updated throughout the year, i suppose.
God Help the Girl
Eve is a catastrophe—low on self-esteem but high on fantasy, especially when it comes to music. Over the course of one Glasgow summer, she meets two similarly rootless souls: posh Cass and fastidious James, and together they form a group.
like THE YOUNG GIRLS OF ROCHEFORT remade as a twee Glaswegian John Hughes movie. it'll be *too* twee for some people, but thank god i'm not one of them. i loved every shaggy second of this plotless, ramshackle pop musical (it helps that i'm rather fond of the actual music).
and Emily Browning... dream waif. somewhat uncomfortable that this unexpected but admirably blunt anorexia story features so many incredible costumes that just *beg* viewers to slim into them.
I doubt StuMo has another of these in him, as, well, I doubt he could ever make a movie about anything else, but hey, there are worse things than the occasional free-form indie musical, and what a relief it is to have a movie comfortable in its tweeness and unpretentious about it. Emily Browning was born for this role.
At some point about halfway through the film I found myself asking the screen in front of me, “What is this film even about?” There are two different films playing. One is a story (though a very incoherent one) of a young women suffering from anorexia finding her way back into the world through music. And then there is a collection of music videos about charming young people doing charming things. The only relation between the two is that the same characters are in them, but thematically and narratively they have nothing to do with each other. This is a film that you could fall asleep for a good portion of, and not miss anything of importance.
The plot follows…
Right off the bat let me state that I find it hard to be fair when it comes to musicals because I do not get them; I do not, for the most part, like them; I do not understand why they exist to be quite honest. The only musical I've ever enjoyed would be Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory because those musicals numbers made sense in the scheme of things. I mean Willy Wonka was slightly unbalanced and breaking into song was part of that.
The music in Stuart Murdoch's debut, God Help the Girl, is quite good if you're into the album that came out back in 2009 or find yourself enjoying Belle and Sebastian on a routine basis.…
For my particular micro-generation of faux-sensitive teen losers, Belle & Sebastian were our Smiths—maybe even our Beatles. You're dealing with someone who subjected his senior-year English class to a full boombox listen of "Expectations" (off the debut Tigermilk, natch) as part of a group presentation on the theme of—I guess—expectations. Who among us can't remember walking around our hometown on a rainy afternoon, listening to "Lazy Line Painter Jane" on repeat via discman and failing to understand either the song or the new and unnameably complex feelings it stirred within us?
So the notion of a Belle & Sebastian movie (which isn't exactly what this is), written and directed by indie pop's most weltschmerz-inducing songsmith Stuart Murdoch, would have been terribly exciting…
Cassie: "If you went to the pub now, around the corner and you were like: "I everyone, I'm Scottish." Someone would punch you in the face"
I knew absolutely nothing about the film, going in i didn't even know it was a musical. I remember it premiering at Sundance and getting some good buzz but after that, it kind of faded. But it has been now on a limited release and the talk is that it's flawed but worth seeing, and so i did.
God Help the Girl is Directed by Stuart Murdoch and it stars Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, Pierre Boulanger and Cora Bissett.
"Set in Glasgow, Scotland, the film is about a girl called…
It's hard to believe that Stuart Murdoch's specific, warm and exciting brand of teenage melancholia could make a film so unapologetically trite. While Murdoch's songs are rich with unique and sympathetic characters, events, and places, this film seems to lack... all of that. It is wholly reliant on cliched portrayals of mental illness, coming of age, modern femininity, and (ironically enough) creative expression.
The songs are the only thing keeping this film afloat, and even then, just barely. The contrast between Murdoch's half-awake singing voice and infectious pop melodies is completely lost in the film, exchanged for some occasionally cringe-worthy lip-syncing to melodramatic prerecorded vocal tracks. I almost wished this WASN'T a musical -- but then, what would it be?…
As much as I'm a fan of both Belle and Sebastian and the original album this film is based on, I think Stuart Murdoch has done himself no real favors by not allowing a more capable filmmaker to handle the material. This film is a very messy, unfocused, and mostly visually uninspired disappointment. Murdoch's film wears it's influences ( British New Wave, Richard Lester, Godard, the film Deep End) on it's sleeve, and though a lot of the film's references hit my cinematic sweet spot, Murdoch just doesn't have the skills as a filmmaker to really pull it all together in any kind of aesthetically pleasing manner. Still, the music's great, the performances are mostly appealing, and there are a few moments scattered about that hint at the better film this could have been, and manage to capture the sweetly emotional and wistful nature of some of Belle and Sebastian's best work.
ένα από τα πιο πετυχημένα "πότε σταματάς να είσαι έφηβος;" του δυτικού κόσμου που έχω δει
Wow Stuart Murdoch cannot direct to save his life. This film would have been much better in more capable hands. The music is wonderful though and the cast is charming and adorable. Cute, twee, fluff.
Harmless twee fluff, but very enjoyable nonetheless. Coveting the clothes and the music was pretty wonderful.
To snark or not to snark? That is the question this film poses and I fear too many people will go into it and leave it feeling self-satisfactorily snarky and that is a pity. As a reference point I would like to link this review with my review of Begin Again, a travesty of a film and one that completely wastes and exploits the brilliance of Once. The big difference between Once and Begin Again is authenticity and that is something that this film gets right. The musical scenes (as in Begin Again) are staged, but the staging and the directing pick up the slack and provide the authenticity the performances of the musical scenes lack.
I think there is…
Like if Domhnall Gleeson's character from Frank directed a movie. They sing about "getting out of this town someday" and the things they're doing and cats and talk about the power of pop music to save lives and the purity of the vocals+guitar combo and UGH
It's atrocious. It has a good soul, without question, but... Maybe it deserves two stars, I don't know. Probably not. GHTG got off on the wrong foot with me just by virtue of the kind of film it is (a "twee" indie musical ["twee" is in air quotes because the film isn't exactly twee, it's a far darker, more ancient, less self-aware kind of precious cutesiness than "twee" implies. And to be…
Good music videos.
The parts in between are trite, hackneyed, cliched, and only tolerable (for the most part) because the cast is really likable. The last half hour or so their hold starts slipping, though, and the movie begins to pull them down. The don't quite go under; but it's a close call.
I had the chance to see a preview screening of this movie in Glasgow about a year and a half ago now, with a large crowd of film and performing arts students. Their was a nice little Q&A with the cast and crew at the end as well.
After the film had finished and the Q&A was done, myself and the rest of my class went to a pub to discuss it. It got mixed reviews from everyone, as some people thought it was pretentious, lacked plot and was pointless hipster teens dealing with young adult problems which they would forget about in two years. Others said that it was sweet and that they could relate to the troubles of…
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Under the Skin
- Only Lovers Left Alive
- Inherent Vice
- Two Days, One Night
- Dear White People
- Listen Up Philip
- Hard to Be a God
no order in particular (that's (partially) a lie). not necessarily films I know I'll like, just things I'll watch. click…
- Long Distance
- Advanced Style
- An Honest Liar
- The Grandmaster
List of feature length films at Melbourne International Film Festival 2014.
Screening 31 July to 17 August.
FYI: Last year…