Sunday, 27 November 2011

My Week With Marilyn

Director: Simon Curtis
Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh
On debating what to see at the cinema this weekend, we opted for this based on time alone. It was a happy coincidence. Michelle Williams is beautiful as Marilyn, and bears such a genuine resemblance it could almost be her on screen. The plot is fairly predictable but it's a light-hearted hour or so with some dashingly handsome/pretty case members- barring a few irritating castings, for instance Emma Watson, whose wooden acting adds nothing to the film- but, thankfully, takes nothing away from it, and would perhaps have gone unnoticed had she not just stepped out of the highest grossing film series of all time. And, of course, Kenneth Branagh had be cast as Sir Laurence Olivier- he wouldn't be seen dead in a film where he had no opportunity to reel off Shakespearian monologues at regular intervals. Luckily, for once I managed to curb my hate for him did not let it eclipse my enjoyment of the film, in fact it added a few laughs, if unintentional on the director's behalf. As a BBC production you are guaranteed surprising cameos, and the occasional appearance of some of Britain's finest - Derek Jakobi and Judi Dench spring to mind.
It is usually American films that are tiresomely obvious. But if you're looking for a deep, reflective film this probably isn't it, nothing is left up to the audiences imagination in a film where the characters impulsively and extremely un-Englishly announce their greatest torments to the rest of the cast and the world. The vocalisation of emotional issues is far from believable, but on occasion I don't mind being told something I already know- it makes for easy watching and is probably infinitely more profound than Breaking Dawn. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011


The 'real life' version of 28 days later, this film is enough to give a squatter OCD. With unnerving, neurotic close-ups on 'contaminated' objects from the first scene the obsessive tracing of the origin of the next, real global epidemic of bird flu (or 'bat' flu). If you've got the November cold that's doing the rounds I'd advise you not to go and see this films for the benefit of your sanity. I'm typing this in my University library- someone, somewhere is coughing and I'm finding it hard not to cover my mouth and nose with my scarf.
The idea of a film about a virus spreading across the globe without the benefit of Zombies and thrills seems like it might make a fairly dull film. However, the obscenely all-star cast and consistent twists and turns of the unlikely plot make this a very interesting film. It even dabbles in the controversial conversation about alternative medicines- however, the fact that pharmaceutical giants are given a massive, grinning thumbs up undermines this somewhat. But the seed is there, something unusual for a blockbuster of this size.
It's pretty good, pretty paranoia-inducing, but also not the most revolutionary idea in cinema. It's a start though- at least there were no Zombies.