Tag Archives: Julianne Moore

MAGGIE’S PLAN

Maggie's Plan -second

The engaging Greta Gerwig, who seems to be the manifestation of a child from Alvie Singer out of Annie Hall, headlines another, (let’s face it, it would be coy and disingenuous to deny it), quirky, kooky comedy, MAGGIE’S PLAN. For all that, it is sophisticated quirky comedy, and plays a treat.

Greta Gerwig plays Maggie Hardin, a young woman at a crossroads in her life. She is charming and optimistic, with success in her career in education and wonderful friends, but something is missing. Her sensible nature has led her to decide that without a great love in her life, she is going to have a child on her own.

Maggie has the support of her best friend Tony (Bill Hader), with whom she was previously romantically involved in college, and Tony’s wife Felicia (Maya Rudolph), whom she works with at The New School in New York City. When she runs into an old college acquaintance Guy (Travis Fimmel), a smart, good-natured, although slightly odd pickle entrepreneur, Maggie decides he is the perfect donor for her future child. Maggie’s life is planned, organised and calculated.

Self administering the spermatozoa, Maggie is interrupted by a visit from John Harding (Ethan Hawke) a college professor teaching elaborate anthropological courses such as “Ficto-critical Perspectives of Family Dynamics” and “Masks in the Modern Family from Victorian Times to the Present.”, who professes his passion for her and promptly inveigles himself into her vagina.

John aspires to be a novelist, and has found himself in an unsatisfying marriage to Georgette (Julianne Moore), a competitive and self-absorbed Danish academic, with whom he has two children, and it appears Harding has been harbouring a hard on for Maggie Hardin since they first met, a meeting brought about by the similarity in their surnames.

Falling in love and falling pregnant in one fell swoop, Maggie’s plan doesn’t go to plan, and neither do the ensuing years of blended families, domestic disharmony and creative curve balls.

So Maggie hatches another plan, which just reiterates that nothing in this life ever really goes to plan.

Written for the screen and directed by Rebecca Miller, based on a story by Karen Rinaldi, MAGGIE’S PLAN is a complex mature comedy where the conventional is trumped by the contemporary.

The casting is exemplary with Gerwig again displaying her particular genius as a comedic leading lady. Ethan Hawke revels in another bloke raging against maturity, and Julianne Moore is sensational as the Scandinavian ice queen.

MAGGIE’S PLAN is gorgeous to look at thanks to rising star director of photography Sam Levy, who has shot some of the most innovative films to in recent years. including Noah Baumbach’s Greta Gerwig starrer, FRANCES HA. Here, he renders New York anew, opening the audience’s eyes to different aspects of the city.

Refreshingly unforced, MAGGIE’S PLAN is a sock drawer of a movie – no matter how organised you are, there will always be the odd.

 

Oscar Winners 2015 – The Academy Awards – Complete List

One of the greats, Julianne Moore, finally receives her first Oscar
One of the greats, Julianne Moore, finally receives her first Oscar

Full list of winners from the 87th Academy Awards, announced Sunday Evening 22nd February 2015 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California, USA. The 87th Academy Awards show was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, and was televised live on the ABC Network in the USA.

This year three movies were the big winners, “Birdman”, “Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Whiplash”.

Continue reading Oscar Winners 2015 – The Academy Awards – Complete List

The Mockingjay Part 1

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

The claustrophobic opening scene of THE MOCKINGJAY PART 1 is an indicator of the close-up story created by director Francis Lawrence in this third in the Hunger Games series. There is no preamble and no indication of what has gone before. This is no issue for the film as most viewers will be familiar with either the books by Suzanne Collins or the previous films. This franchise is a niche market. There is plenty for adults but the work is most accessible for teenagers and the 20 somethings who embraced the science fiction novels.

Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has been rescued from the violent Quarter Quell Games after she defied President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and shot an arrow which destroyed the force field around the games. Her fellow Tribute, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) was left behind and his loss is the basis of the nightmares that are plaguing Katniss as she struggles to heal in the underground buildings below the ruined District 13. Her rescue from the Games was orchestrated by the District’s President, Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and the former Game Designer for the Capital, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Continue reading The Mockingjay Part 1

NON-STOP

Julianne Moore stars opposite Liam Neeson in NON-STOP
Julianne Moore stars opposite Liam Neeson in NON-STOP

NON- STOP is a brisk action thriller, a modern Agatha Christie ‘whodunit’ played at 40,000 feet on a flight with 200 passengers lives at risk.

Liam Neeson stars as Bill Marks a burned out veteran of the Air Marshals service. He has a drinking problem, paranoia, and carries a photograph of his deceased daughter. During what was to be a routine transatlantic flight, he is forced to act after receiving a series of text messages that put his fellow passengers at risk – a passenger will die every 20 minutes unless the airline transfers $150 million into an off-shore account.

Continue reading NON-STOP

CARRIE

CARRIE2

When I heard that the classic Brian De Palma picture CARRIE was being remade, I wondered why and didn’t really think I’d need to see it.

What changed my mind was that Kimberly Peirce director of BOYS DON’T CRY and STOP LOSS was at the helm and Julianne Moore was cast as the bible bashing self-harming harridan mother.

Who would have thought, even with those two venerable filmmakers, that the result would reverse my earlier reservations?!

Why? Because bullying has reached a hyperkinetic peak in contemporary times, cyberspace superseding primitive playground oppression, hectoring humiliation posted on the internet in a plethora of platforms that heighten the persecution.  Where once the torment and intimidation was localised, the vile vilification is now viral.And so this reimagining of CARRIE plugs straight into the zeitgeist of  vacuous  youth who have traded brain cells for cell phones,  where manners and morals  seem to have vanished, vanquished by  the pygmy minded text and twitter set, the very type that will bring their attention deficit to the cinema and plague other patrons with incessant smart phone fiddling.

Oh to be able to fling their phones telekinetically and douse them in pigs blood. Jumentous.

Chloe Grace Moretz plays Carrie, the naïve oppressed and ostracised teenager whose cluelessness about menstruation is a catalyst to catastrophe. Traumatised after being pelted by tampons by her peers, she is further terrorised by her God bothered mother, an infanticide harbouring horror played to the harrowing hilt by Julianne Moore.

Blood and bullying inform every frame of this movie, the latter escalating the other, until the finale which is literally a hell hath no fury like a woman scorned scenario writ large. A fascination with faces macerating windscreens is a favourite featured a few times and the famous crucifixion by cutlery is effectively choreographed.

CARRIE (MA) is a well crafted revenge fantasy for every nerd or nebbish that bore the brunt of a bully.

Chloe

A pensive looking Julianne Moore in 'Chloe'

Atom Egoyan’s new film ‘Chloe’ is recommended for filmgoers who love a powerful, contemporary relationship drama.

The film’s intriguing scenario sees an attractive, professional married woman, Dr Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore), suspect her husband David Stewart (Liam Neeson), an academic, of being unfaithful. To test out her theory Catherine pays a beautiful local escort girl, Chloe (Amanada Seyfried), to flirt with him and see how far she can get with him. The film is an American adaptation, by Erin Cressida Wilson, of the French film ‘Nathalie’ written by Anne Fontaine.

Egoyan’s film is such a rich film, with so many qualities. Suspensful? Absolutely!  An edge of your seat film, as much as the best thriller movie. Well crafted? Sure! Egoyan is an auteur; he knows how to drive a film, to bring together all the elements; the performances, the music, the look, the editing…

What struck me most about ‘Chloe’ was how confronting the film was. It was a piercing study of its main character, a deeply psychologically flawed young woman. Also stunning was the portrait of Dr Catherine Stewart, a woman who finds her keenly sort for and cherished professional life deeply threatened.

There were four key performances and they were each brilliant. Julianne Moore, as always, was wonderful. Moore transverses her characters’ torrid journey well, a normally assured woman who finds herself, increasingly, out of her depth, and threatening to lose all vestiges of control.

Amanda Seyfried is striking as the disturbed, manipulative Chloe, who has no qualms in harming anyone as she strives to get her needs met.

As Catherine’s academic husband David Stewart, Liam Neeson plays an insular, indulgent character, who finds his comfortable world and family life rocked to its foundations.

Max Thierlot makes a strong impact in his performance as David and Catherine’s son, Michael, a virtuoso piano player who is going through a difficult adolescence, and finds himself deeply drawn into his parent’s dramas.

‘Chloe’ was a knockout film. I’m still reeling days after having seen it.