18 April 2016

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot 2000
  • Director: Stephen Daldry
  • Based on novel: no
  • Cast: Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis, Jamie Draven, Stewart Wells, Nicola Blackwell
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Jamie Bell – The Eagle, Filth, Jane Eyre, Defiance, Hallam Foe, King Kong, Dear Wendy, Undertow
    • Julie Walters – The Hollow Crown Henry IV Parts One and Two, Henry V, Harry Potter 1-8, Becoming Jane, Driving Lessons, Mamma Mia, Wah-Wah, Calendar Girls, Titanic Town, Intimate Relations, Prick Up Your Ears, Educating Rita
    • Gary Lewis – Case Histories, Merlin, Filth, Gangs of New York, East Is East, My Name Is Joe, Carla’s Song
  • Why? It’s a must-see-many-times film
  • Seen:  7-8 times. Now: 15 April 2016 

       Eight years ago Hal and I saw the musical in London. It was such an enormous experience that we haven’t seen the film since. But we’ve now seen the DVD of the stage musical and can see it again whenever we want to.
       So finally, we are once again going to watch one of our all-time favourites.
       I’m not going to write a review. I don’t have to. The film is still perfect. If you haven’t seen it, what can I say? See it.

10 * of 10 at least


11 April 2016

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 2011
  • Director: Tomas Alfredsson
  • Based on the novel by John Le Carré
  • Cast: Gary Oldman, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Ciarin Hinds, Colin Firth, Kathy Burke, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Graham, Simon McBurney, Tom Hardy, Roger Lloyd Pack, Laura Carmichael
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Gary Oldman – Harry Potter, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, The Book of Eli, Friends, The Fifth Element, Immortal Beloved, Léon, Romeo is Bleeding, True Romance, Dracula, JFK, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Prick Up Your Ears, Sid and Nancy, Meantime
    • Mark Strong – The Eagle, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, The Young Victoria, Flashbacks of a Fool, Stardust, Sunshine, Sunshine (1999), Fever Pitch
    • John Hurt – Merlin, Harry Potter, Melancholia, Brighton Rock. V for Vendetta, Manderlay, Dogville, Dead Man, Rob Roy, King Lear, The Elephant Man, Alien, I Claudius, A Man for All Seasons
    • Toby Jones – The Hunger Games, Spy, Harry Potter (Dobby’s voice), Frost & Nixon, The Mist, Amazing Grace, Infamous, Mrs Henderson Presents, Finding Neverland, Ladies in Lavender, Hotel Splendide, EverAfter, Les Misérables, Naked, Orlando
    • David Dencik – Män som hatar kvinnor, Upp till kamp
    • Ciarin Hinds – The Woman in Black, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallos Part 2, In Bruges, Margo at the Wedding, Hallam Foe, Amazing Grace, The Calendar Girls, Road to Perdition, Titanic Town, Jane Eyre, Cold Lazarus, Mary Reilly, Excalibur
    • Colin Firth – The King’s Speech, Genova, Then She Found Me, Nanny McPhee, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Love Actually, Girl with Pearl Earring, My Life So Far, Shakespeare in Love, A Thousand Acres, Fever Pitch, The English Patient
    • Kathy Burke – Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky (voice only), Elizabeth, Nil by Mouth, Absolutely Fabulous, Sid and Nancy
    • Benedict Cumberbatch – Creation, The Other Boleyn Girl, Atonement, Amazing Grace, To Kill a King, Starter for 10
    • Stephen Graham – Pirates of the Caribbean, Public Enemies, This Is England, Gangs of New York
    • Simon McBurney –The Theory of Everything, Jane Eyre, Robin Hood, Bright Young Things, Kafka
    • Tom Hardy – The Dark Knight Rises, Inception
    • Roger Lloyd Pack – Hustle, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Longitude, Interview with the Vampire, Prick Up Your Ears, Fiddler on the Roof
    • Laura Carmichael – Downton Abbey
  • Why? Gary Oldman. Wanted to see it again to see if it made more sense
  • Seen:  once before in the cinema with friends KA and EAP. Now 9 April 2016 with friend YW in our read-book-see-movie group 

       For being a film that is very confusing in which there is a whole lot of nothing going on I found it interesting the first time we saw it. Having now read the book – which was also confusing with a whole lot of nothing going on but very interesting – I’m curious about seeing the film this second time.
       It’s a spy story which is almost my least favourite genre and it’s as far from James Bond as can be imagined. Is that good or bad, I wonder? It’s all about a mole and the villain behind the shooting of a British agent. George Smiley – was has recently been sacked – is told to find the answers.
       That’s about it really. It’s frustrating not to understand things clearly this time either, and they really could have shown more at the end about what happens to these people but with that said, well. I don’t like it exactly but I don’t not like it either. Will I have to watch it a third time?

3 ½ * of 5


4 April 2016

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! 2008
  • Director: Phyllida Lloyd
  • Based on the songs of ABBA
  • Cast: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper, Philip Michael
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Meryl Streep – August Osage County, Into the Woods, Mamma Mia, A Prairie Home Companion, Angels in America, The Hours, Music of the Heart, Marvin’s Room, The Bridges of Madison County, The House of the Spirits, Defending Your Life, Postcards from the Edge, Ironweed, Out of Africa, Sophie’s Choice, Silkwood, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Kramer vs Kramer, Deer Hunter, Holocaust, Julia
    • Pierce Brosnan – The World’s End, The Ghost Writer, Seraphim Falls, Die Another Day, The World Is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies, Dante’s Peak, Mars Attacks, Golden Eye
    • Julie Walters – The Hollow Crown Henry IV Parts One and Two, Henry V, Harry Potter 1-8, Becoming Jane, Driving Lessons, Wah-Wah, Calendar Girls, Billy Elliot, Titanic Tow, Intimate Relations, Prick Up Your Ears, Educating Rita
    • Colin Firth – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the King’s Speech, Genova, The She Found Me, Nanny McPhee, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Love Actually, Girl with Pearl Earring, My Life So Far, Shakespeare in Love, A Thousand Acres, Fever Pitch, The English Patient
    • Stellan Skarsgård – Melancholia, Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean, King Arthur, Dogville, The Glass House, Dancer in the Dark, Amistad, Good Will Hunting, Breaking the Waves, Den enfaldige mördaren
    • Christine Baranski – The Big Bang Theory, Into the Woods, The Guru, Bulworth, Reversal of Fortune, Playing for Time
    • Amanda Seyfried – Les Misérables, Veronica Mars
    • Dominic Cooper – Summer in February, Starter for 10, My Week with Marilyn, An Education
    • Philip Michael – nothing yet but hopefully soon
  • Why? love it
  • Seen:  1 April 2016 

       In the 70’s it was not cool to like ABBA so I had to keep it a secret. In later decades two things happened. I became wise enough not to care what was cool or not and be open about what I like. And ABBA became cool.
       How cool is that?
       I first saw Mamma Mia! at the cinema with friends and fell in love immediately. Well, almost immediately (see below). OMG Meryl Streep can sing! ‘Dancing Queen’ is so…irresistible! Stellan, Colin and Pierce, what a trio, especially their long-haired versions.  Christine Baranski and Philip Michael – hot! And funny. ‘The Winner Takes It All’ – shivers! ‘Take a Chance on Me’ – Julie Walters, I love you!
       It’s perfect. Well, almost. Sorry, Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper are just too cutesy for words – oh for actors like Emma Watson and Rubert Grint instead! And the first fifteen minutes are so hysterical I just want to quit.
       But after that, I just sit back and enjoy every minute.

6 * of 7