Black Narcissus is a new three-part drama/mini-series based on the 1939 novel of the same name by Rumer Godden.
Starring Gemma Aterton, Jim Broadbent, Diana Rigg, Alessandro Nivola and Rosie Cavaliero; the story of Black Narcissus centres around a group of nuns and the challenges they face in the hostile environment of a remote old Himalayan palace that they wish to make a convent.
‘Wish to make a convent‘ you say? But what was it before and why is it so very challenging to change? These are the questions that have me most curious. These and a good Aterton Performance, plus the slight Game of Thrones vibe, most of which may be because of the fact that the late Diana Rigg, a.k.a. Olenna Tyrellin G.o.T is in this.
Charlie Maher, Chaneil Kular, Nila Aalia and Patsy Ferran also star.
It was the humour in the trailer for writer / director Riley Stearns’s comedy / drama The Art Of Self Defensethat first had my attention. Then came my desire to see Jesse Eisenberg’s character Casey’s interest in self defense actually pay off.
Also starring Alessandro Nivola and Imogen Poots, the first third of The Art Of Self Defense proved quite uncomfortable to watch because it’s never fun to see a vulnerable person being taken advantage of. I therefore couldn’t wait for Casey to finally reap the benefits of his Karate lessons – which he does, but certainly not quite in the way one might expect.
I liked the general outline of Stearn’s story but similarly to Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster (2015), things took a dark turn I wasn’t fully expecting and I found myself wanting to go back to the more humorous phase, even though said phase was mixed in with uncomfortably vulnerable scenes.
There are two or more moments in Stearns’s film that had me questioning the believability of certain goings on. Also, towards the end, the editing had me feeling as though specific scenes had been skipped which unfortunately made the whole experience feel a tad rushed.
Everyone performed well but my favourite is Nivola’s turn as sensei, because he’s the source of much of the little humour there is, plus his quiet confidence and general air of mystery also proved quite arresting.
Generally speaking, I really can’t say that I enjoyed The Art Of Self Defense more than it annoyed me and / or made me uncomfortable. Should you find yourself particularly curious though, especially if you liked The Lobster in its entirety, perhaps give The Art Of Self Defense a chance.
New comedy The Art Of Self Defensestars Imogen Poots , Alessandro Nivola and Jesse Eisenberg
Directed by Riley Stearns it’s the story of Casey (Eisenberg) , a man who’s randomly attacked on the street and so begins a journey to learn self defense, with the help of a charismatic and mysterious Sensei.
The promise of comedy is why I’m interested and I definitely want to see Casey become less afraid. There’s also the fact that I already like Nivola’s character’s attitude. He reminds me quite a bit of Chris Messina’s Danny Castellano character in The Mindy Project.
Steve Terada, Phillip Andre Botello, Leland Orser, Josh Fadem, Elizabeth Howlett and Chris Lay also star.
The boundaries of faith and sexuality are explored in Disobedience, a new drama / romance that stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.
Directed and co-written by Sebastián Lelio, Weisz plays a woman who returns to the community that shunned her for her attraction to a childhood friend…
I generally enjoy the work of the stars of this movie and I can’t wait to see everything come together well creatively. I also like that Disobedience is set in England. If I’m hearing correctly, Rachel MacAdams appears to be speaking in a British accent.
Anton Lesser, Nicholas Woodeson and Alexis Zegerman also star.
In You Were Never Really Here, Joaquin Phoenix plays a war veteran whose attempt to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring goes horribly wrong. Directed by Lynne Ramsay; Alessandro Nivola and Ekaterina Samsonov also star.
The sound / music in the first 45 seconds was quite challenging for my delicate ears; nevertheless, I’m interested in this movie. Phoenix is great and the film’s mood reminds me of one of my favourite Tom Hardy movies, Locke (2013). Also, the film’s synopsis brings to mind The Equalizer (2014) – except things probably didn’t go quite as terribly for Denzel Washington’s character.
Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hank Azaria and Alessandro Nivola are the stars of The Wizard Of Lies, an HBO movie about Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme. A scheme specifically known as the largest financial fraud in United States history…
Of course I’ll be tuning in! De Niro is as watchable as ever, I’m excited to see Michelle Pfeiffer in a movie again and the story is so very intriguing. Even more so because I didn’t really pay close attention to the news when Madoff was all over it back in 2008.
Nicolas Winding Refn, celebrated director of Drive (2011) and Only God Forgives (2013)has a new movie. Starring Elle Fanning, Alessandro Nivola, Christina Hendricks and Bella Heathcote, what we have is a thriller / horror coming…
I haven’t watched Refn’s previous movie Only God Forgives (2013) but it’s clear to me that the man loves neon. This time round neon is not just part of the cinematography / mis en scene, but it’s in the movie’s title.
I’ll be watching because drive was good, as is Fanning. I just need to get brave first. You know, for the horror.
Keanu Reeves, Jena Malone Desmond Harrington and Charles Baker also star…