Submergence (2018)

Director: Wim Wenders

Writer: Erin Dignam (Screenplay) J.M Ledgard (Novel)

Starring: Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy, Alexander Siddig, Jannik Schumann, Reda KAteb, Celyn Jones, Jess Liaudin, Mohamed Hakeemshady


Plot: In a room with no windows on the eastern coast of Africa, a Scotsman, James More, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Thousands of miles away in the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. In their confines they are drawn back to the Christmas of the previous year, where a chance encounter on a beach in France led to an intense and enduring romance.

Tagline – Love Has No Limits

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Powerful Love Story


Story: Submergence starts as Danielle Flinders (Vikander) is preparing for her submersible dive of the coast of Greenland, she has lost contact to the man she fell in love with James More (McAvoy) who unbeknown to her has been captured in Africa by Jihadist fighters.

James is using the memory of the Christmas the two met in France to keep him going in hope of freedom, while Danielle faces her fears of what could go wrong in her dive. We are left to see how their love keeps them both strong and broken in the world where they are 1000s of miles apart.



Thoughts on Submergence


Characters – Danielle Flinders has been using her mathematic formulas to understand the deepest part of the oceans believing one day the world will run out of oxygen and that the deepest part of the ocean could hold the answers. She doesn’t connect with people on a personal level until James comes along breaking down those walls. James More is a Scottish man working in Africa for a water company, trying to bring clean water to the remote parts of the country, he is captured by the Jihadist fighters, he keeps his relationship with Danielle as his only motivation for survival. We do meet other characters that the two interact with who helps show the predicament the two are facing.

PerformancesAlicia Vikander is always great in a drama, she has the ability to morph into many characters from different fields and times, this is no different as you truly understand her struggle. James McAvoy is great to as we see him almost play two different characters, the one that is confident and in love and the one being broken.

StoryThe story here shows us how two people on very different career paths from different sides of the world can meet and fall in love for a split second and use this to motivate them to survive and complete their goals. The meeting side of everything is nice enough we have seen it before and it works for the film fine, it is the part of the story where they are apart which interests most. Seeing Danielle facing the biggest moment of her career, the moment she has waited for, for years, but feeling broken because she can’t contact James shows her conflict, while James is facing potential death with no one to call for help using his inspiration of love for Danielle to keep him going, these two elements of the film keep us going.

Romance/ThrillerThe love the two characters feel for each other feels real, the separation they are feeling with no clue how the other one is feeling is how love can be at times and to keep us guessing to what will happen at the end is what keeps us enjoying till the end.

SettingsThe film uses the settings very well, the have the beauty of the French coastline for the meeting between the two and using the contrast of the open spaces both enjoy in their different location with the tight prisons they are both facing is very interesting to see and used perfectly.

Scene of the Movie –
The island trip Danielle takes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The final act with James.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful look at how love can affect a person from the first time you meet someone, to how it will give you hope, motivation and fear when it comes to where you could find yourself in the world.


Overall: Wonderful study on love and careers




ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – A – A Prophet (2009)

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writer: Thomas Bidegain, Jacques Audiard (Screenplay) Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufailit (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Reda Kateb, Hichm Yacoubi


Plot: A young Arab man is sent to a French prison.

Tagline – Escaping the prison of life.

Runtime: 2 Hours 35 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Tension Filled Thriller


Story: A Prophet starts as Malik (Rahim) enters prison, he wants to keep to himself and get out quickly, but this doesn’t happen because crime boss Cesar (Arestrup) sees him as a potential new employee in need of protection on the inside, but in exchange Malik must do some of the dirty work for Cesar.

As time goes by Malik starts getting granted day release from prison where he must run jobs for Cesar, instead of getting back into normal life again. When things start getting out of control Malik must find a way out of this life before it is too late.


Thoughts on A Prophet


Characters – Malik is a young criminal, sent to prison where he wants to do his time and walk away from his mistakes, he isn’t going to get this chance as he gets recruited with the promise of protection on the inside. He finds himself doing whatever it takes to survive this, but can he find a way out. Cesar is the crime lord in prison, he offers protection in exchange for jobs to be done for him, he will kill anyone that crosses him though.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are fantastic, you believe each reaction and motive the characters must go through as things are happening in the film.

StoryThe story follows one young man’s fall into the crime world from inside a prison, to where he must find a way out before it finds himself too deep. There is a religious element to the story which shows the tension between Arabic and Muslims as Malik is stuck between the twos battle. This is a by the book gangster style movie where the new person enters and rises up the gang only to want to find a way out too.

CrimeThe crime world we enter starts in prison and shows how things can still be operated from within the prison walls if the ranks are high enough.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the prison, so you can see the world that can operate inside there, outside each process is where Malik is either sent or finding himself while going through the release procedure.

Scene of the Movie –
The first kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long for my liking.

Final ThoughtsThis is a tense crime thriller showing us just where a young man can fall into while trying to just get out of his own problems with a large amount of religious undertone.


Overall: One for the gangster fans.




Lost River (2015)

logoDirector: Ryan Gosling

Writer: Ryan Gosling (Screenplay)

Starring: Christina Hendricks, Iain De Caestecker, Saoirse Rona, Matt Smith, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes, Reda Kateb, Barbara Steele, Landyn Stewart, Rob Zabrecky

Plot: A single mother is swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow, Boring and Ordinary

Story: Lost River starts by showing our single mother Billy (Hendricks) who has two boys who live in a town that is slowly becoming empty of residence. Bones (De Caestecker) is one of the teenage sons who spends his time trying to take copper from the abandoned buildings in the city, but when he crosses paths with Bully (Smith) the man who claims to run the copper in the city. We see how Billy is struggling to keep the roof over her family’s heads.

Bones sees his family struggling and risks going back to steal from Bully hoping for one last pay day from the man he delivers too. Bones has a friend Rat (Ronan) who he lets out that he has found a road leading into the river. Billy get given a job offer which ends up being a lot different to what she bargained for inside a specialist club while Bones investigates the mystery lost town under the river. We continue to watch to see the friendship between Bones and Rat keep them together through all the problems the town in facing. Bones sees hw far his mother is being forced to go to make money and sets out for one final score to get the family out of the town once and for all.

Lost River really tries to throw the idea of a suffering family down our throats, we get to look at unemployment mixed with the effects of small towns losing the community feeling. All these effects are achieved very well because you do feel for the family but the crazed Bully seems out of place in this film. We really do get plenty of what just happened moments but in the end everything just seems very forced to make the family go through more than they need too. The over all feel of this movie comes off strange and you never get pulled in enough before getting stuck with a very sudden ending that doesn’t answer all the questions the film gave you. (5/10)

Actor Review

Christina Hendricks: Billy is the single mother trying to find a way to keep her family home standing, for her two sons. She ends up working in a specialist club where blood and gore is the name of the game or the illusion of gore. Christina gives a solid job as the mother pushed to her limits. (6/10)

Iain De Caestecker: Bones is the eldest son of Billy’s who is stripping abandoned houses for a chance to make extra money for his family. By doing this he ends up crossing paths with the dangerous Bully all while trying to start a romance with Rat. Iain comes from nowhere to stand next to this elite cast. (6/10)bones

Saoirse Ronan: Rat is the neighbour and friend of Bones who start looking into a way out of the town together, as they look for a new start on a life that really isn’t going anywhere. Saoirse seems to be wasted in this supporting role because she meant to be leading films now. (6/10)bully

Matt Smith: Bully is the man who believes he is the boss of the town, he is very dangerous and will hurt anyone who gets involved in his business. He starts targeting Bones and all the people he is close to after he steals from him. Matt breaks out of his good guy persona he has from Doctor Who to be the highlight of the film. (7/10)

Ben Mendelsohn: Dave is the bank manager who pushes Billy into a life that she doesn’t want to be involved in to make sure she keeps the family home. He manages to get his hold over Billy just so he can get what he wants. Ben gives a solid job as the creepy character but never gets enough time to show just how far he will go. (6/10)

Eva Mendes: Cat is the manager at the club, who has to look after the woman in the club. She also tests them to see how far they can push their performances. Eva does a solid job in this small supporting role. (6/10)

Support Cast: Lost River is a film that the support cast have to come off almost as the people’s actions rather than the main characters actually do anything bad.

Director Review: Ryan Gosling Ryan does try to give his own personal touch to the film because it is shot in a way I haven’t seen before but parts do get lost in the story where he is trying to hard with the visuals. (5/10)

Mystery: Lost River has a mystery side with how the town ended up under water but it got solved easily. (3/10)

Thriller: Lost River you do start to wonder what will happen but when nothing much does it falls slightly flat. (4/10)

Settings: Lost River creates a very real small town that is falling apart which comes off very effective for the film. (9/10)

Suggestion: Lost River is one to try, I do feel people will enjoy this more than I did but I am not sure how much. (Try It)

Best Part: Setting.

Worst Part: Very Slow.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Overall: Lost River is a very slow film that never really gets into gear.