Episode 2

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Episode 2 of 17

Duration: 40 minutes

Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh review Coriolanus, directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes; Clint Eastwood's bio-pic J Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio; and the much-anticipated W.E. from Madonna. Plus Catherine Bray celebrates the 25th anniversary of Fatal Attraction.

Last on

Wed 25 Jan 2012 01:02 BBC One Northern Ireland only

See all previous episodes from Film 2012

  • REVIEW OF J. EDGAR

    REVIEW OF J. EDGAR

    DANNY: Leonardo Di Caprio has this great challenge, he has to play J. Edgar Hoover at various ages and stages of his life and he’s badly let down by the make up department playing the older Hoover but I wish that was the only problem. It’s a film about a man who can’t tell the world who he really is, but the film doesn’t tell us who he really is. There’s an awful lot that’s left out of this film – you never find out about the way he went after the mafia – you never get a sense of the lives he ruined and it’s a much less interesting film because of that. It could have been a fascinating story, instead it’s a plodding, conventional bio-pic which covers 77 years and sometimes feels like it’s being told in real time.

    CLAUDIA: The cast keep saying how interesting and fascinating the film is – as if they have to convince themselves because it’s not a very interesting film. If should have been much more compelling – it was written by Dustin Lance Black, the brilliant man who wrote Milk but I feel it should have gone deeper.

    DANNY: I feel bad kicking this film because there are good things here – Di Caprio as the younger Hoover is very good and it tells the story of a man caught in a closeted love affair which is a brave move so there are some interesting elements here but it almost feels as if Clint Eastwood can’t manage them all. It feels botched as a result and it feels like Hoover, the man, gets away at the end.

  • REVIEW OF CORIOLANUS - Claudia's film of the week

    REVIEW OF CORIOLANUS - Claudia's film of the week

    CLAUDIA: I know it’s early days but this is my film of the year – I thought it was brilliant. It was like I’d had a body blow, it’s powerful, it’s compact, John Logan who adapted it has done a magnificent job. I love Coriolanus anyway but it’s unwieldy - though T.S. Eliot said it was better than Hamlet – but he’s done a brilliant job. Coriolanus’ fatal flaw, his tragedy, is his mother and Vanessa Redgrave, who plays that part, is just fantastic in it. Ralph Fiennes has done a magnificent job.

    DANNY: It’s easy to forget this is Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut with all the experience he’s had and it’s a tough one, the play is gristly and unfriendly – it’s all about how people are a bit thick and easily led and it makes us all a bit uncomfortable but the flip side of that is that it’s not often performed so it has this sense of freshness. I think it works very well as cinema, that’s what I really like about it – there’s a real energy to it. It’s shot by Barry Ackroyd who filmed The Hurt Locker so there are elements of Iraq and Afghanistan here but it doesn’t beat you over the head with that. I was very impressed.

  • REVIEW OF W.E.

    REVIEW OF W.E.

    CLAUDIA: I can’t talk about this film as my husband worked on it so let me just say, it's better than Citizen Kane and hand over to you.

    DANNY: This is in no way awkward at all. Shall I tell you the good things first? Andrea Riseborough is very good in it - the film comes to life when she’s there. The set design is great – if films were about glassware and door handles, it would be running away with Oscars. I’m slightly running out of good things to say at this point. The film is told in two halves, a modern story which is slightly heinous and deranged – it’s the story of Wally who becomes obsessed with the story of Wallis and Edward and she lives in this unreal world where Russian security guards are all poets and live in Brooklyn lofts and where Mohamed Al-Fayed comes to the rescue in his office full of teddy bears – for no apparent reason. It’s like a macrobiotic, vegan cheese dream.
    The period stuff is a lot better, she should have just stuck to making the period film. The writing is better, the acting is better. But again the problem I have with it is, like J.Edgar, the characters of Wallis and Edward are portrayed very sympathetically and that’s not who they were and it doesn’t make for a very interesting story. The direction is actually competent but the writing makes me want to set my hair on fire.

  • REVIEW OF HAYWIRE - Danny's film of the week

    REVIEW OF HAYWIRE - Danny's film of the week

    CLAUDIA: I was a bit down on it when I saw it but seeing those clips makes me want to see it again. Gina Carano is really good as the central character – she is tough. The whole film is compact, the ending is lovely. I think my main problem with it was the soundtrack which is deeply unnerving and sounds like it’s the soundtrack for a different film – it’s very jazzy.

    DANNY: It lets Gina Carano be herself and be a real, strong woman - I certainly wouldn’t fight her. The realism and energy of the fight scenes is great and one of the things that really makes the film work. The music is odd, it drops out whenever there’s a fight scene so all you’re left with are thuds and creaks but I did like I a lot.

  • LIKE THAT? TRY THIS.....

    DANNY'S TIPS FOR HAYWIRE FANS.

    The Limey (1999)
    Steven Soderbergh directs Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda in this thriller about a British ex-con who travels to LA to exact revenge on the man he thinks killed his daughter.

    Nikita (1990)
    Luc Besson directs his then wife Anne Parillaud in this taut, punchy thriller about a violent drug addict who is trained as a highly effective assasin by a secret government agency. Many have followed in it's footsteps but the original is breathtaking and hard to beat.

    CLAUDIA'S RECOMMENDATIONS IF YOU LOVE CORIOLANUS.

    Ran (1985)
    From renowned Japanese film-maker, Akira Kurosawa, this is a masterful adaptation of King Lear in which the feudal battles are transposed to Japan. Every aspect of the film is exceptional from the direction to the performances to the use of colour.

    Henry V (1944)
    Laurence Olivier's directorial debut is an epic adaptation of one of Shakespeare's most rousing plays. Larry is magnificent as always and the release of the film coincided perfectly with the a nation's rising spirits as World War II was coming to an end.

    The Hurt Locker (2008)
    Barry Ackroyd is the cinematographer responsible for creating the realistic and memorable scenes of war in both Coriolanus and this Oscar winner from Kathryn Bigelow. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce and Jeremy Renner as bomb disposal experts in Iraq, this visceral and compelling film is a fascinating portrait of the phsyical, psychological and emotional strains of war.

Credits

Presenter
Claudia Winkleman
Presenter
Claudia Winkleman
Presenter
Danny Leigh
Presenter
Danny Leigh
Participant
Catherine Bray
Participant
Catherine Bray
Series Producer
Jayne Stanger
Series Producer
Jayne Stanger
Executive Producer
Basil Comely
Executive Producer
Basil Comely

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