Category Archives: Biography

OFFICIAL SECRETS (2019): New Trailer From keira Knightly, Matthew Goode, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes…

Official Secrets (2019), Keira Knightley, Entertainment One UK
Official Secrets (2019), Keira Knightley, Entertainment One UK

Starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Matt Smith and Ralph Fiennes, Official Secrets is the true story of British whistleblower Katharine Gunn.

Director Gavin Hood’s drama / thriller focuses on Gunn’s role in leaking information to the press. Information about an illegal NSA spy operation created to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the Iraq war in 2003…

The music in this trailer leaves plenty to be desired. However, because Knightley, Goode and Smith are the stars, I’m in for the promise of good performances.

I want to see how Katharine manages to get away with it for the time that she does. I myself am very likely far to paranoid, appreciative of a clear conscience and a peaceful mind to ever contemplate such a thing.

Cowardice, yes, cowardice. Of course being a law abiding citizen has something to do with it too but also definitely cowardice. That’s the right word for my approach.

Indira Varma, Conleth Hill, Tamsin Greig, Rhys Ifans, MyAnna Buring, Katherine Kelly and Jack Farthing also star.

Official Secrets Release Dates: August 29th, 2019 (US); October 18th, 2019 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

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FORD v FERRARI (2019): New Trailer From Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe…

Ford v Ferrari (2019), Christian Bale
Ford v Ferrari (2019), Christian Bale

Starring Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal and Caitriona Balfe, Ford v Ferrari is a new action / drama from Logan (2017) director James Mangold.

It’s the true story of the battle between car manufacturers Ford and Ferrari to win Le Mans in 1966…

I like the pairing of Bale and Damon, and since this is an American movie, I guess we likely already know who ‘wins.’

I’m ready for the dialogue and humour. I also can’t help but wonder how differently the Italians might tell this story.

Ray McKinnon, Josh Lucas, JJ Feild, Noah Jupe, Stefania Spampinato, Tracy Letts, Wyatt Nash and Hélène Cardona also star.

Ford v Ferrari Release Dates: November 15th, 2019 (US &UK)…

Happy Film Loving

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EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL & VILE (2018): The Things I Liked…

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019), Lily Collins, Zac Efron
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019), Lily Collins, Zac Efron

Ted Bundy, one of America’s most infamous serial killers is very much at the centre of director Joe Berlinger’s film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Yet the story is really told from the perspective of Bundy’s longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer. As such, like Kloepfer, we don’t get to be there with Bundy as he commits his shockingly evil crimes (thank goodness!) We also don’t get to know any real shocking  details about the crimes until the trial towards the end. What we do get is a front row seat to watch Bundy some time after he commits a crime and pretends to be as normal and decent as the next guy. It’s sad but like a true psychopath, he succeeded at it. A lot.

Starring Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Jim Parsons and John Malkovich, I watched Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile because of the very interesting subject matter and the new perspective. Another reason is to see Efron succeed in a more serious role than he’s taken on in recent years. I’m happy to say that he does well. I was particularly impressed during the moments he gave the audience a glimpse into the true darkness within his character’s soul. His time at the dog’s home is one such example.

I don’t believe there was a single dull moment during this movie and contrary to what the trailer made many feel, I don’t consider Berlinger’s film to be one that glorifies or celebrates Bundy. It’s instead a movie that portrays Bundy as he was known to be and part of that is that he was sadly almost as charming as he was wicked, evil and vile.

I say watch Berlinger’s movie, Just don’t watch it expecting explanations and / or deep dives into Bundy’s past that highlight what could have led him to such darkness. For this is a film about Bundy but the focus is on Kloepfer’s experience.

Parsons and Malkovich’s characters are memorable. Overall though, it’s really Collins by whom I was most impressed. She may be an actor with a forever youthful face, but the lady has great instincts. Her telling of Kloepfer’s story will have you mad at Kloepfer, sad for Kloepfer and by the very end,a little surprised in general but definitely extremely relieved for Kloepfer.

Happy Film Loving 

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JUDY (2019): New Trailer From Renée Zellweger, Rufus Sewell, BELLA RAMSEY, Jessie Buckley…

Judy (2019),  Renée Zellweger, RoadsideFlix
Judy (2019), Renée Zellweger, RoadsideFlix

Starring Renée Zellweger, Rufus Sewell,  Bella Ramsey, Jessie Buckley and directed by Rupert Goold; Judy is a new biography / musical about legendary performer Judy Garland, a.k.a Frances Ethel Gumm.

Judy focuses on Garland’s winter of 1968 series of sold-out concerts in London. Goold’s film will show Garland as she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends, fans and meets Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband….

As someone who’s aware of Garland but not so much her work, especially outside of The Wizard Of Oz (1939), I look forward to being enlightened.

Furthermore, having not watched Zellweger in a movie in a while, I’m looking forward to seeing her do a great job with this role. I wonder if she’ll actually sing…

Michael Gambon, Finn Wittrock, Andy Nyman, Fenella Woolgar, Philippe Spall ,John Dagleish and Gemma-Leah Devereux also star.

Judy Release Dates: September 27th, 2019 (US); October 4th, 2019 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

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BLINDED BY THE LIGHT (2019): New Trailer From Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra…

Blinded By The Light (2019), Viveik Kalra, Warner Bros. Pictures
Blinded By The Light (2019), Viveik Kalra, Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Gurinder Chadha; starring Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir and Meera Ganatra; at the heart of Blinded By the Light is teenager Javed. Javed is learning to live life, understand his family and find his own voice, all through the music of Bruce Springsteen…

First, Yesterday (2019), a tribute to The Beatles and now a tribute to Bruce Springsteen. It’s clearly a good year for teenagers of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. I’m personally aware of the greatness of both musical entities, I just don’t yet have any of their work in my collection or playlist. Furthermore, I can certainly relate to being obsessed with the work of a super musician – and this looks like fun.

Aaron Phagura, Dean-Charles Chapman, Nikita Mehta, Nell Williams, Tara Divina and Rob Brydon also star.

Blinded By The Light Release Dates: August 14th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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PAVAROTTI (2019): New Trailer For Ron howard Directed Luciano Pavarotti Documentary…

Pavarotti (2019), Madman Films
Pavarotti (2019), Madman Films

Directed by Ron Howard, Pavarotti is a close look at the life and voice of the the man who brought opera to the people, legendary opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.

Pavarotti promises intimate interviews, history-making performances and never-before-seen footage…

I’m in because even though I’m not an avid listener of opera music, Luciano Pavarotti is the only opera singer I can immediately name. And considering that all I really knew about him besides his occupation and Princess Diana being a big fan is that he was Italian. I actually can’t wait to see exactly what else I can learn – and very likely love about the man.

Princess Diana, Bono, Spike Lee, Phil Donahue, Stevie Wonder, Nelson Mandela, José Carreras and Kofi Annan are among those featured in some of the archival footage.

Pavarotti Release Dates: June 7th, 2019 (US); July 15th, 2019 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

SKIN (2019): New trailer From Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Bill Camp, Mike Colter…

Skin (2018), Jamie Bell, A24
Skin (2018), Jamie Bell, A24

From writer / director Guy Nattiv, Skin stars Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Mike Colter and Bill Camp in a biographical drama about Bryon Widner.

Widner is a young a young man who, with the help of a black activist and the woman he loves, he goes about turning his back on hatred, violence and the racist skinheads who raised him….

I like that I don’t already know how Widner’s story ends. I therefore look forward to finding out and comparing it to one of my favourites which also deals with a similar subject. Namely American History X (1998).

Vera Farmiga, Louisa Krause, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Kylie Rogers and Colbi Gannett also star.

Skin Release Dates: July 26th, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS (2018): The Things I Liked…

Mary Queen Of Scots (2018), Margot Robbie, Focus Features
Mary Queen Of Scots (2018), Margot Robbie, Focus Features

There are a number of things including the history lesson that made me want to watch Mary Queen Of Scots; the story of the troubled relationship between Elizabeth I, Queen of England, and her cousin Mary Stuart. 

Considering that director Josie Rourke’s film is a costume drama, I’d hoped to see lots of sumptuous clothing design, in addition to very well written dialogue delivered by great actors. The film’s trailer even had me expecting something not too far from as epic as director Shekhar Kapur and Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth (1998). Unfortunately for me, things didn’t quite transpire that way. 

Starring Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, Joe Alwyn and Guy Pearce, there certainly were a handful of well designed costumes to enjoy. Yet it’s the few moments of beautiful visuals – especially outdoor cinematography that proved most arresting for me. Even more so than the dialogue and general story editing which I have to admit had me less engaged and interested than I envisioned I’d be.

Mary Queen Of Scots (2018), Saoirse Ronan, Focus Features

It’s likely that in addition to finding the story more dull than anticipated, my interest also started to diminish in part because of how distressing sitting through the sexism and misogyny proved to be.

Just like my recent review of On The Basis of Sex (2018), another historical drama, it’s the part near the very end that I liked most about Mary Queen Of Scots. Meaning, everything from the moment the two royals finally meet. Actually, even with that said, I still choose the few visually arresting moments over the dialogue and this telling of the Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart story.

Watch Mary Queen Of Scots if you absolutely must. As for myself, I think it’s time I re-watched the great Elizabeth (1998).

Happy Film Loving 

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