I seem to spend my life apologizing for being rubbish at updating my blog and yet here comes another one. Real life kind of took over with a new job rearing its head along with rehearsals for a new show and more recently the 2015 Rugby World Cup (the only world cup that matters in my view!) which has come to dominate my free time despite England’s somewhat disastrous performance (the less said about that the better!)
Although I had a couple of months downtime between ending one contract and starting the new job and good intentions of making a dent in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die this sadly never came to fruition and instead I ended up trying to get my room back into something resembling a living space (following an epic leaky roof this time last year – and I’m still not completely unpacked though the end is in sight thank goodness!)
While I have watched a couple of films for the blog I must confess I have been rather lazy when it comes to actually writing up my thoughts on them. I have still been watching films, though not with nearly the same frequency, and have seen some truly awful ones (50 Shades of Gray, 2015, Sam Taylor-Wood), some that are so bad they’re good and guilty pleasures (Magic Mike XXL, 2015, Gregory Jacobs) and then some beautiful films like Macbeth (2015, Justin Kurzel). 50 Shades was always going to be a difficult film as the leading man, Christian Gray, is going to be so different in everyone’s head (mine’s Michael Fassbender by the way) so I wasn’t surprised when I found the film to be somewhat lack lustre. I think Jamie Dornan is a wonderful actor, just not in this – he is in no way the Christian Gray I had envisioned and I found that bizarrely he lacked any sex appeal. The ages are all wrong too – Anna looks much older than she is in the books and way older than Christian where as Christian looked much younger than his description in the books … and yes I’m aware this is me confessing to having read the books, well the first one at least. All in all it just didn’t work for me and I still can’t believe it was as popular as it turned out to be. The creative talent behind it did not rate warrant its box office success!
And then on the flip side I recently saw Macbeth which is breathtakingly beautiful – and not just because Michael Fassbender is the doomed Scottish King though is did certainly help. Macbeth seems to have been received extremely well on the festival circuit and by the critics and I can understand why. I’m not sure though that it will do as well in its general public release. Now I’m a fan of Shakespeare and will quite happily sit through any of his plays but there are many who would be put off by Shakespeare which is a shame especially in this instance. I particularly enjoyed Fassbender’s portrayal of Macbeth as a man suffering from PTSD – it’s a refreshing new take on the character and yet one that makes a lot of sense. He is entirely commanding as Macbeth and as usual I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He dominated every scene he was in. On the other hand I was somewhat underwhelmed by Lady Macbeth but then I’ve never really enjoyed any of Marion Cotillard’s performances and I also don’t like the character of Lady M either. But the true beauty of the film is its stunning cinematography – beautiful shards of light filtering across the scene and glorious moments of slow motion all serve to make the film visually arresting. And yet it is these elements that I fell in love with that I think will result in Macbeth struggling in the general release. It has a much more defined artistic feel to the film that I’m not sure regular cinema goers will necessarily appreciate … I am well aware that I may be doing a great injustice to the intelligence of cinema goers here. I thoroughly recommend seeing Macbeth is you can as it is most definitely a feast for the eyes.
I also had a brilliant experience recently during the London Film Festival where thanks to some random man in the crowd in Leicester Square I unexpectedly ended up getting to see High-Rise (2015, Ben Wheatley) It’s a fantastic film though I was so frazzled by actually getting to go in and see a film at its premiere (completely underdressed of course as I had come straight from work on dress down Friday!!) that I think I didn’t quite appreciate it as much as I could have. There were times when I was hit with a sense of vertigo that was somewhat disquieting but completely fit with the tone of the film. The cast is full of heavy hitters with Tom Hiddleston leading the charge – I was amazed at the number of people at the premiere that had absolutely no idea who he is but I digress – and ably supported by Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans, Sienna Miller, Elisabeth Moss and James Purefoy. It was wonderfully dystopic with a depiction of the lowest level humanity can descend to, all shot in a seemingly timeless aesthetic though I do think it was meant to be set in maybe the 1970s or 1980s. I definitely intend to watch the film again in order to fully appreciate the nuances in it.
Hopefully you’ll forgive my laziness and continue reading – I’m certainly aiming to update in the near future with the reviews of the films I actually managed to watch during the intervening months.