Signature Entertainment presents The Bike Thief on Digital Platforms 3rd May
Director: Brad Silberling
Writer: Brad Silberling (Screenplay)
Starring: Ben Kingsley, Hera Hilmar, Peter Serafinowicz, Robert Blythe
Plot: A war criminal in hiding forms a relationship with his only connection to the outside world, his maid.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: An Ordinary Man starts as a war criminal known only as the General (Kingsley) is forced to relocate with his driver Miro (Serafinowicz), finding him confined to an apartment, he wants a normal life, but his actions have caused the problems he is facing, he gets to meet his maid Tanja (Hilmar), who will be the first person he gets to talk to.
As the General gets to know Tanja, he starts to question her life choices, passing on his own words of wisdom to the young lady, while having her own agenda for getting close to him.
Thoughts on An Ordinary Man
Characters – The General is one of the last wanted war criminals left out free, he is in a form of hiding, which will see him try to live a normal life, while his closest followers will make sure he needs to keep moving to remain safe, often left to occupy himself, he makes a new friend in his maid, who he tries to teach life lessons too. Tanja is the maid that has been cleaning the current apartment, she is left intimidated in the presence of the General, but starts to learn life lessons from him.
Performances – Ben Kingsley is a joy to watch through this film, showing moments of humour to balance out the arrogance of the character. Hera Hilmar stands toe to toe with the icon of the industry, always looking to learn like her character.
Story – The story here follows a war criminal in hiding that befriends a new maid, becoming a mentor to as he looks to confess some of his crimes and live an ordinary life. This is an interesting look and an idea of how a war criminal might well try to live their life, seeing the world from not hiding, but in plain sight, where they can keep seen by the people, but not captured. We do get to see a mentor like relationship between the two as well, which will help carry the story through.
Settings – The film keeps us in the hidden, quiet location within the city walls, where the war criminal is being forced to live for his own safety.
Scene of the Movie – The road trip.
Final Thoughts – An Ordinary Man is an interesting look at how a war criminal is left in hiding, wanting a life he could have had before his actions took that away.
Director: Alice Winocour
Writer: Alice Winocour (Screenplay)
Starring: Eva Green, Zelie Boulant, Matt Dillon, Aleksey Fateev, Lars Eidinger, Sandra Huller
Plot: An astronaut prepares for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station.
Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Proxima starts as we meet Sarah Loreau (Green) who has just been selected for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station, her dream chance to go into space, only back home she has a daughter Stella (Boulant) who she has raised alone and is going to have to spend the year with her father Thomas (Eidinger).
As the launch approaches, Sarah is left in the difficult position of following her dream or supporting her daughter, showing that a mother will always be put in a harder position to leave a child behind compared to a father.
Thoughts on Proxima
Characters & Performances – Sarah Loreau is the astronaut and mother who has just been selected for an International Space Station mission, this will see her leaving Earth for a whole year, leaving her to make arrangements for her daughter, while dealing with getting to know the new team, which does see her battling sexism. We see just how important this mission is for her, which shows us how hard she has worked to get here, along with how close of a connection she has with her daughter that she will have to give up. Eva Green is brilliant in the leading role, needing to keep strong around the other astronaut characters, her daughter and the people making the decisions, while alone she can let everything out. Stella is the young daughter that has been struggling at school and will need to learn to adapt to a new life with her father, where she has no friends, she wants her mother around her, which is going to be difficult for her to deal with losing. Young Zelie Boulant does show the confusion of what is going on, as well as how difficult it would be for the daughter. Mike Shannon is the America astronaut that is leading the mission, he is harder on Sarah with how he treats her, be it with how he looks down on her and even offers her lighter training, he seems to be sexist without knowing how sexist he is being through the mission prep, but he does seem to respect her work skills. Matt Dillon does well through this film, playing the cocky arrogant American well and how you would imagine them.
Story – The story here follows a female astronaut that has been selected for one-year-long space mission that needs to prepare life for her daughter and battle sexism to fulfil her dream. We get to tackle astronaut preparation on a different level than anything we have seen before, seeing how difficult it would be to be separated from a young child, we have seen plenty of training montages before. Showing the decision making process and the pain it is causing Sarah is the highlight of the story, knowing it is going to be earned her decision as any parent would find it difficult to do.
Themes – Proxima uses the settings to show us the distance Sarah is going to have to live away just preparing for the mission, we hold back on not needing special effects by focusing on the drama of the situation instead.