Oscar Season Challenge – Brooklyn (2015)

Rob and I have decided to make a twist on the challenge where we will be looking at Oscar related films first before moving into going back to look at different Oscar winners from the past.

brooklynDirector: John Crowley

Writer: Nick Hornby (Screenplay) Colm Toibin (Novel)

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eillen O’Higgins, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Emory Cohen, Julie Walters


Plot: An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a new romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Wonderful Romantic Story


Story: Brooklyn starts with Eilis (Ronan) a young Irish woman working in a local shop, she plans to move to America and Father Flood (Broadbent) has helped make this happen. Eilis learns a few tricks of the trade along the way on the boat before arrive in Brooklyn where she stays with Mrs Kehoe (Walters) in a religious household.

Eilis does have her ups and downs with her first few months in Brooklyn but she gains the respect of the house owner Mrs Kehoe much to the annoyance of the other girls in the house before she meets the charming Italian Tony (Cohen). When tragedy strikes back home in Ireland she has to put her new life on hold and travel home where she ends up meeting Jim Farrell (Gleeson) where she ends up having to make the biggest decision of her life.

Brooklyn is a romantic film that pulls on your heart strings and actually has you rooting for one of the guys, the characters are all likeable which can be difficult for these styles of films but this one gets everything right. The idea that one trip could change this young woman’s life is the main focal point which gets driven throughout and it isn’t only about which side of the Atlantic would be best for her romantically but also professionally. We get to see how dreams can be chased and love can be found in the places you are brave enough to look for it. As a non-romantic film fan I found this had everything I enjoyed.


Actor Review


Saoirse Ronan: Eilis is the young Irish lady who gets to go to America the lady of opportunity, in America she meets the charming Tony and starts to live the life of her dreams but when tragedy strikes she finds herself back in Ireland having to make a choice between Ireland or America. Saoirse is brilliant in this leading role where she shines from start to finish.elisi

Domhnall Gleeson: Jim Farrell is the Irish man that Eilis falls for when she returns back to Ireland, he is nothing like she expects. Domhnall would only be considered a supporting cast member but is good once we finally meet him.

Emory Cohen: Tony is the charming Italian plumber that comes into Eilis’ life who helps turn her struggle in Brooklyn into the best time of her life. The two have a whirlwind romance that is the stuff of fairy tales but when Eilis returns to Ireland he is left waiting to see if she will return. Emory is great in this role where he never looks out of place in this story.

Jim Broadbent: Father Flood is the man who arranges the whole trip for Eilis which includes finding her a job, a home and being in Brooklyn if she needs any support. Jim gives us a great supporting performance you would expect from the great man.

Support Cast: Brooklyn has a wonderful supporting cast that all give this film a real feel about it with not a single person looking out of place.

Director Review: John CrowleyJohn gives us a film that will stick with you for years to come


Drama: Brooklyn shows how one lady needs to make the toughest decision of her life being it romantically or professionally.

Romance: Brooklyn gives us a love triangle that only one person can make the right decision with and you will root for one of the guys more than the other.

Chemistry: Brooklyn gives us great chemistry between our leads as they come off like a real couple.

Music: Brooklyn uses the music perfectly throughout the film.

Settings: Brooklyn re-creates the look of the settings to make everything look like we are in 1950 Brooklyn and Ireland.

Suggestion: Brooklyn is one of those films I think everyone should watch this year, it is a perfect date night movie too. (Watch)


Best Part: The romance between Tony and Eilis.

Worst Part: We don’t meet Jim until well over the hour mark.

Funniest Moment: Frankie, Tony little brother.

Romantic Moment: Before the trip home.


Believability: Certain parts could have been a true story even if this is a fictional one.

Chances of Tears: Maybe.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Notebook.


Awards: Nominated for Best Actress in Golden Globes.

Oscar Chances: It could get nominated for Best Actress.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

Tagline: Two countries, two loves, one heart.

Trivia: The city of Brooklyn in the film was actually shot in Montreal for budgeting reasons, as the production was unable to turn 2015 Brooklyn back to 1950s Brooklyn. Only two days of production were spent in Brooklyn, one in order to create the brownstone exterior shots and a second to film at Coney Island.


Overall: Brilliant romantic drama that pulls on the heart strings.


Red Lights (2012)

red lightsDirector: Rodrigo Cortes

Writer: Rodrigo Cortes (Screenplay)

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Toby Jones, Joel Richardson, Elizabeth Olsen, Craig Roberts, Leonardo Sbaraglia


Plot: Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: My Type of Film


Story: Red Lights starts with Margaret Matheson (Weaver) and Tom Buckley (Murphy) a team that investigate paranormal activity, mostly debunking every case that comes their way. When infamous blind psychic Simon Silver (De Niro) comes out of retirement for one last tour. Margaret and Tom focus on psychic abilities and how they can be affected by certain things.

With Simon Silver out of retirement Tom pushes Margaret into proving how Simon has been using his ability for years debunking the biggest name in psychic world. When Tom starts trying to investigate Simon himself he finds himself going against a force he can’t understand who takes a personal shot at Margaret. When Simon agrees to be investigate by Paul Shackleton (Jones) a fellow scientist at the university Tom wants in but is he prepared for what they find?  

Red Lights is a film that I could sit and watch over and over because I love watching films that offer the question of what you want to believe. When it comes to this film you are left to wonder what you want to believe which will be interesting for all the fans of the genre. We do get to see how easy certain moments have been planned and easy they can be faked.  This will keep you guessing until the final moment of the film.


Actor Review


Cillian Murphy: Tom Buckley is an ambitious paranormal activity where he wants to expose as many of the psychics in the world. He knows the Simon Silver story and wants to take him down once and for all, to a level where it becomes an obsession in his own right. Cillian gives us a great performance as we see how far he will go.tommy

Sigourney Weaver: Margaret Matheson is the leading member of a department at the university who works along with Tom to debunk paranormal activity, she knows here boundaries and will expose anyone she knows she can beat, but isn’t willing to take on Simon Silver. Sigourney gives us a good performance in this role where she is a supporting cast member.tom

Robert De Niro: Simon Silver is the blind psychic who has been in retirement due to an unfortunate event at a show years ago. He comes out of retirement for one final tour where he becomes the target of Tom wanting to prove he is nothing but a fake. He is incredible calm and highly respected but is he really for real? Robert gives us a very good performance in this role.silver

Toby Jones: Paul Shackleton is a fellow scientist at the university who works on a different field trying to actually prove the idea of psychic abilities, he gets selected to do the test to prove Silver is real but can his tests be trust? Toby gives us a god supporting role performance.


Support Cast: Red Lights has a supporting cast that includes all the people involved in potential cover up of the psychic abilities, along with the people trying to expose.

Director Review: Rodrigo CortesRodrigo gives us a film that keeps you guessing until the final moments.


Mystery: Red Lights gives us a chance to wonder just what is real or what is fake though the whole film.

Thriller: Red Lights does pull you in and with the final act the keeps you on the edge of your seat helps.

Settings: Red Lights uses the settings of the university for studying, along with the theatres where we see the exposing being happening.
Special Effects
: Red Lights has good effects when needed for the psychic effects.

Suggestion: Red Lights is one for all the fans of mystery films to enjoy. (Mystery Fans Watch)


Best Part: Final Act

Worst Part: Hard to find one.


Believability: It is what you want to believe.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: Euros 14 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: How much do you want to believe?


Overall: Truly great film that really keeps you guessing


2015 Watched List Part 46

Over the past year I have seen an incredible amount of films and I have decided to share with you all which ones I have seen in what order. I am going to be doing these in groups of ten, where I will pick my favourite of the bunch and the worst of the bunch.


So without further ramblings here we go 461 – 470:


1.      Ghost in the Shell 2 Innocence ghot The sequel to the popular film that is one I didn’t enjoy that much.

2.      Muck muck This ‘Horror’ film is about trying to make all the female characters getting naked and killed nothing else really happens in this dreadful film.

3.      Black Christmas black The cult classic that turns Christmas into a nightmare for the victims.

4.      In the Mouth of Madness mouth One of the few John Carpenter films I hadn’t yet seen and easily one of the weirdest and smartest ones out there.

5.      Prince of Darkness prince One more Carpenter film that I haven’t seen which is a religious horror that does sadly fall slight flat.

6.      Bicentennial Man man This is a romantic comedy about one robot that wants to become human so he can finally understand all emotions.

7.      Preyprey Getting stuck in the safari with no weapons being hunted by lions. A series of bad decisions going on here.

8.      13 Eerie ddfkd Forensic student find themselves having to fight zombies when the dead start coming back to life in their training program.

9.      In Fear fear A young couple find themselves stuck in the middle of a maze as they have to find their way through the countryside only to find a person trying to kill them.

10.  Roxanne roxanne Steve Martin gives us one of his comedies here that really doesn’t do much for me.


The Best – Bicentennial Manman


The Worst – Muckmuck