The World Without you (2019) Movie Review

Director: Damon Shalit

Writer: Dan Pulick (Screenplay)

Starring: Radha Mitchell, Perrey Reeves, P.J. Byrne, James Tupper, Chris Mulkey, Lyndie Greenwood

Plot: Reunited for their beloved family member’s memorial service, old hurts and dark secrets threaten to tear the fragile threads holding the family together.

Tagline – Some losses can never be recovered.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The World Without You starts when a family looks to come together for Thanksgiving for the first time after one of them was killed in action, siblings Lily (Mitchell), Clarissa (Reeves) and Noelle (Marks) join their mother Marilyn (Johnson) and father David (Mulkey), where the family needs to look to get through their own problems, while remembering Leo (Reitsma).

As the time together brings back events from the past, the problems searching for the future, they all learn to realize that they couldn’t get through these difficulties’ moments without their loved ones around.

Thoughts on The World Without You

Characters – Lily is the single of the three sisters, she has always been seen as the free spirt of the siblings, she is the most outspoken when it comes to family arguments. Clarissa is with her husband Nathan as the pair are struggling to conceive their first child, it is rising the tension between the two on the trip. Noelle is the convicted devoted Jew, married with three children, the one that has more together, the three sisters have had different lives, Marilyn and David are the parents that are going through their own problems, with the grieving of their lost son. We do meet the widow of the deceased soldier that has her own secret about the relationship the pair had, as well the sisters husbands that aren’t living up to the expectation in certain situations.

PerformancesWe do have a large cast here, with the whole cast giving us strong performances throughout the film, each cast member will get a scene to shine more than the rest and everyone takes that chance.

StoryThe story here follows a family coming together to celebrate the life of a lost soldier journalist, they all have their own problems, which will lead to different issues through the time together, but they will look to solve them together. This is a power family drama that will highlight just how important family will be when a member dies, you might have your own problems, but family will help bring things back together.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the family home, with the walls being the only thing keeping secrets away from others, it helps bring back the memories for the family members.

Scene of the Movie – The final meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts The World Without You is a powerful drama about family and just how important it is to have them around you when you suffer a loss in the family.

Choir Girl (2019) Movie Review

Director: John Fraser

Writer: John Fraser (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Flaherty, Krista Vendy, Jack Campbell, Sarah Timm, Andy McPhee, Roger Ward

Plot: Eugene, a lonely photographer, becomes fixated on a young street prostitute, Josephine, in his rundown neighborhood. She becomes his muse and his photographs could be a way out for both of them – yet is Eugene saving Josephine or is he using her?

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Choir Girl starts as reclusive photographer Eugene (Flaherty) who has started to take photographs of the teenage prostitution going on in his neighbourhood, trying to help raise the awareness of what is going on within the neighbourhood.

When Eugene helps one of the prostitutes Josephine (Timm) out, he looks to finally sell his photos through Polly (Vendy), but the pimp Daddy (Campbell) isn’t going to let Eugene just walk away with what he sees as his property.

Thoughts on Choir Girl

Characters – Eugene is a photographer that hasn’t seen his work taken off yet, with his latest work, showing how mistreated the teenage prostitutes are being treated in his neighbourhood, he ends up rescuing one of these prostitutes, trying to help her escape from the world, only to find himself caught in the middle of the ring to keep things quiet. Josephine is the teenage prostitute that Eugene has help escape, she can’t go to the police and ends up working with Eugene to escape this world, letting him use the photographs, while remaining in the world to raise the money to escape. Daddy is the ruthless pimp that is forcing Eugene to pay for Josephine’s freedom, he will keep changing the demands each time using his men to make sure he gets what he believes is his. Polly is the connection that is willing to let Eugene story be told, she will push to make things happen.

PerformancesPeter Flaherty in the leading role is strong through the whole film, showing us all how uncomfortable his character is, while trying to do the right thing. Sarah Timm as the teenage prostitute shows the fear of being in that world and what it means to have a chance to escape. Krista Vendy shows us the ambitious media career woman that will walk over people, while Jack Campbell brings the pimp to life with ease.

StoryThe story here follows a photographer that wants to make a difference by helping a teenage prostitute escape the world she is trapped in, where he gets caught in the middle of the pimp and the media looking to make their own story about the situation. This story does show us someone could want to do the right thing, but might not always go about to the right way, showing us just how disturbing this world can become for the people involved, with one of the most disturbing conclusion of any film you will see this year.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us the world that Eugene sees, one filled with horrific acts on vulnerable people

Scene of the Movie – The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Somehow you would feel like the police who have been contacted, by someone in the media side of the story.

Final Thoughts Choir Girl is a slow burning drama that highlights hot topics, that is left with one of the more disturbing scenes you will see this year.

Choir Girl is available on iTunes Here

Nomadland (2020) London Film Festival Movie Review

Director: Chloe Zhao

Writer: Chloe Zhao (Screenplay) Jessica Bruder (Book)

Starring: Frances McDormand, Gay DeForest, Patricia Grier, Linda May, Angela Reyes, David Strathairn

Plot: Follows a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Nomadland starts as we meet Fern (McDormand) a woman in her sixties that lost everything in a recession, her husband passed away, leaving her with next to nothing, Fern lives in a van, travelling around America in search of work, in a routine, where she meets the same people, while spending months at each workplace through the year, depending upon the season.

Thoughts on Nomadland

Characters – Fern is the new Nomad, she lost everything in a recession, forcing her to travel for work, with a routine selection of roles she will fulfil each year, meeting the same people to catch up, all with their own stories. She does get on with most people she meets through her travels, showing the support the whole community brings together for each other. Most of the other characters we meet in the film are the real nomads, they each understand their lives, making it feel like a lot of the situations could be seen as real stories.

PerformancesFrances McDormand is wonderful to watch in this film, she brings this character to life with ease, showing the sympathy she need, without every asking for it. Most of the rest of the cast are real nomads, that are here to tell their own stories of their lives, showing how they can still find the positives in their lives.

StoryThe story here follows a woman who lost everything and has turned to the life of a nomad, travelling around for work, making friends with the community of nomads, while still finding the best in life. The story here is a reflection of the modern day uncertainties in America today, showing that there will be a generation that will be forced to continue working when everything is suddenly taken from them. While the story isn’t the deepest, it is more about highlighting the community that have been suffering for so long with the current living conditions in America.

SettingsThe film takes us across the American West, showing us the different conditions that Fern sets up in for work, the different working environments she finds herself working in and the adventures she is free to take.

Scene of the Movie – Journeys never taken.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Leaving the dog.

Final Thoughts Nomadland is a beautifully shot movie, with stunning cinematography, sensational performance from McDormand, even if the story doesn’t go as deep as it could have gone.

Another Round (2020) London Film Festival Movie Review

Director: Thomas Vinterberg

Writer: Thomas Vinterberg, Tobias Lindholm (Screenplay)

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Magnus Millang, Maria Bonnevie, Susse Wold

Plot: Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood.

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Another Round starts when four high school teachers Martin (Mikkelsen), Tommy (Larsen), Peter (Ranthe) and Nikolaj (Millang) discuss a theory that a human can function better with 0.05% alcohol in their system at all times, leading to them to have a more confident presence in the class, while being more relaxed.

The four start to see a huge improvement in their everyday lives, with Martin getting through to his students for the first time in a long time, where they show him the respect he deserves in the class room, but can they keep this up.

Thoughts on Another Round

Characters – Martin is a history teacher that has seen the pressure to help his students get a passing grade increased, his wife is working nights and his life is starting to feel stale. Martin is the first one to try the 0.05% alcohol, which will see him gain a knew lust for life, pushing the rest of the group into trying it, he finds his classroom filled with enjoyment again. Tommy, Peter and Nikolaj all start to find their own benefits and problems from this idea, which is helping record the effects of everything they are experiencing.

PerformancesMads Mikkelsen is fantastic in the leading role, we get to see how everything in his own life is effecting his character before the alcohol and see the changes after it, bring to us a more laid back persona. The rest of the cast compliment Mads perfectly, with the four friends having wonderful chemistry together.

StoryThe story here follows four high school teachers that looks to play into a theory that you can function better with a 0.05% alcohol flowing through your body at all times, leading them to take a dangerous path to see if this theory could be true. This does look to show how life can start getting stale for some people and they will need a new inspiration to find a new love for life, in this one, it is the alcohol. We get to see the positives and negatives from this change in their lives with some not wanting to accept the negatives until it is too late. We also get to see how these characters could play out a reality that we have all thought about in life.

SettingsWe get to see the everyday settings the characters are living through, showing how they are not changing what they are doing, just their own mind sets through the day.

Scene of the Movie – The full drinking day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts Another Round is a truly enjoyable movie that will ask a big question about drinking, getting laughs and serious life issues out in the open.

Supernova (2020) London Film Festival Movie Review

Director: Harry Macqueen

Writer: Harry Macqueen (Screenplay)

Starring: Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci, Lori Campbell, James Dreyfus, Ian Drysdale, Julie Hannan,

Plot: Sam and Tusker are traveling across England in their old RV to visit friends, family and places from their past. Since Tusker was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, their time together is the most important thing they have.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Supernova starts as we meet Sam (Firth) and Tusker (Tucci) who along with their pet dog Ruby are travelling across England, living through the memories of the life they had together, with Tucker suffering from dementia, with the signs showing it is starting to get worse.

As the journey continues, we see how Tucker has his good and bad days, while hiding the true extent of loss of abilities from Sam, in what is a time filled with celebration, it could well be the last time they are truly together.

Thoughts on Supernova

Characters – Sam is a famous musician that is preparing himself for life when Tusker isn’t the same man he fell in love with, he knows it will be hard and will do anything for the love they have. Tusker is a famous novelist who has seen his dementia starting to take over his life, he knows that he doesn’t have as much time in control left, he wants this one last trip down memory lane. The pair have spent most of their lives together and will always want to support each other through the good and bad they will be facing in life.

PerformancesColin Firth and Stanley Tucci are brilliant together here, showing the pure love the characters have and how they are both trying to hold everything together with the changes coming their way.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that are going on a journey across England going through memory lane, before one loses the abilities of everyday life, with his dementia starting to take over his life. This is a story that will look to give you all the feelings in the world, filled with emotional impacts of seeing a loved one suffering with a disease that will see them lose everything they once were. The idea of travelling down memory lane will give hope, but the reality it not going to be a happy one for the pair, who are both preparing for different stages of the life together.

SettingsThe film uses the beautiful backdrops of the English countryside that shows and reflects that the couple’s life is going to slowly to be going slower in the future.

Scene of the Movie – The recording.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – More of the dog please.

Final Thoughts Supernova is a beautiful movie that has two of the best performances of the year in, becoming one of the most essential movies of 2020.