Film News – Director Nisha Ganatra On Late Night + Star Wars

The comedy Late Night has, for the most part, been receiving very good reviews. Indeed, it looks like it will be one of the best comedic films of 2019 alongside other comedies that have come out this year such as Long Shot and Booksmart. The director of Late Night is Nisha Ganatra and, in an interview with Collider, she had the chance to speak about Late Night as well as her wish to direct a Star Wars movie.

Late Night

Nisha Ganatra had this to say on whether there was anything she learned from private screenings of Late Night before its release that changed the movie:

It’s a very talky script. People walk in and loudly announce who they are in a monologue. It was very challenging to direct and make this movie visual because, on the page, it was very just dialogue-driven.”

I had to really work hard to make it visual, and pull things out, and tell the story in the medium that it is. With every screening, Mindy was willing to lose a little bit more of the dialogue, realizing that audiences can follow along without being told as much as we think they need to be told.”

Audiences make big leaps, and you just want to be careful, in a movie, not to let them get ahead of you. This movie was fun, that way. The test screenings allowed me to take out some things that were said, that I don’t think needed saying.”

Star Wars

Nisha Ganatra also spoke about the other types of movies she would like to direct, one of which would be a film the in the Star Wars universe:

I’d love a crack at the Star Wars franchise, or the Jurassic Park franchise. I’d really like a crack at some amazing science fiction drama, like a Gattaca-type movie. That would be amazing.”

It’s so funny, there are all those things that you dream about, as a kid, and then, as you start working, as a woman in the industry, you’re like, ‘I guess I’m just not gonna get a chance to do those things.’ So, you focus on the independent films you can get made, but it’s been really exciting to do a movie [like Late Night].”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

GLOW Season 2 (Television Review) – Very Good But I Prefer Season 1

It is always a great feeling when a season of television comes out of nowhere and surprises you in the best way possible with its heart and fun tone and that is exactly what Season 1 of GLOW did. While I did not think it was a masterpiece that a lot of people proclaimed it to be, it was a fun show to watch. I really liked the 30-minute, 10-episode structure of Season 1 and I was looking forward to seeing more of the same with Season 2.

My hopes for Season 2 were considerably raised when I saw a lot of reviews stating that this season was an improvement over the first. This is not an easy feat for any show to achieve and the glowing reviews gave me a lot of confidence in Season 2 of GLOW to expand upon and improve on what made Season 1 such an easy, enjoyable watch.

My Thoughts on Season 2 of GLOW

In my opinion, Season 2 of GLOW was very good. At times, it was even better than Season 1 but, overall, I prefer Season 1 to Season 2. This was largely down to an absolute disgrace of an episode in Season 2 but before I bash on that particular episode, let me first talk about how, for me, GLOW is stronger as a television show when it leans into its dramatic beats rather than its comedic. The drama and more grounded, human aspects in Season 2 were more compelling and I liked what the show was dealing with dramatically more than it was doing from a comedic sense.

Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling GLOW Season 2

Indeed, none of the jokes were really side-splitting. Throughout Season 2, I was only lightly chuckling at a lot of the jokes and the majority of them came whenever Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) was involved. That was not a bad thing as Marc Maron is, just like Season 1, the best thing about Season 2 of GLOW. However, for a comedy-drama, both of these things really need to deliver and sadly, while the dramatic elements in Season 2 are done well, the comedy fell short for me in this season of GLOW.

The highlights when it came to the drama in Season 2 of GLOW include episodes such as Episode 4 (‘Mother of All Matches’) which dealt with the theme of family through characters such as Debbie (Betty Gilpin) and Tammé (Kia Stevens). Episodes 5-7 (‘Perverts Are People, Too’, ‘Work the Leg’ and ‘Nothing Shattered’) were the best of Season 2 of GLOW when it came to drama because of the development of the relationship between Debbie and Ruth (Alison Brie).

#MeToo

Clearly, they do not have the best relationship after Ruth’s affair with Debbie’s husband and everything came to a head as these episodes progressed. In ‘Perverts Are People, Too’, Ruth has a #MeToo moment with Tom Grant (Paul Fitzgerald), the President of the TV network that airs GLOW. Ruth leaves before anything worse happens to her but it was such an uncomfortable scene to watch and it was a timely episode of television which dealt with a serious subject matter in a way that will have an impact on you.

Alison Brie as Ruth Wilder in GLOW Season 2

Clearly, this moment has massive ramifications. GLOW gets a worse time-slot and this led to an intense scene between Debbie and Ruth about what Ruth went through. The response given by Debbie is horrible and this scene would not have been as powerful as it was without the fantastic acting given by Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie. Little did I know that this acting would be topped my an even more emotionally charged scene between Debbie and Ruth in ‘Nothing Shattered’.

Indeed, this episode dealt with the ramifications of ‘Work the Leg’ where Debbie, in a moment of rage towards Ruth, broke Ruth’s ankle during a wrestling match. In ‘Nothing Shattered’, where Ruth is lying on a hospital bed, things come to a head between Ruth and Debbie in a brutally intense moment. They let everything out and, for me, Episodes 5-7 were the pinnacle of Season 2 and GLOW in general. It signalled an upward trend in the quality of Season 2 and I could not wait for Episode 8 (‘The Good Twin’).

Episode 8 Sucks But Season 2 Ends Strong

Sadly, Season 2 came to a screeching halt with its eighth episode which was utter garbage. This episode was an actual in-world episode of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and I was dumfounded with how completely unnecessary this episode was. Literally, all you have to do is just skip to the last moments of this episode where Justine (Britt Baron), Sam’s daughter, is seen by her mother on the television.

Chris Lowell as Bash and Betty Gilpin as Debbie in GLOW Season 2

This is the only important thing that happens in ‘The Good Twin’. The rest is just unbearable to watch and that episode immediately brought Season 2 to a place where it fell below Season 1 in terms of quality. Thankfully, Episodes 9 and 10 (‘Rosalie’ and ‘Every Potato Has A Receipt’) put Season 2 of GLOW back on track. Both of these episodes made me excited to see a third season of this show which would seemingly take place in Las Vegas.

Indeed, in ‘Every Potato Has A Receipt’, we see that GLOW is on the verge of being cancelled but the show is being pitched to new networks in the hope that GLOW can live on. Sadly, this does not happen but Ray (Horatio Sanz), a strip club owner that Sam met at Justine’s school dance in ‘Rosalie’ (Yeah, I know that sounds creepy but Ray was not being a pervert, he was just being a chaperone for his daughter), proposes that GLOW should be a live show in Las Vegas.

Ruth and Sam

The final scene of Season 2 shows everyone on a bus heading to Las Vegas and we see Ruth looking uncertain about the future. To me, this partly stems down to what happened in the last two episodes of Season 2 when it came to Ruth and Sam. As I mentioned earlier, Marc Maron as Sam Sylvia remains my favourite thing about GLOW. All of the comedy that works in GLOW comes from him and I really like his relationship with Ruth.

Alison Brie as Ruth Wilder and Marc Maron as Sam Sylvia in GLOW Season 2

Indeed, in ‘Work the Leg’, Ruth also confides to Sam about what happened with Tom Grant and why that was the reason GLOW got a worse timeslot. Sam has the complete opposite reaction to Debbie when Ruth tells him what happened. He praises Ruth for what she did and he goes on to vandalise Tom Grant’s car which further solidified my belief that Sam is the MVP of GLOW and his moments with Ruth in Season 2 are a big part of that.

Whether it is in the first episode of Season 2 (‘Viking Funeral’) where they are talking in Sam’s car or in ‘Work the Leg’ where Sam tells Ruth that she is irreplaceable to him despite her broken ankle, these two always have great moments together that elevate the show. Yet, Ruth and Sam’s relationship may now be a bit more awkward after what happened in ‘Rosalie’ where, at Justine’s high-school dance, Sam and Ruth slow-dance and Sam tries to make a move on Ruth which she rejects.

My Final Thoughts on Season 2 of GLOW

This has set up a potentially fascinating dynamic for Season 3, especially as Ruth is now romantically involved with Russell (Victor Quinaz), a cameraman who worked with Sam. I look forward to see how the things which were established in Season 2 play out next season.

Betty Gilpin as Debbie and Alison Brie as Ruth wrestling in GLOW Season 2

On the whole, I liked Season 2 of GLOW a lot but the awful eighth episode really brought it down for me which was a shame because, without that episode, Season 2 may have surpassed Season 1 in terms of overall quality. Unfortunately, it did not but I am eager to see Season 3 of GLOW when it comes out which I guess would be sometime in 2019.

GLOW Season 2 Review Pin

 

The Big Sick (Film Review) – A Great Blend of Comedy and Drama

The Big Sick is a romantic comedy directed by Michael Showalter and written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani. The film is partly based on and inspired by the real-life romance between Nanjiani and Gordon and stars Zoe KazanHolly HunterRay RomanoAdeel Akhtar, Anupam Kher and Kumail Nanjiani. Kumail effectively plays himself in this film and the story focuses on his interracial relationship with Emily (Zoe Kazan). They have to deal with their cultural differences but Emily is struck with a sudden illness that threatens more than just their relationship.

My Knowledge and Expectation of The Big Sick

This is a film which has been on my radar ever since it was initially released at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It received unanimous praise, particularly when it came to the script, the performances and the cross-cultural themes that The Big Sick showcases. Still, this was the only thing I knew about The Big Sick. Indeed, I am unfamiliar with the director and I knew little about the cast. Moreover, Kumail Nanjiani is someone who, until quite recently, I did not know anything about.

I have never watched Silicon Valley which is where he made a name for himself. I only came to know about Kumail through his recent appearance on a THR Roundtable. I was excited to see him in a leading role as well as the other actors/actresses that were unknown to me. The only two in this that I knew were Holly Hunter and Ray Romano and this was because of their voice work in The Incredibles and Ice Age respectively. The praise that The Big Sick received prior to its release in the UK set my expectations relatively high and I was hoping to have a fun time with it.

Kumail Nanjiani as Kumail and Zoe Kazan as Emily in The Big Sick

My Thoughts on The Big Sick

I really enjoyed The Big Sick. While I do not hold the film in the same lofty regard as others, it is a very good film that accomplishes the difficult feat of blending comedy, romance and drama in a very natural and authentic way. A big reason why this is the case was because of the performance by Kumail Nanjiani. He was perfect for this role and it is not surprising since he was effectively playing himself in a story based on his real-life relationship with co-writer Emily V. Gordon.

Zoe Kazan played Emily in this film and she also did a great job. She had great chemistry with Kumail Nanjiani and their relationship gave The Big Sick a lot of heart and depth. Indeed, this is especially true when you consider that the film dealt with important themes such as religion, The American Dream and cultural identity in a 21st century setting.

Zenobia Shroff as Sharmeen and Anupam Kher as Azmat in The Big Sick

The Parents Are Hilarious

Still, for me, The Big Sick really shined when the parents of both Kumail and Emily were involved in the story. They provided the funniest moments in the film. Kumail’s parents, and his family in general, were flat out hilarious and the scenes that focused on their efforts to get an arranged marriage for Kumail provided a lot of laughs.

Emily’s parents, who were played by the aforementioned Holly Hunter and Ray Romano, also had their moments. Indeed, a joke about 9/11 had me in stitches (I know that came across badly, but it makes sense within the context of the film). The way their relationship with Kumail developed throughout The Big Sick was another strong element of the film.

Ray Romano as Terry and Holly Hunter as Beth in The Big Sick

To be honest, there is very little that I can find wrong with The Big Sick. It has a bit of everything for everyone. True, other films in 2017 have left a bigger impact on me and, because of this, they rank higher. However, this film was one of the most pleasant and feel-good viewing experiences that I have had at the cinema so far in 2017. This is because the ending was such a nice note to finish on after some pretty heavy scenes in the film. I highly recommend that you see The Big Sick as soon as you can. You will laugh, you may cry but you will leave the cinema in a much happier mood.

GLOW Season 1 (Television Review) – Fun and Poignant

GLOW is a comedy-drama television series created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch. This TV show was developed for Netflix and stars Kate Nash, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Marc Maron, Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie. The show focuses on the characters and gimmicks of a fictionalised version of the syndicated women’s professional wrestling circuit known as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW).

It is set in 1980s Los Angeles and the main protagonist is Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), a struggling actress who turns to wrestling in order to survive in Hollywood. However, she is at odds with director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) and best friend Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin) after a shocking betrayal.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Season 1 of GLOW

Up until a month ago, I knew nothing about GLOW. My first encounter with this TV show came from Alison Brie’s promotional campaign through her Instagram profile. Additionally, apart from Alison Brie, I knew nothing about any of the cast. Still, I eventually became intrigued by the premise of the show and, after the great reviews it has been receiving since its release on Netflix, I was looking forward to a season of television that I assumed would be, at the very least, enjoyable.

Alison Brie as Ruth Wilder in GLOW

My Thoughts on Season 1 of GLOW

While I do not hold GLOW in the same lofty regard as many others, I found it to be an extremely entertaining, fun television show that was at its best through its dramatic moments rather than its comedic moments. Don’t get me wrong, the show is funny at times and most of the humour came from Sam Sylvia who was my favourite part of GLOW. Marc Maron did a fantastic job in bringing this character to life and I hope he gets recognised for it in the form of an Emmy nomination.

What really made Sam Sylvia such a great character was the fact that, in addition to the comedy, he had layers. Maron portrayed the character in a way where you feel sympathetic for someone who, despite his obvious flaws, is doing his best to make it in Hollywood. Underneath his exterior, he has a heart. In fact, a lot of the characters in GLOW were anything but superficial, especially Machu Picchu (Britney Young). All of this made for some very poignant moments.

Marc Maron as Sam Sylvia in GLOW

I also liked Alison Brie in the lead role of Ruth Wilder and she elevated a talented ensemble cast. You can tell that the whole cast had a great time making GLOW and it transferred well into the actual show as there was a real camaraderie between the female wrestlers. The relationship that they all had with each other felt very natural.

The Music of GLOW

Furthermore, the music in GLOW was great. It fitted well with the aesthetic of the show and particular songs that were highlights for me were ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)’ by Journey and ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ by Scorpions. Another element of GLOW which I must commend is the number of episodes we got and the length of those episodes too.

Some of the Ladies of GLOW

There were 10 episodes in this first season of GLOW and they were all around 30 minutes long. Because of this structure, the show flowed very well. It was tight, succinct storytelling that made for a great binge. Moreover, the way this first season ended sets up the second season nicely and I am looking forward to seeing this story continuing because GLOW is a good show that deserves to be supported. I hope you give it a chance.

Colossal (Film Review) – Original but Weird

Colossal is a sci-fi black comedy directed by Nacho Vigalondo and stars Dan StevensAustin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson, Jason Sudeikis and Anne Hathaway. The story focuses on Gloria (Anne Hathaway) who is an unemployed writer struggling with alcoholism. She is forced to move back to her hometown after breaking up with her boyfriend and she finds solace in the seemingly genuine kindness of childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). However, at the same time, a monster is attacking the city of Seoul, South Korea. The monster and Gloria are connected and Gloria must find out why before things get worse.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Colossal

I had heard from film critics/pundits that I like and respect that Colossal was an extremely original, wacky film that was worth seeing. I tried to avoid knowing too much about the plot as I wanted to go into the film not knowing what to expect. Additionally, I knew nothing about the director of this film. Still, with Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis in the lead roles, I was hopeful that Colossal would be a nice surprise.

Anne Hathaway in Colossal

My Thoughts on Colossal

Well, Colossal was a surprise though nice is not the word I would use to describe it. While I commend the film for its originality, I was not entertained and it did not connect with me. Of course, the originality of the story in Colossal is undeniable and it deals with some important issues such as control, abuse (both mental and physical) and inner strength.

The performances in the film are fine. No one is spectacular but the characters played by Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis are layered to some extent. I thought that the supporting cast were serviceable as well and the visual effects were very good, especially when you consider that Colossal was made on a small budget.

Jason Sudeikis in Colossal

The Flaws of Colossal

Despite this, my biggest issue with Colossal is that the story is told at a very leisurely pace and this was a real detriment to my viewing experience. It dragged on for far too long and I feel like Colossal would have worked better as a short film. Additionally, I did not find the film to be particularly funny. The comedy fell flat which was a shame as good comedy can elevate the quality of any film. All of this made Colossal a film which I have no desire to watch again.

Still, I feel that you should see Colossal for its original and unique concept alone. Certainly, it is very different to what is in cinemas at this moment in time. If you have become bored or fatigued by the films you have seen recently, then Colossal might be for you. However, I found it to be too weird even for me. I do not think it will be a film that I revisit again and again.

Fate of the Furious (Film Review) – Ridiculous Fun

The Fate of the Furious is an action film directed by F. Gary Gray and stars Vin DieselDwayne ‘The Rock’ JohnsonJason StathamMichelle RodriguezTyrese GibsonChris ‘Ludacris’ BridgesScott EastwoodNathalie EmmanuelKurt Russell and Charlize Theron. This is the eighth instalment in The Fast and the Furious franchise and the first since the tragic death of Paul Walker. The story of this film focuses on Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) who has left his old life behind and settled down in Havana, Cuba. However, cyber-terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron) forces him into working for her and turns him against his team and, more importantly, his family.

My Knowledge and Expectation of The Fate of the Furious

Without a doubt, The Fast and the Furious franchise is my ultimate guilty pleasure. I know that these films are not exactly masterpieces in film-making, especially the first four entries in the franchise. They make no sense and I do not care. They are fun, action-packed and highly entertaining. I expected the same from Fate of the Furious and was very much looking forward to the next family adventure and seeing how this film would cope without Paul Walker.

Charlize Theron and Vin Diesel in The Fate of the Furious

My Thoughts on The Fate of the Furious

I had an absolute blast with this film. Is it the best in the franchise? No, but it is a great ride nonetheless. What I have appreciated in the most recent instalments in this franchise is the fact that these films know what they are; dumb fun. There is plenty of that in this film. There were many times where what I was seeing on screen left me laughing to the point of tears. Some of the action in Fate of the Furious is ridiculous but it has worked before and it works now.

The humour in this franchise is a key element to its success and the comedic moments in Fate of the Furious were excellent. A lot of the comedy came from Roman (Tyrese Gibson) but the chemistry between Hobbs (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) provided some brilliant lines in the film. I hope they collaborate in future films in this franchise.

Jason Statham and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

A Stronger Story Than I Was Expecting

Surprisingly, I felt that the story in Fate of the Furious was one of the better ones in this franchise. Usually, the plots in these films are secondary to the action but the story from beginning to end felt like an actual story, not a device to serve the action. The reason why I felt this way was down to Dom’s reason why he betrayed the family. Once we found out why this happened, it is very understandable why Dom went rogue due to his loyalty to family.

The only major critique that I would have about Fate of the Furious is that it is a bit too long for a film like this. However, if you are a fan of this franchise and appreciate these films for what they are, then the length is not going to be a big deal for you. More importantly, the film manages to set up a new chapter in this franchise while staying true to what makes the films so popular with its great humour and over-the-top action. If you do not take Fate of the Furious too seriously, then you will enjoy it.

Rick and Morty Season 1 + 2 (Television Review) – Crazy But Fun

Rick and Morty is an adult animated series created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon. The show premiered in December 2013 and there are two full seasons which you can watch right now with a third soon on the way. The story of the show focuses on Rick Sanchez, a pessimistic mad scientist who enlists the help of his fretful, easily influenced grandson Morty in his inter-dimensional adventures while, at the same time, dealing with his domestic family life.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Season 1 + 2 of Rick and Morty

I did see a few episodes of Rick and Morty at University before I binged the full two seasons on Netflix and I enjoyed those episodes. Rick was the standout character from what I saw but I never had the time to watch the show from start to finish. However, I recently found some time to watch this TV show which has a fanatic fan-base and I was interested to see if Rick and Morty would be as funny on a consistent basis.

Rick Sanchez in Rick and Morty

My Thoughts on Season 1 + 2 of Rick and Morty

No doubt about it, Rick and Morty is one of the weirdest shows I have ever watched, but it works for the most part. I really enjoyed bingeing Season 1 and 2 and a big part of that was down to Rick. He was my favourite character and provided some brilliant moments in the show. I also thought that the animation in Rick and Morty was fantastic. You notice a real difference in the quality of the animation between the first and second episode of Season 1 and it just gets better as the series progresses. It is very striking and it certainly helps Rick and Morty set itself apart from other animated shows.

Indeed, the whole show is very original. While Rick and Morty is obviously inspired by Back to the Future, The Simpsons and Futurama, it is not afraid to take risks and try new things with its storytelling. While it does not always pay off, the effort and intention must be commended. This is especially true with the existentialist themes that are interwoven into the show’s wacky story-lines which, at times, gives Rick and Morty some poignant moments.

Rick Sanchez and Morty in Rick and Morty

As I said, Rick and Morty does not always execute well on its ambitious storytelling and some of the comedy does not always hit. But when it does, it hits hard and I can confidently say that you should give this show a chance. While it is not for everyone, there are many things to admire about the show whether it is the animation, the originality and/or Rick. Moreover, after watching the Season 3 premiere, which was recently available for a limited time, I cannot wait to watch the next full season of Rick and Morty.

Free Fire (Film Review) – An Enjoyable Surprise

Free Fire is an action-comedy directed by Ben Wheatley and stars stars Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor. Free Fire is set in the 1970s and the story of the film focuses on a group of criminals who meet up in a warehouse for an arms deal. However, tensions run high and a disagreement quickly sparks a full-scale shootout between the two parties who were making the transaction.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Free Fire

I knew very little about Free Fire before I watched it at my local cinema. Nowadays, it is very hard to go into a film and not know anything about it due to an abundance of trailers, reviews and, unfortunately, spoilers. Apart from one trailer and a few reviews of the film coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last year, Free Fire was an unknown quantity and, because of this, I did not know what to expect from this film.

Brie Larson in Free Fire

My Thoughts on Free Fire

On the whole, I really enjoyed Free Fire for what it was. It was a nice surprise. There are funny moments throughout the film thanks to the fantastic script that has some really witty, snappy dialogue. Still, any film can have a great script but you need a good cast of actors to bring the words to life.

Thankfully, Free Fire succeeds on this level. On an individual basis, each actor in the film is good and particular standouts, for me, were Sharlto Copley and Armie Hammer as they were involved in the most humorous moments in the film. Yet, it is the actors’ interactions with each other, as an ensemble, where Free Fire shines. The cast had great chemistry and I found it to be the films’ strongest element.

Armie Hammer in Free Fire

The Flaws of Free Fire

This is why I felt that the third act of Free Fire was the weakest and the film did fall off during that period. At that stage, let’s just say there were not as many people in the film than there were at the start. As a consequence, there were fewer moments where the cast could interact with each other and provide consistently funny moments. The third act relied more on action than comedy and, while the two were intrinsically linked throughout the film, the comedy was stronger than the action in Free Fire.

Despite this, I still enjoyed the film. Moreover, I preferred it much more than Ben Wheatley’s previous work in High-Rise and I feel that Free Fire is a great foundation for Ben Wheatley to build upon and become more of a mainstream name. In the end, if you are interested in watching Free Fire, I do not feel like you will be let down.

20th Century Women (Film Review) – A Cool Film

20th Century Women is a drama directed and written by Mike Mills and stars Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann, Billy Crudup and Annette Bening. The film, which is partly based on Mills’ childhood, is set in Santa Barbara, California in 1979 and the story centres on Dorothea (Annette Bening) who enlists the help of Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and Julie (Elle Fanning) to raise her son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann).

My Knowledge and Expectation of 20th Century Women

My interest in 20th Century Women was sparked by a trailer I saw at my local cinema about a month ago and, at first glance, it seemed very unique and interesting. Additionally, this film has been given a lot of praise by critics, especially when it comes to Annette Bening’s performance.

Annette Bening and Lucas Jade Zumann in 20th Century Women

Indeed, some argue that she should have been nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars. Despite this perceived snub, 20th Century Women has been nominated for Best Original Screenplay at this year’s Oscars. This made me even more curious about how this film would impact me.

My Thoughts on 20th Century Women

In the end, I found 20th Century Women to be a film that is very relaxing and that relaxation I felt was solely down to the pacing. Certainly, the effect that the film had on me was quite soothing thanks to the pacing which, to be honest, I did not expect going into it. Some may call 20th Century Women slow but once I became accustomed to the pacing, the film really shone for what it was which is a very good coming-of-age story.

Elle Fanning in 20th Century Women

For me, the characters were the best part of the film. They were genuinely likeable and felt like real people with depth. A lot of credit should go to director Mike Mills in the way he drew inspiration from his upbringing to create great characters for his film and the cast deserve praise for bringing them to life. Truly, Annette Bening is brilliant as the lead in 20th Century Women but the supporting cast around her are also fantastic and they gave the film a lot of heart.

There is also a good blend of comedy and drama in 20th Century Women. Certain lines of dialogue and moments in the film are absolutely hilarious but the film also deals with serious issues and themes which you would expect such as parenthood, growing old, love and the struggles of adolescence. The blend of genres combine to make 20th Century Women a film that is worth your time if you let it wash over you and want a relaxing but deep, poignant experience.

T2 Trainspotting (Film Review) – Deep and Nostalgic

T2 Trainspotting is a black comedy directed by Danny Boyle. In this film, we are reunited with the ensemble cast of the original Trainspotting consisting of Ewen Bremner, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller and Ewan McGregor. This sequel takes place 20 years after the events of Trainspotting which saw Renton (Ewan McGregor) betraying his friends and running off with the money from a drug deal. Renton now returns to Edinburgh, Scotland and has to deal with the consequences of his actions and repair old relationships.

My Knowledge and Expectation of T2 Trainspotting

The original Trainspotting is considered by many to be a British classic and there was a lot of expectation surrounding this sequel considering how revered the original is and how long it has been since the original was released. Myself, I did not have these high expectations as I do not consider Trainspotting to be the classic that everyone proclaims it to be. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a really good film but I don’t love it so, going into T2 Trainspotting, I was not expecting much from the sequel.

Jonny Lee Miller and Ewan McGregor in T2 Trainspotting

My Thoughts on T2 Trainspotting

I am pretty glad I went in with such measured expectations because I really liked T2 Trainspotting. In fact, I think I might prefer it to the original Trainspotting. The reason why I feel this way is because T2 Trainspotting is a much deeper film than the original. For me, the original Trainspotting is a fun film that touches on some interesting themes such as urban poverty. In T2 Trainspotting, poignant themes and issues such as regret, growing old, clinging on to the past and nostalgia are purposefully interwoven into the story and become central to the narrative.

This is done to such great effect that characters such as Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and Spud (Ewen Bremner) become more layered and sympathetic. In addition to the depth and the character development, the humour in this film is just as good as it was in the original. Certain scenes had me laughing to such a degree that it probably freaked out the people around me who were also watching T2 Trainspotting. Still, I didn’t care.

Robert Carlyle in T2 Trainspotting

My only issue with the T2 Trainspotting is that it is a bit slow in parts and the film could have been trimmed to improve the flow and pacing. However, considering that I harboured feelings that this film would have had more issues before I watched it, this was not a big deal.

I honestly feel that this film is better than the original Trainspotting as it is a deeper film that deals with themes that are central to the story while still having the humour that made the original so entertaining. If you are a fan of the original Trainspotting, then I implore you to watch T2 Trainspotting as soon as you can. I feel that it will widely resonate with people of various ages and backgrounds.