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Restless

Annabel Cotton (played by Mia Wasikowska) is a beautiful young woman full of the joys of life. She finds pleasure in every day, particularly birds and nature – and she lives for the moment. She also has terminal cancer. One day, she meets enigmatic loner Enoch Brae (by Henry Hopper) and they find a kindred connection. Enoch has never been much into social occasions, but he feels drawn to funerals. Since both his parents died in a car accident, he lives with his sister Mabel (by Jane Adams), but he mostly hangs out with Hiroshi (by Ryô Kase), who was a WWII Japanese kamikaze pilot. Annabel lives with her mother Rachel (by Lusia Strus) and sister Elizabeth (by Schuyler Fisk) but they focus too much on her impending death, rather than her life in the here and now. It seems that death is always going to be around both of them. As Annabel’s condition worsens and her family struggle with the situation, Annabel and Enoch’s love grows …

This movie starts off in an interesting place … Enoch is at the funeral of someone he doesn’t know. Annabel is there too and she catches on to him straight away … although she doesn’t know him, she recognizes something in him and calls it. The two characters continue to be honest and direct with each other, which is refreshing and good to see. However, although the movie does raise some interesting issues – serious illness, death, relationships, love, happiness and risk-taking, it doesn’t really make a key point or resolve anything. Mia Wasikowska is lovely as Annabel – she’s so carefree and light, just as you’d hope a young woman facing her own mortality could be. Henry Hopper is very nice as Enoch, he’s got his own quirks and the two characters are interesting. They are good together, both well cast and balanced nicely. Enoch’s relationship with Hiroshi makes the movie a little more interesting, but the other characters don’t really add much value. As a thought provoker, it’s fine – as a drama, it’s only okay.

Made in 2011.  Directed by Gus van Sant.

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Posted by on November 19, 2013 in Movies

 

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Milk

Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn) is an active political figure in 1970’s San Francisco, who became the first openly gay person to hold significant public office in America. Harvey moved to San Francisco from New York after he met his partner Scott Smith (by James Franco). Together they opened a camera store in Castro Street which became a popular meeting spot for the gay community and was also the activity hub where Harvey managed his attempts to run for public office.  Throughout these times, he became known as the Mayor of Castro Street as he amassed an effective campaign team, managed by Scott Smith and supported by Cleve Jones (by Emile Hirsch). As his loyal supporters grew in number and his activities gained more notoriety, so did his awareness of the possibility of achieving real change for people who up until that point had led rather secretive lives.

Using flashbacks from a statement Harvey recorded and current affairs archival footage, the film traces Milk’s career from his 40th birthday to his death in 1978 when he was assassinated by fellow San Francisco Supervisor Dan White (by Josh Brolin). It provides us with a dramatisation of the efforts and challenges Harvey went through to achieve significant change in America.

Sean Penn and James Franco are really great in this movie. Penn totally becomes Harvey Milk, his appearance is strikingly similar and his performance clearly and accurately portrays Harvey’s gentle nature, his canny understanding of politics, his courage and his determination for change.

It’s very good.

(Made: 2009)

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Movies

 

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