Film Friday… week 98

Lawless

During the Prohibition era, the “indestructible” Bondurant brothers run a successful bootlegging operation in the Virginia hills with the cooperation of the local law enforcement. When a new Special Deputy (a crepuscular Guy Pearce) arrives from Chicago and insists on taking a cut of their operation, the brothers are thrust into a violent war that threatens their way of life and everything they believe in. Forrest (Tom Hardy) is unwilling to compromise on his principles, Howard (Jason Clarke) just doesn’t want to lose access to the moonshine that helps him forget WWI and ambitious Jack (Shia LaBoeuf) wants to prove to his brothers that he can be a vital part of the family “business”. I watch a lot of films and it’s rare that I spend more than a few moments pondering them, but I’m still thinking about Lawless. It does the rare thing of creating characters you genuinely become invested in, paired with an engrossing storyline and some exceptional acting. I cannot praise Tom Hardy enough for his incredible chameleon-like ability to immerse himself in a role. While this film is intensely brutal and violent it is balanced with just enough humour and humanity to produce a visceral reaction. While Tom Hardy has very few lines, playing the epitome of the strong silent type, if you don’t leave quoting Forrest Bondurant, I’ll eat my hat.  The best film of 2012. 5/5

I’m a Bondurant, we don’t lay down for NOBODY!

Swingers

A group of wannabe actors try to keep themselves emotionally and financially afloat through the intense LA club and dating scene, while giving each other typically awful advice. OMG, this film is so 90’s that it actually has Heather Graham in it. Packed with dodgy catchphrases (You’re so money, baby), painful introspection and men with Peter Pan complexes, it will either make you laugh or cry. I guess your ability to appreciate Swingers depends on whether you can: A. Remember 90’s Americana as well as I can. B. Get over how young Vince Vaughan is in it. 3/5

This is what I looked like before I drank ALL the beers

Beginners

Shortly after his mother’s death, Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is rocked not only by his elderly father, Hal’s (Christopher Plummer) revelation that he is gay, but also that he has terminal cancer. Despite knowing that his life is coming to an end, Hal, throws himself into his new lifestyle with a kind of infectious joie de vivre that Oliver can’t help getting caught up in. Not long after Hal passes away, Oliver meets a French actress called Anna (Melanie Laurent), who appears to be perfect for him, but can he get past his crippling fear of intimacy and commitment before it’s too late? I absolutely adored this quirky look at relationships, especially the evolution of the relationship between father and son in later life. Very special. 4/5

Stupid humans!

Pret-A-Porter

It’s Paris fashion week and every model, fashion journalist and designer has descended on the city for the ultimate style extravaganza. In amongst the endless chaos, a doyen of the industry has died mysteriously casting a dark cloud over the proceedings. But that’s not stopping any of the outrageousness that seems unique to this insular little world. While this film is packed with big names from Sofia Loren to Julia Roberts, to basically every designer that was “it” in the 90’s, it comes across as some kind of mad mishmash, which I guess actually reflects what fashion week is like. Personally I had trouble following it, possibly because half of it is in French and Italian with no subtitles. Probably would have been better if trimmed down by about 45 minutes. 2/5

“No, I don’t think my hat is too big for the opera.”

2 Comments

  1. I’m glad that you too liked Lawless, that one received a crazy amount of criticism at the time!

    1. Abbi

      I saw it twice in one week in the cinema! I just thought it was engrossing and I genuinely cared what happened to the characters.

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