Shadow Dancer looks great, proper serious thriller based around the troubles in Belfast during the 90’s. Always a bigger basher of Northern Irish ‘troubles’ films but to be honest this looks great. Hard to expect anything else from James March. A foreigner(Cornwall) coming in to do a ‘troubles’ film always gives me goosebumps and a ranty blog. This however with its cast, grimy cinematography and what looks like a decent twist and turn plot with a hint of romance could be a real cracker. Look forward to seeing it.
I shall advise you not to watch America’s Sweethearts as John Cusack puts in a better performance in the below 20 second clip than he does in an hour and thirty minutes of America’s Sweethearts boredom.
I am not a Shakespeare fan so this story was unknown to me but it soon neatly unfolded with weird mother son connections and betrayal as one would expect from an Englishman’s pen.(I jest)
The story that we see is that of the soldier Coriolanus fighting to protect Rome from its enemies and then be rewarded by being put forward as the senate. At this point in the film I was beginning to sway (mentally not physically) as to if I would enjoy this, it started to dry up and the long rambling Shakespearean dialogue was beginning to take its toll as I would frequently zone out.
Then came along Jimmy Nesbitt. Have to say I was impressed by the full cast, some great performances but for me James Nesbitt really caught my eye and ear. The Northern Irish accent seemed to suit the Shakespearean dialogue so well and his sneaky role was played to perfection.
There then is a bizarre Jeremy Kyle style TV debate and it is decided that Coriolanus is to be banned from Rome. It all happened so quickly and some bizarre character changes happened far to fast but what happened next for me was the best bit of the film. We see Coriolanus as he is by himself heading to find his sworn enemy Aufidius. Throughout the film we have had close up shots of Coriolanus in battle or in anger showing his aggression, concentration and frustration but now we get wide open shots but beautiful delicate diegetic sound of footsteps and birds. This is framed by beautiful greys and blue as he walks through open landscapes and depicts his confused, lonely and betrayed character.
Coriolanus then gives his life over to his enemies and asks that he may seek revenge with them upon Rome. People come ask them not to, his mum, wife, son and cleaner arrive, crying talk of wombs etc and then he decides to sign a peace treaty. Its all very nicey nicey. Oh yeah and then he gets stabbed to death by the men he had just fought along side. Thee End.
Overall as I said before a brilliant cast and was only disappointed by Jessica Chastain who plays her role as Coriolanus’s wife perfectly but it is pretty much the exact same role as Mrs. O’Brien from The Tree of Life. The loving caring wife who does no`t say to much and always seeks to impress. She is perfect for it but would like to see her in some different roles. I haven’t seen her in much else though so should not be tough on her, great actress.
Over all great film, misleading trailer which literally has used only the dialogue that is not Shakespearean to make it seem a bit more relevant. The violent and gruesome scenes could be cut back a bit, no need really and they do not show some beautiful cinematography and instead focus on the fighting side. Id give it a solid B+. Trailer is below give it a watch and let me know what you think.
This whole viewpoint may be turned upside down however, staying away from stereotypes, cliches and that cheap tacky look comes an Irish Horror, Grabbers.
“When an island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by bloodsucking aliens, the heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive.” Grabbers (2012)
Oh wait nope, I was wrong. Here is hoping there are a few dopey Garda, loads of sheep, a few leprechauns and a member of the IRA. It wouldn’t be so bad if this was another Shrooms (2007), you remember it? No? Good.
The issue I have is that this is representing Irish film along with Shadow Dancer (2012) at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival . Shadow Dancer is set in Belfast so I dont have to confirm that indeed it revolves around the IRA.
When is Ireland and Northern Ireland films going to get away from its tacky stereotypes and make a real leap into the future. There are enough films about the troubles or about rural Ireland with dopey Garda and weird locals. Its about time we stood up and took ourselves seriously because its sure nobody else will if we keep churning out the same stuff.
I know there are a lot of people making some great short films in Northern Ireland but they aren’t getting the same sort of funding as these stereotype films. Maybe I am wrong in thinking we need this? Its just my thoughts as I am sick and tired of seeing pretty big budgets going into rural or trouble films.
Anyway I havent even see as much as a trailer for either of the films and I am sure they are rather entertaining, but I shant be rushing to watch either but will be interested to see the reviews from Sundance.
I was not expecting much due to a certain Mr. Jack Black acting in it. He gets on my nerves. This came to fruition but yet was not the main reason behind me disliking the film. The film starts off with Margot heading to her sisters wedding with her son. She is of course running away from her husband and it just so happens her sister is getting married near to where her co-author and ex-boyfriend lives. Her sister Pauline (Noah Baumbachs partner in real life) is marrying Malcolm (Jack Black with a mustache), a useless waste of space style artist with a load of ‘problems’ like everyone else in the film. There is a tree and a weird family next door and Margo’s son, Claude falls in love with the babysitter. There is a gay couple who have an autistic son and there are family arguments regarding this. The film is really just awkward scene after awkward scene. Its not really enjoyable at all and feels like some bizarre alternative reality. I reckon its just representing a messed up family.
My problem is though that Noah Baumbach only makes films about messed up families. In Margot at the wedding, we get a whole bunch of messed up people all messing each other up a bit more. The film in places makes very little sense and some scenes are just unnecessary and completely pointless yet very provocative and creepy. A large proportion of the dialogue is unnatural and bizarre leaving you feel sorry for Noah Baumbach if this is some sort of child hood life reenacted.
His other directed film I have seen The Squid and the Whale touches on similar family relations and bizarreness. This lead me on to then even analyze The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou which whole plot revolves around Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson) being Steve Zissou’s (Bill Murray) lost son. Another family relations mess up.
I do not mind directors touching on their own experience, it can make scenes more believable or make stories funnier. When it comes to a director just rehashing the same story in a number of various locations however, it gets a bit tiresome.
I dread to think what Madagascar 3 is going to be like with Noah Baumbach working on the screenplay. Rumour has it that Alex the Lion and Marty the Zebra have the same dad. Its a roller coaster of emotions with numerous mentions of self gratification and random nods to affairs. Kids are gona love it.
Lets give Margot at the wedding a solid 0.5/5 .