Kate Winslet Weekend – The Dressmaker (2015)

Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse

Writer: Jocelyn Moorhouse, P.J. Hogan (Screenplay) Rosalie Ham (Novel)

Starring: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Julia Blake, Shane Bourne, Kerry Fox, Shane Bourne

 

Plot: A glamorous woman returns to her small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.


Tagline – Revenge is back in fashion

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Quirky & Dark

 

Story: The Dressmaker starts when Tilly Dunnage (Winslet) returns to her small home rural town to see her mother Molly (Davis), Tilly isn’t welcomed by all because of something that happened in the past resulting in the death of a child.

Tilly is out for revenge, only she starts turning heads and offering to design dresses for the local women in town, she grabs the attention of the town bachelor Teddy (Hemsworth) with her only friend being Sergeant Farrat (Weaving) who has his own eye for fashion.

 

Thoughts on The Dressmaker

 

Characters – Tilly Dunnage is a glamorous woman that has seen the world learning the fashion world, she has returned home for revenge after being forced to leave the town as a child, she helps the women of the town look gorgeous and extra special, while she convinces herself that she isn’t cursed. She knows how to turn heads using her cloths to make this happen. Molly is the mother of Tilly who has been living in isolation for years, she didn’t want her daughter to return, even though she doesn’t start to bond with her after all these years apart. Teddy is a young man in the town, he is one of the few people that looked after Molly while Tilly was away, he soon takes a shine to her, wanting to prove that she didn’t do anything in the first place. Sergeant Farrat is one of the people that is happy to welcome Tilly back to town, he does have his own secret which involves his cross dressing, making him easy to twist when Tilly wants information.

PerformancesKate Winslet is great in this leading role, bring us a character filled with guilt who is just as happy to show a positive confident side to the people in the town. Judy Davis is a scene stealer in this film, being able to get the laughs required to make her the most memorable part of nearly ever scene she is in. Liam Hemsworth is at the best he has ever been, which is great to see him breaking away from the roles that aren’t working for him. Hugo Weaving gets to have a lot of fun in his role too.

StoryThe story follows a woman who returns home to get revenge on the people that forced her to leave, only to learn that town has just as many secrets within the walls, that revenge is just about letting them out. We get to see how a town can turn enough heads to make everything seem like nothing is wrong, only for a curse to be waiting to be lifted if it isn’t inside somebody’s mind. We do get a lot of characters being introduced which can make things difficult to keep up with because we get plenty of little factors that do lead up to the personal conflict between the characters. this is a lot more fun of a story than I was expecting even though it is sprinkled with very dark moments.

ComedyThe comedy in the film does come the quirky nature of the events as they unfold, we have plenty of fashion related comical moments as well as small town gossip, which will get laugh along the way.

SettingsThe film is set in a small rural Australian town, where everybody does know everybody else, we are filled with gossip and instant reactions to anything that goes on in the town too.


Scene of the Movie –
Leaving town.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a quirky dark comedy that is sprinkled by the elements of revenge, which does keep us wondering just what is the endgame of her decision making process.

 

Overall: Dark quirky comedy treat.

Rating

 

 

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Kate Winslet Weekend – The Mountain Between Us (2017)

Director: Hany Abu-Assad

Writer: Chris Weitz, J Mills Goodloe (Screenplay) Charles Martin (Book)

Starring: Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Beau Bridges, Dermot Mulroney, Linda Sorensen, Vincent Gale

 

Plot: Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow-covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness.


Tagline – What if your life depended on a stranger?

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Performances, Over Dramatic Story

 

Story: The Mountain Between Us starts when Ben (Elba) and Alex (Winslet) are trying desperately to get home, but a storm has put a hold on those plans with the planes delayed for the day. The two make a deal to let pilot Walter (Bridges) fly them home, but mid-flight he suffers a stroke and the plane crash lands in the snow-covered mountain range.

Ben and Alex survive the crash and must learn to work together to survive against the harsh weather conditions and nature hidden in the mountains or face certain death.

 

Thoughts on The Mountain Between Us

 

Characters – Ben Bass is a surgeon, he needs to get back to New York to perform an operation, when the crash happens, he focuses on aiming to stay at the crash site believing he will get rescued, reluctant to follow Alex’s idea to find their own way out. His skills as a doctor are key to survive this one. Alex is a photographer heading home for her wedding, she does get hurt in the crash and wants to go in search of help rather than wait. These two are professionals that make decisions based on logic over panic which is why even if they are opposite, their discussions make sense.

PerformancesIdris Elba and Kate Winslet are the only ones that get any major screen time, they are both great in this film as we see them both playing to their strengths.

StoryThe story here follows two strangers who are involved in a plane crash in a mountain range and must put their differences a side to survive while searching and hoping for rescue. This is a survival movie at heart with a weak romance movie on the side, we go through the normal can they survive situations, each one becoming deadlier as they go along and leaving us guessing how rather than if they will get rescued, it seems to clear to say that they won’t make it because of it only being a two person. The fact that the dog is the most interesting character doesn’t help us out here and the timing we go through just seems weak when it comes to telling us how long they have been there, we get the odd scene, but learn nothing about moments inbetween.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action comes from the scene in which the plane crashed, it is shot well but is the only one we see. The adventure side of the film shows us just what the two must go through to survive their ordeal. The romance between them seems to just get tagged in for no particular reasons.

SettingsThe film puts us in the middle of nowhere in a mountain range, it looks stunning with views from the top, the biggest problem with the setting is we just don’t get the full scale of the situation.


Scene of the Movie –
The crash scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not explaining the time period there are lost for.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard movie with a simple story that gets everything it needs to in the film without being anything overly memorable.

 

Overall: Standard and safe.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – E – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Director: Michel Gondry

Writer: Charlie Kaufman (Screenplay) Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth (Story)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson

 

Plot: When their relationship turns sour, a young couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.


Tagline – Replace my memory.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Look at Relationships

 

Story: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starts as we follow two strangers Joel (Carrey) and Clementine (Winslet) who meet on a train, fall in love, but darkness soon falls over Joel’s life when for some reason Clementine doesn’t remember him and dates someone else.

Clementine has had Joel erased from her memory, Joel is never meant to know this, but when he learns about this, Dr Mierzwiak (Wilkinson) performs the same procedure for Joel and with the technicians Stan (Ruffalo), Patrick (Wood) and Mary (Dunst) help Joel through the destruction of the memories.

 

Thoughts on External Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

 

Characters – Joel is the man that fell in love with Clementine, but sees his life fall to pieces when she goes through a procedure to erase him. Joel broken up about this follows through with his own procedure and now his mind is living through the nightmare of losing his memories and trying to save them. Clementine is the woman Joel falls in love with, after they break up she has him erased and we see how they had their ups and downs through their time together. Dr Mierzwiak is the man behind the technology and his work makes it possible for memories erased. Patrick is one of the technicians working on Joel, he has done an unethical thing when performing the procedure before. Stan is the main man working on Joel, he sees it as an easy job, but this case because more difficult than he could imagine and his reckless behaviour with Mary the receptionist causes more problems than they needed too.

PerformancesJim Carrey is great in his leading role, we get to see a new level because he shows that his serious ability is taking over now, Kate Winslet works here because she gets to be the quirky girlfriend while also feeling like an everyday real woman. We have an excellent supporting cast that all give great performances too.

StoryThe story here plays into the idea that sometimes relationships don’t go the way you would plan them too, but in this world you can erase the person you have fallen out of love with. This is a smart idea, because how often have people fallen in and out of love with the heartache of the break up holding people back, this answers this with a solution people could turn too. Only watching it from Joel’s point of view is good and bad, because he is the one that must witness the idea of being left, ignored by the person he once loved.

Romance/Sci-FiThe romance side of the film shows us just how relationships can play out, they always start amazing but soon they turn into the normality that can put people off where things are going which leads to what happens. The sci-fi elements are smartly used as we see just how the technology used can create everything that happens.

SettingsThe settings try to keep us in everyday life and memories, which help Joel find the moments he needs to erase.

Special EffectsThe effects are effortless because you barely notice moments as the world falls apart in the memories of Joel.


Scene of the Movie –
Escaping the world collapsing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The technicians are too reckless for me.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of films people are always hyping over, I have struggle to watch this before, but made it through this time and did enjoy for the most part as it looks at how relationships are not always as planned.

 

Overall: Smart romance movie.

Rating

 

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – T – Titanic (1997)

Director: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton

 

Plot: A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.


Tagline – Collide With Destiny

Runtime: 3 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Masterpiece in Cinema

 

Story: Titanic starts as treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Paxton) and his team are searching the Titanic wreckage for any remaining treasure that could make them rich, on their latest voyage they find a picture of woman wearing a long-lost necklace, the heart of the ocean. With this picture becoming international news Rose (Stuart) comes aboard the ship to tell her story of her trip in the doomed ship.

Returning to 1912 we follow Rose (Winslet) from a rich family using the trip with her fiancée Cal (Zane) to return to America to start their life together. Jack (DiCaprio) on the other hand wins his ticket in a poker game to be a passenger on the ship, in the third class.

As the two get involved in a chance meeting, Rose is shown the life that is care free away from her prim and proper lifestyle that she has only ever been shown, the two fall in love in their short time together but after the ship hits the iceberg, they must battle to survive the fateful night as the panic of the tragic event occurs.

 

Thoughts on Titanic

 

Characters – Rose is shown to us in two different times, we first meet the modern day one, well 1997 where she has lived the life she had always dreamed off, now she gets to return to the Titanic wreckage to tell her story of events on the maiden voyage that will be remembered forever. The other Rose we meet is the younger one, the 19 year-old that is moving to America to start her life of luxury with her fiancée Cal, at this age she isn’t sure this is what she wants and meeting Jack shows her a new look and even a new love in life, she takes risks that she would never have even imagined taking before meeting Jack. Jack Dawson is a drifter, artist and traveller of the world, winning his ticket in a game of poker, he sees this as his chance to return to America with his new craft, he falls for Rose and his carefree lifestyle shines on her and he is shunned by anyone in the first class of the ship. Cal is the fiancée of Rose, he has used his wealth to get all the benefits in life, he looks down on anyone not from the same class as himself and takes an instant dislike to Jack, he tries to control Rose’s every decision making him the villain of the piece. We have the controlling mother, the fish out of water with money in Molly who steals nearly every scene being the only one that can relate to Jack and the portrays of the real people behind the ship tragedy.

PerformancesLeonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet became international A-Listers after this movie, their performances are fantastic and showed the world the talent they both had at this early moments of their career. Billy Zane does make a great villainous character through this film and you will find yourself hating his character. Kathy Bates is fantastic too in a role you could have watched all day long. The whole cast is fantastic in this film and their performances show us just how good they are.

StoryThe story shows us one of the most tragic moments in modern human history, this sinking of the Titanic, an accident in which no one was prepared for, seeing the supporting characters who are based on the real people is fascinating to see how they were to believed to have acted, saying this the love story does feel very forced and having one person telling the story doesn’t give us the understand how she would know what other people were doing at the times without her in the movie. Clocking up at over 3 hours, this story never seems to find a low point well telling the story of this tragedy.

RomanceThe weakest part of the film here, because this event didn’t need a fictional love story which in all fairness is a by the book routine love story of the rich meets poor.

SettingsThe creation of the Titanic for the setting is fantastic, as we follow the journey you feel like you are part of this doomed voyage which is filled with the beauty of first class and the cramped conditions of third class.

Special EffectsThe visual effects used in this movie were ground-breaking at the time, they stand this test of time and deserved any credit the team working on this got.


Scene of the Movie –
The search for survivors, is haunting, disturbing and tragic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How would Rose know what people were doing in her story.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest movies of all time, a record breaking in its own right, career making, career defining and moment in history that will forever be stuck in tragic events.

 

Overall: Brilliant, and a must watch

Rating

 

 

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Director: Ang Lee

Writer: Emma Thompson (Screenplay) Jane Austin (Novel)

Starring: Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Tom Wilkinson, James Fleet, Harriet Walter, Gemma Jones

 

Plot: Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Perfect Period Piece

 

Story: Sense and Sensibility starts when Mr Dashwood (Wilkinson) dies leaving his inheritance to his son John (Fleet) by law, his wife Fanny (Walter) wants his second wife Mrs Dashwood (Jones) and the daughters Elinor (Thompson), Marianna (Winslet) and Margaret (Francois) to move out as soon as possible living off just the £500 a year.

As the family moves to a small cottage Elinor must leave the early feelings she has for Fanny’s brother Edward Ferrars (Grant). While in the cottage Elinor watches as Marianne gets courted by a couple of men Colonel Brandon (Rickman) and John Willoughby (Wise) who both could bring the family back to the high life.

 

Thoughts on Sense and Sensibility

 

Characters/PerformanceElinor Dashwood is the eldest sister of the family she falls for Edward but knows she can’t be with him because of her new social status, she also looks after the younger sisters. Marianne is the middle sister and the one easily led astray by her heart never being able to hide her feelings when it comes to love. Edward Ferrars is the kind quiet brother of Fanny who wants nothing more than a life away from the high society. Colonel Brandon is a middle-aged bachelor that has lived with a broken heart but does take a shine to Marianne, he does what he can to support her through her own heart break even if he has his own desire to marry her.

Performance wise, Emma Thompson is brilliant in the leading role as well as her work on the screenplay which won her an Oscar. Kate Winslet burst onto the scene with this role which has firmly put her into the minds of any film fan now. Hugh Grant is great through his supporting role and Alan Rickman shows he had the class to perform in any film role. We do have a good supporting cast of well-known British actors too that all perform well.

StoryThis is a Jane Austin novel, so let’s face it, I will never have read the novel in the first place, I am not the biggest fan of this era movies because I find the high society annoying to see how people used to act for money rather than love. Saying this I did enjoy watching the story unfold I found it showed just how frustrating the era in British history was and is one that can be respected by all film fans. We do have love, heartbreak and money but it also spends plenty of time watching over how things could be considered farfetched.

RomanceWe get to see the swings and roundabouts of love through the romance side of the story here but mostly focusing on potential heartbreak and lost love.

SettingsEach setting brings us into the time era perfectly making everything come off flawless throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t a film I would be re-visiting but it is one I can say is wonderfully made, written and performed throughout.

 

Overall: Brilliant period drama of a classic novel.

Rating