Jim Carter, guest, Rob James-Collier, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Raquel Cassidy, Kevin Doyle, Hugh Bonneville. Front row: Phyllis Logan, Joanne Froggatt, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern , Samantha Bond - Downton Abbey Launch photocall held at the May Fair Hotel - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 13th August 2015
James and Eleanor are a seemingly happy couple who have been married 25 glorious years. However, the arrival of a stunning young woman named Kate who befriends the couple becomes their downfall as James embarks on a sordid affair with her whilst frantically trying to cover his tracks from his wife. Soon the mountain of lies grows and it becomes inevitable that the truth will be revealed with inner passions and emotions betraying the perpetrators and barely shrouding their secret. Meanwhile, James and Eleanor's identical inner voices make themselves known to the audience as we experience their raw emotions first hand.
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"She" (Joan Allen) is a London-based scientist (born in Belfast, raised in America) whose open marriage to her stoic, stuffy husband (Sam Neill) is dying a slow, painful death. "He" (Simon Abkarian) is a cook from Beirut, who meets her at a party, beginning a torrid affair that puts both on a physical and emotional trek taking them to Beirut, Belfast, New York, and a groovy Cuba.
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And I'll also say that The World Is Not Enough is one of the worst Bond films to come along in years.
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However her latest film, "Yes," is a failed experiment.Joan Allen plays an Irish-born woman stuck in a loveless, childless marriageto a philandering husband (Sam Neill). She meets a Lebanese cook (SimonAbkarian) who was once a surgeon in Beirut, and begins a love affair. Writtenentirely in verse, "Yes" requires the actors to suffer throughlong passages of blathering talk, and the scenes routinely dry out longbefore they end.
Potter attempts to add layers to the film by hinting atpolitical paranoia and showing scenes through surveillance cameras, butthe verse angle nullifies these attempts. The superb Allen is capable ofextremes: from icy control to dropping her emotional guard, yet she cannotmake this film's rhythms work.
Shirley Henderson, playing a maid who observes the actionand breaks the fourth wall by speaking directly to the camera, shows justhow the film might have played. With her silky, slithering delivery, sheplays with the words like a snake might toy with a mouse.
Until director Lee Tamahori blasts right past a perfectly good ending, only to burn a superfluous 20 minutes on an all-action, all-gimmick epilogue that leaks suspension of disbelief like a sieve, "Die Another Day" is as stimulating and heart-rate-raising as any James Bond thriller.
It has fresh new stunts (Bond goes surfin' surfin' MI6) set to energetic renditions of the Bond theme. It has an exhilarating sword fight (things get out of hand at a fencing club) and an awesome gadget car chase across a vast frozen inlet in Iceland (Bond drives an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish with missiles, pop-up machine guns, ejector seat and invisibility). It has a slithering, credibly psychotic bad guy (Toby Stephens, "Possession") who literally never sleeps, and a henchman (Rick Yune, "The Fast and the Furious") whose face is scarred by diamonds that became embedded in his skin when Bond almost blew him up with a briefcase full of jewels and C-4.
"Die Another Day" also has a modicum of success updating the series' style (slick, kinetic cinematography with swing-perspective camera tricks works well but virtual reality sequences and rock tunes on the soundtrack do not), and it takes risks with 007's invincible image. Bond is captured in the film's requisite action-packed pre-credits sequence and his torture by North Korean interrogators is blended into the sexy title song (a throwaway rave-mix tune from Madonna).
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The honeymoon is over for Pierce Brosnan's incarnation of James Bond.
Just as Brosnan has begun to clearly distinguish his own bent on the character -- less loquacious than his predecessors, with an artful but well-bred smirk, quick to resort to lethal measures, yet an acute vulnerability when it comes to his bed mates -- most everything else that made the 1990s 007 renaissance such a smartly balanced mix of classic Bond and modern action has already been turned into a tired, caricature-like shadow of itself in "The World Is Not Enough."
The new, sassy and independent Miss Moneypenny (Samatha Bond) has been relegated back to desk duty and her banter reduced to a routine of spiritless double-entendres. Coming off her "Shakespeare In Love" Oscar win, Judi Dench's delightfully dour M has been laboriously humanized, given a conscience that doesn't suit her.
Continue reading: The World Is Not Enough Review