Film Friday #255

Lilting (2014)

After the tragic and unexpected death of his partner, Kai (Andrew Leung), Richard (Ben Whishaw) attempts to connect with Kai’s mother, Junn (Pei-Pei Cheng) who is living in a care home. Junn, who speaks next to no English is unaware of Kai’s sexuality and believes that his “friend”, Richard is the reason she was not able to live with Kai. In an attempt to warm Junn up to the idea of living with him and of sharing the truth about his life with Kai, Richard hires a translator (Naomi Christie). His intention is not only to help him communicate with Junn but also to help her communicate with her English boyfriend (Alan). But Richard is not prepared to deal with the complexity of his own grief at the same time as Junn’s and for every step he takes forward two are taken back. This affecting drama is absolutely beautiful to look at with starkness of its emotions reflected in its wintery pallet. Both Whishaw and Cheng give outstanding performances and while this is a compact story it is engrossing. A touching study on grief, the secrets we keep from each other and the nature of obligation. Highly recommended. 4/5


Richard spent the contemplating the meaning of life… but also wallpaper

We Are What We Are (2013)

The Parker family live deep in the woods and keep themselves to themselves. What their neighbours don’t know is once a year they perform a dark and disturbing ritual that they’ve been carrying down generation after generation. When their mother dies, daughters Rose (Julia Garner) and Iris (Ambyr Childers) realise they will need to take over from her, something they’re definitely not ready for. At the same time Doc Barrow (Michael Parks) has convinced a local deputy (Wyatt Russell) that the unexplained disappearance of his daughter may be connected not only to a series of other disappearances but also to the Parkers. There is no doubt that We Are What We Are is a very strange film with a very strange and somewhat unlikely premise, however I really enjoyed it. It’s gruesome, dark, well acted and beautifully shot and both the visuals and the score are excellent for creating an atmosphere of foreboding. I liked the device of the old diary being used to unravel the family’s terrible secret and I also liked how the sisters growing up meant they started questioning where their loyalties lay. One of the few good horror movies I have seen this year. 4/5


Rose and Iris were making good use of their mother’s new lipstick

My Old Lady (2014)

When Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) inherits a Paris apartment from his estranged father all he is hoping to do is sell it fast and make a profit since he’s completely broke. What he wasn’t banking on was the the apartment would come with an elderly tenant named Mathilde (Maggie Smith) to whom he’d have to pay rent. And if that wasn’t enough her spiky daughter, Chloe (Kristin Scott Thomas) is also in residence. As Mathias tries to oust mother and daughter while dealing with his own conflicted feelings towards his father he learns more and more about Mathilde’s relationship with his father and how this affected his parents’ marriage as well as Mathilde. At the same time he finds himself equally drawn to and repelled by Chloe. I guess this is a pretty intense take on how parents can fuck up their children and at what point you have to start taking responsibility for you own actions. On the other hand it was billed as a comedy and there is nothing funny about it. With that expectation taking on this rather heavy, slow-paced film full of unlikable characters is a bit of a bummer no matter how awesome Maggie Smith is. 2/5


What do you mean that matching mother-daughter nighties are not de rigeur?

Robin Hood (2010)

I feel like I should mention straight off the bat that this movie is really kind of like a Robin Hood origins story, which I did not know when I started watching it. And so I spent almost two and a half hours wondering when the hell the bit about the stealing from the rich and giving to the poor was going to happen. I think maybe if I had have known that I would have been less disappointed with this but then I can’t stand Russell Crowe who was playing the eponymous hero so who knows. Anyway English sort of history, Prince John – massive douche, starving peasants, the French, Mark Strong, lots of arrows and obviously Mark Addy playing Friar Tuck. I can’t really tell you what was going on because I got mega bored and lost interest. 1/5


I’m on a horse



  1. I really like Ben Whishaw, he is so reliable when it comes to delivering great working. Lilting sounds like a good showcase for him.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I’m a big fan too and it really is a great role for him to show off his range.

      1. I’ll make a note of this film then.

  2. I just watcher We Are What We Are and I really liked it!! Such a great hidden gem.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I’m not a horror fan but I really enjoyed it.

  3. only seen RH and I also hated it. Have little desire to see the other tho. Great reviews (and captions of course) 🙂

    Keep up the great work Abs!

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thank you! RH was 140 minutes of my life I will never get back.

  4. Lilting looks like it is worth a look see! Loved your Robin Hood review – sounds AMAZING xD

    As for We Are What We Are? I was really impressed with that, it was a solid watch for sure and I am glad to see you enjoyed it, too!

    1. abbiosbiston

      God RH was miserable. Can’t believe Cate Blanchett agreed to be in it.

      So many We Are What We Are fans. It’s making me happy!

  5. your comments about the films are better than the films themselves. Well done!

    1. abbiosbiston

      That is the best possible compliment you could have given me. Thank you!

  6. I haven’t seen the bottom three flicks but I watched Lilting as part of a film fest last year and really enjoyed it. Great read 🙂

    1. abbiosbiston

      Thanks! My flatmate suggested we watch it and we both loved it!

      1. Yeah its a really touching film. I wouldn’t mind seeing it again actually

  7. Yup, RH is a fucking terrible film, with or without RC. But come oooooonnnnnn…. don’t you think you’re selling it a *little* short? Surely the comedy value of the French landing crafts *alone* has got to be worth an extra mark?

    1. abbiosbiston

      Maaaaaybe… hahaha!

  8. And the first two films seemed so promising haha. Ben Whishaw is so reliable for sure. I can still remember him in Nathan Barley.

    1. abbiosbiston

      Oh my word! I love Nathan Barley!

      1. I thought it was just me that watched it!

        1. abbiosbiston

          Mr O is a bit of a cult British comedy afficionado so I have seen all kinds of unusual stuff.

          1. You have great tastes. Does that include Monkey Dust?

            1. abbiosbiston

              That I haven’t heard of…

  9. MIB

    I don’t know if you are aware but “We Are What We Are” is a remake of a Mexican horror (my review – I’ve not seen the remake but your write up has peaked my interest a little… 😉

    1. abbiosbiston

      I actually discovered that while looking up We Are What We Are. I’d quite like to see the original.

  10. theipc

    WOO HOO! I LOVED We Are What We Are!! *high fives*

    And HAHAHAHA on Robin Hood! What a shit movie!

    1. abbiosbiston

      I am not surprised that you enjoyed it because it was awesome!!!

      Robin Hood was a waste of good film.

  11. Ahah, well Robin Hood wasn’t a good film but I think I liked it more than you. But then again I like Crowe and Cate Blanchett. I thought Oscar Isaac was quite memorable as Prince John, I had no idea he was Guatemalan!

    We Are What We Are played at a local film fest a couple of years ago and I heard it’s quite terrifying and eerie. Lilting sounds intriguing, I’d have to give that a shot.

    1. abbiosbiston

      I think you’d really enjoy Lilting. We Are What We Are is very, very creepy.

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