REVIEW OF MONEYBALL - Claudia's film of the week
CLAUDIA: It’s an exciting film – it’s not a sports film but I would highly recommend it
DANNY: This is a weirdly gripping film about the business of sports and the wonder of statistics – it’s also an excellent character study of Billy Beane and it’s on that level that it works best.
CLAUDIA: It’s about taking on the old guard, Brad Pitt did an interview which was really interesting in which he said it was about taking on the old guard of Hollywood as well – that you think a star is worth 20 million dollars but what are they really worth. It’s also worth saying that Philip Seymour Hoffman is properly brilliant in it.
DANNY: You can’t avoid The Social Network comparison because of Aaron Sorkin’s involvement and because they’re both about dementedly driven individuals. I don’t know if it has the same pop but it does have Brad Pitt who has really settled into his own skin – he’s really making an excellent movie star as he gets older.
CLAUDIA: I thought it was Sorkin-lite but it’s still beautifully written.
REVIEW OF THE DEEP BLUE SEA
DANNY: It’s had criticism for just being a well filmed version of the Rattigan play – but what’s wrong with that? Also, it’s unfair because it’s more than just well filmed – it’s beautifully filmed as cinema. This is Terence Davies territory, the early 50s, and he evokes it so well.
CLAUDIA: I thought it was beautiful and haunting and Rachel Weisz was brilliant – this is such a difficult character to pull off but she does it wholeheartedly and is totally believable. I also want to mention Barbara Jefford who plays her mother in law – she only has 3 lines in the film but she might be the most terrifying character you will see this whole year.
Danny: If we’re going to be picky, the set design is so rich it almost distracts you slightly from the story and I also have to disagree about Weisz – I didn’t quite buy her performance. But I very much bought Tom Hiddleston – he perfectly nails playing the charismatic idiot.
REVIEW OF 50/50 - Danny's film of the week
CLAUDIA: I really liked it, I cried. I thought it would be really schmaltzy but some bits are laugh-out-loud funny. The way he tells his parents he’s ill is properly clever. I thought it was a really good film.
DANNY: It’s a tightrope act from the start and I think it works and makes it safely across. A lot of the credit will go to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and deservedly so, for a very toned-down, understated performance but actually the script is the star here. Will Reiser’s true story of his own experience is what gives it its power and also he knows when to be funny and when not to be. You end up with a rare beast which is a feel-good movie which may make you actually feel good at the end of it.
50/50 is distributed by Lionsgate.
REVIEW OF RESISTANCE
DANNY: Resistance is a film of meaningful glances and long silences and it unfolds incredibly slowly which is a strange criticism for me to make. Unfortunately for me Resistance was a little too ponderous.
CLAUDIA: I liked it much more than you - I found it really moving. I love Andrea Riseborough, I could watch her being sad for hours and it looks so incredibly beautiful - I was overwhelmed by the beautiful Welsh landscape.
LIKE THAT? TRY THIS....
CLAUDIA'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MONEYBALL FANS...
..and fellow sports movie lovers.
Tin Cup (1996)
There are enough Kevin Costner sports movies to warrant a whole sub-genre, but Ron Howard's Tin Cup, which stars Costner as a down-on-his luck golf pro, hits a hole in one.
The original in the six-part saga, starring Sly Stallone as an aspiring boxing champ, this is considered by many to be the quintessential Hollywood sports movie (and it wins the Montage Award hands-down, no question).
National Velvet (1944)
Liz Taylor had her breakthrough role in Clarence Brown's film about a 12-year-old jockey who enters the Grand National with her beloved horse 'The Pie'. As much a family classic as it is a sporting favourite.
- Series Producer
- Jayne Stanger
- Claudia Winkleman
- Danny Leigh
- Executive Producer
- Basil Comely