Review also posted on my blog
Director: Anton Corbijn
Screenwriter: Andrew Bovell
Based on the novel of the same name by John le Carré
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Daniel Brühl, Rainer Bock & Homayoun Ershadi
Runtime: 122 min // Certificate: 15
I don’t want to get all sentimental and cloying (even though I’m about to...) with regards to the recent death of the great Philip Seymour Hoffman, but his passing really did hit…
Leave it to Ernst Lubitsch to make a film about artistic pretentiousness, romantic rivalry and sexual betrayal so damn entertaining. He truly does have a special touch that can turn what could be maudlin into fun and sexy. There is the core of how tangled love affairs can become and all the ups and downs associated with those feelings. At one point Miriam Hopkins describes how her two suitors make her feel in an expression of pure joy, but there…
I was downright evangelical about Gangs of New York when it came out, talking about it to anyone who would listen. I was 18, and I can only imagine how obnoxious I must have sounded. Now, I can see the movie’s problems more clearly. The biggest complaint at the time was that the motives of DiCaprio’s character, Amsterdam, are too vague, and while I still think I understand his character arc, I can admit that I was doing some of…
From Double Indemnity to his very last masterpiece, The Apartment, Billy Wilder remains one of the most potent figures of the mid 40s to early 60s. The director of many undebatable classics that have defined motion pictures, The Apartment is Wilder's most successful film at the Academy Awards and ironically, most controversial for topping Hitchcock's Psycho. It has become unfortunate that many simply address The Apartment as "that film that beat Psycho" rather than the masterpiece that it is. The…
"Who do you wanna be, Mason? What do you wanna do?"
"I wanna take pictures. Make art."
"Any dipshit can take pictures, Mason. Art, that's special. What can you bring to it that nobody else can?"
''That's what I'm trying to find out.''
Boyhood is love, Boyhood is life.
After seeing 'Boyhood' again, this time on the big screen, I felt like I could finally compile a proper review after being at a loss for words the first time around,…
It's taken a few years to get round to a rewatch of Drive. Nicolas Winding Refn's film is undoubtedly glossy and graced with the star power of Ryan Gosling, but I find it slightly baffling that it was the hit it was. It's a brooding, oblique film with a deceptively sedate pace that fills the screen with the quiet lurking menace of an urban fairy tale.
It obviously shocked Refn, as he responded with the even more enigmatic and hyper-stylised…
A truly great Western, Fred Zinnemann's "High Noon" works on both an intellectual and visceral level. Allegorical, theme-rich, and equipped with progressive suggestions, Zinnemann's film is also a wire-tight and tense piece of filmmaking. With its finely drawn characters, simply straightforward story, and meditation on fear, cowardice, and taking action, "High Noon" is a grand experience.
Gary Cooper's Will Kane is freshly wed and retiring from his post as US Marshall. Before he and his wife can leave their small…
Sterile, symmetric, emotionally devastating, poignant, and often hilarious; Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket is an excellent achievement by the master director.
All of the performances are wonderful, with Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio and R. Lee Ermey bringing their greatest attributes to the screen. As a result, Kubrick's Vietnam war film is mostly focused on character, and the changes that individuals go through within the ongoing process of war.
Separated by two distinct yet inseparable parts, the first half discusses the…
The opening synth-classical score glides through the air, enveloping both my ears and my mind. The bright red, blue, and green colors entrance, alienate, and seduce in equal measure. A sense of exhilaration comes over me, bursting with so much exuberance and vitality that I felt like I was smacked repeatedly in the face, left to sit breathlessly as another Kubrick masterpiece unfolded before my eyes.
That's what you do while you view a Stanley Kubrick work for the first…
This is another film that has been on my watch list for some time to fill the gaps in my Kubrick viewing. I'm a sucker for a decent period drama, having very much enjoyed A Royal Affair and Belle in the last year or so. I was very much looking forward to seeing what the Kubrickian sensibility could bring to the genre.
I was instantly impressed by the beautiful landscapes and the wise decision to frame them in long, static…
If Dr. Strangelove beats us over the head with absurdity to get its anti-war message across, Paths of Glory takes a deeply human approach.
It's the tale of three French soldiers selected to be executed as an example to the rest of the troops after a regiment refused to leave the trenches on a suicide mission to storm 'The Anthill'; a heavily fortified armament across No-Man's Land.
Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) volunteers to defend the men at their court martial.…
I was less prepared for Malick than most.
Looking back, that was undoubtably a good thing.
I'd never seen Badlands. I'd never seen Days of Heaven. If I had, I don't think I would have been equipped to endure the twenty or so intervening years, knowing that one of cinema's modern masters was alive, kicking and keeping his life-expanding lens firmly capped.
But I hadn't, so I went into The Thin Red Line with little more than the faint anticipation…