Beasts of the Southern Wild
Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) and her daddy, Wink (Dwight Henry) live in a community on the Bathtub, an abandoned piece of land in the Louisana Bayou, away from the prying eyes of civilisation. Left mostly to her own devices the six year old Hushpuppy fends for herself, worries about the ice caps melting and tries to stay out of Wink’s way when he’s been out on the lash. When a terrible storm hits the Bathtub (presumably Hurricane Katrina), Hushpuppy’s already fragile way of life is thrown into chaos and she must find out what she is really made of. This is a film about dichotomies. While Wink is completely unsuited to parenthood, his desperate desire to take care of his daughter is very touching. As is Hushpuppy’s intense love for someone who neglects her so wantonly because he is all that she has. And while Hushpuppy is dirty, underfed and uneducated, there is something beautiful about how free her life is. Whether you are drawn in by the somewhat disjointed and overly self-aware device of having a story told through the eyes of such a young protagonist or not, this film is a must-watch just for Wallis’, performance. There are no words to describe how magnificent an actress she is. 3.5/5
So what you’re trying to say is that I should cancel our trip to Kentucky?
Warrior follows the stories of two men as they prepare for and take part in a massive MMA tournament. Tommy Riordan (Tom Hardy) is an emotionally damaged former US Marine, with a substance abuse problem, trained by his until recently estranged father (Nick Nolte). Brendan Conlon (Joel Egerton) is a high school teacher and committed family man fighting to keep his home against the wishes of his loving wife (Jennifer Morrison). While Tommy has become an internet sensation by destroying a favoured opponent, Brendan is the ultimate underdog. As more of Tommy and Brendan’s stories unfold, the connections between the two men and both of their chequered pasts become clear, giving this “fight movie” ad added level of complexity. The acting is solid from all parties and Tom Hardy employs his usual chameleon like ability making him totally believable as man expressing his pain and frustration as rage. Worth a watch… even if just to perve on Tom Hardy… gulp. 3.5/5
Juliette Binoche plays Anne, a bourgeois Parisian journalist researching university students who have turned to prostitution for an article. As she gets to know Charlotte (Anaïs Demoustier) and Alicja (Joanna Kulig), she discovers that while her privileged but boring life appeals to them, their seemingly exciting uninhibited lives are oddly alluring to her. Scenes of the two high class call girls with their clients – some genteel and some brutal – are interspersed with scenes from Anne’s mostly mundane life where she struggles to control her wayward teenage son and argues with her husband. Binoche is great and some bits of this are interesting but I struggled to understand what director, Malgorzata Szumowska, was getting at – and not in a good way. 2/5
There’s a little girl on the phone. She says she’s found your chicken??
Substitute teacher, Henry Barthes (Adrien Brody) drifts from one school to another making a concerted effort not to make connections or take on any responsibility in an attempt to free himself from having to feel anything. When he takes a job at a dysfunctional inner city school he finds himself drawn to fellow teacher, Sarah Madison (Christina Hendricks) as well as bullied student, Meredith (Betty Kaye). His detached home life is further unsettled by his snap decision to take in a child prostitute (Erica). This is much a study of the pain of isolation from those around you as the frightening state of modern education within the USA. This an emotionally intense watch throughout, but I found the hardest thing to stomach was Henry absolutely squandering his potential because he didn’t believe himself worthy of love. Beautiful but bleak. 4/5
My outfit’s ridiculous, In the club lookin’ so conspicuous.