One Night in Miami (2020) London Film Festival Movie Review

Director: Regina King

Writer: Kemp Powers (Screenplay)

Starring: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr, Lance Reddick, Christian Magby

Plot: One Night in Miami is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the 60s.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: One Night in Miami starts as we meet the four influential black men, boxing champion of the world Cassius Clay (Goree), Malcolm X (Ben-Adir), American football star Jim Brown (Hodge) and musician Sam Cooke (Odom Jr).

The four come from their different worlds, to meet one night in a hotel room, to discuss what they are doing to help make a change in the world, seeing some clashes, while agreeing on other things, they know they will go down in history, they just want to make sure they are on the right side of it.

Thoughts on One Night in Miami

Characters – We get to meet four of the biggest names in black history, we know the boxing superstar of Cassius Clay who is showing off his cocky style in the ring, frustrating his trainers, but winning his fights, Malcolm X the leader who was changing the way the black man was treated, he is always looking over his shoulder, believing the white man is out to silence his ideals. Jim Brown is breaking records in the American football leagues, he is in a position where he can transition to another world of acting, while his movements are seen as groundbreaking for the rest of the community. Sam Cooke has seen his music rise up the charts, but he still can only perform to the biggest crowds of white people only, he wants his voice heard but doesn’t have the same crowds as the other three.

PerformancesWe have four actors here Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr who are all brilliant to watch, they all look the part of the famous figures they are playing, filled with the small mannerisms that they would have shown or can be seen in achieve footage.

StoryThe story here follows the fictional idea that four of the most influential black men in history once meant up in a hotel room to discuss what they are planning to do to make a difference for the black man in a modern world. This is a story that is fictional account of what could have happened if the four met, while we will never know the truth about anything they truly discussed together, this showed how determined they were to make a difference and highlights that even in a position of trying to make a difference, you will see people clash with what they want to change and how they want to achieve this change.

SettingsMost of the film is set inside the hotel room, showing that between the four walls, the ideas of change would have been discussed by the important people that could make a difference.

Scene of the Movie – The roof top.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not knowing my music, I didn’t have clue who Sam Cooke was going in.

Final Thoughts One Night in Miami is a very interesting drama that shows an idea of what could have happened if four of the biggest names in black history worked together for a change.

Wildfire (2020) London Film Festival Movie Review

Director: Cathy Brady

Writer: Cathy Brady (Screenplay)

Starring: Kate Dickie, Nora-Jane Noone, Martin McCann, David Pearse, Helen Behan, Nika McGuigan

Plot: The story of two sisters who grew up on the fractious Irish border. When one of them, who has been missing, finally returns home, the intense bond with her sister is re-ignited. Together they unearth their mother’s past but uncovered secrets and resentments which have been buried deep, threaten to overwhelm them.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Wildfire starts when Kelly (McGuigan) returns home after being reported missing for the last two years, her sister Lauren (Noone) isn’t happy to see her at first, with the amount of worrying she went through, but after time they get back to their old ways, while coming together to try and piece together the memories of their mother, whose reputation has come back to light.

Thoughts on Wildfire

Characters – Kelly has returned from being missing for 2 years, she isn’t as stable as she could be still dealing with the trauma of her mother’s death, the mystery about where she has been is key to her character’s action which are always unsure of what she would be doing. Lauren is the sister that spent time looking for Kelly, while trying to get on with her life, she isn’t happy to start with before recapturing the magic they once had, she does start to change as the rumours of their mother start coming back to light, with her always hearing people talking about her behind her back. Everyone else we meet at people that have known the sisters for their whole lives, showing how gossip can cause more damage.

PerformancesNora-Jane Noone and Nika McGuigan are both wonderful to watch tother, with Nora-Jane showing how a stable life can become interrupted, while Nika shows us how an unstable character can find their footing in life.

StoryThe story here follows two sisters that have been separated for a couple of years, only for them coming together to finally tackle the biggest problem in their life, how they dealt with the loss of their mother. This is a story that shows us just how close a sister relationship would be without seeing each other for years, while also how much damage losing a family member would be. We see the change that comes from both sisters in a world that isn’t going to be easy to get through, where the rumour mill can build the pressure on the people it is affecting.

SettingsThe film is set in the small town, which will see how the history of what has happened will always manage to come back to haunt them, with the rumours always being there after tragedy.

Scene of the Movie – The night on the drinks.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much mystery about where Kelly had been,

Final Thoughts Wildfire is a powerful story that is wonderfully acted by Nora-Jane Noone and Nika McGuigan that highlights the importance of family through grief.

Shirley (2020) London Film Festival Movie Review

Director: Josephine Decker

Writer: Sarah Gubbins (Screenplay) Susan Scarf Merrell (Novel)

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Odessa Young, Michael Stuhlbarg, Logan Lerman, Victoria Pedretti, Robert Wuhl

Plot: A famous horror writer finds inspiration for her next book after she and her husband take in a young couple.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Shirley starts as a young couple Fred Nemset (Lerman) and Rose (Young) move in with successful author Shirley (Moss) and her teacher husband Stanley (Stuhlbarg). As Rose doesn’t enjoy the company of Shirley, whose nature doesn’t hold back in her comments.

Shirley however gets inspiration from the young couple of a new novel, one about a missing woman, that reminds her of Rose, as the two start to gain a level of respect for each other, even becoming friends spending time together.

Thoughts on Shirley

Characters – Shirley is an estranged reclusive author who rarely leaves her home, she doesn’t hold back on her comments on people and often doesn’t like many people, including her husband. She starts out being distant from Rose, but starts to use her to help her create her latest horror book, while starting to come out of her own shell more. Rose Nemser is moving with her husband to attend the university that Shirley’s husband works at, she gets welcomed into the home, where she doesn’t start getting along with Shirley, before toughing it out to learn how complex she truly is and wants to learn more about standing up to her husband’s demands. Stanley is Shirley’s cheating husband, he has been doing this for years with his students and does have an agreement with Shirley. Fred is Rose’s husband that is learning under Stanley, he wants to be a good husband, but sees what he could have with a wife at home too.

PerformancesElisabeth Moss is great in the leading role, showing a complex character who has been struggling through her life, with Odessa Young breaking onto the scene with her performance which sees her keep up with Moss on nearly every level. Michael Stuhlbarg fills the supporting role with ease, making us want to see more from him in every scene too.

StoryThe story here follows a young couple that move into the home of a famous author and her husband, with them soon becoming the inspiration to Shirley to write her latest novel. This is a story that does focus on relationships and how they be built up after getting to know somebody more, it does deal with people not finding socialising easy and is also tackling how women were only seen as wives.

SettingsThe film uses the home setting for Shirley to show how difficult it will be for her to leave the home preferring to be away from the world.

Scene of the Movie – Mushrooms

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We only hear what the husbands are up to, rather than seeing how easily they could have their heads turned.

Final Thoughts Shirley is a wonderfully acting movie that will tell a big story about relationships and inspiration.

The Disciple (2020) Movie Review (London Film Festival)

Director: Chaitanya Tamhane

Writer: Chaitanya Tamhane (Screenplay)

Starring: Aditya Modak, Arun Dravid, Sumitra Bhave, Deepika Bhide Bhagwat

Plot: Chaitanya Tamhane’s masterfully composed second feature examines a lifetime journey devoted to the art of Indian classical music.

Runtime: 2 Hour 7 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Disciple starts as we meet Shaardya (Modak) who is preparing for a talent contest in India, one where he will bring his own unique abilities in Indian classical music to the forefront, against other younger performers from around the area, one competition he doesn’t win.

We see how Shaardya is determined to follow in his father’s footsteps to make this musical dream a reality, while making sure he brings a fresh sound to the traditional music, seeing how difficult it would be to break into the music stardom.

Thoughts on The Disciple

Final Thoughts The Disciple brings us a story which focuses on the desire to be seen as a success in a musical field, showing how a son would follow in his father’s footsteps to make an impact by trying to mix the traditional sounds with his own modern take on it, we see Shaardya in different stages of his life from his early contents, to his time where he is seen as a success in the industry, showing us how somebody can give their lives for their art form. We get the additional side to the story which will show us how wanting to following in a spotlight life can consume people much like how much damage this desire once did to his father. The acting in the film is strong throughout which helps us see the determination coming through in the characters. This is one of the films that puts a firm spotlight on the subject matter, which will helps everyone understand just want this will mean to the people who dedicate their lives to their art forms.

My Zoe (2019) Movie Review

Director: Julie Delpy

Writer: Julie Delpy (Screenplay)

Starring: Julie Deply, Gemma Arterton, Richard Armitage, Daniel Bruhl, Lindsay Duncan, Jordis Triebel

Plot: A divorced mother looks to protect her daughter after an unexpected tragedy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: My Zoe starts as Isabelle (Deply) is going through a divorce from James (Armitage), with the two fighting over the custody of their daughter Zoe, which will see Isabelle constantly needing to change plans to get the hearing done.

After one of these meetings, Isabelle has her night with Zoe, only for the morning, Zoe doesn’t wake up, with her being rushed to hospital, the pair continuing pointing the fingers are each other, while they are praying for Zoe to recover.

Thoughts on My Zoe

Characters – Isabelle is a divorced mother and respected scientist, she is dealing with the custody battle with her ex-husband, while trying to move on with her own life, until her daughter sick and she is left in a helpless position of waiting and praying for her daughter to recover. James is the ex-husband, he is often getting into arguments when Isabelle is trying to discuss the custody agreement and swap days, blaming her for what happens to Zoe. We do meet the doctor who will give them a difficult decision, which will become part of the bigger picture in the film.

PerformancesJulie Delpy isn’t just the start of the film, she is the writer and director, in the leading role she shines, proving she can bring us an emotional driven role. Richard Armitage does bring us the unlikeable ex-husband, with Daniel Bruhl and Gemma Arterton bringing us the strong later performances in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a divorcing couple going through the final moments of their custody battle, only for their daughter to fall into a coma, they continue pointing fingers while being left with the big decisions about her health. The story here highlights the difficult process of a divorce when it comes to the custody of their child, along with the almost impossible situation they find themselves in. we do get to see the deeper side of a ethical decision too, with the story focusing on asking us the bigger questions about parenthood.

SettingsThe film uses every day setting that the former couple would live, it shows how something could happen without them knowing about it.

Scene of the Movie – Meeting Dr Fischer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The story shows James as the bad guy, without getting us a chance to see his life after Isabelle,

Final Thoughts This is a thought-provoking movie that will ask the bigger questions about life and how far you might go to fix it when something outside of your own control happens.

Signature Entertainment presents My Zoe on Digital HD 5th October