Currently browsing the "carey mulligan" tag.

Review: The Dig

I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea where Sutton Hoo was or that it was the site of one of the great archeological finds of the 20th century. But watching The Dig certainly placed it in my lexicon. Cary Mulligan stars in this “based on a true story” period drama. She’s Edith Pretty, a young widow with a young son who lives on an estate near a village called Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, England. It’s 1939 and Britain is just being drawn into the war when she hires Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes, Harry Potter, The Grand Budapest Hotel) to excavate some ancient burial mounds on her property. He’s a local man, self-taught, but very knowledgable about archeology. He thinks the mounds could be Anglo-Saxon, but the local museum experts laugh at the idea. They don’t laugh for long.

Review: Promising Young Woman

I finally have a solid front-runner for my ‘best of’ list for film and lead actress for 2020. It’s Promising Young Woman starring Carey Mulligan (Wildlife, Mudbound, An Education). The movie defies the boundaries of any particular genre. It’s got dark comedy, drama, crime, vengeance, timely relevance, a great soundtrack, and a twist. Oh, what a twist.

Far from the Madding Crowd

What a simply horrid problem Bathsheba Everdene (Katniss’s great-great grandmother?) has to contend with! She’s young and pretty and has inherited a big old house in the British countryside with its own working farm and the money to run it, and she has three, count them, THREE men who want to marry her. The downside to her situation is that she lives in Victorian England and women are not supposed to be independent or headstrong. In this latest adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel, Carey Mulligan plays Bathsheba with a decidedly 21st century vibe. And that works because really at its core Far from the Madding Crowd is a timeless tale of recognizing the love that is right in front of you, no matter what anyone thinks.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis is one of those indie films that you either love – or don’t. I wanted to. But I didn’t. Fans of folk music and the Coen Brothers will surely appreciate the film’s soundtrack and gritty portrayal of a week in the life of a young folk singer in Greenwich Village in 1961. But others may find it kind of slow and depressing.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby is a glitzy and fantastical cautionary tale about excess and heartbreak. It’s a literary classic brought to 3D life with decent actors, lavish party scenes, and a cool soundtrack that somehow manages to infuse contemporary rap into the rhythms of the Roaring 1920s. So why didn’t I like it all that much? Perhaps because, ultimately, I felt as disconnected and disillusioned as the characters themselves. They didn’t make me care. Or cry. Or laugh. Or feel much of anything. Granted, the book never grabbed me either, unlike my favorite high school read, “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Now that movie (with Gregory Peck) never fails to move me. It’s as brilliant and enduring in its simplicity as Gatsby is boring and fleeting in its grandiosity. That said, if you do like “The Great Gatsby” novel, then you may glean something more from the movie than I did. My literary-minded seatmate thoroughly enjoyed it.

Drive

What happens when a Hollywood action flick collides with an artsy indie? You get Drive, a movie that will either crash and burn at the box office or earn a cult following, particularly among fans of Pulp Fiction or maybe The Sopranos.

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go is another one of those interesting, well-acted and somewhat thought-provoking films that simply fails to float my mainstream boat but is likely to find an appreciative arthouse audience. It’s also really hard to review because to divulge too much of the plot would be unfair to the film and its potential viewers. One’s enjoyment – or investment- in the story hinges on not really knowing what to expect as the drama unfolds (though readers of the novel it’s based on, by Kazuo Ishiguro, will certainly be in the know). Never Let Me Go has all the hallmarks of a traditional indie, yet it’s tinged with a bit of the sci-fi, making it all the more difficult to define and categorize.