ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – K – The King’s Choice (2016)

Director: Erik Poppe

Writer: Harald Rosenlow-Egg, Jane Trygve Royneland (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesper Christensen, Andrew Baasmo Christiansen, Karl Markovics, Tuva Novotny, Katharina Schuttler, Erik Hivju

 

Plot: On the 9th of April 1940, the German war machine arrive in the city of Oslo. The Norwegian King faces a choice that will change his country forever.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice History Lesson

 

Story: The King’s Choice starts in 1940 Norway, when the Germans start to invade, dragging the peaceful country into the war, King Haakon VII (Christensen) is left to see his country come under attack and communicate with his government on how to protect his people, Curt Brauer (Markovics) the German representative tries to play peacekeeper before Norway does something against the Germans.

As the Germans continue to advance in the country, King Haakon must make the difficult decision which will leave his country in their own position for the war that torn Europe apart.

 

Thoughts on The King’s Choice

 

Characters – King Haakon of Norway has kept his country at peace for years, now the war has come to his doorstep and he must be separated from his family while trying to keep his country together through the opening invasion, one they were not prepared for. Kronprins Olav is the son of Haakon who stands by his side through the difficult situation, he sees his children sent into hiding, knowing that their lives and his father lives will be put on the line against this enemy. Curt Brauer is the closest connection to the Germans in Norway, he tries to stop the bloodbath spreading. The characters in this film are based on the real people that has to make the difficult decisions during the war.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are strong throughout, Jesper Christensen in the leading role makes us understand every single struggle his character is going through. The rest of the performances let him take the starring role in the film.

StoryThe story here shows us just how Norway became involved in World War II, how they were first invaded by German and how the King made the difficult decision to help the country. This is a history lesson on another story from World War II, not knowing any of the Norwegian involvement, this made this much more interesting for me as I literally didn’t know what was going to happen in this story. if you do know the full history this will play it out for you nicely too.

Biopic/History/WarThe film uses both the history and biopic side of things to show us the couple of days from the first German invasion through any negotiations to keep the bloodshed down.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film in the different locations the King went to during the first invasion, where he talks out any solutions the Norwegian people will need to make.


Scene of the Movie –
The speech to the cabinet.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slower than it needs to be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good history lesson about World War II which continues to give us new moments in film that we didn’t know unless we truly studied the time.

 

Overall: World War II history lesson.

Rating

 

 

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Annihilation (2018)

Director: Alex Garland

Writer: Alex Garland (Screenplay) Jeff VanderMeer (Novel)

Starring: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, David Gyasi, Tuva Novotny

 

Plot: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.


Tagline – Fear What’s Inside

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Stunning, Mind Testing Sci-Fi Spectacular

 

Story: Annihilation starts as Lena (Portman) is still feeling the effects of her husband Kane’s (Isaac) yearlong disappearance, only for him to turn up randomly. Kane has returned from a secret mission, which has bought Lena into the mysterious shimmer that has had strange effects with nobody known to return other than Kane.

Learning about a new team of scientist of military, Lena joins the team of Dr Ventress (Leigh), Anya (Rodriguez), Cass (Novotny) and Josie (Thompson) to learn the answers of what happened to her husband. As the group go further into the Shimmer the bigger the threats they find, something they have never had to explain as science isn’t working the way they are used too.

 

Thoughts on Annihilation

 

Characters – Lena is a biologist that has spent the last year wondering just where her husband has gone, only for him to return and finding herself drawn to a secret investigation. Lena uses her skills to help a team of scientists in this mysterious Shimmer where science isn’t what she has spent her life learning. Out of the five women team, she is the calmest, not picking a side, just planning on seeing where this science takes her. Dr Ventress is leading the team into the Shimmer, she has her own motivation for leading the team and does her best to keep the team together. Josie is the youngest member of the team, quiet genius inside, but not experienced in the field compared to the rest of the team. Kane is the husband soldier that went missing, returned he isn’t the same man, he is the motivation for Lena to go into the Shimmer.

PerformancesNatalie Portman is great in this leading role, she must balance a scientific mind, a broken-hearted character and truth hunter role, which she does with ease. Looking into the supporting cast we get great performance from all involved, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez.

StoryThis is a sci-fi mystery that will make you think, it follows a team of scientists that go into an unknown Shimmer, where the previous teams have never returned from. The rules of science have gone out the window which only add the questions we love to see and offers up the chance to be left wondering just where things will go next in this one. We do go through the idea that each member of the team changes through their experience and for scientist this does seem strange. This is what the cinema audience has been craving for, a story we need to see over plenty of the different popular movies.

Adventure/Fantasy/Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe film uses the adventure elements of the film by taking our five women into the unknown land which has elements of fantasy as the mystery side of just what is happening in the sci-fi world our characters enter. For a sci-fi movie this both creates a wonderful world and poses the questions we enjoy asking ourselves about how the world goes around. We do get horror moments too which surprise when they hit.

SettingsThe Shimmer is one of the most interesting, visually beautiful places we have ever had a sci-fi movie, it feels like a new world even if it is set on Earth.

Special EffectsIf this movie isn’t an early contender for the Oscar for best visual effects, I really don’t know what else could beat it. This uses the effects to make this one of the most beautiful movies you will ever see.


Scene of the Movie –
The final act, will make you question everything you have seen, while also keeping you on edge through the film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not being able to see this in the cinema! Not by choice either.

Final ThoughtsThis is the sci-fi movie of the year, the one I have waited for, the one I want to see again. It makes you think, it looks beautiful, it sounds the disturbing and engaging with each use of the sound and music, making this the must watch movie of the year.

 

Overall: Must watch sci-fi movie

Rating