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Tag Archives: Richard Gere

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

One month on from where we left the recently retired Brits in Jaipur, India – we return to see how they are getting on. They’ve settled nicely into “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and into an acceptable routine, where the proprietor, Sonny (by Dev Patel) reads roll call every morning, to check they are all still here (and none has made their final departure during the night). After one or two changes, our roll call checks the wellbeing of each of our residents …

  • Muriel (by Maggie Smith) – a harridan and now sometime-Manager and senior advisor to Sonny.
  • Douglas (by Bill Nighy) now single since his wife Jean returned to Britain without him.
  • Evelyn (by Judi Dench) recently widowed and broke – finding a new life here in Jaipur.
  • Madge (by Celia Imrie) – still trying to keep the good life a part of hers.
  • Norman (by Ronald Pickup) – our perpetual Casanova, with his partner Diana (by Carol Parr)

Our ambitious proprietor, Sonny, is in USA with his senior advisor, Muriel, to gain support and funding for his expansion into his second hotel. His potential funders, Evergreen Hotels, proposes to send an inspector to the Marigold to check it out, so Sonny and Muriel return to Jaipur to await the outcome of the investment decision and prepare for Sonny’s magnificent wedding to his fiancé Sunaina (by Tena Desae). The hotel inspector duly arrives and Sonny falls over himself to show the inspector a good time. Other guests arrive to sample the Marigold’s wonders – American writer, Guy Chambers (by Richard Gere) and dutiful British woman Lavinia (by Tamsin Grieg) seeking a holiday destination for her ageing mother. The Marigold’s guests rub along as best they can, whilst they deal with the health and financial challenges brought on by retirement and ageing. Sonny’s ambition threatens to get in the way of his happiness with Sunaina and their wedding celebrations are put in jeopardy when he is distracted by the needs of his business.  People don’t seem to be able to settle … surely life isn’t meant to be this tricky? 

Just like the first one, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” – I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Jaipur is shown in all its splendour and we also get the pleasure of Mumbai in this movie – it’s spectacularly and beautifully shot in all its remarkable colour and culture.  Once again, the very strong cast are the gems in this simple, but enjoyable story. Douglas, as awkward and down-trodden as ever – is just lovely (beautifully played by Bill Nighy once again) and Judi Dench’s Evelyn is equally great.  It’s hard to choose a favourite character this time – Maggie Smith is just incomparable and wonderful. I thought the addition of Richard Gere as the American Guy Chambers would be terrible, but it’s a great addition.  He is supremely handsome and I love Sonny’s line in the movie “… he’s so good looking, he’s got me questioning my own sexuality!” …  Tena Desae as Sunaina is exotic and totally enchanting. The wonderful celebrations for the Hindu wedding are beautiful and much of this movie is lavishly presented. All performances are excellent and the lovely Dev Patel is once again, verbose in the extreme but always means well. It is one of those typical British movies where the characters just fall over their own awkwardness and you want to grab them by the shoulders and say “just do it!!!” …If you liked the first on, you will enjoy this – it’s good.

Made in 2015. Directed by John Madden.

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Posted by on April 9, 2015 in Movies

 

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American Gigolo

Julian Kay (played by Richard Gere) has the world at his feet. He’s done the hard yards for it … working his way up from two-bit call boy to a high class gentleman escort with clientèle from the most affluent of Beverly Hills and international society. He’s good looking, charming, has a razor-sharp dress sense and drives a top notch car. He still turns the occasional trick for his old pimp, but only as the odd favour. One night, he meets Michelle (by Lauren Hutton), the beautiful and savvy wife of a local political candidate. Julian and Michelle form a strong connection. They start a relationship but Julian continues to work. As his success depends solely on his discretion, when he finds himself mixed up in a police investigation, his clients start to get nervous. Julian is implicated in a serious crime involving one of his clients and Detective Sunday (by Hector Elizondo) won’t let up on his pressure. Will Julian be able to keep it all together?

This movie is a good drama. Richard Gere puts in a strong performance here and it’s entertaining to see the 1980’s fashions and lifestyle from today’s perspective. As a thriller, it does alright and it’s an interesting depiction of lifestyles of the time. Hector Elizondo puts in a good performance and Lauren Hutton looks great. The drama itself is fairly pedestrian and, although there’s nudity, many aspects of this lifestyle that obviously involves sex, prostitution and drugs is left to assumption. Overall, as a crime and love story, it’s pretty good.

Made in 1980. Directed by Paul Schrader.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2015 in Movies

 

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Arbitrage

Arbitrage: In finance. the simultaneous purchase and sale of the same securities, commodities, or foreign exchange in different markets to profit from unequal prices.

Robert Miller (played by Richard Gere) has always been an astute and successful entrepreneur, money just seems to be attracted to him. He is now a high profile New York businessman and he and his wife Ellen (by Susan Sarandon) are much admired philanthropists amongst New York society. From the outside, the world sees he has a stable and very happy family and his company is a rock solid operation, with his daughter Brooke (by Brit Marling) employed as the Chief Finance Officer, to manage day to day funds management functions. Unfortunately, the house of cards starts to crumble when a huge loan comes due that relies on a now shaky-looking high risk deal, then Robert’s extra marital life is at risk of exposure after he is involved in a car accident with a beautiful French art dealer, Julie Cote (by Letitia Casta). Detective Michael Bryer (by Tim Roth) starts to sniff around and shake up Robert’s life. Time is running out and he can’t risk any publicity until he seals the deal, or he will lose everything ……

This is a good contemporary drama with a strong cast. The timing is done well and the story unfolds nicely. I’d have liked to see more of Susan Sarandon’s character, wife Ellen, but she does come into her own in the closing stages of the movie. Tim Roth and Richard Gere are both great, but for me the best performance is by Nate Parker who plays Jimmy Grant, a young guy caught up in Miller’s high stakes games. In 2012, Parker was nominated for a Black Reel Award as best supporting actor for this performance. Richard Gere was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his performance here too – this role with such confidence, arrogance and courage of conviction is perfect for him. Well done, a good piece.

Made in 2012. Directed by Nicholas Jarecki

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Movies

 

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The Hoax

Clifford Irving (played by Richard Gere) is a writer, he’s had reasonable success but he dreams of writing the great blockbuster. He’s frustrated and disappointed because his publishers, McGraw-Hill, have recently rejected his new manuscript. Extremely short on cash, he’s already spent much of the pre-payment he received from them – now he must find a way to pay that back and still afford to live. It’s 1971 and Cliff gets an idea – the perfect novel. A biography about the reclusive Howard Hughes … Cliff would need to fabricate it from archives, but of such a secretive subject that nobody has seen for years – who would know whether Cliff really has worked with Hughes or not? In the era of a Nixon re-election, Cliff enlists the help of his best friend Dick Suskind (by Alfred Molina) to research and write the book of the century together. The publishers can’t believe their luck … but is it actually too good to be true?

This is a fictional version of Clifford Irving’s memoir “The Hoax“. It’s billed as a comedy, but again the funny part of this story is lost on me. Irving’s experience is fascinating, particularly the sequences where a viewer is not sure what’s real and what’s imagined – directed well by Lasse Hallstrom and portrayed with authenticity by both Richard Gere and Alfred Molina. They work very well together. The movie is a little too long for me, but interesting – Hughes is certainly an enigma. Mostly, I felt sorry for Irving – but the greed, deception and treachery of the parties involved (all concerned about their own reputations) brings an edge of intrigue and drama to this story. It’s a pretty good scam, actually.

Made in 2006. Directed by Lasse Hallström

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Movies

 

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Primal Fear

A shy young man from Kentucky, Aaron Stampler (by Edward Norton) is the Archbishop’s attendant at Chicago Cathedral. One night, the Archbishop is involved in a disturbance at the Cathedral and he gets brutally murdered. Aaron is involved in this disturbance also and responding Police first spot him not far from the scene, terrified and covered in blood. Aaron flees from Police and due to the Archbishop’s notoriety his capture is broadcast live on television. Martin Vail (by Richard Gere) is a successful, ambitious and high-profile defence lawyer who watches as Aaron’s public capture unfolds live his TV screen. He instantly sees an opportunity to boost his own profile and further his career in Chicago, so he volunteers to defend the hapless but seemingly guilty Aaron who has been unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Assistant District Attorney Janet Venable (by Laura Linney) is assigned to prosecute the case and she has history with Vail. During his pre-trial consultations, Vail suspects that Aaron suffers from a mental disorder which is examined by psychologist Molly Arrington (by Frances McDormand), this threatens to complicate matters, as does the political storm building that involves corruption, sexual abuse, the Archbishop and one of the City’s most influential power brokers, Shaughnessy (by John Mahoney). Is this more than just an open-and-shut murder trial? Can Vail successfully defend Aaron in this high-stakes proceeding but keep the reputations of the other desperate players intact at the same time?

This is a good movie. It’s much more than just a courtroom drama. This is Edward Norton’s acting debut and he hit the benchmark so high that to me he is yet to achieve such magnificence again. His portrayal of the disturbed young country-boy Aaron is excellent, stunning and totally authentic. He is a joy to watch. Richard Gere fits the role of the exquisitely groomed, handsome, rich and flawed Martin Vale perfectly and the role is marvellous for him – there is actually a hint of social conscience here, which is refreshing to see. The movie has a fabulous and totally blind-side twist ending that makes the movie and its legacy even better for the viewer. As always, John Mahoney, Laura Linney and Frances McDormand are solid and excellent in their supporting character roles.  It’s great.

Edward Norton was nominated for an Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Supporting Actor for this role and that is very well deserved.  The drama is based on the novel by William Diehl.

Made in 1996. Directed by Gregory Hoblit

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Movies

 

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Unfaithful

Connie Sumner (played by Diane Lane) and her husband Edward (by Richard Gere) are content and settled in their well-to-do life with their 9 year old son Charlie (Erik Per Sullivan) in their beautiful house in an idyllic green New York suburb. They are happy – their’s is a comfortable and stable world. One very windy day, Connie takes a trip into New York City and when trying to hail a cab in Soho she gets caught up in a strong gust of wind. She takes a fall, straight into Paul (by Olivier Martinez) who is also battling the weather. As he lives nearby, she takes shelter at his place to calm her nerves after her fall. Connie is immediately fascinated by Paul – he is young, French, creative and interesting (everything Edward is not) and he is like a breath of fresh air to her. She becomes obsessed with him and they eventually embark on a passionate affair. Connie feels totally overwhelmed with exhilaration and guilt but tries to find as much time as possible for Paul. Edward senses something is not right and when he catches Connie out in a lie, he decides to have her investigated – which leads him to Paul and a confrontation. Their world is suddenly turned upside down and Connie eventually wishes she had never laid eyes on Paul …

This movie is told very well – it is well made and the story develops in a compelling way. I can see how Connie gets into the situation she does, but (like Fatal Attraction) I feel frustrated that the whole thing doesn’t have to go this way … if only people didn’t give in to a sudden impulse in the first place. However, having said that, I do like this movie a lot. You can totally believe that this situation could arise – it’s entirely possible and compelling viewing from that point of view. Diane Lane is very good as Connie – a decent woman carried away after one stupid mistake. Richard Gere puts in a great performance here – it’s emotional and realistic – and Olivier Martinez is perfect as the carefree, artistic and very “French” Paul.

It is a good movie – the camera work provides atmosphere that supports the roller coaster of emotions very well and the musical score is great too.

Made 2002. Directed by Adrian Lyne

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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