Accidental Hero (1992)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay) Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent, David Webb Peoples (Story)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Joan Cusack, Kevin J O’Connor, Maury Chaykin, Stephen Tobolowsky

 

Plot: A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.


Tagline – We’re all heroes if you catch us at the right moment. Even Bernie LaPlante.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea, Not Funny Enough

 

Story: Accidental Hero starts as we meet Bernie LaPlante (Hoffman) who is facing jail time for his streetwise action, he is trying to talk himself out of jail time, without much success. We also meet reporter Gale (Davis) who has just received an award for her work even if her boss isn’t given her the chances she has earnt.

When the plane carrying Gale crash lands, Bernie happens to be next to accident, he ends up saving everybody on board, before vanishing into the night. When Gale wants to make the story out of the event, a fellow homeless man John Bubber (Garcia) takes credit, who wants to use his new-found fame to help the homeless, while Bernie is left in jail watching the events unfold.

 

Thoughts on Accidental Hero

 

Characters – Bernie LaPlante is a homeless man that has blown his successful life out the water, he lost his wife, most of his time with his son and is facing jail, he knows how to survive and push the limits to make sure he survives on the street, with his car being his home. He ends up doing an act of greatness, saving the passengers on a plane, but not wanting the praise for this, until a monetary reward comes up, he must figure out how to prove it was him. Gale is a reporter on the rise in the business, she is receiving an award, while still fighting her time on the big screen, she makes a story out of the plane crash, which sees her take a homeless man to celebrity status. John Bubber is a homeless man that decides to come forward and claim the reward for being the hero, he soon becomes the talk of the town that would inspire many into doing the right thing.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman is the right man for the job because he fits the unlikely hero that has been through the struggles in life. Geena Davis is fun in the role that sums up the struggle women would have in the professional field. Andy Garcia goes through the biggest change which sees him doing everything to live with the new fame.

StoryThe story follows a reporter who wants to make the hero of a plane crash rescue known to the people they saved, only for the real person behind it all, not getting the game after a fake takes the limelight. This does pain the picture of faster acting celebrities coming from such simple ideas of rescuing somebody, people struggling with new fame and how people are quick to just judge anybody that might be helping others out. Strangely enough this is one of the stories that could really become more appealing in the social media heavy world we now live in and would be an interesting one to see reach new level.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film doesn’t come off, it never feels like a film you could have a giggle about anything happening, the romance is strange because it just doesn’t give us a believable one either.

SettingsThe settings show us just how the big city can capture a story which would make an unknown a celebrity over night.


Scene of the Movie –
The balcony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of comedy in the comedy film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lacklustre romantic comedy that just doesn’t hit the marks it could and actually feels like it could be one film that makes a bigger impact now.

 

Overall: Stuck between too many genres.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – Q – The Queen (2006)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Peter Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Helen Mirren, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings, Michael Sheen, Roger Allam, Sylvia Syms, Helen McCrory

 

Plot: After the death of Princess DianaQueen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.


Tagline – Our Leaders. Ourselves.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict:

 

Story: The Queen starts on the day Tony Blair (Sheen) gets appointed Prime Minister in 1997, he meets the Queen (Mirren) in his appointment following in the footsteps of icons like Sir Winston Churchill. The start of his reign becomes difficult after the sudden and tragic death of Princess Diana.

Tony trying to help the nation mourn the death of the Princess, clashes with the Royal family who want a private funeral, while the people want a public one to celebrate her life. As the public become restless about how the Royal Family have kept quiet about the death, Tony Blair must play the middle man, to keep the country calm.

 

Thoughts on The Queen

 

Characters – The characters in this film are based on the real people, who suffered through a real tragedy, The Queen takes her family to mourn in their own way, by escaping the public life, but soon the decision gets questioned by her public. She must face the public with advice from her new prime minster. Tony Blair is the new prime minister, thought to be the man to bring a new image to the country, he does however find himself being the middle man between the public and the Royal Family after the death of Princess Diana.

PerformancesHelen Mirren won an Oscar for this role, she is fantastic in this role as you believe each and every scene with her. Michael Sheen proves to us all that he is one of the best talents in the acting world with his performance on a par with Helen Mirren’s.

StoryThe story follows one of the hardest weeks in the modern Royal Family history, the death of Princess Diana, loved by the people, mourned in private by the family. This cause minor tension between the two as the Prime Minister must try to balance this tragic event for both sides to be respected. This moment in history will always be remembered by the world, seeing how the private side of the tragedy unfolded is just as fascinating to see, which thanks to my new love for ‘The Crown’ I have start to enjoy watching.

BiopicThe Queen’s life and time is going to be stuff of legends, longest reigning monarch is going to give us plenty of moments of her life to see, this was a glimpse and a brilliant one.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the private locations for the Royal Family through the difficult times, each setting shows us the production design being used.


Scene of the Movie –
The Queen and Blair discussions.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I think Blair should have an Oscar just as much as Helen Mirren.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful look at the royal family at one of their darkest moments and how they get through this week that change the world view of the family.

 

Overall: Wonderful drama.

Rating

 

 

Victoria and Abdul (2017)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Lee Hall (Screenplay) Shrabani Basu (Book)

Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Olivia Williams, Michael Gambon, Simon Callow, Eddie Izzard, Tim Pigott-Smith, Adeel Akhtar

 

Plot: Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.


Tagline – History’s most unlikely friendship

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enlightening Historical Moment

 

Story: Victoria and Abdul starts as Abdul Karim (Fazal) and Mohammed (Akhtar) are selected to travel from India to England to present Queen Victoria (Dench) with a gift from the Indian Empire. When Queen Victoria sees something in Abdul, sees becomes friends with him, learning about the Indian culture in a way she could never understand from the English textbook.

While their relationship becoming the talk of the palace, they even start to question whether it is good for her, but the relationship gives Queen Victoria a chance to express the lost loves of her life, a face she could never have on front of her subjects.

 

Thoughts on Victoria and Abdul

 

Characters – Queen Victoria is the elderly Queen of England, Albert has passed on, her children have their own lives and now she goes for countless routines of meeting different people, with most people almost waiting for her to die. When she befriends Abdul she gets a new lease for life and she looks to embrace the Indian culture. Abdul is a clerk from India, he gets selected to present Queen Victoria a gift, he soon finds himself being her closest aid, teaching her about the Indian culture, causing a potential rift in the royal household. He treats Queen Victoria like a person rather than a royal figure which is what helps her enjoy her later life.

PerformancesJudi Dench is fantastic in the leading role, bringing us a performance that could rival her Mrs Brown performance as Queen Victoria too. Ali Fazal is brilliant in the partnership role with Dench, he helps give the light to the role that at times is treated with racial hate. The supporting cast across the board is great too showing all the different levels people treated outsiders.

StoryThe story follows the later years Queen Victoria who became friends with an Indian clerk against the will of rest of the palace. We see how this gave her a new lease for life if only for a couple of years. The story that history wanted you to forget about becomes a fascinating watch because like most interesting moments in history they have faced being erased.

Biopic/HistoryQueen Victoria was one of the great known members of the royal family, the former longest ruling monarch, she had many stories and this is another one that shows us what she was like.

SettingsThe settings all feel authentic for the time showing us what it was like for Abdul to learn the new culture.


Scene of the Movie –
You will respect Abdul speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The end while following history is frustrating to see.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great history lesson on the iconic leader of the country. It has two wonderful performances and enough charm to enjoy for everybody watching.

 

Overall: Enjoyable historical film.

Rating

 

 

 

Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Nicholas Martin (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda, Stanley Townsend, Allan Corduner

 

Plot: The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Believe Your Dreams

 

Story: Florence Foster Jenkins starts in 1944 as Florence (Streep) performs alongside her husband St Clair Bayfield (Grant) with the theatrical performance for the people of New York City. After Florence falls out with her current pianist the couple must find a new one, Cosme McMoon (Helberg) fills the void perfectly as her new venture into opera.

There is one big problem with this dream, Florence simply can’t sing and even with her vocal coach Carlo Edwards (Haig) any stage performance is a distant dream. Once the first show happens the elite of the friends all love the show for the wrong reasons, and to make matter worse St Clair has been having an affair with Kathleen (Ferguson).

Once Florence’s song make the radio she continues wanting to support the soldiers returning from war even with St Clair wanting to hold her back from the embarrassment she could cause herself.

 

Thoughts on Florence Foster Jenkins

 

Characters/PerformanceFlorence is a woman that has been shielded from the world for her whole life, she has only been respected by her power in society. When she wants to sing her own style of opera she does become a laughing stock but on a level where the everyday man can enjoy her attempts. St Clair is the supportive husband who also hasn’t lived his dreams but living off the money Florence is giving him, he happily cheats on her but knows the funds will end if he gets caught. Mr McMoon is the brilliant pianist who is grateful for the chance to play alongside the high society but questions where his career could go after working with Florence.

Performance wise, Meryl Streep was fantastic as always in the leading role with Hugh Grant giving us one of his best performances in years. Simon Helberg steps up from television to give us a performance we all know he is capable off and never looks out of place next to the bigger names.

StoryThe story shows us what it is like to follow your dreams even if you don’t have the talent, while this does focus a lot more on the idea of being protected by the lack of talent it is the similar style you would treat your own child who enjoys something they are not going to succeed at. I do feel the story shows the divide we once had between the rich and powerful to the everyday person which is clear to see with how the music is received.

Biography/Comedy/MusicFlorence is an incredible brave lady who showed if you want to try something at any age you can try, even if you are not the best. The comedy in this film is light hearted throughout which I did enjoy with the music adding to the comedy going on through the film.

SettingsThe settings created show us the time period the film is set in perfectly with New York being the main location.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable movie that people can get a laugh out of without being stuck wondering what is going on or not admiring Florence.

 

Overall: One to be watched and enjoyed.

Rating

 

 

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