Tag Archives: Jennifer Ehle

The King’s Speech (2010) Review

AAAABToMFKNXBCOjg4Ez8jyHpiNpfcRzvw5Vq-Dr6jNmdI4A7JSn1DLr0NJUPWhnq6ViM5T-uu1UucMsjoh7kA3mRw5hTemj[1]

The King's Speech

Time: 119 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] contains offensive language
Cast:
Colin Firth as King George VI
Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue
Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth
Guy Pearce as King Edward VIII
Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill
Derek Jacobi as Cosmo Gordon Lang
Jennifer Ehle as Myrtle Logue
Michael Gambon as King George V
Director: Tom Hooper

King George VI (Colin Firth) tries to overcome his stammering problem with the help of speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) and makes himself worthy enough to lead his country through World War II.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Despite being an Oscar winning film, The King’s Speech has been given quite the bad rap, ironically it’s because of that. It earned many of the Oscars, including Best Picture, over so many other movies like The Social Network, Inception and Black Swan. Many weren’t happy that this was the movie that won over those films. While I understand many of these reactions, The King’s Speech on its own is pretty good.

C7oDfGyXwAAz1Tq[1]

To keep it simple and straightforward, I’ll treat this movie outside of the fact that it won Best Picture, or mention The Social Network, Inception or Black Swan for the duration of this review, which is something that reviews of this movie nowadays can’t stop doing. The King’s Speech is a historical biopic, and the summary of the movie looked pretty boring at first, but thankfully it has a pretty good script. Now part the story is more than likely fictionalised and isn’t completely true, but that’s pretty typical of movies like this, and I don’t think that the inaccuracies would be particularly egregious. This movie is more focussed on George’s speech impediment and him trying to work through it with his speech therapist, rather than the royal family and his role in it, and that is actually to its own benefit. It does have its particularly ‘Oscar moments’, mainly towards the last act, but didn’t take away too much from the rest of the movie. The story plays out pretty much exactly how you’d expect it to, but it had enough going on and enough energy to keep me reasonably interested for the duration of the runtime.

6ILU3ANR4VZOG3JTAIRP3KKQPU[1]

The acting in this movie is amongst the best part of the movie, if not the main reason to see it. Colin Firth is really great as King George VI, and it’s not just a baity or showy performance like it could’ve been. Firth’s stutter could’ve easily been a gimmick or have been a caricature of people with stammers, but he and the film pulls it off perfectly, and he makes it feel genuine. As good as the rest of the cast and movie is, it wouldn’t work nearly as well without Colin Firth’s outstanding performance at the centre of it. Geoffrey Rush is also good as the speech therapist that George sees to help with his stutter. Firth and Rush are great together on screen, and their interactions are ultimately the driving force of the movie. Other supporting actors like Helena Bonham Carter and Guy Pearce also play their roles as well.

kingsspeech[1]

Tom Hooper directed this reasonably well, and on a technical level is pretty solid. It’s well shot, the score by Alexandre Desplat is pretty good, and the production and costume designs reflect the time period and location appropriately. However it’s very clear that this wasn’t going to be the highlight of the movie, and so I didn’t pay it that much attention.

TheKingsSpeech_1527048700-KINGSSPEECH_M._V399467353_SX1080_[1]

I wouldn’t say that The King’s Speech is great, but it is a pretty good movie for what it is. It is definitely better than how it sounds at first, but not enough to make it that memorable. However it’s a solid enough movie, with some great acting, particularly a career best performance from Colin Firth. I do think that it is worth watching, just make sure to not going into it seeing it as a Best Picture winner or anything like that.

Vox Lux (2018) Review

Time: 110 Minutes
Age Rating: 2773-o[1] Violence, offensive language, drug use & sexual material
Cast:
Natalie Portman as Celeste Montgomery
Raffey Cassidy as Young Celeste Montgomery/Albertine
Jude Law as The Manager
Stacy Martin as Eleanor “Ellie” Montgomery
Jennifer Ehle as Josie
Director: Brady Corbet

Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) is a 13-year-old music prodigy who survives a horrific school shooting in Staten Island, N.Y., in 1999. Her talent shines through during the memorial service when she sings a song that touches the hearts of the mourners. Guided by her sister (Stacy Martin) and a talent manager (Jude Law), the young phenom transforms into a rising pop star with a promising future. Eighteen years later, Celeste (Natalie Portman) now finds herself on the comeback trail when a scandal, personal struggles and the pitfalls of fame threaten her career.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Vox Lux was the one 2018 movie that I had been meaning to watch before making my best films of 2018 list. I had been hearing about this movie for a long time, from the point that Rooney Mara was originally cast in the lead role before Natalie Portman replaced her. While I would’ve loved to have seen Mara in the role, Natalie Portman is still a fantastic actress, Jude Law was also in the movie, the music is done by Sia, and so I was at the very least curious about the movie. The very polarising reaction to the whole movie just got me interested in it more. Having watched the movie, I can confirm that it’s not a movie for everyone but is definitely worth watching.

Vox Lux is split into two halves, the Raffey Cassidy half, and the Natalie Portman half. The Raffey Cassidy half is really great, I really liked seeing the rise of Celeste. There have been plenty of movies following the rise of musicians but Vox Lux is quite original throughout, touching on topics that you wouldn’t expect it to, there’s a lot to unpack with this movie. It’s so out there, ambitious and bold, and much of it won’t work for people, I loved it though. The Natalie Portman is a dramatic shift for sure, while I’m sure most people will like the Cassidy half, the second half is what will divide some people. I will say that it’s a step down from the first half and is the main reason why I don’t love the movie more, however I still really liked it. The problem with talking about this section is that I can’t exactly express why the second half just didn’t work quite as well. The first half I really was invested for the entirety of it. With the Portman half I still was interested in it but not as much as the previous half. While I liked the concert section at the end, there was something that was missing from the conclusion. Maybe if it was a little longer (the movie is only like an hour and 50 minutes long) it might’ve worked a little better. Maybe another viewing of the movie might make things much more clear for me regarding this section.

Raffey Cassidy plays Celeste in her teenage years and also plays the daughter of Celeste in the Portman half and is equally great in both roles, giving a really subtle and effective performance. I’d argue that it’s Cassidy who steals the show in this movie. Natalie Portman’s performance is something that I’ve heard mixed things about, mostly that it’s over the top. Having watched the movie, I do think that the complaints are exaggerated just a little bit, she really is great here and puts everything into her performance. Yes, her performance is larger than life (not sure whether it was her or Corbet’s choice), and maybe a slightly more subtle performance would’ve worked. Most of the problem with that is that Portman plays Celeste completely differently from Cassidy, so it’s very jarring. I get that 15 years later she might’ve been acting differently, but it was so distractingly different. Making it even more so was the accent, it may not have bothered me as much as it did others but it is a little too over the top (not to mention I’m not really sure how Celeste just suddenly gained a completely different accent). Nonetheless her hamming up her performance here was entertaining amd she really gives a performance that I’ve never seen her give before. The rest of the cast play their parts as well, Stacy Martin was really good as Celeste’s sister and Jude Law was also good as Celeste’s manager.

This is the first film by Brady Corbet that I’ve seen and on the whole, he’s really directed this film well. From beginning to end, it’s a great looking movie. The concert scenes were particularly great. The only out of place moment was a very weirdly directed sequence with Portman and Law, is sped up and has some weird looking effect to it. It’s very brief though, it’s just that it stands out a bit from the rest of the movie. The music is also really good, (it’s written by Sia), both Raffey Cassidy and Natalie Portman also perform the music very convincingly. The film also uses some narration with Willem Dafoe, and while I’m usually mixed about the use of narration, it actually works alright here (not to mention Dafoe’s voice really fitted this movie quite well).

Vox Lux won’t work for everyone, it’s very ambitious and different. However, I do think that it’s worth watching. The first half is definitely the stronger portion of the movie, but I still really liked the whole movie. I really liked what Brady Corbet did with the writing and direction, and the performances (especially from Raffey Cassidy and Natalie Portman) are really great. Definitely see it for yourself, and it might be a movie I need to rewatch at some point.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) Review

Time: 90 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Sex scenes, offensive language & drug use
Cast:
Chloë Grace Moretz as Cameron Post
Jennifer Ehle as Dr. Lydia March
John Gallagher, Jr. as Reverend Rick
Sasha Lane as Jane Fonda
Forrest Goodluck as Adam Red Eagle
Emily Skeggs as Erin
Melanie Ehrlich as Helen Showalter
Owen Campbell as Mark
Quinn Shephard as Coley Taylor
Marin Ireland as Bethany
Kerry Butler as Ruth Post
Director: Desiree Akhavan

In 1993 after teenage Cameron (Chloe Grace Moretz) is caught in the backseat of a car with the prom queen, she is sent away to a treatment centre in a remote area called God’s Promise. While she is being subjected to questionable gay conversion therapies, she bonds with some fellow residents as they pretend to go along with the process while waiting to be released.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

I had been hearing about The Miseducation of Cameron Post for a while, it has Chloe Grace Moretz and involved gay conversion therapy (oddly enough not the only 2018 movie about the subject matter) and the movie was apparently really good. I wasn’t really sure what to expect outside of that. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a really good movie and is really worth seeing by everyone.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is based off a book of the same name by Emily M. Danforth, a book that is apparently quite good. I was really invested in the movie from start to finish despite the off-putting subject matter. I know that some people will be turned off because what this movie is about. When you hear the concept on paper, it sounds painful to watch but while it can be tragic and frustrating at many points (intentionally so), I still maintain that it really is worth seeing. It’s not as much of a heavy watch as you’d think it would be, even though it definitely is heavy in parts, and the emotional bits to the story really do hit hard. Yet it’s never heavy handing or overbearing either, it’s not shamelessly using shock value to provoke a response out of you or anything (not that there are a bunch of shocking moments or anything but you get what I’m meaning), it feels honest. I don’t know too much about the subject matter (aside from just hearing about it) but I am very aware of it, and watching the movie, they seemed to have handled it appropriately. My biggest negative of the movie is its length at around an hour and a half long, that’s really short and it feels like there was a lot more story that needed to be told. The ending is also quite abrupt and open ended, however I feel like it was the intention to leave things open ended. It’s more the length that bothered me, like it felt like there was a lot more story that is missing from the final film. By the time it was wrapping up, it felt like we only covered two thirds of the story at most.

The cast all around is great. Chloe Grace Moretz is a very talented actress and here she gives one of her best performances in the lead role. The other kids at the conversion therapy centre including Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck and Emily Skeggs are also good in their roles. Even the people running the therapy place with John Gallagher Jr. and Jennifer Ehle were really good and felt like real people despite their positions and their roles in the story.

The film was directed well by Desiree Akhavan, she actually directed (and also co-lead starred in) Creep 2, a very different type of movie which I also liked quite a bit. There’s not a lot to say about the direction really, it’s competently filmed and is just right for the story. Not to say that the direction is basic or anything, it’s at a level where it serves the script and the writing appropriately and is at the fine level of not being subpar but not being overwhelming either. The story is rather intimate film, mostly taking place in the conversion centre, and the direction accompanied that well.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a really good movie, tragic, funny, emotional and most of all really important. The performances and direction really elevate the movie even further. It really could’ve benefited a lot more from a longer runtime but it is still well worth a watch and is very deserving of all the praise.

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Review

7777485553_fifty-shades-of-grey[1]

FSG_31_5_Promo_BW_3F.indd

Time: 125 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Sex Scenes and Offensive Language
Cast:
Dakota Johnson as Anastasia “Ana” Steele
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Eloise Mumford as Katherine “Kate” Kavanagh
Jennifer Ehle as Carla Wilks
Marcia Gay Harden as Grace Trevelyan Grey
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson

When college senior Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) steps in for her sick roommate to interview prominent businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for their campus paper, little does she realize the path her life will take. Christian, as enigmatic as he is rich and powerful, finds himself strangely drawn to Ana, and she to him. Though sexually inexperienced, Ana plunges headlong into an affair — and learns that Christian’s true sexual proclivities push the boundaries of pain and pleasure.

full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

I want to make it clear that the only reason I watched this movie is because I wanted to catch on the best and (in the case of this movie) worst of 2015. I knew that this movie was going to be terrible and of course I knew the book was based on Twilight fanfiction. However even with that, after watching this movie, I can say that this is one of the only movies that I’ve regretted seeing for a review, even Bloodrayne 2 didn’t get to that level. This ‘movie’ was boring and frustrating with a bad ‘story’, bad ‘romance’, everything pretty much failed in this movie.

1200[1]

In the first act of the movie, I actually found the film kind of entertaining in how terrible it was. The dialogue is horrendous and the sudden interest between these two characters was unbelievable. At the halfway point though, I started to over time hate this movie. The problem is not that this film is basically a 2 hour porno, the problem is that the whole movie is basically about these two ‘characters’ and whether they would end up together (even though they shouldn’t as they aren’t compatible in the slightest), and that is literally the only thing going on. While bad movie romances have happened in the past, there’s bigger picture stuff happening in the stories, even Twilight did that. And because of that, this movie is tremendously boring, and many scenes felt like alternate versions of the previous scenes on repeat. Ana wants to have a relationship with Christian, he says he doesn’t do love, they have sex, rinse and repeat.

Fifty Shades of Grey

I can tell that Dakota Johnson is a good actress and can be good if she is actually given good stuff to work with. However her character is one of the weakest characters I’ve ever seen in a movie, and that is saying a lot. These main leads have no chemistry at all, they have worse chemistry than Bella and Edward from Twilight. And there was nothing else going on as I said before, so imagine 2 hours of Twilight minus the plotlines, with the exception of the love story. That’s this movie.

o-ANASTEELE-facebook[1]

One of the only good things about this movie is that it looks nice, however lots of horrible movies are well shot; it doesn’t count for much. As I said earlier this movie is a soft core porno, and the sex scenes are there (and vaguely BDSM I should mention) but it’s hard to get into because you can tell that these two characters are completely incompatible with each other, and they are so boring and lifeless so we don’t care about what’s going on. If the filmmakers really wanted us to get into the sex scenes, they would either make the characters likable or interesting, or they would just have the film with sex scenes with no attempt to have developed characters, as that was pretty much the entire book to begin with.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX (4106372a) Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Film - 2014

In the previous bad movies of 2015 that I’ve watched, I haven’t really hated them to this level, not even Taken 3. This movie however made me question watching and reviewing bad movies. The only reason to watch this movie is if you want to see a lot of sex scenes, but even then it’s hard to get into them and it’s somehow boring. Unfortunately this movie did well enough and will probably end up with two more sequels (or maybe even three, since splitting the last book in 2 parts is becoming a thing). Fifty Shades of Grey is truly an atrocious ‘movie’ and I can’t think a single reason to watch it.