A Month of Sundays

 

After 40 years away from his home town of Adelaide, Anthony LaPaglia has returned to star in A Month of Sundays. He felt a real connection with Frank, the character he plays, he said, having lost his father a year ago and being recently divorced from his wife, actress, Gia Carides.

He plays Frank Mollard, a real estate agent who is feeling very down after the death of his mother and his divorce from Wendy, (Justine Clarke) an actress on a  TV medical soapy. His son, Frank jnr and he have little communication. He is just going through the motions day-to-day in his real estate job, showing little interest as his boss, Phillip notes, when he says Frank is “in a mood”. One night he receives a phone call. It is a wrong number but Frank continues to talk to the lady who thinks she is talking to her own son.  Frank thinks the woman’s voice sounds just like that of his dead mother which leads Frank to make contact with this lady, Sarah (played beautifully by the classy Julia Blake). This does appear very awkward and strange at first but Sarah realises that Frank is looking for companionship and a mother figure so they begin a friendship. Sarah’s son (Donal Forde) also is quite suspicious of this friendship and what Frank’s motives might be.

We also see what Frank’s witty boss, Phillip (played by comedian, John Clarke) is like as he visits his father suffering from dementia in a nursing home. While Phillip is amused at Frank’s friendship with Sarah, he finds himself entranced by her as she comes to the nursing home and visits with Phillip’s ailing father who is reliving his jungle hardships in Papua New Guinea in WWII.

We see a gradual improvement in Frank’s demeanour as he is able to confide his feelings to Sarah. His relationships improve and he is able to help Sarah bring her memories together.

This is a gentle and thoughtful drama set in Adelaide with lots of humour about the real estate industry and suburban life. I would give this a 4 out of 5.

Rated PG, 110 mins, Comedy-Drama.

 

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Eye in the Sky

This is a poster for Eye in the Sky. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Entertainment One, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eye_in_the_Sky_2015_film_poster.jpg

Starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman.

Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is a military officer in command in Sussex, England. She is in charge of a top secret drone operation to capture a group of terrorists in Nairobi, Kenya. Through informants on the ground in Kenya who manoeuvre drones in the forms of a bird and a beetle, she discovers that the group are planning a suicide bombing. Her original plan had been to capture but as she sees through surveillance, the terrorists suiting up in their vests, the plan escalates to kill. She instructs the targeteer to calculate the best point for a strike on the terrorist’s house where they are meeting and organising the attack. She then informs the Las Vegas, Nevada pilots who are sitting behind their computers to launch the Hellfire missile from the drone which is hovering in the skies above Nairobi. When a small child moves into the street behind the targeted house, the situation alters. The child is selling bread on a table and now the dilemma begins. The situation is being monitored in Whitehall, London by Lt-General Frank Benson (Alan Rickman), politicians and legal representatives and then referred up to authorities in the US who give the all clear to go ahead. One of the terrorists is an American citizen, the other terrorist is a British citizen. The position is difficult in that Kenya is a non-hostile country but the threat of suicide bombs in a crowded mall could result in the loss of 80 lives. The Americans have no hesitation but the British agonize over the child.

This movie shows the differences between the two governments over policy and the implications of such decisions. When the movie opened, it was reported that US drones killed 150 people in Somalia, a country where America is not at war and against which Congress had authorized no military action. The deceased were all reported as “terrorists”.

This was also the final movie for Alan Rickman who sadly passed away in January this year and to whom the movie is dedicated.

This was a suspenseful and thought provoking movie and I would give this a 4/5.

Rated M, 102mins,Drama/Thriller

 

 

Spotlight

Photo: Spotlight was nominated for six awards at the Oscars. On the night, it took home best original screenplay and best picture.

The “Spotlight” unit at the Boston Globe is the oldest continuous investigative unit in the American media founded in 1970.

This is the true story of how a team of investigative journalists working at the Boston Globe uncover a massive scandal of child abuse within its Catholic diocese involving over 90 priests. The senior editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) assigns a team of journalists led by “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) to investigate and gain access to sensitive documents held by the Roman Catholic church. The reporters have to provide proof of a cover-up of sexual abuse and begin their investigations.

The film focusses on the work of the investigative reporters rather than give too many details on the abuse. This becomes quite a harrowing task, emotionally and physically, as most of the reporters are or were raised Catholic but the more they uncover the angrier they become which drives them on in their work.

At the end of the movie there is a list of places around the world in which major cases of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy have been uncovered since the Spotlight team’s work in Boston in 2002. These include 105 in American cities, 22 in Australia and 102 in other parts of the world.

This movie is gripping and challenging as well as disturbing. I would rate this 5/5.

We should be thankful for investigative journalism.

Rated M, 129 mins, Drama.

Brooklyn

 

This is a movie about belonging and making decisions about your future life.

This movie is based on the award winning novel by Colm Toíbín. It is an intensely moving story of Eilis Lacey (Academy award nominee, Saoirse Ronan). You may remember Saoirse Ronan from 2007’s Atonement.

Eilis is a young Irish immigrant who moves to Brooklyn, New York in the early 1950s. The reason for the move is that America seems to hold a more promising future than her home town of Enniscorthy, Ireland. So with help from her older sister who stays behind with their widowed mother, Eilis sets off by sea. Her voyage in steerage is fraught with seasickness but she is befriended by another woman passenger who helps guide her on the ways of the journey and coping with Immigration on Ellis Island, her departure point. She stays in a boarding house where her landlady, Mrs Keogh (Julie Walters) sets out the rules. She is awfully homesick but finds a job in a department store and with the help of a kindly priest, Father Flood, (Jim Broadbent) enrols in a night class in bookkeeping. She meets a young Italian plumber, Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen) who is very Marlon Brando-like and finds romance. Things are picking up for Eilis and as she is starting to settle down, she receives bad news from Ireland and has to return home.

Eilis arrives home wearing a beautiful yellow dress which stands out in the dreariness of the small town. She is now being encouraged to stay in Ireland and meets another local man (Domhnall Gleeson). Her friends and her mother would like her to stay permanently and this is when Eilis feels torn between her new home and Ireland. She also has a secret and a decision needs to be made that won’t please everyone.

This movie is beautifully filmed, the period of the 1950s, its costumes and scenery as well as the performance of Saoirse Ronan makes it well worth seeing.

Rated M, 109 minutes, Drama-Romance.

I really enjoyed this one and you can still see it. I would give it a 5/5.

 

 

 

Lolo-French Film Festival 2016

I love all things to do with France.

The language, the food, the country and the film.

I first starting attending the French Film Festival in 2014 when I started doing a French Beginners course. Since then, I have found the films so much fun and it is great to hear how the language is spoken by the French.  That’s probably why it’s great to have subtitles!

This film is called Lolo, a French comedy written, directed and starring Julie Delpy (pictured).It is the story of Violette, played by Julie Delpy who embarks on a later in life love affair with Jean-René (Dany Boon) which is constantly being sabotaged by her extremely possessive adult son, Lolo (Vincent Lacoste).

Violette is a 40 year old workaholic who works in the fashion industry. There is a cameo role with Karl Lagerfeld who plays himself in a very funny scene. Violette also happens to be a really hysterical hypochondriac and the film opens with Violette and Ariane (Karin Viard) who are best friends holidaying at a spa retreat. Ariane encourages her to go out with Jean-René who is a bumbling, ordinary-looking, provincial computer geek. The holiday romance continues. Things are going really well when he moves in with Violette at her Paris apartment and meets her son, Lolo. That’s when things get interesting as Lolo begins a campaign to derail his mother’s new relationship.

Has anyone heard of the Oedipus complex?

Whilst this comedy is very funny, there is a dark side and a twist at the end.

Julie_Delpy_Cannes

Photo by Georges Biard.

Film: M Comedy 99 mins

Rating 3/5

This movie was shown at the Alliance Française French Film Festival which is now on in other states. However, one viewing is available at Casula, Sydney on Friday, 8 April at 7pm. If interested, please check the Festival’s website for more details. There are also other French films being shown in Parramatta from 7-10 April.

 

 

 

45 years

Just wanted to share with you all a review on a movie I saw a couple of weeks ago.

45 years- starring Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling. They play a couple struggling to cope when the husband  learns that the perfectly preserved body of his ex-girlfriend has been discovered 50 years after she slipped into a crevasse in the Swiss alps.

A letter arrives for Geoff Mercer (Tom Courtenay) from the Swiss authorities saying that Katya’s body,  his lost love, has been discovered. Whilst Kate (Charlotte Rampling) knows about the former love, she doesn’t realise what this discovery will mean for their marriage. This happens about a week prior to this 45 year wedding anniversary which is to be celebrated in the town with all of their friends. You may think why 45 years? Well, Geoff had a heart bypass operation at the time of their 40th so this celebration is long awaited with all the pre-party expectations.

Geoff’s behaviour becomes increasingly strange and absentminded as he remembers Katya and Kate goes from quiet support to passive aggression as the night before the party she tells him that he will have to go ahead with the party plans to keep up appearances.

The attic scene is significant-it is as icy as their relationship is becoming. By the final scene, with the camera lingering on Kate, we are left wondering about secrets, is it worth knowing and can they be survived.