning as Jesse
Karl Glusman as Dean
Jena Malone as Ruby
Bella Heathcote as Gigi
Abbey Lee as Sarah
Desmond Harrington as Jack McCarther
Christina Hendricks as Roberta Hoffman
Keanu Reeves as Hank
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles just after her 16th birthday to launch a career as a model. The head of her agency tells the innocent teen that she has the qualities to become a top star. Jesse soon faces the wrath of ruthless vixens who despise her fresh-faced beauty. On top of that, she must contend with a seedy motel manager and a creepy photographer. As Jesse starts to take the fashion world by storm, her personality changes in ways that could help her against her cutthroat rivals.

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The Neon Demon was one of my most anticipated films of 2016, this is the second film from Nicolas Winding Refn I’ve seen, after Drive. Drive was an absolutely fantastic film, I loved it, so naturally I was excited to see his upcoming film. After seeing this film, I have to say, I absolutely loved The Neon Demon. Visually stunning, excellently performed, everything here was great. Understandably, not everyone will like this movie, due to it not having a straightforward story and some of its weirdness will alienate some. I’m just glad I’m one of the people who loved it.28fc5711b37fcb526c803cf78b40972f[1]

There are a few things that you have to know before going in. This film is slowly paced quite a bit, part of that is due to the fact that The Neon Demon is also very artistic, with many visual sequences showing symbolism and metaphors. This really isn’t surprising as Refn is known for being more of a visual director. Although this film sort of has a plot, it doesn’t have a very straightforward story, there are many different ways to interpret this movie. This may turn off and come across as pretentious for some viewers, but I personally loved the story that Refn told. The last act is completely nuts, having a complete change in tone, turning into straight up horror. While that change was a little jarring, I loved the last act, even though at times it could get ridiculously over the top at times. I’ve also heard from many that this is Refn’s most disturbing movie yet, I’ve not seen Only God Forgives or many of his other films aside from Drive but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the case. I won’t say what happens in this movie to avoid spoilers (as I found many of them out before watching the movie), but let’s just say I can understand why this movie turned a lot of people off…

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The performances from everyone was excellent. Elle Fanning was really good in the role of the main character, she goes through a form of transformation in the film, and along with the visuals of the film from Refn, she conveys that expertly. All the supporting cast did great jobs as well. Jena Malone was a standout for me, there are certain stand out scenes that she’s involved with which (I won’t spoil) I have to say are very daring, she’s fantastic. Bella Heathcote and Abbey Lee were really great as two of models who become jealous of Elle’s character. Keanu Reeves also plays a small part in the movie as the seedy hotel manager, he’s only in a few scenes but he still manages to leave an impression, it was a very different character for him to play.

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This film quite possibly has the best cinematography all year, which really isn’t surprising as it’s directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. I can’t really comment on whether its Refn’s best looking film yet (as I haven’t seen any of his films aside from Drive) but it looks so gorgeous. The use of colour also makes the film absolutely beautiful, visually this film is perfect. Also the soundtrack by Cliff Martinez is absolutely europhoric, memorable, it really added a lot of the movie.

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This movie really isn’t for everyone however, whether that be the lurid content, the slow pacing or the visual storytelling. If you want a more straightforward plot, this isn’t your film. For me though, The Neon Demon is one of my favourite films of the year. This film is a reminder that I really need to see more of Nicolas Winding Refn’s films, with this film and Drive, he’s already becoming one of my favourite directors.