Nightcrawler: the ultimate entrepreneur?

Jake Gyllenhaal has had an interesting career so far. He’s made good choices and played interesting parts. But then, you could argue he started out in Donnie Darko, so he hit the ground running. With Nightcrawler he’s gone up another level. Continue reading Nightcrawler: the ultimate entrepreneur?

Two days, one night: a Marion Cotillard showcase

Are you an art-house guru? Are you familiar with the work of Belgian filmmaker brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne? If the answer is no then you’re like me and will come to this film with no expectation. I like Marion Cotillard and like the idea of her – one of France’s most glamorous actresses working today – stripped back in some sort of gritty, kitchen … Continue reading Two days, one night: a Marion Cotillard showcase

Frank: what doesn’t kill you makes you stranger

A man wearing a giant fake head. A band full of oddballs, real oddballs. Is this a film about those characters we meet in life – if we’re lucky enough – that exist at the edges of normal? Based on the real life experiences of writer Jon Ronson, Frank starts with Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), a talentless wannabe musician who, through a chance encounter with a … Continue reading Frank: what doesn’t kill you makes you stranger

Labor Day: Reitman’s most heartfelt film?

As a director, Jason Reitman appears to be growing up fast. Labor Day is the fifth feature length film he’s given us and his progression as a storyteller is clear to see. This film, set in a sleepy suburban American town in 1987, tells the story of Henry (Gattlin Griffith) and his mother Adele (Kate Winslet) whose life is gatecrashed by escaped convict Frank (Josh … Continue reading Labor Day: Reitman’s most heartfelt film?

The Following season two: Bacon and Purefoy back with a slice and a stab

So… it seems The Following is back. A bit of a surprise hit when it aired last year so no big shock that it’s got another season. If you missed it first time round, the show largely focuses on two characters: wounded (physically and emotionally), brooding former FBI guy Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and the charismatic and learned lecturer-turned-serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy). The … Continue reading The Following season two: Bacon and Purefoy back with a slice and a stab

Walter Mitty: has Ben Stiller come of age?

Apparently Ben Stiller has been trying to get The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to the screen for the best part of two decades. Something you notice as it unfolds, at least in terms of slightly odd events taking place. But then, the film is slightly odd. And I mean that in a good way. As Winona Ryder’s Lydia says in Beetlejuice, ‘Live people tend … Continue reading Walter Mitty: has Ben Stiller come of age?

The Place Beyond The Pines…Schenectady

When mentioning that I was going to see The Place Beyond the Pines I referred to it as ‘the latest Ryan Gosling movie’, which is fair, given the trailer. However, it’s not an out-and-out Gosling movie, not entirely. I’ll explain, but first, the setup. Gosling plays Luke Glanton, a motorcyle stunt rider who works for a travelling fairground. We start with the obligatory ‘Gosling torso … Continue reading The Place Beyond The Pines…Schenectady

Silver Linings Playbook – smart, edgy rom-com

Seems David O. Russell is on a bit of a roll. Following a six-year break after I ♥ Huckabees, the Writer/Director returned in 2010 with a film which bagged him an Oscar nomination for Best Director, critically-acclaimed boxing tale, The Fighter. His latest effort, Silver Linings Playbook, is another triumph – dramatic, touching, funny and heart-warming. This is down to a smart script, assured direction … Continue reading Silver Linings Playbook – smart, edgy rom-com