Tag Archives: Rachel McAdams


Life is pretty hard for boxer Billy Hope (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), but it’s pretty good too. He and his beautiful wife, Maureen (by Rachel McAdams) have a very happy marriage, they have a delightful and well-behaved daughter, Leila (by Oona Laurence) and Billy’s career is going from strength to strength. He works hard and he fights hard in the ring, but he’s the reigning Junior Middleweight Champion and he feels like he owns the world! One evening, the couple attend a special function to honour Billy and suddenly tragedy strikes. Billy’s world is rocked to the core and he loses all hope. Nothing makes sense to him anymore and as depression envelops him, he loses his grip on life. Soon, his career is in tatters, his finances are a mess and then comes the final brutal blow … he loses custody of Leila. He can’t seem to get out of it, until the day he meets Tick Wills (by Forest Whitaker), a retired boxer who now runs a training gym for young amateur boxers, most down on their luck. This man may just be the thing Billy needs – but he’s a tough disciplinarian, with scruples that won’t be challenged. Can down-trodden Billy convince Tick to take him on and re-train him back to where he once was? Can he find the strength to win back the trust of the people around him … and the custody of his daughter? ….

If you take out all the highly graphic physical fights, violence, injuries and workouts it has taken to create this movie, it’s really just an ordinary story. There’s no doubt that Jake Gyllenhaal has given everything to this role – it would have been physical torture and exhausting. However, the story itself is fairly standard – boxer in his prime, cut down by tragedy, loses everything, must regain the trust of those around him, works hard to get back to an even keel … there’s not really anything to add here. However, the performances are all great. Jake, as I said, is fully into this role and he wears it all over his face for much of the movie. Rachel McAdams is luminous – she is lovely and her character is very nice. Oona Laurence does very well as the “older than her years” daughter Leila. It’s good to see Curtis ‘50 Cent’ Jackson in a dramatic role – it’s quite straightforward and he does well. As Tick Wills, Forest Whitaker is fine, but doesn’t do anything too extraordinary. The whole thing is fine, but I’d wait for television to see this.

Made in 2015. Directed by Antoine Fuqua

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Posted by on July 19, 2016 in Movies


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Walter “Robby” Robinson (played by Michael Keaton) manages a special investigative branch of the Boston Globe. He and his team of skilled journalists focus on developing stories and spend several months in research, investigations and validation to create comprehensive coverage of issues in the lives of the Boston Community. One story begins to take real hold of the team. Under Robby’s leadership, investigators Mike Rezendes (by Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (by Rachel McAdams) and Marty Baron (by Live Schreiber) start to uncover the unbelievable and horrendous story if child abuse within their local Catholic Archdiocese. The story grows and becomes a significant scandal of molestation and cover-up that shakes the entire Catholic Church to its core.

This is an excellent movie. The story itself is horrendous but the movie makes compelling viewing. Well done to Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and everyone involved. It’s great to see Stanley Tucci in the key role as Mitchell Garabedian and also Len Cariou as Cardinal Law. Deservedly, the movie has received global acclaim – awarded an Academy Award (Oscar) for “Best Motion Picture of the Year” and “Best Writing, Original Screenplay”; Mark Ruffalo received a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor, the AFI awarded it “Movie of the Year”. The full cast were awarded with “Outstanding Performance” by the Screen Actors Guild. Well done everyone.

Made in 2015. Directed by Tom McCarthy.

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Posted by on June 22, 2016 in Movies


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The Vow

Paige (played by Rachel McAdams) and Leo (by Channing Tatum) are blissfully happy. Since they met four years ago they’ve loved every moment they’ve shared since. Once a conservative young woman in Law School, Paige has found her real passion in art, so she’s quit College much to the disappointment of her wealthy parents Rita (by Jessica Lange) and Bill (by Sam Neill). One evening, after a happy dinner out, Leo and Paige are in a car accident and Paige sustains a serious head injury. When she regains consciousness, Leo realises that Paige has lost all her recent memory, so everything she knows of her life with him and their happiness is now gone. She sees him as a total stranger. She bravely returns to their home and tries to reconnect with her previous life and her friends but it’s all just an alien world. She even watches the video of their wedding to try to spark a memory – it features their heart-felt and original vows to each other – but now that’s simply an image on the screen for her, it might as well be someone else. Paige and Leo must try to piece their loves back together, but how will Paige do this with a guy and a home she doesn’t even know?

This is is a nice, but fairly unremarkable movie – apart from the fact that it’s based on a true story. The performances are fairly pedestrian and predictable. Sam Neill isn’t in many movies these days, nor is Jessica Lange, so it’s good to see them here – although neither is stretched in their role. Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum are nice together and they balance well, but again their performances are nothing super special. Overall this is a nice, family, television movie. In real life, the couple involved in this, Kirk and Krickitt Carpenter, would have had a very difficult time finding their way though this tragedy and it is a story worth telling.

Made in 2012. Directed by Michael Sucsy

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Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Movies


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About Time

Tim Lake (by Domhnall Gleeson) feels he’s never been any good with getting to know girls … he’s awkward, self-conscious and just hopeless. One day, his dad (by Bill Nighy) shares a family secret with him … all the men in the family can travel back in time and relive any part of their own life they choose. Of course, Tim totally disregards this silly joke of his father’s – until he remembers a particularly disastrous incident recently with a girl at a New Year’s Eve Party, so he decides to give it a try. His second time at the party, thing goes far differently, much better – it works!! Now … what to do with this marvellous capability … of course, get a girlfriend!! Over the next few years, Tim moves from his home in Cornwall to London, gets a job in a law firm and finds himself somewhere to live. His attempts at finding the perfect one true love are fraught with challenges that even his super-power can’t overcome completely … is all lost? Surely the perfect girl is waiting out there somewhere … now, all he has to do is find her ….

This is one of those movies where you find yourself smiling all the way through. It’s a nicely made, British romantic comedy with all the traits of a good story and a quirky but utterly believable modern English family. Tim, himself, is one of a kind – and then we meet Tim’s totally off-beat Dad, played masterfully by Bill Nighy (as if he was made for that role), his utterly bizarre green-fingered Mum by Lindsay Duncan, who’s great; his hyper-active, off the wall sister Kit Kat, by Lydia Wilson; and his totally insane but loveable Uncle D by the wonderful Richard Cordery. The English county of Cornwall and city of London are used well to reflect the clear facets of Tim’s life – his hectic professional life, on dates, out to dinner, at the theatre, parties … that gives way to his most blissful time with his family. Tim’s character is beautifully balanced on screen by Rachel McAdams as Mary – an insecure, frenetic, American girl in London with very righteous, upstanding parents – she’s just believable. Of course, Tim has hapless friends too – the inimitable Rory by Joshua McGuire and Jay, by Will Merrick – to be seen to be believed. Also, we get cameos from Richard E. Grant and the late Richard Griffiths, which are treasures. It’s a nice, feel-good movie – with some lovely messages about life, truth and love. Because it’s by the same director, it’s very “Love Actually”, in a nice warm way. At the 2013 San Sebastián International Film Festival it won the Waki.TV Audience Award for Best European Film – well deserved for Richard Curtis.

Made in 2013. Directed by Richard Curtis.

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Posted by on March 17, 2014 in Movies


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Midnight in Paris

“Midnight in Paris” is a very enjoyable movie – in fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s a Woody Allen gem. It opens with instant atmosphere – it will envelop you in wonderful classic Parisienne lifestyle and take you to another place. My advice … just go with it – enjoy the atmosphere, Owen Wilson’s excellent portrayal of the Allen-esque character and the equally delightful and great performances of each of the rest of the stellar cast. Rachel McAdams is stunningly lovely and the costume styling is just exquisite. Enjoy!

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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Movies


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