Finola Dwyer

Finola Dwyer

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Finola Dwyer - 88th Annual Academy (Oscars) Awards held at Hollywood & Highland Center - Arrivals at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Oscars - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 28th February 2016

Finola Dwyer

Finola Dwyer - 9th Annual Women In Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party Presented By Max Mara, BMW, M-A-C Cosmetics And Perrier-Jouet at HYDE Sunset: Kitchen + Cocktails - West Hollywood, California, United States - Friday 26th February 2016

Finola Dwyer
Finola Dwyer
Finola Dwyer
Finola Dwyer and Guest
Finola Dwyer and Guest

Finola Dwyer - 9th Annual Women in Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party at Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails - Arrivals at HYDE Sunset: Kitchen + Cocktails - Los Angeles, California, United States - Friday 26th February 2016

Finola Dwyer
Finola Dwyer
Finola Dwyer

John Crowley, Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey , Nick Hornby - EE British Academy Film Awards 2016 (BAFTAs) held at Royal Opera House - Press Room at British Academy Film Awards - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 14th February 2016

John Crowley, Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey and Nick Hornby
Kate Winslet, Julie Walters, Domhnall Gleeson, Saoirse Ronan, John Crowley, Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey, Nick Hornby, Guest and Idris Elba
Kate Winslet, Julie Walters, Domhnall Gleeson, Saoirse Ronan, John Crowley, Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey, Nick Hornby, Guest and Idris Elba
Kate Winslet, Julie Walters, Domhnall Gleeson, Saoirse Ronan, John Crowley, Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey, Nick Hornby, Guest and Idris Elba

Finola Dwyer - 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards (PGA) - Arrivals at Producers Guild Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 23rd January 2016

Finola Dwyer
Finola Dwyer

Brooklyn Review

Very Good

Director John Crowley and writer Nick Hornby never even try to temper the flood of emotions that this story elicits, instead wading straight in. Thankfully, they manage to resist sentimentality at every step, although perhaps some more offhanded, edgy humour would have helped balance it better. Because as is, this film can be rather overwhelming at times, thanks to the sensitive, honest performances from the cast and a subject most people can identify with: how it feels to leave home.

It opens in 1950, as Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) is reluctantly preparing to leave her home and family in rural Ireland for a new life in New York City, arranged with the help of an Irish priest, Father Flood (Jim Broadbent). As she settles into the boarding house run by Mrs Kehoe (Julie Walters), she gets a department store job and starts studying bookkeeping, all of which helps take her mind off her homesickness. She also meets the persistent, charming Italian-American Tony (Emory Cohen), and they fall lustily in love. Just as life doesn't seem so bad after all, Eilis gets bad news and has to travel home to see her family. There, she meets the eligible bachelor Jim (Domhnall Gleeson). And now she will have to make a decision about where her home is.

The film's tone is open and emotive from the very start, with warmly glowing cinematography, a surging musical score and lots of over-serious conversations. The hills of Ireland have never looked so green, the bustling streets of Brooklyn never seemed quite so exciting. There are some comedic touches here and there, but the main tone here can be summed up in the word "yearning". This is a film that's easy to identify with for anyone who has ever moved away from home, especially as it explores conflicting loyalties and unexpected opportunities. These themes are much stronger than the romantic triangle that drives the film forward.

Continue reading: Brooklyn Review

A Long Way Down Review


OK

With a darkly serious theme and a corny rom-com filmmaking approach, this film never quite comes together into something meaningful. The characters are full of possibilities, and the story catches the imagination, but director Pascal Chaumeil (Heartbreaker) never seems sure whether he's making a black comedy or an emotional drama.

It starts on New Year's Eve in London, as disgraced TV host Martin (Pierce Brosnan) decides to jump off a tower block. But he's interrupted by the arrival of the timid Maureen (Toni Collette), who is followed by the fiery Jess (Imogen Poots) and the secretive J.J. (Aaron Paul). Together, these four lost souls make a pact to stay alive for six more weeks until Valentine's Day, the next popular suicide date in the calendar. But their story leaks to the press, capitalising on Martin's notoriety and the fact that Jess is the daughter of a high-profile politician (Sam Neill). So they decide to escape to the sunshine for some peace.

Instead of playing this out as a brittle exploration of identity and societal expectations, the filmmakers opt for a romantic-comedy formula, with a four-way friendship standing in for the usual love story. This makes the film feel like a substandard Richard Curtis movie, constantly drifting into maudlin sentimentality. And director Chaumeil encourages the cast to overplay every scene, which makes it tricky to believe any of the characters.

Continue reading: A Long Way Down Review

Quartet Review


Very Good

For his directing debut, Dustin Hoffman takes no chances, filling the screen with gifted actors who are working from an intelligent script. So even if it's essentially a rather flimsy little drama that never really stretches the talented cast, there's plenty to like along the way. And Hoffman makes sure that we enjoy ourselves, inserting some sparky humour and a bit of romantic comedy to keep us smiling.

It takes place in a stately home for retired British musicians, which is planning its annual fundraising gala. Then iconic soprano Joan (Smith) arrives, and the gala's diva-like director (Gambon) decides to reunite the quartet known for a famed performance of Verdi's Rigoletto. The other three have long been residents: womanising Wilf (Connolly) and ditzy Cissy (Collins) are up for it, but Reggie (Courtenay) has never recovered after his marriage to Jean failed decades ago. Of course, everyone connives to get Jean and Reggie to talk to each other, but getting Jean to come out of retirement to sing again is an even more daunting task.

Aside from the central theme of second chances, there isn't much to this film beyond watching a group of superb veteran actors have a lot of fun on screen together. As the swishy ringleader, Gambon camps it up hilariously, even as everyone else ignores him. Connolly gleefully chomps on Wilf's innuendo-filled dialogue, and Collins radiates warmth. While Sheridan Smith surprises with a strong turn as the doctor in residence. This leaves Smith and Courtenay with the script's only meaty scenes, and they make finding the raw honesty in these wounded people look easy.

Continue reading: Quartet Review

An Education Review


Very Good
A lively tone and very funny dialog kind of throw us off the scent of this film's starkly serious themes. Beneath the charm and humour is an intriguing story about a time when being a strong-willed young woman just wasn't allowed.

In 1961 London, Jenny (Mulligan) is a gifted 16-year-old on track for a place at Oxford University, much to the joy of her parents (Molina and Seymour), literature teacher (Williams) and headmistress (Thompson). Then she meets the charismatic David (Sarsgaard), an older man who sweeps her off her feet with a love of the arts, his glamorous life and intelligent friends (Cooper and Pike) who offer more engagement than Jenny finds with those her age. Jenny loves being all grown up around them. Who needs Oxford?

Continue reading: An Education Review

Tsunami: The Aftermath Review


Excellent
As its title suggests, HBO Films' Tsunami: The Aftermath begins not with a crashing wave of water but rather with something far more chilling. A boatload of vacationing scuba divers returns to their Phuket resort after a morning outing on December 26, 2004 and notice all sorts of debris, and then bodies, in the water. At the dock they see that the entire landscape is destroyed, the hotel is in ruins, and everyone, including their families and friends, is gone. As they run through the wreckage screaming, you'll feel chills.

Among the group is Susie Carter (Sophie Okonedo), who quickly reunites with her husband Ian (Chiwetel Ejiofor) but is devastated to learn their four-year-old daughter slipped out of her father's arms and has disappeared. Meanwhile, Kim Peabody (Gina McKee) has lost her husband but finds her teenage son horribly injured.

Continue reading: Tsunami: The Aftermath Review

Tsunami: The Aftermath Review


Excellent
As its title suggests, HBO Films' Tsunami: The Aftermath begins not with a crashing wave of water but rather with something far more chilling. A boatload of vacationing scuba divers returns to their Phuket resort after a morning outing on December 26, 2004 and notice all sorts of debris, and then bodies, in the water. At the dock they see that the entire landscape is destroyed, the hotel is in ruins, and everyone, including their families and friends, is gone. As they run through the wreckage screaming, you'll feel chills.

Among the group is Susie Carter (Sophie Okonedo), who quickly reunites with her husband Ian (Chiwetel Ejiofor) but is devastated to learn their four-year-old daughter slipped out of her father's arms and has disappeared. Meanwhile, Kim Peabody (Gina McKee) has lost her husband but finds her teenage son horribly injured.

Continue reading: Tsunami: The Aftermath Review

Stoned Review


Good
The Rolling Stones' founder Brian Jones' drowning death in 1969 is another check mark in that long list of rock 'n' roll artists who died early and in their prime. His legacy as a musical genius aside, Jones is also remembered for his sartorial flamboyance and for his quintessential rocker's lifestyle of drugs, booze, and sex, all in big gulps.

It's at the shit end of excess that we find Jones (Leo Gregory) in Stephen Woolley's directorial debut, Stoned, which explores the rocker's final days, after he's alienated himself from his band, leading up to his mysterious drowning in the swimming pool of his country estate. Officially, the death was ruled an accident, but loose ends linger off the record, particularly with regard to Jones's relationship with Stones' manager, Tom Keylock (David Morrissey), and Frank Thorogood (Paddy Considine), a builder contracted to remodel Jones's estate. Woolley's movie runs on the notion that Thorogood was no mere working-class lackey, but a mole of sorts, employed by the Stones organization to keep daily tabs on Jones's erratic behavior.

Continue reading: Stoned Review

Welcome To Woop Woop Review


Good
Somewhere between A Boy and his Dog, Blue Velvet, and The Sound of Music, lies Welcome to Woop Woop, a truly oddball tale (as all Aussie movies tend to be) about an American con artist hiding out down under. Upon meeting a wild Aussie girl, he is promptly kidnapped to the very remote village of Woop Woop, whose sole industry is turning kangaroos into dog food called Woof Woof. It's no Queen of the Desert, but lets call it a middling princess.

The Lost Son Review


Good
Forget 8MM. The Lost Son's look at a troubled P.I. who gets caught up in what turns out to be a nasty child prostitution ring is exceptional considering it's barely anything more than a direct-to-video thriller packed with stars that barely speak English.

French ¾ber-actor Daniel Auteuil stars as Xavier, an investigator with a seedy past -- he's had a mysterious scrape or two, and now, to get by, he does double time, accepting money for an engagement only to blackmail the subject for more. When a wealthy woman (Nastassja Kinski) and her family hire Xavier to find a grown man who's gone missing, Xavier ends up cracking a child porn gang wide open.

Continue reading: The Lost Son Review

Me Without You Review


Weak
It should have won an award for worst accent ever, as "star" Michelle Williams' faux-Britspeak fades in and out and makes the movie borderline unbearable. The movie itself follows several years in the lives of two London friends (Williams and the far more interesting Anna Friel), who engage in all manner of self-destructive behavior. The film looks a lot more fun for the two girls than it is for us to watch. Very corny and often sappy to boot.
Finola Dwyer

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Berlin House Where David Bowie And Iggy Pop Lived Marked By Plaque

Berlin House Where David Bowie And Iggy Pop Lived Marked By Plaque

The flat at Hauptstrasse 155 was where Bowie and Iggy lived between 1976 and 1978 in the city, which inspired the so-called 'Berlin trilogy' albums.

Rupert Grint To Star In TV Re-Make Of 'Snatch'

Rupert Grint To Star In TV Re-Make Of 'Snatch'

Grint will star alongside Dougray Scott and Ed Westwick in a 10-part TV series for Sony's streaming platform Crackle.

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Finola Dwyer Movies

Brooklyn Movie Review

Brooklyn Movie Review

Director John Crowley and writer Nick Hornby never even try to temper the flood of...

A Long Way Down Movie Review

A Long Way Down Movie Review

With a darkly serious theme and a corny rom-com filmmaking approach, this film never quite...

Quartet Movie Review

Quartet Movie Review

For his directing debut, Dustin Hoffman takes no chances, filling the screen with gifted actors...

An Education Movie Review

An Education Movie Review

A lively tone and very funny dialog kind of throw us off the scent of...

Advertisement
Stoned Movie Review

Stoned Movie Review

The Rolling Stones' founder Brian Jones' drowning death in 1969 is another check mark in...

The Lost Son Movie Review

The Lost Son Movie Review

Forget 8MM. The Lost Son's look at a troubled P.I. who gets caught up...

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