NEW YEAR'S EVE REVIEW
CLAUDIA: I have found the worst film of all time and it’s called New Year’s Eve. There’s a moment when Lea Michele starts singing in a lift when there should be a warning that you shouldn’t have anything sharp nearby otherwise you’d hurt yourself. It is a painful, painful 2 hours.
DANNY: The cast is the selling point here, they randomly pair off and teach each other life lessons. But I just don’t know where the lowest point is. I didn’t love this film.
CLAUDIA: What’s embarrassing about it is that you’ve got all the actors – you’ve got Hilary Swank, you’ve got Robert de Niro, you’ve got Jessica Biel – isn’t it easier to make something good?
DREAMS OF A LIFE REVIEW - Danny's film of the week.
DANNY: I think Dreams of A Life is a very special movie. What’s so impressive is that Carol Morley has carried out this investigation and over years she has pulled together Joyce Vincent’s life and the people who were around her. She’s made something remarkable here – it’s incredibly original, incredibly imaginative – it’s a fine piece of film-making and a fine piece of detective work.
CLAUDIA: I really enjoyed it, I found it incredibly heart breaking. There are lines you’ll never forget; someone says ‘How did she just melt into her sofa?’. I cannot get it out of my head.
PUSS IN BOOTS REVIEW
DANNY: It’s got a lot to be said for it – there’s a story which not all kids films have – there’s a morally ambiguous talking egg, there’s a lot of personality and eccentricity here and more than anything else, everyone just seems to be having so much fun.
CLAUDIA: The dancing is brilliant, I’m always a fan of dancing animals. I’m not so sure about the story but it’s definitely enjoyable.
REVIEW OF ANOTHER EARTH - Claudia's film of the week
CLAUDIA: I really, really like this film – it’s small and it’s deeply unsettling. The girl who created it, Brit Marling is very impressive. It’s sci-fi but small and I really believed in their relationship. I found it heart-breaking.
DANNY: I think it’s got an awful lot going for it – visually it’s perfect and yet more proof that low budget science fiction is best – and the way it treats people’s reactions to this other earth is so interesting. The human drama at the centre of it works brilliantly – it could be very cumbersome but it works very well largely due to old school chemistry and the way they move around each other. It’s not perfect, I think it falls just short of what it could be but it’s certainly very good.
LIKE THAT? TRY THIS.....
CLAUDIA'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LOVERS OF ANOTHER EARTH.
BOXERS AND BALLERINAS (2004)
Mike Cahill and Brit Marling who worked on Another Earth together as director and star respectively - as well as co-writing the script - have worked closely for years. Boxers and Ballerinas is another of their co-productions and is a documentary that explores the US-Cuba conflict thru the eyes of four youths--a boxer and a ballerina in Havana and Santiago de Cuba and a boxer and a ballerina exiled in Miami.
This is another low-budget science fiction film that punches well above it's weight. Written, directed and shot by young British director, Gareth Edwards, the story takes place 6 years after aliens have invaded the earth. A cynical journalist must escort a shaken American tourist back to the US border across the infected zone. It's a beautifully understated love story in which the fantastical elements are relegated to the background making the film feel all the more real.
Directed by Duncan Jones, who's now much more famous for directing films than for being David Bowie's son, this poignant, atmospheric drama stars Sam Rockwell as a lonely moon-mining engineer, who after 3 years in space begins to wonder if things may not be what they seem.
DANNY'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DREAMS OF A LIFE FANS.
THE ARBOR (2010)
Like Dreams of a Life, The Arbor is based on real lives - those of the Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar and her daughter, Lorraine. The film is constructed of documentary footage, extracts from Dunbar's play The Arbor and from brilliantly directed dramatic reconstructions. These are tragic tales, artfully and respectfully told.
THE LONDON NOBODY KNOWS (1967)
This extraordinary documentary directed by Norman Cohen and based on a book by Geoffrey Fletcher, sees James Mason exploring the seedy side of London in the swinging sixties. Meth, malnourishment and squalid streets are juxtaposed with romance, adventure and architecture. A fascinating take on a town and a time that's well worth a look.
CITIZEN KANE (1941)
This may feel like an odd comparison to draw - between one of the most epic cinematic narratives and a low-budget British documentary but both start with a scrap of information about somebody and then build and reconstruct this life around that scrap. In Orson Welles' famous masterpiece, a reporter pieces together the life of recently deceased millionaire Charles Foster Kane after becoming intrigued by the meaning behind his dying word 'Rosebud'.