An orphan with an advanced sense of smell goes to extreme lengths to find the perfect scent.
Director Tom Tykwer showed us recently he is not afraid of making bonkers, lengthy and original cinema with his polarizing adaptation of Cloud Atlas. Perfume is equally if not more unusual but it doesn’t work quite as well.
Protagonist (or anti hero?) Jean-Baptiste Grenouille played by Ben Whishaw I found to be such a grotesque character that not only did I not sympathize with him, I actively wanted him to be caught which makes for a strange viewing experience and resulted in me disengaging at times.
Dustin Hoffman is a welcome addition despite being a bit camp and speaking in a pretty terrible French accent. Alan Rickman is impressive as ever but it is nothing we haven’t seen from him before.
Perfume starts off odd and just goes more off the wall as it goes on culminating in one of the most bizarre and unexpected endings I have ever seen. As with Cloud Atlas Tykwer could have shaved at least half an hour off and it wouldn’t have suffered but despite all this criticism I did find I couldn’t look away.
Two immortal vampires try to exist in modern day Brighton attempting to hide their identity from the authorities and the a mysterious order known as ‘The Brotherhood’.
I will watch anything focusing on vampires or zombies. From the good (Underworld) to the terrible (Queen of the Damned). I’ve even sat through one and a half Twilight films. So where does Byzantium rank? Pretty high actually. The story is compelling, taking in a lot of vampire lore (although only picking and choosing. The vampires can walk around in sunlight but they still have to be invited in) and with some stunning imagery. It is the cast though that really elevates this above the average. Saoirse Ronan is humourless but intense and believable and Gemma Arterton pulls off ‘foul mouthed hooker’ surprisingly well. It is always nice to see Sam Riley in anything and he is probably the best thing about Byzantium. Letting the side down slightly is Caleb Jones who doesn’t seem to know if he is in the flashbacks or the modern day judging from his costume and speech. Despite being predictable (particularly the ending), Byzantium is surprisingly dark and nasty and is much more than just an ‘adult Twilight’.
A family man who hides his secret life as a contract killer from his loved ones sees his lies start to unravel.
An impressive cast for such a pedestrian (albeit true) story. Michael Shannon is intense and menacing as ever. Winona Ryder reminds us she is still a thing in a solid role. Chris Evans is once again wasted in a small role, ditto James Franco. Elsewhere Ray Liotta plays Ray Liotta and David Schwimmer manages to not be too distracting in spite of (because of?) looking for all the world like former England goalkeeper David Seaman.
The pacing is all wrong in The Iceman, it always feels there is no time for character development with such a long time span squeezed into an hour and forty five minutes. Worth watching if you are a big Michael Shannon fan as he really is once again superb but a chore in every other respect.
Compelling documentary with several WTF moments…
This fascinating documentary tells the story of Frédéric Bourdin, a French man who pretended to be an American boy who went missing when he was 13.
The re-enactments are a bit crime watch and unnecessary at times but the story itself is frankly astonishing. The Imposter is also a triumph in film making as the story is revealed slowly and in layers to jaw dropping effect. I can guarantee you wont be able to watch this without researching the film afterwards which is surely the highest compliment you can pay a documentary?