Posts Tagged ‘Ciaran Hinds’

This week’s releases include: a courtroom period drama; a spy thriller in two different eras; another bachelor party gone wrong; a true story of fantasy and murder; a playful tale with penguins; a look at famous hockey feuds; a consequence of ‘the wrong place, the wrong time’; an adaptation of a childhood classic; a trilogy about a young woman who takes matters into her own hands; and an historical re-enactment.  (more…)

Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington and Marton Csokas in a scene from The DebtThe life of a national hero is not always all interviews and roses; it can be complicated, and drenched in regrets and secrets. This is the dark paradigm explored in The Debt, based on the fictional 2007 Israeli film Ha-Hov. The partnering of an American and British production team to remake a recent Israeli picture is an anomaly, but in this case the result will hold your attention without letting go. (more…)

This week’s releases include: an overview of a complicated family; mankind’s first trip to Mars; a sci-fi depiction of a dog eat dog world; all five seasons of the exploration of the Lost City; a never-before-seen adaption; an indie drama about indie rockers; a tale about AI gone bad; and the story of a boy forced to make difficult decisions. (more…)

The title suggests the subject would be an older man – at least someone who has traversed his teens. So when the story begins with an adolescent, I was still expecting a fast-forward to occur; until I realized this young man was Mister Foe.

Hallam Foe (Jamie Bell) is 17-years-old. His father (Ciarán Hinds) married his secretary (Claire Forlani) after the death of Hallam’s mother and he and his sister Lucy (Lucy Holt) have been sure to make her feel unwelcome. No longer comfortable in his home, Hallam spends most of his time in a tree house spying on passersby and his own family. But Lucy is off to college and stepmom feels it’s time Hallam also flew the nest. He runs away to the big city and finds himself obsessing over Kate (Sophia Myles), the HR manager of a hotel at which he gains employment.

Hallam is a difficult character to grasp or feel empathy towards. He is hanging on to the grief of his mother’s passing, convinced foul play had a role; he is very intelligent but somewhat stunted; and his “habit” of peeping at people is somewhat unsettling. Furthermore, his embrace of Oedipal desire and the events that succeed its unmasking is additionally disturbing and difficult to comprehend.

That said, the acting is top-notch. Bell appears to understand his character’s inner struggles and motivations and does a good job conveying their effects to the audience. He spends much of the film not saying a word, so his ability to do so is a tribute to his talent as an actor. Conversely, while Myles may have an understanding of her character’s motivations, she does not reveal them to the audience; but Kate seems like someone who holds her cards close to the chest anyway.

The shooting locations are quite attractive. Hallam spends much of his time on the outside of things, so it highlights the architecture in this area of Scotland. The roofing design of Kate’s apartment is particularly appealing.

Finally, the lively soundtrack is very present in the film. It features music from Franz Ferdinand, Sons and Daughters, and Orange Juice. A bonus feature dedicated to the music would have been appreciated.

There are only two DVD special features. The six deleted scenes are quite revealing of Hallam. They show the close relationship he had with his sister and the uneasy one with his father; another shows his compassion as he reaches out to help a stranger. Alternatively, the 11-minute behind-the-scenes featurette unveils Bell the actor, messy hair and all. It is an interesting contrast.

Amy Adams and Lee Pace in a scene from Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Photo courtesy of Alliance Films).Finally, a fairy tale for adults with enough sex and mischief to keep you awake straight through to the credits.

Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) has once again been dismissed from her job as governess; it seems high society is not compatible with her reverential upbringing. However, desperation forces Miss Pettigrew to push aside her reverent nature and fake her way through a day as a modern woman’s social secretary.

Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams) is an ambitious singer and starlet in dire need of someone to manage her affairs – mostly because she is having three of them. For different reasons, Delysia is currently seeing Nick (Mark Strong), the intimidating nightclub owner; Phil (Tom Payne), the young, impressionable West End producer; and Michael (Lee Pace), the devoted pianist. She is trying to do what is best for her career and status but has yet to discover what is best for her heart. In the meantime, the “wicked stepsister” (Shirley Henderson) is looking out for her own interests, pulling Miss Pettigrew into her web as she tries to entangle her prey – distinguished lingerie designer Joe (Ciarán Hinds).

If it sounds predictable, it is. But fairy tales are not meant to be cliffhangers; they are innocent and hopeful. The fun comes from watching the tale unfold. The action and dialogue in this picture tends to occur rather quickly, particularly in the first half of the film. As World War II is only now going to be affecting London, the film’s young population is still riding the waves of the roaring twenties, which included lavish clothes, loose morals and fast talk.

McDormand does the prim and proper part of her role as well as she does the quick-on-her-feet portion; unfortunately, transplantation of this portrayal into a British accent falls short. Her pronunciation of certain words can be quite poor. Adams, on the other hand, is wonderful as the bubbly starlet. Her timing is impeccable and she shows just the right amount of vulnerability at key moments. Although this role does have Adams engaging in song yet again, as long as she does not have to perform live all should be well.

And for those who have already fallen for the charming Pace on ABC’s Pushing Daisies, his portrayal of the love struck pianist will only reel you in further.

The costumes and set design are peachy, adding to the fabled atmosphere of the story. Fans of the indulgent era’s flair will relish in the colours and style.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day will make you smile and that is all it’s really trying to do.