100 Word Review – Hidden Figures (2016)

The amazing true story of the African-American women behind the 1960s NASA Space Programme.

Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) are three female mathematicians, known as “computers”, who use their intelligence and perseverance to fight the racism and sexism that holds them back.

Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly and directed by Theodore Melfi (St Vincent), it has a fantastic soundtrack from Pharrell Williams and Hans Zimmer that fits perfectly with the upbeat tone of the film.

Wonderful, uplifting and inspiring, it’s one of those stories everyone should know.

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100 Word Review – Experimenter (2015)

Whether or not you’ve ever heard of Stanley Milgram, this brilliant biopic is definitely worth your time.

Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) is a social psychologist whose experiments in the early 1960s may have been decried by some as unethical and immoral are still talked about today and focus on the obedience to deemed authority.

Written and directed by Michael Almereyda (Hamlet (2000), Nadja), it is insightfully told from the perspective of Milgram himself. Rather than a conventional drama, Almereyda uses archive footage, photos as backdrops and breaks the fourth wall regularly.

It is dark, engaging and thought provoking with truly educational elements.

 

100 Word Review – Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Susanna (Winona Ryder) is committed by her parents after combining pills and vodka in what they see as an attempted suicide. In Cleymore mental hospital she meets the other patients, including the rabble rousing sociopath Lisa (Angelina Jolie)

Adapted from Susanna Kaysen’s autobiographical account of her 18 month stay in a mental hospital in 1960s by the writers of Gorillas In The Mist and Walk The Line.

The fantastic cast includes Whoopi Goldberg, Vanessa Redgrave, Elisabeth Moss, Brittany Murphy, Clea DuVall and Jared Leto; and that\s not even mentioning Jolie’s Oscar winning performance. This film is dark, magnificent and truly unforgettable. 

100 Word Review – Rush (2013)

You don’t have to care or know anything about racing cars to enjoy this film.

Based the true story of the rivalry between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) on and off the track in the heady world of 1970s Formula One.

It is moving, tense and at points truly mesmerising. Bruhl’s extraordinary performance as Lauda was recognised by a Golden Globe nomination.

Written by the Oscar nominated Peter Morgan (The Last King Of Scotland, Frost/Nixon) and directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon, A Beautiful Mind), this biopic is breath-taking. It is currently #160 of IMDb’s Top 250.

100 Word Review – The Theory of Everything (2014)

Anyone watching it cannot question how Eddie Redmayne won the Best Actor Oscar for his outstanding performance in this brilliant biopic. 

The extraordinary life of world-renown physicist Stephen Hawking (Redmayne), from being a student at Cambridge through struggles with motor neurone disease, and his relationship with his wife (Felicity Jones).

Based on the autobiography of his wife Jane Hawking, it was carefully adapted by Anthony McCarten and delicately directed by James Marsh (Project Nim, Man On Wire). The end result is a touching tale, told with love and humour, about one of the greatest men and minds of our time.

100 Word Review – The Wind Rises (2013)

Another truly beautiful animation from the creators of Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro. This is the sort of biopic that could only come from the mind of the breathtakingly talented Hayao Miyazaki.

Based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Mitsubishi fighter planes that were used by the Japanese during World War II. In true Miyazaki style, it follows not only the facts of Horikoshi’s life but also his dreams, where he has conversations with Giovanni Battista Caproni, the famed Italian aeronautical engineer.

It combines the historical and the fantastical with moments of romance and tragedy.