Posts Tagged ‘period’

Review – The King’s Speech

Friday, December 17th, 2010

My castle, my rules. Oh and do you have that bob I spotted you?

I must admit that with all the hype and Oscar buzz attributed to a film, I can often walk out of a movie disappointed. This certainly not the case for The King’s Speech (opening in Australia on Boxing Day, 2010).

When I first heard of this movie a month or two back, I was instantly intrigued. I had grown up on stories of King and Empire. One that my mother’s side of the family would often tell was that of how an Australian doctor helped the King overcome his stammer and kept the Empire strong in World War II. My grandfather was a Kangaroo (and travelled throughout the Empire and France for Rugby), so was one of the few men of his generation to see the Empire/Commonwealth during good times and bad. Staunch monarchists, my family would tell me story after story of Australians who helped build and save the Empire (often while telling the British to get nicked).

To see a story I had grown up with portrayed on the big screen was such a delight and the way it was told was breathtaking.

Some of the shots stopped me dead in my tracks, and the acting of Firth and Rush was brilliant. Rush plays the larrikin Australian so well – his accent just strong enough and with the right smattering of colloquialisms to be outstanding and not cringeworthy. Firth’s George VI was incredible. The emotion he could portray without speaking, or trying to speak, was beyond any adjective and your heart filled with his pain, sorrow, fear and bravery.

Pluses:
The script was incredibly well written.
The personal backstories of each character was so brilliantly developed.
Set the scene of pre-war time Britain incredibly well.
Costumes.
The simplicity of the movie.
Dramadey at its best.
Highly engaging.
Art direction.
Crisp editing.
Support cast.
Beautiful directing.

Minuses:
I wasn’t that sold on how Edward VIII (Guy Pearch) was portrayed as such a vapid and vacuous individual ruled by Wallace Simpson.

There are a couple of moments in the movie that are still very clear in my mind.

One, in Logue’s treatment room with “Bertie” looking left and the torn wallpaper behind him. The second is after he becomes George IV and his two daughters curtsey and call him Your Majesty all formal and restrained – heart breaking.

There are preview screenings this weekend at Palace Cinemas so do check it out – alternatively you can wait a week and a bit and see it on Boxing Day. This movie is a must see, and I will be going again on Boxing Day.

#fourandahalfpandas

Boardwalk Empire – Ivory Tower

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Boardwalk.Empire.S01E02.The.Ivory.Towe

Hi Mum!

This week:
Fall out continues from the hooch hijack. People make touch choices and are going to have to live with them  and their own fall out. Insight into the frailties of the “best of men.”

Pluses:
More back-story on Nooky.
Handjob in the woods.
Ribbon twisting.
Capone being a prat – twice.

Minuses:
I know it is still early days but I can’t wait to see some development of the supporting characters.
I am sure some people will say the show is slow – not me though, you know I am a fan of the long con.

Ivory Tower didn’t have that same sense of imagery from the first episode – life and dead on the boardwalk. The second episode was just as luscious as the first. I do adore the use of language and the acting is superb across the board. Also, the scope of this show is just so large, it really is like watching a movie. I can’t wait for some big events/confrontations – it is going to be A-MAZ-ING.

#fourpandas

Review – Mad Men – Chinese Wall

Monday, October 11th, 2010

That sound Don? That is the size of my huge steel balls.

This week:
Lucky Strike Fall Out. A female Don Draper. Joan finally sees Roger for who Roger really is. Pete becomes a dad. Don is old Don. Peggy gets laid.

Pluses:
Pete and his position.
Lipstick.
Mirrors.
Stirling’s Gold.

Minuses:
I was very surprised that Faye would sell out her professionalism.

What I really loved this week was just how caught up in themselves and their problems the characters were that they don’t realise the power that Pete has over the business. I know I am a week behind, but the best part is that tomorrow I can see what happens without the whole waiting a week business.

#threeandahalfpandas

Review – Boardwalk Empire – Pilot/Boardwalk Empire

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Boardwalk Empire Atlantic City Boardwalk Episode 1

Luscious, gorgeously shot and a delight.

This week:
We dive into the luscious world of Prohibition  Atlantic City. Al Capone gets his break. Murder. Mischief. Deals. Busts (both kinds). The beginning of letting go and finding love.

Pluses:
Fantastic sets and art direction.
Incredible acting – Steve Buscemi thy name is Emmy.
Brilliant set up to the series.
Ugliness countered with beauty.
Martin Scorsese.

Minuses:
I thought the opening credits are a bit contrived.

HBO is back with a vengeance.  Based on the real life character of Nucky Thompson – this series raises the bar for TV even higher. The word that keeps coming to mind is luscious. The scope of this show, the sets, the party scenes. Just amazing. No wonder that HBO renewed it after just one episode went to air. A quick Google and I couldn’t see when it was coming to our fair shores – it is available on the US iTunes site which is pretty easy for we Australians to use (if we are clever, which we are).

#fourandahalfpandas