100 Word Review – Election (1999)

An Oscar-nominated comedy which felt somehow fitting for today. 

Whatever you think of Reese Witherspoon, this film is brilliant and she shines as the obsessive high-achieving student determined to become student body president. Matthew Broderick stars as the teacher who gets in her way.

Directed by Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, Sideways, The Descendants), although it may be set in a high-school, this is not a teen comedy. It is certainly not Ferris Bueller!

Witherspoon is truly chilling and plays off Broderick’s frustrated civics teacher beautifully. The result is a dark, dark comedy with underlying themes of vengeance, fixation and manipulation.

100 Word Review – Penelope (2006)

Born with a pig snout and pig ears because of an ancient curse on her family, Penelope (Christina Ricci) must hide from the world until she can finally be accepted by one “of her own kind”.

The cast is baffling; James McAvoy, Catherine O’Hara, Richard E. Grant, Reese Witherspoon, Peter Dinklage and Nick Frost to name a few. The accents are beyond confusing. Some are British, some American, no logic applies.

This is a fairytale, but not in the traditional sense. It’s about mothers and daughters. It’s about¬†appearances and curses and self-confidence. It is weird and it is wonderful.