Mini Reviews #9

box_philomenaPhilomena (2013)
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Anna Maxwell Martin

A well crafted and brilliantly paced British drama about the real life search of an Irish pensioner to find the son she was forced to give away in the 1950s. Philomena is both touching and devastating in the all of the right places, never once feeling contrived or over sentimental. Though some artistic license has been taken with the story, the fundamental aspects remain the same and whilst they are heart wrenching and the kind of life experiences not wished upon anyone, the details of the struggles of Philomena Lee make for a wonderful film. 8/10.

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box_nebraskaNebraska (2013)
Director: Alexander Payne
Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb

A melancholy yet humorous tale of an ageing patriarch who enlists the help of his son to travel to Lincoln, Nebraska in the hope of claiming a million dollar prize. The junk letter is merely a catalyst for an exploration in to the hypocrisy and fragility of the protagonists’ family unit, and Bruce Dern shines as the down trodden man at the centre of his family’s new found, money grabbing attention. Filmed in black and white, the choice does little to help the plot. Too slowly paced and the few bright moments do not outweigh the tedium. 6.5/10.

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Annie_Hall-468065019-largeAnnie Hall (1977)
Director: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts

One of Woody Allen’s very best pictures is brought to life by his zany, neurotic portrayal of a New York comedian and elevated even further by Diane Keaton in her Oscar winning performance as his on again, off again lover. Allen’s talent for unleashing scathing social commentary whilst at all times being deliciously humorous is on display for all to enjoy in Annie Hall, and though some of the pop culture references route the film very much in its original seventies setting, the universal theme of romantic conflict gives it a timeless edge. 8.5/10.

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5 thoughts on “Mini Reviews #9

  1. Really good summaries, I enjoyed Philomena very much and was surprised many didn’t want to nor see it, I reviewed it a while back and gave it a similar rating! I have yet to see Nebraska and it was the only Oscar film I missed but I will be sure to put that right! Good post 🙂

  2. I must confess that none of these movies appeal to me very much. I’ve been wavering as to whether I should see Philomena. If the opportunity presents itself, I won’t turn it down! But I watched Annie Hall several years ago and found it to be very frustrating haha

  3. Great reviews. I very much enjoyed Nebraska and thought it was a very worthy oscar nominee. For me the black and white cinematography serves to underline the futility of the journey and the bleak regrets many of the older characters carried in their lives. Enjoyed Philomena too – a bit of a gem – but was surprised to see it recognised with an oscar nomination as it’s very understated.

  4. Great little reviews! I haven’t seen Philomena or Nebraska yet, but I will soon enough, and based on your reviews I really should! I have a soft spot for Annie Hall, plot and fashion wise. Diane Keaton is just superb in this film!!

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