Movie Review – A United Kingdom

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by Amma Asante

A tale of love, courage and perseverance

The story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.’ (IMDb) (by Amma Asante, 111 min.)

I was so utterly surprised by how much I liked this film. I knew I would love the story, because it is a well-known story of love and of courage and of two people fighting for each other and for the country they care so much for. But the way this movie was made, the way this story was told was just so beautiful, that I couldn’t stop watching and kept rooting for them to succeed.

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There are still some things about the story, about the film that bothered me a bit. At the beginning of the film I wasn’t connected to the characters. I just didn’t believe in their love. It felt a bit pushed and not real. Not because of the actors, because they were great, but I felt it was pushed a bit too quickly. I think the film would have benefited from it if they put in 10 more minutes of them falling in love with each other. Because now it was too quick for my taste. I had the feeling that the director, Amma Asante, wanted to get to the ‘juicy’ part, to the real story of this film.

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Which made it a bit harder for me to connect to the characters. I did find that Rosamund Pike was perfect as Ruth, a young woman falling in love and leaving everything behind and pack all her belongings to go off to Africa. She portrays Ruth perfectly. You feel with her when she starts her life in Africa and feels the racism and the difficulties to fit in there, which she also faced in England. The fears and the difficulties to learn the language, to make his people love her and accept her, became real and made the movie so much better towards the end. Their love became so much more apparent and real towards the end of the film. Actually from the moment he left to go back to England and she stayed behind in Botswana. 

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David Oyelowo was great as well. He has already played in so much of my favourite films, that it came as no surprise that he portrayed Seretse so well. You felt with him, with everything he went through. When he got the news that he was banned from his country and from his pregnant wife, that just hit me in the heart. He was vulnerable, yet so strong because he didn’t want to give up on Ruth. You could feel his love for his country, but that he also wanted to do the right thing, even if he knew that he would be met with a lot of resistance. There were so much emotions going through me while watching this. 

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This is a great example of the perfect combination of great acting, gorgeous images and the right use of music. If only the beginning of the film wasn’t pushed so much and didn’t go by so quickly, I think this would have been in the top 5 of my favourite films of the first half of 2017. I will be checking out Amma Asante’s next film, because I do feel she evolves with every story she tells and she knows how to put her land on film in such a beautiful way. Can’t wait to see what she brings out next.

7/10 stars.

New Trailer Reviews (#3)

 

Tulip Fever

Tulip, Art and The Netherlands…

Being from Belgium, I’ve known a little bit about the history of the Netherlands and their beautiful flowers, the Tulips. Here, this movie will give us a combination of what they’re known for the best: Tulip and art. Now, this story does remind me a little bit of ‘The Girl With The Pearl Earring’, working with a similar story (painter falls in love with his subject). But with Alicia Vikander and Dane DeHaan, I can’t expect anything but greatness. These are highly talented actors and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the story.

Colossal

Anne Hathaway is a kickass Monster

Now this one seems interesting. Anne Hathaway gets her chance here to put her comedic talent to use in an action movie. It seems an interesting story, another twist to a genre overly present on screens nowadays. It seems dark and funny and I can’t wait to see what turn this story will take. I hope it doesn’t take itself too seriously or too funny, but that they easily find the perfect combination. This is a must-see for me.

The Defenders (Netflix)

Netflix Latest Marvel Story

I’m just not convinced. I’m not… You can say what you want, but they don’t seem an interesting match to me. The fun thing about the Avengers is that they are all so different and their differences make their combination interesting. Daredevil, Jessica Jonas, Luke Cage and the Iron Fist are all broody, dark people and I’m afraid they will all be mushed together. I’m just not sure about this one.

The Dark Tower

Another Stephen King Adaptation

Sometimes I get the feeling they don’t know what to film anymore. They keep picking up other stories that already have known success. This one seems  rather interesting, but I’m a bit scared that the trailer looks too good to be true. Knowing Stephen King and his Fantasy stories, there will be a lot of background and story you’ll have to know before understanding the entire world and I’m afraid the movie won’t be long enough to be explained logically. Either it will only be explaining the world to set everything up for the next film (if there is one). Or it will be more action and we’ll be guessing how the world works. I’ll definitely check this one out, but I’m not entirely sure whether I’ll see it in cinemas or at home. One thing I am excited about seeing is Matthew McConaghey as a bad guy. That must be so interesting.

Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan tackles a War story

This is one of my more anticipated movies of all time! Okay, of 2017. I mean Christopher Nolan who tackles the story of Dunkirk, what could go wrong. This can’t be any more than perfection. I can’t wait to see how he brings this story to life and if you look at the cast (except of Harry Styles, I mean, Euhm what the hell?) this movie will be brought to life by some amazing actors. I just… I can’t put my thoughts and emotions on paper, because I’m so excited! I’ll definitely check this one out in cinemas.

What do you think? Are any of these films on your watchlist? And which ones will you be seeing in cinemas?

Movie Review – Jackie

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by Pablo Larrain

‘Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.’ (IMDb) (by Pablo Larrain, 100 min.)

We all know the phrase: ‘Behind every strong man, there’s a strong woman’. And with the Kennedys this is especially the case and this is the main premise of this film.

It’s the story of what Jackie Kennedy went through the few days/weeks after her husband was shot. It shows us how strong she was and what she all did to make sure her husband and his name would be remembered. Sometimes coming over a bit cold, but never faltering in what she had to do.

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Natalie Portman is amazing as Jackie. Strong on the one hand, determined to never show the people how broken she actually is and then the few moments she’s alone, she lets go and we see how hard Kennedy’s death actually broke her. Natalie Portman carries this role through the ups and downs, never faltering and always true to the character.

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The only thing I could say about this film is the narration and how it was cut. The entire film we jump from one moment to the other. From a few days to a scene from the day itself, to a scene further in the story. In the beginning it was interesting because it was clear enough when the scenes were taking place in the actual storyline, but at the end it became a bit more scrambled and I must say I lost interest at some point because I just didn’t know when what was happening at a certain point.

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Being from Europe, I never grew up with this story in my history, only learning about it in high school and even then we never saw in detail what happened afterwards. I did learn a lot from it, but I would have liked to have some more explanations to be able to put the story more easily back together.

Beautifully shot, this is a must-see for everyone interested in Jackie’s story, but keep in mind it can be a bit jumbled.

6.5/10 stars.