Una Great Movie (2020) Movie Review

Una Great Movie Premieres on the 14th February 2020 at Pan African Film & Arts Festival

Director: Jennifer Sharp

Writer: Jennifer Sharp (Screenplay)

Starring: JoNell Kennedy, Numa Perrier, Jake Olson, Jose Casasus

Plot: As a screenwriter takes notes from Hollywood executives, her beautiful diverse movie about a black American woman traveling to Mexico, slowly becomes a romantic comedy with an all-white cast. A quirky cerebral look into commercialism and greed, juxtaposed with a heartwarming movie that challenges stereotypes.


Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Important Look at the Hollywood System

Story: Una Great Movie starts as Zoe (Kennedy) is trying to sell her script in Hollywood, as she is telling the story we get to watch her lead character Susan (Perrier) travel to Mexico to look for a lost love, as the story continues, Zoe is forced and suggested different aspects to the character a story to help make it easier for producers to buy, only she isn’t comfortable about making all the changes.

As Zoe learns more about the Hollywood system she must look at the ideas they are offering her, with the idea of a known star Bryan Alonsio (Olson) taking the lead role, despite the fact he isn’t Mexican, imagining what he would be like in the story next to Susan.

Thoughts on Una Great Movie

Characters – Zoe is the screenwriter that believes she has her own brilliant screenplay, she has written a script that she understands the characters and is trying to pitch it to producers, each one seems to want to change things in her script, from changing the Mexican characters, the black lead and the motivation for the trip in her work. Zoe has support from friends, a support group, but her determination means she will start to change certain parts of her script hoping it will help get it made. Susan is the main character in the script, a woman heading to Mexico to look for a lost love, as Zoe is forced to change her script, we see the changes in Susan’s story, which helps show the differences in what Zoe wants and the generic figure the studios are looking for. Luis is the character that Susan is trying to get locate, the lost love, who has started his own life, only for his life to still be waiting for her. Bryan Alonsio is the actor everybody wants in their film, he is even suggested by one of the producers that wants him to play one of the Mexican characters in the film.

PerformancesJoNell Kennedy as the screenwriter shows us the struggles she is going through to get her script made, dealing with the questions about the work, while seeing the support from others. Numa Perrier is great as the character in the script, showing how the character should come to life and will be evolving in the process. The cast does include a mix of professional actors with non-actors to highlight the true identity of the Mexican community.

StoryThe story here follows a screenwriter who is trying to get her script turned into a film, only for her to find herself facing ideas that would change the film to become the generic Hollywood film, instead of using the realism that she dreams off, while also showing how the script would be evolving through the story. The story here is trying to highlight the big problem within the Hollywood system when it comes to diversity within the casting and the stereotypes producers want to follow, while spinning the reality of everything to show how everybody isn’t what Hollywood believes them to be. If we look just at the story, the idea that the story is evolving as the script ideas were being made, it does make it entertaining, because you don’t know what is coming next with the changes. This is an important story that shows the world to be clearer than a lot of people imagine it.

ComedyThe film does use moments of comedy to make fun of the changes that are being suggested, it does help get a laugh at certain moments during the film.

SettingsThe film uses two settings, we get to see Zoe in Hollywood, going through the different offices trying to sell the script, while also showing Susan the character in the film, enjoying her search in Mexico.


Scene of the Movie – Zoe gets help from an unlikely source.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The support group.

Final Thoughts This is a clever way to highlight the problems within the Hollywood system, showing stereotypes are still controlling how movies are made and taking the dreams of people who could bring us original.

Overall: Clever Statement.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – M – Munich (2005)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Tony Kushner, Eric Roth (Screenplay) George Jones (Book)

Starring: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Hanns Zischler, Ayelet Zurer, Geoffrey Rush, Mathieu Kassovitz

 

Plot: Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.


Tagline – The world was watching in 1972 as 11 Israeli athletes were murdered at the Munich Olympics. This is the story of what happened next.

Runtime: 2 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense True Story

 

Story: Munich starts in the aftermath of the tragic events of the Munich Olympics where 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Arabic terrorists. The Israeli prime minister isn’t taken what happened to her men lightly, she assigns a team led by Avner (Bana), with Steve (Craig), Carl (Hinds), Robert (Kassovitz) and Hans (Zischler) to eliminate everybody involved in the terrorist action.

The mission will take the team around Europe as they track down each and everyone of the people responsible, we see the obstacles they found along the way, but ultimately to complete their mission.

 

Thoughts on Munich

 

Characters – Avner is the special agent in the Israeli government, he is assigned to lead the retaliation against the people responsible for Black Sunday. He must leave his pregnant wife behind to go on this mission, a mission which would be his first, as he hasn’t been in the field before. He is left making the difficult decisions on the mission, to keep the men in order. Steve is the member of the team that has the most experience in the field, he does question Avner’s choice as leader, though he will follow the orders for his country. Carl is another member of the team, he does seem like the mot educated of the team. Robert is assigned to be the explosives expert, his bombs often fail, because of his own training which is about disarming them rather than making them. We see the characters that are the connections, the people that authorise the vengeance, each character is based on a real person involved in this.

PerformancesEric Bana is the star of the show here, he is put through the widest range of emotions when it comes to everything his character goes through. Daniel Craig leads up the supporting cast we, showing he was always going to be more than just James Bond. Ciaran Hinds is the ever-reliable supporting cast member that never once looks out of place. the whole cast is wonderful through this film, bringing the complex number of characters to life.

StoryThe story follows the aftermath of events of the Black Sunday tragedy, which sees a group of Israeli soldiers look to get vengeance on the men behind the terrorist attack. We get to see how the operation was handled, the hunting of the terrorists, with the different hiding places around Europe. This does show how a country was left in mourning after the tragic events, how they went about changing this, fixing this, so they weren’t considered the weaker nation in the war within the country. We mostly focus on one man who was seen to have been put into a world he wasn’t prepared for, one where he would have to do things he wasn’t trained for, to protect his home land.

HistoryThis is a moment in history that shocked everybody, we see how the people in the government went out for their own revenge.

SettingsThe film does take us around Europe as we see where the terrorist were hiding out after their actions.


Scene of the Movie –
The bomb sequences are brutal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slightly too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant look at one of the most secret missions of revenge after one of the darkest days in Olympic history.

 

Overall: History revenge.

Rating