Stonehearst Asylum (2015)

logoDirector: Brad Anderson

Writer: Joe Gangemi (Screenplay) Edgar Allan Poe (Short Story)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, Jason Flemyng, Sophie Kennedy Clark

Plot: A recent medical school grad who takes a position at a mental institution soon finds himself taken with one of his colleagues — though he has no initial idea of a recent, horrifying staffing change.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Thriller That Lacks Something

Story: Stonehearst Asylum starts in Oxford University where The Alienist (Gleeson) tries to prove the madness of young woman as he teaches his students how to treat people with this dimension. Edward Newgate (Sturgess) is our medical student studying to become an Alienist and his work takes him to the Gothic Stonehearst Asylum. Finn (Thewlis) fills in the information about the number of patients that are at Stonehearst as well as filling us in on some of the more unique ones.

The head Doctor Silas Lamb (Kingsley) grills Edward on his motives about getting into the mental health world where his work would only be questioned and not held in high regard. Going on the rounds with Lamb, Edward the two are clearly going to start clashing with their ideas of methods with Lamb trying to keep his patients happy while Edward wants to cure their problems. On the trip around the hospital Edward gets to learn the story of Eliza Graves (Beckinsale) a patient that looks relatively normal compared to the rest.

Edward gets a warning from Eliza which leads to Edward investigating the Asylum and discovering Benjamin Salt (Caine) who claims to that himself and his employees are trapped in cells and Lamb has taken over the hospital. Edward has to figure out a way to work out who is really in charge and figure out how to prove what is going on. Edward continues to learn about the asylum where he has the make the final decision about what to do.

Stonehearst Asylum is a film that was slightly misleading because I thought it was going to leave us wondering who was the rightful doctor but in the end it gives us the information freely leaving us to wonder how Edward deals with the situation. The film did pull me in but through the whole film I did feel like something was missing. There is one final killer twist but otherwise it will play out how you would expect offer very simple. (6/10)

Actor Review

Kate Beckinsale: Eliza Graves is the beautiful patient who has captured the eye of young doctor Edward Newgate, she tries to help him get through the situation in the hospital leaving us to question whether she is really as mad as she is claimed to be. Kate gives a solid performance that continues to show her decline in performances in recent years. (6/10)grave

Jim Sturgess: Edward Newgate is a medical student looking to learn about the mental health. He requests to attend Stonehearst but little does he know that he is walking into the middle of a battle of power in the asylum. Edward has to work out who to help the doctor who goes too far or the patient taking over the asylum who treat each other like human beings. Jim gives us a good performance through the film. (7/10)edwward

David Thewlis: Mickey Finn is the muscles and man who will do the dirty work for Silas Lamb, he enjoys hurting people making him the most dangerous man in the asylum. David does a good job as the loose cannon in the asylum. (7/10)finn

Ben Kingsley: Silas Lamb is the man running the asylum but turns out to be a patient of the asylum, he has watched how the asylum was once run and now he thinks he knows how to treat the patients with the treatment they truly need. Ben delivers one of the best performances in the film being so calm and calculated throughout. (7/10)lamb

Michael Caine: Benjamin Salt is the head of the doctor who has been locked away by Silas and his patients whoo have taken over the asylum, he tries to get Edward to help but knows he can’t risk the new doctors life. He methods are what had led to the patient revaluation. Michael doesn’t have enough screen time for my liking for the character. (6/10)salt

Support Cast: Stonehearst Asylum has a supporting cast that includes the rest of the patients and doctors, you have to work out who is what as the story unfolds.

Director Review: Brad Anderson Brad does a good job directing but there is a certain moments that could have been better and we could have seen a lot more about the difference between Lamb and Salt. (6/10)

Thriller: Stonehearst Asylum does keep us guessing to what will happen, but I feel we could have had a little extra to pull us right in. (6/10)

Settings: Stonehearst Asylum keeps most of the action inside the asylum which helps keep us guessing because we know all the true identities are inside the asylum. (8/10)

Suggestion: Stonehearst Asylum is one to try, I think it will be enjoyable to watch but I do feel certain people will find it slow. (Try It)

Best Part: Final Twist.

Worst Part: Slightly 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 52 Minutes

Tagline: No one is what they seem

Overall: Thriller that is entertaining but lacks that extra punch to pull it right in.

Rating 60

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Philomena (2013)

logoDirector: Stephen Frears

Writer: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope (Screenplay) Martin Sixsmith (Book)

Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, Anna Maxwell Martin, Michelle Fairley

 

Plot: A world-weary political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) picks up the story of a woman’s Philomena (Dench) search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. Martin and Philomena make an unlikely couple who goes on an adventure to find her long lost son.

 

Verdict: Emotional Story

Story: What can I say that hasn’t been said already? The story is brilliant and being based on a true story is even more incredible. You will laugh, you will cry and you will enjoy the story of one lady’s last attempt to find her long lost son. (10/10)

 

Actor Review: Judi Dench – Philomena a nice old lady who has been looking for her son for fifty years and goes on a trip to find him in America. Dench is brilliant in this role, she has perfect timing on all her lines that will give you the laughs or the tears. (10/10)

 dench

Actor Review: Steve Coogan – Martin Sixsmith disgraced reporter who takes a chance on a human interest piece that will change him forever. Coogan is brilliant and shows he doesn’t need to be that stupid clown comedy actor when he has such talent for the serious roles. (10/10)

 coogan

Director Review: Stephen Frears – Great direction throughout to show the story unfold so well. (10/10)

 

Drama: Brilliant drama that will give you all different emotions throughout. (10/10)

Believability: Based on a true story (10/10)

Chances of Tears: Yes throughout you may get some. (5/10)

Settings: Each setting works well for the story and offers a new look to each scenario that the two end up going through. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: It got nominated for best picture so you know it will be good, this is a must watch film that will make you have a real emotional rollercoaster. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Dench and Coogan work brilliantly together.

Funniest Scene: Philomena being over friendly to everyone.

Favourite Quote: Phinomena ‘You should be nice to the people on the way up, cause you might meet them again on the way down, you of all people should know about that.’

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 4 Oscars

Chances of Sequel: No

Tagline: These two unlikely companions are on a journey to find her long lost son

 

Overall: Brilliant, Brilliant Drama That Is A Must Watch

Rating 98