I was considering calling this section World War Z. Where is everyone?? Each screening I've been to has had about 5 people in. Hardly buzzing.
When I see a few films in a week a theme usually occurs. For example I saw Lore and Stoker two days about and although vastly different films they both had coming of age at their core. For three of the four films parenthood was a theme although admittedly this is a tad tenuous but hey, if I want to clutch at straws then I will damn it! Also Alexander Skarsgard was in two of the four films. Brief reviews below.
If I am being honest I cocked up here as what I meant to watch was The Deep. This was my back up. It worked out OK as it is pretty good. Undercover agent Sarah (Brit Marling) is sent to infiltrate an Eco terrorism group but when she does she starts questioning what she believes is right and wrong
It's a great cast including Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Skarsgard and a brilliant Toby Kebbell. for the most part is pretty slick and entertaining. It doesn't quite deal with the big pharma subject as well as the constant Gardener did but it makes a pretty good attempt. My one gripe would be Marling. She wrote it so its not surprising she's in the lead role but for me she was too passive for me to engage with her. I would have preferred Page in the title role. She's got a great face though and it's terrific she's writing films and getting them made. Go Brit.
What Maisie Knew
It's no rest for the wicked as I run for a quick toilet break then come back to the same cinema same seat and settle down for my next go round with Alexander Skarsgard, this time with Steve Coogan and Julianne Moore. Phillip Larkin once wrote 'they fuck you up your mum and dad' and that sentence could have been written for What Maisie Knew; a New York drama through the eyes of 6 year old Maisie as her utterly self absorbed parents go back and forth vying for custody then abandoning her when life got in the way. She finds solace in the arms of Lincoln (Skarsgard) and Nanny Margot (Johanna Vanderham).
It's a lovely sweet New York drama in the same vein as The Squid and The Whale. Perhaps it doesn't always ring true but it's nicely directed and the cast are top class. Coogan is on great form although playing a millionaire womaniser may not be a huge stretch. The whole cast is fantastic. We heart Julianne Moore. The end.
I Am Breathing
I ran the 0.8 miles to The Filmhouse to make this one and I'm glad I did although it was a harrowing experience. Neil Platt was a new dad, loving life as an architect in London and very much loving his wife when he noticed his foot was slapping on the floor when he walked. Thinking he just needed new shoes he was shocked to discover that, like his dad, he had motor neurone disease. He was 34 and his baby's first Christmas would be the last Neil would ever see. Crying yet? I am. Neil was an amazing person and equally amazing is his wife. The documentary charts Neil's demise and whilst it is incredibly upsetting it is also life affirming and nicely intercut with home movies of Neil before. It's incredibly moving. A must see.
A Long Way From Home.
Last one. It's been a great day, the films have been fantastic so it's a shame I had to end with this film. It really is not my bag but I'm not sure it's anyone's. How the hell it got made is beyond me. A 70 year old man had a late life crisis in France and develops a crush on a younger woman. It feels like an afternoon movie on Channel 5 and isn't helped by some dubious acting by Paul Nichols and Brenda Fricker. Natalie Dormer and James Fox are pretty good but to be honest I had to fight every fibre if my being not to walk out.
So that's today! Tomorrow holds treats and hopefully more people around to network with.