One of my favorite films of the year opened today Baby Driver. When it's all about the music, how can you go wrong? And in the gothic noir film The Beguiled, one man who thinks he must have landed in heaven discovers you shouldn't play with more than one woman's affection. There will be blood!
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Baby Driver ✪✪✪✪½ Opened July 11
I have seen a lot of movies. My kids have seen a lot of movies and so has my husband, but nowhere near my 150 plus a year of course. Still they are a touch jaded after all these years, so it's usually me on my own at the cinema these days, hanging with my review pals. Me, I’ll watch anything because watching even a bad film affords me future reference on the director, cast, genre and sometimes sitting in a darkened cinema is a great way to catch some sleep. Look don’t hold that against me; some of these screenings are at 9am and the seats are comfy, the room is dark and you can't fight your body.
Even though I try to watch a film like the average film-goer who may see a few movies a year, I’m usually going to notice if a film is derivative of some 1960’s classic sci-fi thriller, or a rip-off of a 1980’s comedy, or those frames and scenes are shot-for-shot from a prior classic. Sometimes I really wonder if the director has watched as many films as we reviewers because they seem to have learned little and continue throw up the same ‘ol same, ‘ol and then wonder why we pan them for being unoriginal.
Did I think a film that wasn’t on my radar, or anyone else’s for that matter, with the weird name of Baby Driver and a kid in the lead I’d only seen in some pretty wimpy romance and sci-fi-fi films, would knock my weary socks off and become one of my faves this year? No, ladies and gentleman, I did not.
Baby Driver is one original film, which took sixteen years to be made. Well worth the wait but what the heck is Hollywood thinking throwing five Transformers at us before making this one? The use of smart music placement as an extra character is genius and if you are not bopping along from the opening scene and digging this gem, then baby, you got no soul.
The performances are spot on, if not a little hammy (including John Hamm, who does nice bad guy so well). Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx are just the bomb and look I know my lyrics here are not waxing so eloquently but truly this film has left me lost for superlatives.
It’s a heist film, a love story, a coming of age and a darn good musical that isn’t a musical, and if that isn’t enough to encourage you to go see it, please just trust me and my seventeen-year-old son, who also agreed this is his favorite film this year. You will skip out the cinema door and all the way home because Baby Driver is original, fun and beautifully crafted. Above all, it’s entertaining from start to finish and that’s all we ask of a film.
DIRECTED BY Edgar Wright, Stars Ansel Elfort, (Divergent, Fault in our Stars, Paper Towns) Kevin Spacey, Lily James (Cinderella), Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx
A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
The Beguiled ✪✪✪½ Opened 13th July
This gothic noir set in the American civil war period features a star-studded cast with Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Eklle Fanning and Australia’s star in the making Angourie Rice and directed by Francis Ford Coppola's daughter Sofia Coppola. The story is a remake of the 1971 film of the same name starring Clint Eastwood. It could have gone one of two ways: dull and plodding or creepy, atmospheric, suck-you-in-slowly-and-churn-you-around-a-little. I’m pleased to report I was beguiled (excuse the pun) by The Beguiled. It’s not a big film, but is beautifully crafted by Coppela whom, like her father, has an eye for beautiful framing and characterization.
This is a smaller film but smartly done and one of the few films in recent times where Nicole Kidman’s acting is not classic wooden, although, yes, she wasn't too bad in Lion. Small but packs a punch. A cautionary warning that if you're the only man in a group of women, you'd better watch your back.
"The Beguiled" is an atmospheric thriller from acclaimed writer/director Sofia Coppola. The story unfolds during the Civil War, at a Southern girls' boarding school. Its sheltered young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, and taboos are broken in an unexpected turn of events. STARS: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunt, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice.
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