Room – 8.5/10

Take a fucking bow Brie Larson…


Hollywood is blessed right now with two spectacular actresses in Elizabeth Olsen and Jennifer Lawrence. Brie Larson impressed in The Spectacular Now, dazzled in Short Term 12 and with Room she has taken acting to a level that even Olsen and Lawrence are yet to reach. Before you accuse me of hyperbole, Larson has yet to prove she can carry a franchise or show the sheer range that Jennifer Lawrence has or the ability to star in a blockbuster like Olsen but in terms of a singular performance, Brie Larson in Room is right up there with any dramatic turn from anyone. She really is that fucking good.

Continue reading “Room – 8.5/10”

The Imitation Game – 8/10.

A very British film from a Norwegian director.

The Imitation Game Movie New Pic (2)

Imitation Game tells the amazing and incredibly sad story of WWII code breaker Alan Turing.

A very talented all British cast including Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Charles Dance and Matthew Goode all throw themselves into Turing’s story with a level of reverence that the story absolutely deserves. Cumberbatch in particular follows up a series of impassioned interviews about Turing in the films promotional run with a brilliant performance. Anti social genius he may be but Cumberbatch’s Turing is definitely not Sherlock 2.0. Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Turing is at once vulnerable and arrogant, layered and emotional without even coming close to crass sentimentality.

Keira Knightley impresses yet again with a turn that cements her growing reputation as the best British actress since Kate Winslet. More like this and Never Let Me Go and less like Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Knightley will find herself turning her Oscar noms into wins soon enough. Speaking of which Cumberbatch must be a big contender in the best actor stakes this year. While the supporting cast are also very strong, particularly Knightley and Watchmen’s Matthew Goode, it is Cumberbatch who has taken responsibility of this project by owning the role of Alan Turing.

Cumberbatch et al have ensured The Imitation Game will be remembered as one of the best films of 2014.

Boyhood – 8.5/10

Cute kid becomes beautiful man.


The premise behind boyhood is that it is filmed over 12 years following a kid called Mason from childhood through to adolescence. This is to simplify what is a truly breathtaking project however, Mason is just a small part in his own story with everyone else in his family being just as integral to the plot and the emotional narrative. The supporting cast are utterly remarkable. Patricia Arquette gives a performance that is equal parts enthusiasm and vulnerability. She totally blew me away all the way though and must surely be nailed on Best Supporting Actress at this years Oscars. Ethan Hawke is superb and the chemistry between the cast is unlike any I have previously seen in any film. The cast assembled every year to film short segments and all that hard work and time spent in each others company leads to a family unit that is at once familiar and totally believable.


Director Richard Linklater has a penchant for sentimentality in his flicks (see Dazed and Confused) and he does lay it on a little thick at times but protagonist Ellar Coltrane does well for a relative newcomer with the more gawky lines and his performance overall is astounding. For Linklater to have the foresight to pick a kid that would become such a natural and charismatic on screen presence is either lucky as hell or a stroke of genius. By the time it came to Mason’s graduation I felt part of the family and I was sad when the film finished even after nearly three hours in their company.

Boyhood is the ultimate triumph in the theory that you don’t need constant plot twists and events to tell a good story. There is nothing remarkable about Mason, his life is the same as a million other young men and women but that is the point. Every human being tells a story that is remarkable in its own way.

IMDB TOP 250 #197


Best Supporting Actress – Patricia Arquette

The Accused – 7.5/10.



Powerful drama focusing on the violent gang rape of a young woman and the ensuing fallout.

The Accused and Jodie Foster’s Oscar winning performance have become remembered solely for the absolutely horrifying rape sequence itself which is a shame as there is a lot more to this movie than that. Foster overacts occasionally but is mostly deserving of her Oscar inspiring sympathy whilst still exuding strength. The Accused asks some interesting (and still sadly relevant) questions about the legal system and society as a whole in its attitude towards rape victims without being heavy handed or preachy. Not a pleasant film, but an important one.