Category Archives: Drama

HOME AGAIN (2017): It’s…

Home Again (2017), Reece Witherspoon
Home Again (2017), Reece Witherspoon

Home Again is a comedy / drama / romance that’s written and directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer; daughter of popular romantic comedy filmmaker Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated (2009), Something’s Gotta Give (2003), The Holiday (2006), etc).

The reason I was drawn to this film is simple, Reese Witherspoon and the chance to see her in a fun-(ish) movie. By the end of Meyers-Shyer’s story about an LA single mother, whose life takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her, I was left wanting. I found myself feeling as though absolutely nothing had happened in the movie, even though I’d just sat and watched it for 1.5 hours. 

I promise that I’m not deliberately trying to sound like a stereotypically male film fan who doesn’t like romantic comedies because ‘nothing happens.’ in them. There’s very little that’s memorable or particularly noteworthy to report. I definitely did not love this movie. I also wouldn’t say I hate it. I simply wish it were better.

If I tried to think especially hard about what’s good about Home Again, I’d say that I enjoyed looking at sunny LA, especially since at time of writing, I’m personally in the midst of an annoyingly grey winter. I may add also add that I was inspired by the positive attitude of Witherspoon’s character’s love interest. Lastly, I might say that I didn’t completely dislike some of the sweet / touching moments in this film. What kind of person hates a touch moment after all?

All in all, Home Again is quite forgettable. Perhaps watch it if I’ve somehow sold it to you – which I doubt.

Happy Film Loving

G

BEIRUT (2018): New Trailer From Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Shea Whigham…

Beirut (2018), Jon Hamm
Beirut (2018), Jon Hamm

In Brad Anderson directed Beirut, Jon Hamm is a U.S. diplomat who flees Lebanon in 1972 after a tragic incident at his home. Ten years pass and he’s called back to war-torn Beirut by CIA operatives to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind.

Rosamund Pike and Shea Whigham also star…

I want to see this so I can have another film to add to my list of favourite Jon Hamm performances, besides Mad Men and Friends With Kids (2011). This character seems to be complex enough to make this movie rather interesting.

I also haven’t watched Baby Driver (2017) yet so there’s still that. Not quite sure how ‘complex’ Hamm’s character is likely to be though.

Beirut Release Dates: April 13th, 2018 (US)

Happy Film Loving

G

THE VANISHING OF SIDNEY HALL (2017): New Trailer From Logan Lerman, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler…

The Vanishing Of Sidney Hall (2017), Logan Lerman
The Vanishing Of Sidney Hall (2017), Logan Lerman

Written / directed by Shawn Christensen, The Vanishing Of Sidney Hall tells the story of a young writer who finds accidental success and unexpected love, then he disappears without a trace.

Logan Lerman, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Blake Jenner and Michelle Monaghan star…

I’m in because of Lerman. I also appreciate a good mystery and this one looks quite promising.

The Vanishing Of Sidney Hall Release Dates: 2018 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

WATCH THE SUNSET (2017): New Trailer From Tristan Barr, Michael Gosden, Chelsea Zeller…

Watch The Sunset (2017).png

Directed, written by and starring Tristan Barr plus Michael Gosden, Watch The Sunset is the story of a man whose past comes back to haunt him resulting in his estranged family becoming tangled in its web…

Watch The Sunset is a movie based on real events and shot in one take. The latter and this promising trailer is my reason for watching.  My fingers are crossed it’s great.

Chelsea Zeller, Annabelle Williamson and Catherine Dawson also star.

Watch The Sunset Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G

NORMAN (2016): There’s Something I Liked…

Norman (2016), Richard Gere
Norman (2016), Richard Gere

Immediately I failed to warm to Norman (Richard Gere). Not that I was supposed to warm to him exactly, but the fact that writer / director Joseph Cedar’s Norman Oppenheimer is quite the massive nuisance made continuing to watch this movie quite the challenge.

I did however find the strength to continue because I wanted to learn about how the life of a small time operator, a.k.a. New York fixer, a.k.a. total ‘bull**** artist’ would dramatically change. I had to see how his life would change for better and worse after he befriends a young politician at a low point in his life.

In my clearly desperate quest to be there when Norman finally got his comeuppance, I encountered a scene I liked a lot. Namely the wonderfully satisfying moment when Norman gets caught out in one of his many, many lies and he’s outsmarted by a target. That beautifully acted moment at the ‘private dinner’ really helped me come to terms with my decision to continue watching this movie.

As is the case in House of Cards, a political drama where those who are constant nuisances to very powerful people tend to ‘expire’ quite quickly, I imagined that at some point Norman might suffer the same fate. In Cedar’s story, Norman doesn’t quite end up ceasing to exist, but as the synopsis promises, his life does become both better and worse.

A great cast that includes Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Josh Charles didn’t do badly in their roles. I guess I just generally have little patience for Norman-like nuisances and this movie is all about a massive nuisance called Norman.

Watch it if you like or are curious about small time operators, New York fixer types, total ‘bull**** artists’ and that sort of thing.

Happy Film Loving

G

I, TONYA (2017): Good, Notable Performances…

I, Tonya (2017), Margot Robbie
I, Tonya (2017), Margot Robbie

I, Tonya, the true story of competitive ice skater Tonya Harding, and the unfortunate events that led to the end of her career is a movie well done. Directed by Craig Gillespie, the film is structured and captured in a way that’s engaging both in style and content.

I found myself impressed by all the performances. Robbie’s portrayal is memorable because of what she was able to achieve both physically and emotionally. There’s been talk of how impressive her solo scene in front of the mirror is and it really is. But the moment that moved me most takes place in the court room, immediately following sentencing.

As Hardings’ abusive mother, Allison Janney did brilliantly. This of course didn’t surprise me because Janney always delivers. Always. The hateful truth of her character was conveyed so perfectly in her entire being and very clearly through her eyes. 

Until this movie, I hadn’t really seen Sebastian Stan in much, except his work in Marvel’s Captain America and Avengers movies; because of what he did with his role as Hardings’ abusive husband, I’m now more interested than ever before in what he does next. Other highlights in Gillespie’s film include the well chosen music.

I say watch this movie for the performances and the story. I’ll in the meantime, busy myself with looking forward to Robbie’s next leading role in a drama.

Happy Film Loving

G

WORKING GIRL (1988): The Things I Liked…

Working Girl (1988), Melanie Griffith
Working Girl (1988), Melanie Griffith

Directed by Mike Nichols, Working Girl stars Melanie Griffith, Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver. It’s a story about Tess McGill (Griffith), a secretary whose boss steals her big idea so she seizes the opportunity to take it back.

As the movie started, right away it was pretty clear to me that Working Girl was going to be ‘lifting’; a movie that left me happy and motivated. I knew this mainly because of the memorable Carly Simon song (‘Let The River Run’) in the opening sequence and the close shots of Lady Liberty.

Set in 1980s New York, there’s of course, no escaping the big hair and shoulder pads. There’s also no getting away from the kind of sexism and office politics women were subjected to in the workplace, at the time. It’s McGill’s navigation of these challenges as best she can that confirms why this film, though not perfect, it remains a favourite whilst having good re-watch value, particularly among the ladies. Nearly thirty years have passed since Working Girl was released and I’m glad to have finally seen it. It’s the sisterhood, especially towards the very end that happens to be my favourite thing and moment in this film. I also liked the movie’s depiction of what I recognised as ‘the power couple.

One  thought that came to mind a few times as I watched is whether Melanie Griffith is really as softly spoken as her character. McGill is no ‘low talker,’ like in ‘The Puffy Shirt’ Seinfeld episode – but still… I wonder.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN (2017): Good, Harrelson Was Fun…

The Edge Of Seventeen (2017), Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson
The Edge Of Seventeen (2017), Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson

Starring Woody Harrelson, Hailee Steinfeld, Blake Jenner and Kyra Sedgwick, director Kelly Fremon Craig’s movie, The Edge Of Seventeen features good performances from the entire cast.

Steinfeld whose great work in True Grit (2010) will probably always be my favourite of her roles did a good job of playing a high school student. One whose life becomes even more challenging than it already was now that her brother and best friend have started dating.

What’s useful to note is that this tale of a high school student finally growing up is more a drama than it is comedy. As such, definitely don’t expect to laugh too much. What you probably can expect is for a thought similar to the following to enter your mind: ’Parenting is hard, adolescence is hard, relationships, friendships and siblinghood are hard; especially when you get a massive wrench in the works that is your life and your main support is absent.’

I enjoyed Harrelson and Sedgwick’s performances the most. Harrelson for the humour and Sedgwick for her portrayal of a struggling mother of two teenage children.

By the end, even though my teenage years weren’t the worst, I was left feeling rather grateful that my those years are well and truly behind me. In truth, of course, every decade of life is challenging; except that with time, we hopefully should be getting better and wiser so we hurt people less.

Happy Film Loving

G