100 Word Review – Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)

“A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick.” – Holly Golightly

Based on the novel by Truman Capote of a prostitute and her next door neighbour, this Hollywood version keeps all of the glamour of its source.

Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), a New York Socialite, lives next door to ‘average Joe’ and hopeless romantic Paul Varjak (George Peppard) in this 1960s cult movie.

Screenplay by George Axelrod (The Seven Year Itch, Paris When It Sizzles), this film manages to live up to its stylish reputation while sneaking in some of the darkness and turmoil of the original story.

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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.

100 Word Review – Being John Malkovich (1999)

Craig (John Cusack) a puppeteer with a failing career finds a portal that allows him inside the mind of famous actor John Malkovich, where he starts to put his skills to work.

Written by Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation) and directed by Spike Jonze (Where The Wild Things Are, Her), this film was always going to be an unusual movie.

With John Malkovich playing himself and co-starring Cameron Diaz and Catherine Keener, this film is weird, dark and completely trippy. The acting is superb and there are moments of dark humour that make it thoroughly watchable.

100 Word Review – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

It’s not often you see Jim Carrey in a serious film, and I’m not sure why because he’s brilliant in this.

At the end of their relationship, Joel (Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) undergo a procedure to have each other removed from their memories.

As would be expected with a film written by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) and directed by Michel Gondry (Be Kind Rewind, The Science of Sleep), it’s equal parts wacky and beautiful.

The film is far from linear and takes you on an extraordinary journey filled with romance, laughter as well as darkness and despair.

100 Word Review – 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Not quite sure what, if anything, this film has to do with Cloverfield, but it is worth watching for at least one thing; John Goodman.

After being involved in a car crash, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up to find herself locked in a fallout shelter being told by Howard (Goodman) and Emmett (John Gallagher Jr) that outside the world is ending.

Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) is among the screenwriters on this very strange film that sits somewhere in the thriller / comedy / Sci Fi / drama genre. Goodman is equal parts wonderful, hilarious and terrifying.

It also has a truly brilliant trailer:

100 Word Review – Demolition (2015)

LIFE: Some Disassembly Required. – Tagline

After losing his wife (Heather Lind) in a car accident that left him unscathed, Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal) writes a series of increasingly confessional complaint letters to a vending machine company. He also starts taking things apart.

Co-starring Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper and Judah Lewis (definitely a young actor to look out for), this film finds humour and sympathy in the cathartic actions of one man.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (Wild, Dallas Buyers Club, The Young Victoria) and written by Bryan Sipe, it is funny, heartbreaking and brilliantly destructive. It also has a toe-tappingly wonderful soundtrack.

100 Word Review – Where The Wild Things Are (2009)

Based on the award winning children’s book by Maurice Sendak, this film is an exploration of the dark and wonderful imagination of a child called Max.

A young boy called Max (Max Records) runs away from home following a tantrum, retreating to a world of his own imagining full of wild beasts who hail Max as their King.

James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Forest Whitaker and Catherine O’Hara provide voices for the wild things. Adapted and directed by Spike Jonze (Her, Being John Malkovich) it retains much of the awe inspiring magic of the book while adding a more complex plot.

100 Word Review – Cloud Atlas

Adapted from David Mitchell’s novel and directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run, Perfume:The Story of a Murderer) and the Wachowskis (The Matrix, V for Vendetta), this film is extraordinary.

There is no describing the plot. It crosses time and space in seconds, covering both the past, present and future as well as alternate worlds.

The cast is fantastic (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Doona Bae, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon) and the cinematography is exquisite. There is simply too much to see to take it in with one viewing. This film is Romantic with a capital R.

100 Word Review – Network (1976)

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

When an ageing news anchor (Peter Finch) announces his suicide live on air, TV execs (Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Robert Duvall) look to exploit the spike in ratings.

Directed by Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon), this film won 4 Oscars including both Best Actor and Best Actress, and was nominated for a further 6.

Dark, cynical and provocative, it is a magnificent example of the power of filmmaking, successfully hitting a little too close to home no matter what decade you’re watching it in. Currently #181 on IMDb’s Top 250.

100 Word Review – Room (2015)

Adapted from the best selling novel by Emma Donoghue by the author herself, and directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Frank, What Richard Did), this film perfectly captures the sense of claustrophobia and terror of the two awe-inspiring leads.

Jack (Jacob Tremblay) is five. He has lived his whole life in one room with his mother (Brie Larson), visited only by their captor, Old Nick (Sean Bridges).

A heartbreaking story that there are far too many chilling modern day examples of. Tremblay is extraordinary, and Larson is well deserving of her Oscar. Currently #119 on IMDb’s Top 250, make sure you’re prepared to cry.