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Tag Archives: Rosamund Pike

Gone Girl

Nick Dunne (played by Ben Affleck) can’t believe his luck. He’s got a great job at a magazine, a fantastic life in New York and has just met the most wonderful, beautiful, intelligent and unique woman ever – what’s more, she’s interested in him too. It’s the exquisite Amy (by Rosamund Pike) … even her name is beautiful. They spend several wonderful years together – their New York City lifestyle, their infatuation with each other and their wonderful love makes it all so easy … it’s fabulous. Then Nick’s mother takes ill and they move back to his hometown in Missouri. Amy isn’t so keen, she’s used to a more high-brow lifestyle, but she totally loves Nick, so supports him in this without question. Back in his small home town, she funds Nick and his twin sister, Margo (by Carrie Coon) into a business together – they run “The Bar” – a hip watering hole in town. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy suddenly goes missing and all the clues point to Nick … has he killed her? Why would he do that?  Nick swears blind he knows nothing of Amy’s disappearance. Her well known parents, Rand and Marybeth Elliot (by David Clennon and Lisa Banes) arrive in town and the paparazzi are stirred up with the intrigue of Amy’s disappearance. They hound Nick incessantly. The police investigation is headed by Detective Rhonda Boney (by Kim Dickens) … she’s not sure about Nick – did he do it? …. Were they really as happy as he makes out? It seems Nick’s only ally is his sister Go, but even she’s starting to wonder what’s really going on ….

This is a well made thriller. From the outset the scene is set well and the characters are compelling. As Amy, Rosamund Pike is outstanding – her multi-faceted character is revealed piece by piece throughout this work and she is marvellous. Ben Affleck puts in a very strong performance as Nick Dunne and there are wonderful performances from others, particularly Neil Patrick Harris as the weird Desi Collings. Tyler Perry is a useful breath of fresh air as Tanner Bolt, a big city lawyer hired to defend Nick. There are enough layers of intrigue and twists in this to keep a viewer engaged. But somehow it seems to lose momentum towards the end. Perhaps I missed something, but it just tends to peter out somehow.  I may be alone in that opinion however. Rosamund Pike earned an Academy Award (Oscar) nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, which is very well deserved. Overall it’s a watchable, enjoyable movie, but I wouldn’t rave over it.

Made in 2014.  Directed by David Fincher

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Movies

 

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What We Did on Our Holiday

“Whatever you do, don’t upset Dad – his health can’t take it …” – with these words, Doug (played by David Tennant) convinces his ex-wife Abi (by Rosamund Pike) that on their visit to see his dying father, Gordie (by Billy Connolly), they should pretend their marriage is still intact and everything in their family garden is “rosie”. They set off for Scotland – Doug, Abi and confused children Lottie (by Emilia Jones), Mickey (by Bobby Smalldridge) and Jess (by Harriet Turnbull) – to see Gordie and help him celebrate his 75th birthday. Doug and Abi snipe at each other the entire journey and they arrive exhausted at the grand Scottish home of Doug’s brother, Gavin (by Ben Miller).  Although he’s seriously ill, Gordie’s still active and is very pleased to see his family from London. He welcomes the break from the weird lives of Gavin and his eccentric wife Margaret (by Amelia Bullmore). Over a couple of days Gordie spends happy times with the grandchildren while the “adults” either bicker over well-worn family issues or over-organise Gordie’s lavish birthday party. Gavin’s beside himself with anxiety about the party – set to be the biggest “who’s who in Scottish society” function for years. Gordie picks up hints of trouble between Doug and Abi and does his best to comfort the children that they’ll be fine. He takes them for a day out, including a visit to see his friend Doreen (by Annette Crosbie) at her much-adored ostrich farm. At the loch, Gordie amazes the children with his tales of his proud Viking heritage. Then things take an unexpected turn and in the face of a tragedy, the family must somehow forget their squabbles and work together to face their truths and a more positive future.

This is a sweet movie with some lovely messages. The Scottish landscape is grand and beautiful, which is the perfect backdrop for this off-beat family story. Brothers Doug and Gavin work well together, with David Tennant and Ben Miller doing great work. Rosamund Pike and Amelia Bullmore are deliciously quirky and entertaining – in a dry but very pleasing way. It may be my personal taste, but at times the comedy is at high risk of going off the rails and becoming just too silly – but it stops short and stays on track. Billy Connolly is as only he can be – and he works with the children beautifully. But it’s young Lottie, played marvellously by Emilia Jones, who steals the show. The relationship between Gordie and Lottie is delightful – I bet any youngster would love to have that type of relationship with their grandfather. Overall, the entire piece is very nicely done and surprisingly entertaining.

Made in 2015. Directed by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in Movies

 

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Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector’s life is all under control. Everything has a place and everything happens in its regular, ordered way – and that’s just the way he likes it. As a psychiatrist, Hector (played by Simon Pegg) spends his days with a range of people, each are dealing with the challenges they’ve been subjected to in their lives – each in their own, drawn out and needy way. Hector listens patiently and nods understandingly, giving the occasional advice or treatment. His girlfriend, Clara (by Rosamund Pike) likes their relationship as it is too – she’s grown to love Hector’s ways, his foibles and his endearing habits. They’ve developed a very comfortable life together. But that’s just it … their life is comfortable, not exciting, not joyous, not turbulent – just comfortable. Hector starts to wonder about being happy – really happy. He asks Clara and those around him about it, but he can’t get a satisfactory answer, so he decides to do some research. But how? … where to start? He takes himself to places he thinks will give him the answer. First to China where he hooks up with a rich banker and sees Shanghai life up close, then to the Tibetan mountains, then to see ex-colleagues in Africa and America, just in case their work has uncovered anything. But will he find the answer? … What is the secret to true happiness? … Is that even possible? … How will I know when I have it?

This is a pleasant and entertaining movie. Hector is a lovely, quirky character who starts this quest in his inimitable style and searches a range of lifestyles and environments around the globe to find the essence of happiness. We travel with him and enjoy his adventures and his learnings along the way. He makes some poignant statements on life principles which will resonate with us all, I’m sure. Mostly, the global antics are entertaining, but I did find his experiences in Africa a little implausible – but I guess that can happen in a comedy.  Overall, it’s a very nice movie.  Rosamund Pike is lovely as his equally quirky partner, Clara. Some great other actors pop up in this which is a lovely surprise – particularly Toni Collette as Agnes and Christopher Plummer as a Professor with a research bent for happiness, both in Los Angeles – he’s really great here. This is the movie version of Francois Lelor’s novel “Le voyage d’Hector ou la recherche de Bonheur”. You could while away a couple of hours with this movie pretty easily.

Made in 2014. Directed by Peter Chelsom.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Movies

 

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Barney’s Version

Barney Panofsky (played by Paul Giamatti) is reflecting on his life and we view this from his perspective. He has always been a selfish, chain-smoking, hard-drinking hockey fan – and he looks it – but he’s had some great relationships too. He reflects on his successes and failures through a sequence of memories … from his youth spent in Rome in the 1970’s with his best friend Boogie (by Scott Speedman) where he meets and marries his first wife. He returns to Montreal and finds success in television, where he also meets his second wife (by Minnie Driver). He then becomes utterly infatuated with the love of his life Miriam (by Rosamund Pike) with whom he has a family and finds the most happiness.. Barney’s life is punctuated by failures and terrible down times. His father, Izzy Panofsky (by Dustin Hoffman) is a retired detective who has been around through it all. He has a different personality type to Barney and he provides a breath of fresh air in Barney’s frustrating life. Although he has had some wonderful relationships with women (I’m not sure what they see in him really …), Barney is not really a very nice man and in the later years of his life he comes to realise this through the eyes of his children and Miriam.

Paul Giamatti is great in this role – Barney is so desperately lonely and disappointed in how his life has gone.  Rosamund Pike is beautifully serene and a wonderful balance to him, whereas Dustin Hoffman’s Izzy is truly special – he is marvellous. His is the most entertaining character and in my view the best performance. Overall, I’m not quite sure what to make of it – but it is a well made and interesting movie.

The movie is an adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s 1997 novel “Barney’s Version” and the director is Richard J. Lewis.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Movies

 

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Fracture

Ted Crawford (played by Anthony Hopkins) is a highly intelligent engineer who discovers his wife is having an affair with policeman Rob Nunally (by Billy Burke), so he shoots her. At the scene, by coincidence Nunally is the investigating officer and he believes the police have an open and shut case as Ted has confessed to the crime, so they take him into custody to await routine sentencing. We meet the ambitious and arrogant young prosecutor Willy Beachum, (by Ryan Gosling) who is about to leave the DA’s office for a high flying job in private practice. His boss, the DA (by David Strathairn) is not impressed at his departure and shows it. As a final gesture, WIlly agrees to handle Crawford’s straightforward case, to wrap up his public career with a success. At first, Willy is fascinated by the curious and seemingly naive Crawford, who conducts his own defence, but he soon surprises Willy and becomes a formidable opponent. Willy also meets and is attracted to his new boss, Nikki Gardner (by Rosamund Pike) which creates some tension during Willy’s resolution of the case and his introduction to the new firm. As the story unfolds, Crawford and Beachum lock wits at every opportunity with each trying to stay one step ahead of the other, with fascinating results.

This is a good courtroom and crime thriller. Anthony Hopkins is wickedly mind-messing in this role and Ryan Gosling is exactly the right person to portray the arrogant Willy Beachum. Both deliver great performances. Rosamund Pike’s character is a bit redundant as the love interest for Willy. David Strathairn is a good DA too, so all in all this is a good thriller.

(Made: 2007)

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Movies

 

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An Education

In suburban England in 1961, Jenny (played by Carey Mulligan) is an intelligent and headstrong 16 year old schoolgirl. She lives a very sheltered life and is the only child of strict, conservative parents (by Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour). One day on her way home from school Jenny meets older man David (by Peter Sarsgaard), A relationship develops and Jenny spends more and more of her evenings and weekends with free and easy David, his friend Danny (by Dominic Cooper) and Danny’s girlfriend, Helen (by Rosamund Pike). They enjoy a slice of the good life with regular parties, eating out and society occasions. Jenny is tantalised by this lifestyle and she gradually falls in love with David. During their relationship, David manages to charm Jenny’s parents and convince them he is a good man with honourable intentions. Jenny has happy times for a while, but her grades and behaviour deteriorate, so she has several interactions with her predictably stern headmistress (by Emma Thompson) and she also seeks the counsel of her teacher Miss Stubbs (by Olivia Williams), who is a more steadying and sympathetic support. However, David, Danny and Helen are not particularly nice people and just as Jenny starts to get used to her grown-up lifestyle, things take on a new perspective which turns her world on its head.

In her first movie role, Carey Mulligan is excellent – although she does sometimes seem a little to mature in her thinking and behaviour, to be a girl of only sixteen during those times. Watching the family life depicted here, the behaviour and expectations of the parents is quite apalling by today’s standards, but I think (sadly) that it is right for those times. I enjoyed the drama and the way the conservative world is shown throughout the whole story. The ending of the film delivers the key theme that life experiences all count towards learning and even if you make mistakes, they sometimes turn into memories to be cherished.

Danish director Lone Sherfig and screenwriter Nick Hornby have adapted this story is from British journalist Lynn Barber’s memoir.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Movies

 

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