An Education is the latest film being touted as ‘Film of the year‘ and having seen it last night I really wouldn’t disagree. It’s definitely one of the best films I’ve seen this year. In a nutshell it’s a coming-of-age story set in 1960’s suburban London – Twickenham to be precise. The film is based on the memoirs of journalist Lynn Barber and actress of the moment Carey Mulligan plays Jenny; the lead character. With a screenplay by Nick Hornby it’s an easygoing and enjoyable film to watch. Look out for Alfred Molina who has some brilliant one-liners as Jenny’s Dad and also Emma Thompson who is, as always, a class-act playing the part of the headmistress. My only real gripe with the film would be that the American actor Peter Sarsgaard plays the lead male role ‘David’. I’ve got no problem with his acting, but did the part of a English man really need to be played by an American when there are numerous British actors who could of played the role equally as well, if not better.
One last thing about the film. The car that ‘David’ drives is sublime. They mention it’s a Bristol but never which particular model. Now for a car-nut like myself it’s all about the details. I want to know what model, engine and most importantly how many sterling pounds I’d need to hypothetically own one. As we live in the glorious year of 2009 everything is but a mere Google away. So for anyone who cares, the car is a Bristol 405. Although it turns out I’m in good company as a fan of the beautiful 405. Non other than Nottingham’s finest designer Paul Smith is an owner.
I’ve just watched Volver on Film4, forgot what a great film it was. But what I also forgot and was reminded by Volver is how great the Ford Cortina Estate was/is. This is mainly because my Dad used to drive one and as a kid I thought it was the bee’s knee’s. I always get a bit attached to cars and this was definitely one of them. Shame it met its demise on an icy Snowdonian corner with the help of a careless van driver. Anyway.
I went to see ‘Yes Man’ last night – which has Jim Carrey as the lead and is based on the Danny Wallace book. Basically Jim Carey is stuck in a rut that is on a par with the suez canal. A boring life working for a boring bank = a bored Carl Allen (Carrey). The film is fair from perfect but worth a watch and is what a like to call a ‘Ronseal’ film – ‘it does exactly what it says on the tin’. Watch out for his amazing boss in the shape of Murray (Rhys Darby) from ‘Flight of the Concords’, easily the highlight of the film. Anyway, my main point about ‘Yes Man’ is the product placement. Could it be anymore BLATANT!! Now I’m not stupid, I realise it’s a ”you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of deal with both the brand and filmmaker profiting. But ‘Yes Man’ stoops to new low’s on the product placement scale (Casino Royale comes a close second). The film made by Warner Brothers contains constant references to two of their big box office successes of the last few years: Harry Potter and 300. There are plugs for a very well known energy drink, a good 20 seconds of Carrey jumping on one of those mattresses which I’m not naming that mould tothe shape of your body, a close up of the computer he uses which is made by a large manufacturer that rhymes with Bell and lingering shots of the beer he’s drinking when he’s sat at a bar. I’m used to product placement, I watch enough films to notice it but never have I watched a film where it is so in your face. By the end of ‘Yes Man’ you’ll feel as if you’ve been watching a film with clips of QVC sneaked in every ten minutes.
I’ve never been, but three minutes into Baz Luhrmann’s latest film and I wanted to go, almost more than I wanted to breathe. I’m talking about Australia. The latest offering from the man of Strictly Ballroom, Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge fame. In a nutshell it is an epic period film about an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch in northern Australia before World War II. Nicole Kidman and Hugh ”Wolverine” Jackman take the lead roles – both actors I’m indifferent too, but the cinematography, vision and by-gone charm of this 165 minute epic make for the kind of film that cinema was made for. Just make sure you suspend your parameters of normality.