Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 - get ready to get pitch slapped review

Is it better than the first…..hhhmmm maybe?  Is it worth seeing in the cinemas you better acca- believe it

Elizabeth Banks – in her first full length film directing debut shows that she really does know her comedy – which we already know from her acting.  It shows she really has put her heart in this. The film is extremely predictable but then most comedies are and l was happy to just sit relax and have a laugh. The plot is slow to start but the jokes are there right from the beginning and don’t stop. Some feel a little forced at times but for the most part it works well

Our very own Rebel Wilson gets more screen play in this instalment and produces the easy laughs proving that she is acca-awesome, sometimes to the point or rib hurting laughter (she also ads in an Aussie joke that was quite cute for us Aussies but might be lost on a wider audience), but my favourites were John (John Michael Higgins) and Gail (Elizabeth Banks) our commentators following the Barden Bellas on their journey to the World A cappella championships. Their comedy is a lot more deadpan and at times l found only a few people laughing at their zingers whereas l found them quite hilarious

Keegan-Michael Key has a cameo appearance and l squealed with joy when he came on as he is one of my favourites, l love his sense of humour and was happy that, even though his role is stated a cameo, he does have more than one scene and actually manages to tell Bella Becca to step and try a bit harder.

Our new Barden Bella played by Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) as the Bella legacy, Emily shows that bringing in new characters is a good thing. She is just as quirky as the original Bella’s and brings her own comedy to the mix

Brittany Snow is of course great playing her character Chloe, she and Anna Kendrick’s character Becca grow the most in this instalment – which was, l felt a bit harder to show as their on screen time isn't as big as the first instalment.

The new A cappella group in this one is Das Sound Machine from Germany and they are our Bella’s rivals and while l loved their singing and thought they stole the screen when preforming l felt a little confused as to how old they were meant to be. I’m assuming they are all meant to be at college? It’s not really made clear and if so they all looked a little old. If you loved the treble- makers you maybe a little disappointed they are shown but only have 2 small singing parts and for the most are part of the background.

There is a lot more music in this one, it felt much more Glee-esque (is that even a word.…well it is now!) and there was a wide range with even a small amount of country music included. I swear at one point l expected Kurt and Rachel to walk on screen and start singing with them, there is however a cameo by the group Pentatonix (a fantastic A cappella group) that is quite quick so keep an eye out for them, for the most part l enjoyed the songs chosen and the riff off scene is acca-perfect although one song used had been used enough in Glee and Rock of ages so felt they could have chosen another song but l can see it pleasing the masses.

All in all Pitch Perfect 2 is going to have you singing and dancing in your seats, if you need a laugh and a chance to relax l can’t recommend this enough.

Monday, 27 April 2015

I've got no strings on me....Avengers age of Ultron

Joss Whedon described this film as "smaller. More personal. More painful. The next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what worked the first time. A theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself." - I couldn't agree with this more

I walked into The Avengers Age of Ultron with extremely high expectations and it was safe say l was not disappointed in the slightest. It easily fulfilled all my expectations and then some. Ever since l first watched Doll House I have considered Joss Whedon a genius at what he does and in this film he struck the perfect balance between his sprawling and ever expanding cast and weaving a story that ends in a jaw dropping finale. Marvel's always done a great job of making its superhero movies about the title characters more than the villains. This movie actually tops the first in scope and drama and that's due, in no small part, to a superb villain and our amazing hero’s.

The first movie was all about bringing The Avengers together whereas this instalment is about tearing that team apart. The villain is Ultron (voiced by the superb James Spader) which thanks to the writers (Joss Whedon and Co) becomes a Symbol of Irony. After all it is Tony Stark, his A.I. Jarvis (voiced by Paul Bettany) and, somewhat, Bruce Banner’s idea to create an A. I. to protect mankind, sending The Avengers into early retirement. This is how Ultron is created and unfortunately he takes the idea of making The Avengers obsolete literally and is determined to rid the world of them. He believes the only way for mankind to survive is for it be annihilated so it has the chance to evolve.

All the cast from the first Avengers movie reprise their roles. Scarlett Johanson shines as the Black Widow and was given a substantially bigger part, along with Mark Ruffalo’s character the Hulk. Mark has always been my favourite actor for portraying the Hulk/Bruce Banner and in this 2nd installment his acting pulls at the heartstrings. I will admit there are a few places where my eyes welled up. Robert Downy Jr. playing Tony Stark/ Iron Man is perfect, as always, showing his desire for scientific knowledge and using it to somewhat play god.  Captain America is, as always,  a  well-spoken and perfect gentleman and does not agree with Stark’s plan for A.I. to protect our world which shows throughout the film. I found Hawkeye’s character development was the best of the group, Jeremy Renner portraying his struggle perfectly.

The high-profile additions are of course Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), a pair of tightly-knit eastern European siblings with powers of speed and mind control respectively. Besides

Ultron, the brother-and-sister pair become the biggest threat to the Avengers. In particular Scarlet Witch’s psychic powers which she uses on Captain America, Black Widow and Thor to trigger memories of their past causing them to face their personal demons. 

We also finally see Paul Bettany on the screen as becomes Vison, another A.I. made, once again by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner using Jarvis, to help them defeat Ultron. Of all the new comers l found Elizabeth Olsen was the most interesting to watch. She gave a powerful performance, and surprisingly her accent didn't falter once - I will be interested to see a lot more of her and character.

The Music by one of my favourites, Danny Elfman, beautifully blends pieces of the original score throughout the movie, using it in places where it makes the action scenes seem larger than life. One battle scene in particular which has all the Avengers fighting is shot brilliantly. The camera work is clear and each character is given camera time. Add the music to this and it truly was a jaw dropping scene. The action in this one has been dialed up but doesn't stretch on too long, instead having breaks in between unlike the first film where l felt the action scenes were a little too long in places.

All in all l walked out of this movie with a great big smile on face. It’s not very often that the second Installment in a movie series out shines the first but Avengers Age of Utron manages it on every level and l can’t wait to see it again! But then again this is Marvel and they always seem to deliver the goods!  

Thursday, 2 October 2014

You don't know what you've got till its...........Gone....

“I often don't say things out loud, even when I should. I contain and compartmentalize to a disturbing degree: In my belly-basement are hundreds of bottles of rage, despair, fear, but you'd never guess from looking at me.”

― Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl

When l walked into the bookshop and walked out with 4 new books one of them was Gone Girl – brought simply for the cover. l found it interesting that there we two different covers to choose from both the same except one was black and one was orange – l asked what the reason was for them and was told nothing but the more l looked l thought there must be a reason and in the end l chose orange.

I didn’t read it straight away. It sat on my book shelf for a while and l forgot about it until l saw it was being made into a movie which made me want to start reading it. I was already in the middle of a book and didn’t want to start another one so for maybe the second time in my life l decided to give the Audio book a go and after listening to the first 15 minutes l was hooked.  l walked around with my earphones on  90% of the time and listened to it in my car (19 and a half hours of listening in 3 days).  The book follows the story of Nick and Amy Dunne and is told by both of them at different points throughout the story.  Nick Dunne comes home to find his wife Amy missing – the victim of a possible abduction.  After he calls the police the search is on to find her with Nick swiftly becoming a possible suspect in her ‘disappearance’.

The Audiobook is read by Julia Whelan (Amy)and/or Kirby Heyborne  (Nick) as we are hearing things from either Nick’s or Amy’s differing perspectives and moving from past to present, and having these voice’s in your head makes this fantastic story even better and the characters all the more believable.

This has been my favourite book for the year but that being said, if you like to connect to your main characters this may not be the book for you as neither Nick nor Amy are likeable characters. We learn a lot of their personal back story.  Amy is the product of parents who used her as a model for the heroine in a popular range of children’s books they write called “Amazing Amy” which you learn more about as our story goes on. On Nick’s side we have his brutal father & downtrodden mother and one of the few likable characters in the book - his twin sister Go (short for Margot). There are other characters throughout the book Desi (Amy’s ex-boyfriend who has a story of his own) and Hilary Handy (a ‘best friend’ from Amy’s school days). These 2 characters l found to be extremely interesting. Their parts may not be large but they offer a lot of insight into the past of our main character. There are of course other characters within the book but let’s not give too much away here. Giliian Flynn weaves a story full of intrigue, doubt and tension in a beautiful way. Her writing is not hard to read although her subject matter is a little confronting at times (I will admit there was one scene that l found hard to listen to) she uses diary entries to tell us past events which makes our time jumps to the past extremely easy to follow and is sometimes wanted when the present story is getting a little too heavy.  l have read some people hated the ending – personally l loved it and thought  it made the book even more enjoyable and even though l now know how it ends I would read it again and again.  

Now we skip forward 4 months and it’s the day after l have watched Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne and directed by David Fincher.  My first instinct when a favourite book of mine is turned into a movie is to anticipate all the ways that Hollywood will get it wrong.  Thankfully that doesn’t happen to this one. Our screenplay for the movie was written by the author Gillian Flynn and this shows straight away. Some lines are simply word for word from the book and you can tell she has spent countless hours crafting the characters and events for her novel, so she knows intimately by the time the screen play is ready.

David’s directing is noticeable from the start and anyone familiar with his work knows he is a master behind the camera and brings the best out in his actors (Fight Club, Se7en and Zodiac). The movie is visually stunning to watch and uses the subject matter to mirror its background showing a town in the middle or a recession – half empty and with high rates of unemployment.  We then come to our characters whose marriage of 5 years has turned somewhat toxic - all in all everything looks a little downtrodden and this works. Nick’s despair grows once the media gets involved  in the mystery  taking place, descending like a pack of vultures feeding on a carcase (this being Nick Dunne). This is all shown in a bleak but rather beautiful way, the colours on screen are quite muted at times and everything, down to our actors, feels convincingly real.  The themes are familiar to Fincher, and he assembles them in a brilliant fashion, showing that he was the perfect choice to direct. We then have the remarkable score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. With its pulse pounding moments the score is what gives some scenes a whole new level of horror, reminiscent of the brilliant score for The Shining. l would like them to at least be acknowledged when Oscar time comes around. This movie is not the easiest subject matter to add music to but this pair accomplishes it masterfully.

The star of this movie was Rosamund Pike playing our “Amazing Amy”.  She demands the screen, playing with the audience's mind, making you begin to question everything you hear and see and for those who have read the book have no fear - Rosamund has taken the character of Amy and played her to a T. Even though it’s too early for the Oscar buzz l think it will be hard to beat Rosamund’s acting here, she does not falter once. 

 Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne and if anybody still questions his acting abilities – sit down and watch this movie.  Ben takes on the role and plays the part extremely, well showing Nick’s callowness.  I think you never know quite how you feel about him. Apart from the two leads, the film also benefits from an intriguing supporting cast and has  several actors who show a side of themselves that l wasn’t sure was possible especially Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick-Harris. Two other  actors unknown to me but definitely worth a mention are Carrie Coon as Nick’s sister Go whose feisty outgoing nature is welcome in what is a very jaw clenching and tense film and Kim Dickens as Detective Rhoda Boney,  another of the few really likeable characters in the film.

I really can’t say much more here without giving away any major plot lines, but l urge you see this movie (better yet read the book too) it’s definitely in my top 5 for this year movies and for those who have read the book after seeing this don’t be surprised if you come out of the cinema with a somewhat sickly smile on your face.  

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A Review of Divergent in General

Everyone keeps comparing this to The Hunger Games and apart from both books having a strong female lead there are no more similarities – so please stop!

This review is probably going be on both the movie and the book as well as the soundtrack so let’s just call it an overall review of Divergent in general.
Set in a futuristic Chicago, our community is enclosed behind an electric fence.  Due to the war years of the past, to keep the peace, our community is set into 5 different factions (factions are thicker than family) our factions are as follows:

·         Erudite – who are intelligent and crave knowledge more than anything else

·         Candor  - honest to the up-most as in no matter who they hurt they always speak the truth,

·         Amity – they are known as the peaceful – they look after agriculture, refuse to pick sides and don’t have a leader as such

·         Dauntless – the brave, they keep the peace, patrol the fence and to others  are known as the dare devils

·        Abnegation – they are selfless always helping others, they don’t own mirrors as that shows vanity and eat very plain food and because of their selflessness they run the government. 

On your 16th birthday, teenagers undergo a test to see which faction they fit into. Up till then they are in the same one as their parents but regardless of what they are told, they can choose which faction they want to be in at the choosing ceremony. 

This is where we come in. We follow Beatrice (Tris) who has grown up in Abnegation.  After her test Tris is told she will is Divergent - they are considered dangerous as they can relate to all factions and don’t follow the mold as such. She is told by Tori (Maggie Q) who is a Dauntless to keep it quiet and choose a faction herself. She chooses Dauntless leaving her mother, father and brother (who also changed choosing Erudit) behind.  We soon see the Factions are beginning to falter and what it truly means to be a Divergent. While movies are rarely better than or even as good as the book, Divergent comes close. Sure some things are changed for the movie but for the most part, it works. 

Shailene Woodly plays Tris and she nailed the character. She was exactly how l imagined her in the book.  She takes the role on and makes it her own, from her starting off as an Abnegation and becoming a Dauntless  you believe all her struggles and are glued to the screen in all her scenes.  Theo James plays Four (already a Dauntless) and while he wasn’t exactly what l pictured when reading the book, by the end of the movie you believe him as Four.  Added bonus here girls: The man could not be any hotter if he tried, and thanks to me saying something along the lines of “finally” when he takes his top off, my friend ended up snorting tea through her nose!  Theo and Shailene have enough chemistry on screen that you believe in the characters and what they are feeling (which isn’t always easy).

 We have the always beautiful and immensely watchable Kate Winslet playing Jeanine. A truly horrible character that smiles at you while thinking of ways to get rid of you - Jeanine is not seen as much in the book - more talked of – but the script writers for movie have chosen to give her a bigger role and while it makes for quite a different ending to the book it works for the movie and doesn't ultimately change anything.   It’s not very often Kate plays a “baddie” but as always she is fantastic in her role and as much as l despise her character l was always excited when she came on screen.

There were two characters in the book that l felt did not transfer as well onto the screen. Edward is apparently present throughout the first half (I didn't realize it was even him) and then just disappears – l felt this character should have been used more.  He has quite a big scene in the book which also shows us how horrible Peter (played by Miles Teller) can be, this is shown in the movie but l feel it could have been driven home a bit more with this scene being added (that said the scene in question is a bit gory so it may not have been allowed in a PG13 film).  Al is the other character and while he is there in the film it took me a while to realize it. If anything, out of the two characters, l would have thought Al’s story line would have been too heavy to feature in the film. It was put in but l got the feeling it was possibly a last minute decision and not developed enough for us to actually care about it – whereas in the book l will admit to tears.  While l am disappointed these characters weren’t as involved l can understand why.  Divergent has a large cast and among others, some of the characters whose roles were great are Eric from Dauntless, Caleb (Tris’ brother) and Christina (Tris’ friend) who all get decent screen time.

The movie really is brought to life by the Director Neil Burger.  I feel this is a gripping, intelligent and well-paced film which is often not the case with book to movie adaptations and you are drawn in from the beginning with the first scenes of futuristic Chicago.  All this is helped by a fantastic soundtrack.  With contributions from Ellie Goulding , M83 and Zedd it’s very mixed but It works and gives you the futuristic feel the movie needs, its strong enough to actually make you remember scenes in the movie when you are simply listening to it on your I-pod.

All in all l loved this film. It had adventure, drama, some kick-ass fight scenes and some brilliantly touching scenes with a young cast who hold their own.  The movie is worth seeing and if you have read the book go in with an open mind and you will be fine. If you haven’t l am sure by the end of the movie you will want to learn more about Tris and her life as a Divergent. 

Transcendence - The Critics hate this movie because it makes you think…

Critics and some wannabe critics lashed out at this movie and nearly every review l read gave it a bad write up and l guess part of them is the reason l have for liking it. l went in still intrigued but not expecting too much. I was pleasantly surprised with it, it kept my attention and it made me think and l like movies that do that. l knew l really liked it when, by the time l was home, l was still questioning parts of the movie and its characters. 

Johnny Depp plays our lead Will Castor, an artificial intelligence researcher who aims to build a self-aware sentient machine with all the knowledge in the world along with a full range of emotions aka PINN (we never find out what this stands for but l came up with Personal Intelligence Neural Network….works for me!). Things start to go wrong when RIFT, an anti-technology organization shoots him – the shot doesn’t kill him but the bullet is laced with radiation poisoning and inevitably he dies thus bringing us to his wife and friend connecting him to PINN in attempt to save him mind and memories.  

There’s no shortage of A.I movies – PINN to a degree reminded me of the A.I. in I, Robot - V.I.K.I there was also just recently the more sensitive movie “Her” and Shodan from System Shock – who we know had evil intentions.  While l enjoyed these movies l think Transcendence itself was more thought provoking questioning how far technology has already come and what is ahead of us in the future.
The movie is directed by Wally Pfister who is Christopher Nolan’s favourite cinematographer (with good reason) and at times l could see a bit of Nolan’s directing but maybe that was just me. The movie looked good at all times, there are some beautiful visuals throughout the movie thanks to the cinematographer Jess hall who uses some truly beautiful shots of nature while still giving us that futuristic feel. The only issue l had with the movie in general was at times it felt a little disjointed and slow in places, that being said this is the first script we have seen from Jack Paglen and as first time writer it’s not bad as such, just a little unevenly paced in places. 

Johnny Depp as always gives a great performance (although it was slightly odd not seeing him in the usual make up normally required for his chosen roles). He plays the part Castor convincingly which wasn’t as easy as you might think. Rebecca Hall plays Evelyn Castor (Will’s wife) and has most of the screen time, she plays her character extremely well and holds her own against Depp and Freeman.   Morgan Freeman and Paul Bettany also have roles in the movie both of who play them well, although l would have liked to have seen more of Morgan Freeman. Cillian Murphy plays our FBI agent and at times I found he fell a bit flat that being said he has little screen time and it doesn't affect the movie.

I can understand people not liking this movie it’s not for everyone.  l would put is as a scif-fi thriller and if you not interested in technology and what it is possibly capable of in the future you’re probably going to get bored with it, there are a few action scenes but not enough for those simply looking for an action flick. There also isn’t a clear person or side to root for as such. There are no “good guy’s vs bad guys”. In this respect it is very nebulous, which is what leaves you with your questions, would you be part of RIFT or would be working alongside Will Castor?  A few reviews l read felt that Will Castor was in fact the villain of the movie, l personally didn’t see that, he was the first A.I. with emotion – and being inside a computer that never turns off is going to give you a lot of power and a lot of time to think of new ideas.  So – how far do you go and do some of your positives for mankind eventually turn around and become negatives? What happens when these ideas become a reality? 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street - Drugs, money, sex and even more drugs

This movie tells the story of Jordan Belfort, a young Wall Street broker that gets involved in drugs, money, sex and even more drugs during the 90's. In his tenure trading (and stealing), Jordan marries, divorces, does drugs, marries again, does even more drugs, makes solid friendships, and does a lot more drugs.  Scorsese puts together an all-star cast to inhabit these beings that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bernthal, and Kyle Chandler. All of whom seem to be having the time of their lives.

Martin Scorsese does a wonderful job keeping this movie on a high at all times. Never once does this movie lose its energy or sense of humour much like the drug induced characters. There are a lot of quick cuts and edits to keep the movie feeling as If you are on drugs as well as playing high energy music in some of the more serious situations. (Having Gloria by Italian singer Umberto Tozzi start up in the middle of a more serious situation is pure genius you go from worry to laughter in a split second).

The serious drama and opposing vibrant comedy blend perfectly, while still holding focus. And the directing of the movie complements the writing to the point where the momentum of the film just never stops. The writing works fantastically with the actors as they sell every word they speak as if they're selling you a stock share. The Wolf of Wall Street really sucks you in and shows you the lifestyle of these characters, sparing nothing as it displays the great successes, the bizarre occurrences, and the dire consequences.

A lot of the credit of the film's overall success has to be awarded to Leonardo DiCaprio. In his breaking of the fourth wall, to his long but completely engaging monologues about life, money, and greed, it's the most assured and compelling work by the actor to date. I will admit you put Leo in a movie and l will watch it. The man is a brilliant actor always giving it his all and this was no different. You truly believed you were watching the real John Belfort on the screen. A sequence of DiCaprio crawling on the floor will probably be the scene of the year. (This scene was done in one take as Leo, according to Martin ended up straining his back). For those who have seen this movie you will know the scene I’m referring to and l will gladly admit l had tears of laughter streaming down my face watching it. This is one DiCaprio’s crowning achievements and will be one that will stand out in his list of movies, if he does not receive an Oscar for it l will be disappointed (not surprised through, as we all know Leo has deserved the Oscar before but has yet to receive one).

Margot Robbie makes quite an entrance and gives a solid performance here. She's a formidable beauty with lots of ambition and an overpowering stare that will let you see that she is not afraid to seek ambition. She demands the screen and you find yourself watching her more than the rest of the actors. Most of Margot’s scenes are quite demanding and she pulls them off well. The woman has no fear showing her body and let’s face it with a figure like that why would you, her full frontal scene appears quite early on and originally, Martin Scorsese had her appear wearing a bathrobe during the scene between her and Leonardo DiCaprio. She refused and insisted doing the scene fully-nude; the first in her career. Margot is quoted as saying: "The whole point of Naomi is that her body is her only form of currency in this world...she has to be naked. She's laying her cards on the table." She had three shots of tequila in succession before shooting the scene to relax.

Personally I enjoyed the film as a dark comedy delivered with energy and excess and while the film has little to no moral core - basically sending the message "it's all screwed so who cares” - I don’t mind this. It doesn’t hide what it is. We know we’re watching people committing fraud so we also know their morals are going to be somewhat loose. For anyone who has seen and loved Goodfellas and are a fan of Scorsese's style of film making it's a must see. All this being said l can see people hating this movie, with more than a few sex scenes (most of which fall on the funny side), a lot of drug use and every second word being a swear word this movie won’t be one for everyone to watch.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

August: Osage County Review.

Based on a play by Tracy Letts, August Osage County was transformed for the big screen staring some fantastic screen legends one of which is none other than the beautiful Meryl Streep; although in this she was anything but!  This movie isn’t for everyone:  it’s depressing in places, it’s exhausting and it’s full of truly despicable people, but this being said the acting is top notch the roles are strong and the directing was superb.

This is the story of the Weston Family: Violet, a drug-addicted cancer patient (Meryl Streep); her husband Beverley, a well-known poet (Sam Shepard) & their daughters Barbara (Julia Roberts), Karen (Juliette Lewis), and Ivy (Julianne Nicholson); Violet's sister Minnie Fae Aiken (Margo Martindale), her husband Charles (Chris Cooper) and their son, known as Little Charles (Benedict Cumberbatch). And what happens to this family when they are bought together after the death of Violet’s husband Beverly.

Julia Roberts shines in this movie, she portrays Barbara and she nailed it, her character is tired (she looks it too, grey roots showing, bags under the eyes and baggy clothes make Julia look drab, something l didn’t think possible), cynical, passive aggressive but through this is trying to hold herself and her daughter, who is 14 going on 22 (play by Abigail Breslin)  together while going through a divorce to her husband (played by Ewan McGregor) something she chooses not tell the family, instead bringing the husband along for the ride. Julia makes you feel for her character you ache for her at times and it isn’t till the end that you feel a little relief for her.  Up until now my favourite performance by Julia was Erin Brockovich but this one surpasses it, showing that Julia is without doubt, an A list actress.

We then have Meryl playing Violet, Meryl has given us plenty of character over the years but l think this may be the biggest monster of them all, playing a character with mouth cancer (still smokes like a chimney), addicted to pills, arrogant and all together unpleasant you can’t help but be riveted to the screen when Meryl is on it, her acting is brilliant. From her slurred speech to her spaced out moments she never falters. It’s hard to pick who to watch when you have Meryl and Julia on the same screen (watch out for the “eat your fish b*!ch” scene it’s brilliant and shows just how talented these women are) they both deserve Oscars for their work in this.

An actor who stands out in this is Benedict Cumberbatch (playing “Little Charles”), he is one of the few characters you like and even though you know he is doing something terribly wrong you feel nothing but sadness for him especially when you see his mother Minnie Fae Aiken (Margo Martindale) has next to no feelings towards him.  His father Charles (Chris Cooper) is a quiet character one who likes to keep the peace, when he finally does snap it’s not a scene to miss. Chris Cooper gives a fantastic performance.

There is not much of a soundtrack to this but Eric Clapton’s song Lay Down Sally is prominent throughout the movie, and used whenever Violet is about to go into a spin it’s used well and is a good cue to know when things are about to go from bad to worse.  The cinematography is beautifully done and used throughout the film representing the people themselves (a scene shows that Violet and Beverly have taped the blinds closed and the curtains are never open, showing how much they live in their own separate worlds unaware of time passing).

I have seen a lot of movies throughout the year and have a group of movies that stayed in my head and shone through. This is definitely one of them, one l hope to watch again very soon even if it does make me feel like l need a drink afterwards.