Wilde (1997)

Director: Brian Gilbert

Writer: Julian Mitchell (Screenplay) Richard Ellmann (Book)

Starring: Stephen Fry, Jude Law, Vanessa Redgrave, Jennifer Ehle, Gemma Jones, Michael Sheen, Tom Wilkinson

 

Plot: The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and responsibility with his obsessive love for Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed Bosie. After legal action instigated by Bosie’s father, the enraged Marquise of Queensberry, Wilde refused to flee the country and was sentenced to two years at hard labor by the courts of an intolerant Victorian society. 


Tagline – The story of the first modern man

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Biopic

 

Story: Wilde starts as we meet Oscar Wilde (Fry) the popular play writes of the upper class of London, he marries Constance (Ehle) as they start their own family, however Oscar lives a secret life among the upper class where has male friends, with Lord Alfred Douglas (Law) becoming his latest obsession.

As Oscar and Alfred’s relationship continues to grow, we see the differences between the two men and Alfred’s father The Marquess of Queensberry (Wilkinson) doesn’t make it any easy between the two.

 

Thoughts on Wilde

 

Characters – Oscar Wilde is one of the most famous poets and play writes of all time, here we meet him on top of the world as he has a family and has his men on the side, taking up most of his time. He was openly gay in a society that frowned upon him, though he did keep his actions secret and behind closed doors, it is his latest relationship which causes the most problems as the man’s father refuses to be involved in any of that activity. Lord Alfred Douglas is the latest man to come into Oscar’s life, he has the title which draws the attention of the city to the couple, though he isn’t as loving as Oscar towards each other. Constance is the wife of Oscar, who must see her husband’s name dragged through the mud because of his action.

PerformancesStephen Fry shines in this leading role, only he could have bought us the strength in speech that his brings Oscar, with his emotions coming through when needing. Jude Law does a wonderful job here too as the young lover of Oscar, he brings the bratty side to the high society too. When it comes to the actresses they are all strong with their performances, knowing they need to let Fry shine more often.

StoryThe story follows the life of Oscar Wilde, from where he was the most famous play writes in London, while known for having a tendency to go around town looking for men, even when it was frowned upon. We see how one man can break the sensible side of Oscar, making him make the mistakes in his life which will see him lose everything and be punished for his action. He story shows us how somebody can get power over anybody when it comes to love even if they don’t mean to, the greatest mind can take away moments from life and send it in a direction which is just as painful.

Biopic/RomanceThe biopic in this film shows the personal life of Oscar Wilde, how he didn’t care if he went against society for the time. The romance shows how Oscar was stuck in a position where Alfred managed to get control over Oscar without meaning too, showing how love can make you do crazy things.

SettingsEach setting feels like we are in the right time period where we get to see how the upper class lived during this time too.


Scene of the Movie –
The poems.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The frustration this is how human society once treated people.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant biopic that showed how one of the greatest minds in history was shunned because of his sexual preference, showing the annoyance of how the world treats people.

 

Overall: Wilde by name, Wild by nature.

Rating

 

 

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)

Director: Desiree Akhavan

Writer: Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele (Screenplay) Emily M Danforth (Novel)

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Steven Hauck, Quinn Shephard, Kerry Butler, Dalton Harrod, McCabe Slye, Sasha Lane, John Gallagher Jr, Forrest Goodluck, Jennifer Ehle

 

Plot: In 1993, a teenage girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center by her conservative guardians.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Eye Opening Drama

 

Story: The Miseducation of Cameron Post starts in 1993 as high school student Cameron (Moretz) knows that she is a lesbian, only she doesn’t know how to come out, keeping her relationship with Coley (Shephard) a secret, until it gets discovered.

Cameron is sent to a gay conversion centre run by Reverend Rick (Gallagher Jr) and his partner Dr Lydia Marsh (Ehle) who are trying to teach the young people that they are confused. Cameron is in the centre with fellow homosexuals Jane (Lane) and Adam (Goodluck) who find their own way to get through the centre.

 

Thoughts on The Miseducation of Cameron Post

 

Characters – Cameron is a high school student in the 90’s, she ha been raised through a religious community which causes problems with her family after they catch her making love to another girl. Cameron is forced into a conversion centre where she must learn to survive the ideas of the camp, while trying to keep her own identity. Jane is another young woman in the centre, she knows how to get by there and is there for the same reasons Cameron is, she doesn’t want to change, but knows it will be the only way out. Reverend Rick is running the centre, he has been converted in the past, using his story to guide the new students of the centre. Dr Lydia Marsh runs the psychological side of the conversion, trying to teach them it is in their heads.

PerformancesChloe Grace Moretz in the leading role shows we have a wonderful cast here that includes Sasha Lane and Forrest Goodluck in the young people performances, with John Gallagher Jr and Jennifer Ehle in the adult roles work well too.

StoryThe story follows a high school girl that gets sent of a gay conversation centre to fix her mind in the view of her guardians, here she learns that she isn’t the only one being treated like this and must decide what she wants from her future. This is a shocking look at how homosexuals were treated by the religious minds because it is confusing enough without somebody telling you that you will go to hell for being involved. Seeing how the curing is done, doesn’t seem as extreme as it could have been though, it is treated like a therapy session over any sort of torture. The friendship grown in the centre is important for Cameron because her point of view isn’t as strict as other lives involved. We do get to see just how damaging this idea could be on the patients too. This story isn’t going to be relaxing watching because of just how seriously everything is handled.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the centre, it is a remote camp like location where the people there can do what they want in the free time, which does show us how certain parts of the world would want homosexuals isolated away from the rest of the world.


Scene of the Movie –
The trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The idea is frustrating to see.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shocking look at how certain parts of the world want to isolate homosexuals just because they see them as different, the performances are wonderful throughout, portraying the way the characters feel about being abandoned by their families.

 

Overall: Important watch.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – Z – Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Writer: Mark Boal (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong

 

Plot: A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011.


Tagline – For ten years one woman never stopped searching for the most wanted man in history

Runtime: 2 Hours 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intense Thriller

 

Story: Zero Dark Thirty starts as we see how Maya (Chastain) joins an interrogation unit ran by Dan (Clarke) who is looking for answers to the location of Osama Bin Laden, the man behind the 9/11 attacks.

As the information gathers, so does her desperation to catch and kill Osama, this shows on how she goes against any orders to follow leads, as well as risking her life to get to the moment in history where Osama Bin Laden was killed by a Navy SEAL team.

 

Thoughts on Zero Dark Thirty

 

Characters – Maya is the lady we are following through this whole film, she is determined to use the intelligence gathered to kill Osama Bin Laden, she stands up to authority and never backs down from a lead. We get to meet a whole host of other people that either taught, worked with or tried to stop Maya along the way.

PerformancesJessica Chastain is brilliant in the leading role, she once again shows us all the talent she has when it comes to being in a leading role. We have a host of actors that went onto become leading men here too including Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt showing that once again Bigelow knows how to select the next big things.

StoryThe story follows the manhunt for Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks, we follow the 10-year pursuit for the terrorist as we follow one lady who would never give up on finding the man, using the information gathered to bring this man down. This showed us just how many people took a part in the biggest manhunt known to man. The story unfolds in order as we see each lead set the people in the right direction they need to take to bring down the terrorist.

ThrillerThis does keep you on the edge of your seat as you see the mission unfold, even if we do know the end of this story.

SettingsThe settings take us to the events of the terrorist attacks, and the locations the mission would have taken place in.


Scene of the Movie –
Night mission.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is an excellent look at how Bin Laden was taken down, the people who gave up time in their own lives to bring down the terrorist.

 

Overall: A must watch for the thriller fans out there.

Rating

 

 

 

Spooks: The Greater Good (2015)

Director: Bharat Nalluri

Writer: Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent (Screenplay)

Starring: Kit Harington, Peter Firth, Jennifer Ehle, David Harewood, Lara Pulver, Tim McInnerny, Tuppence Middleton

 

Plot: When a terrorist escapes custody during a routine handover, Will Holloway must team with disgraced MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce to track him down before an imminent terrorist attack on London.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Should Have Stayed on TV

 

Story: Spooks: The Greater Good starts when Harry Pearce (Firth) must make the impossible decision to release a known terrorist Hamza Ahmadi (Mallassi) to rescue civilians, this shows massive failure on behalf of MI5.

When Harry goes missing Geraldine Maltby (Ehle), Oliver Mace (McInnerny) and Francis Warrender (Harewood) bring in former spy Will Holloway (Harington) to locate him after he has faked his own disappearance.

Will finds himself playing the middle man working for Harry but under MI5 to work an operation to stop the terrorist from taking London into his own terror target.

 

Thoughts on Spooks: The Greater Good

 

Characters/PerformanceWill being the lead character is the guy who clearly wasn’t meant to be an agent because he is filled with terrible decisions. Harry does come from the TV version so I think if you wanted the show you would understand more but in this he just comes off shady. The rest of the characters do all come off feeling like generic spy TV show character.

Performance wise Harington does well but never reaches the performance levels that Keifer Sutherland, Matt Damon or any of the Bond actors give us. Peter Firth is fine but you can see he is better for TV than film.

StoryThe story feels like a poor version of an episode of 24, because if you haven’t seen the TV show you wouldn’t know the bigger picture going on. This story feels all over the place because the story never reaches the intensity level needed for a film of this subject. It also drags in most places as you just lose interest in what is going on.

Action/ThrillerThe action is simple and never tests with the thrilling side of the story not reaching any strong levels in the film.

SettingsLondon should be a great setting but everything happens too conventionally for how the story end up unfolding.

Special EffectsWe have few and they are fine without being a CGI heavy film.

Final ThoughtsIf you want to see this film watch the show first you might understand it more or just watch 24 because it works in my opinion on a better level.

 

Overall: Slow, confusing and just not reaching the levels it should.

Rating

 

 

John Travolta Weekend – The Forger (2014)

forgerDirector: Philip Martin

Writer: Richard D’Ovidio (Screenplay)

Starring: John Travolta, Christopher Plummer, Tye Sheridan, Abigail Spencer, Anson Mount, Marcus Thomas, Jennifer Ehle

 

Plot: A thief works with his father and son to forge a painting by Monet and steal the original. Together, they plan the heist of their lives.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch

 

Story: The Forger starts as Raymond Cutter (Travolta) puts together a deal to get out of prison early, returning to his father’s Joseph’s (Plummer) home who has been looking after his son Will (Sheridan). Raymond makes a deal with Keegan (Mount) to help him get out early but the deal is that Raymond must use his skills to forge a painting or he will put Raymond back in jail.

Raymond is also having to deal with the tragic story of his son’s cancer treatment explaining why he would risk everything to get out of jail early. Raymond must keep everything together as he works on the highly risky job but also trying to help his son fulfill his dying wishes.

 

Thoughts on The Forger

 

StoryThe story going on through this story is very interesting, I have only heard bad things about this film and I found the story between Raymond and Will touching as we see how Raymond knows what is coming to his own son and posing a question to us all, how much would we give up for the final weeks/months of our son’s life. The crime story while is key to his release is just in the way of what could be a very impressive story, but the two do end up working well in parallel to each other.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime thriller side of this film all feels very generic and if you look past that to the personal side of the story you will find this interesting but the crime story is just there really.

Characters/PerformanceThe three generations of Cutter family all make for good characters with each member giving a good performance but the crime characters all end up feeling like we have seen them all before with the plucky cop background only making it hard to judge the performance.

SettingsThe settings are all what you would call generic for the style of film without being anything special or iconic for any of the scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that I only ever heard bad things so going in I wasn’t expecting too much, but in the end I found myself enjoying the personal element of the film between the family but struggled to enjoy the crime side of the film.

 

Overall: Solid but forgettable movie about family.

Ratingcard