Audiences looking for a French historical costume drama should look elsewhere, but those who enjoy British period comedies will love it. With a pointed dash of history and politics, this is a silly movie about social status, and it's so well written and played that only cynics won't have a lot of fun with it. Thankfully, the talent both in front of and behind the camera keep the focus on the lively characters, which makes it engaging on a deeper level than expected.
The fictional story is set around real events in 1682 France, as King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman) was planning to move his court from Paris to Versailles, a vast palace still under construction. The final project there is the expansive garden, which landscaper Andre (Matthias Schoenaerts) has to complete on deadline and under budget. And everyone is shocked when he hires the little-known Sabine (Kate Winslet) to build an outdoor ballroom and fountain. But he has been smitten with her skill and passion for gardening, and there's also a gently gurgling romantic spark between them as well. The problem is that his high-society wife (Helen McCrory) notices this and sets out to sabotage Sabine's work.
There's not much here that's historically accurate, from the frankly outrageous costumes to the English filming locations and dialogue that buzzes with specifically British humour. But it's so breezy and snappy that all we can do is sit back and enjoy it for what it is. Those who do so may even find some underlying resonance in the discussions of order and chaos in landscape design, as well as the way honesty is like a blast of fresh air in a world constrained by status. Indeed, the film's most memorable scene is a gorgeously written and played chance encounter between Sabine and the King in which they initially don't know who the other is.
Continue reading: A Little Chaos Review
In the palace of Versailles, a tremendous garden is maintained. One day, the builder and head gardener sees an ordinary woman arriving at the palace, and, throwing aside ideas of conformity, chooses to rearrange some of the garden into something that pleases her. He takes her on with the hopes of updating and adding some life to the traditional gardens, and steadily begins to fall for her. As she finds difficulty integrating into the high society that he is from, he ensures her that, in fact, she is envied by the upper classes for her newness. But when that envy turns into something more, the gardener will have to fight tooth and nail to maintain the garden, their love, and their lives.
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It's World War II and things are looking bleak as the allies struggle to decipher the Germans' ingenious Enigma Code; a puzzle that could bring an immediate end to the war with all their movements quickly surfacing. Unfortunately, their enigma seems to be nearly impossible, at least until the British government enlist the help of gifted university graduate Alan Turing, whose remarkable ability for solving problems has eluded no-one. With the help of a tireless team, Turing sets about developing a top secret machine with the ability to find and eliminate all possible sequences with the speed and efficiency that would be impossible just using a human brain. When it seems he indeed has managed to make a breakthrough, discoveries about his personal life put him in danger of the very people he was trying to help.
Continue: The Imitation Game - Interview Clip
Alan Turing is a mathematician whose genius leads him to be enlisted in a major code-breaking scheme during World War II, where he is set the task of deciphering German secrets. Working strictly covertly at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, he and his team study tirelessly in order to crack a complex Enigma that would allow them to win the war. To everyone's surprise, he begins building a machine which he insists will have the capability to interpret any Nazi Enigmas with it's ability to eliminate possible sequences with efficiency and speed. However, frequently scorned for his unconventional methods and later for his sexuality, he becomes the unsung hero of the War, saving millions of lives and bringing justice upon the world.
Continue: The Imitation Game - Teaser Trailer
It's 1974 when Jenny and Len (Ashfield and Waddington) move into a new home.
They're delighted with the increase in space and the lovely Yorkshire setting, but their 17-year-old daughter Sally (Connor) is annoyed that her life has been disrupted. And the rolling blackouts don't help either, especially since the darkness seems to reveal something malevolent lurking in the shadows.
Continue reading: When The Lights Went Out Review
Jack (Winstone) is a grizzled veteran of the Flying Squad, known in rhyming slang as "the Sweeney", an elite team of undercover London cops who deal with armed crime. His right-hand man and protege is George (Drew), and as they investigate a suspiciously messy jewellery heist, they are distracted when internal affairs officer Lewis (Mackintosh) starts looking for a reason to shut them down. Their captain (Lewis) tries to help, but things are complicated by the fact that Jack is having an affair with Lewis' wife (Atwell).
Continue reading: The Sweeney Review
Cockney geezers of the world rejoice as the big screen remake of the seventies police drama The Sweeney is in post-production and will be released in cinemas in mid-September. Ray Winstone stars as Detective Jack Regan whilst Ben Drew, alias rapper Plan B, stars as Detective Sergeant George Carter, the part initially made famous by Dennis Waterman. Despite being parodied numerous times for his tendency to write/perform the theme tunes of may of his shows, Waterman actually didn't write the theme tune to the Sweeney, however no word has been made on whether Shaw (or Waterman) will be making a special appearance on the film's soundtrack.
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Nerio Winch is a self made multi billionaire. While relaxing on his yacht one day he is pulled to his death by a scuba diver who had been lying in wait. Nerio's death throws his company into financial distress, as Nerio apparently has no living heirs to carry on the business.
Continue: The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch Trailer
Jarman keeps the language but takes the story out of its 14th-century timeframe, fills it with anachronisms, presents it with minimal sets against a black background, and turns it into a furious rant against the homophobia of the Thatcher-era England of the '80s and early '90s. Though Marlowe wrote a gay subtext into his play, Jarman moves it up front: Edward is gay, he gives too much power to his gay lover, and they both have to be destroyed before things get out of hand.
Continue reading: Edward II Review
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