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.

Movie Review – Hacksaw Ridge

Another interesting WWII tale

HR_03‘WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.’ (IMDb) (by Mel Gibson, 139 min.)

This movie came as a total surprise to me. I didn’t know I would like it so much. The story itself interested me, but I was a bit afraid it wouldn’t touch me. That they would focus more on the fight and not his story. But I should have had faith in Mel Gibson and his storytelling.

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Because he tells everything. We meet him when he’s a little kid. We see him growing up, trying to cope with his father who has Post-traumatic Stress Disorder after the First World War and who is the only one from his group who came back to America. Needless to say, that when Desmond told him he would go to war, he freaked out. Completely.

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But the most important thing here, is that Desmond didn’t fire a shot at all. Because of his faith he can’t touch a gun and certainly not fire one. He wanted to go to war to help others, to save them, to be of service and become a doctor.

It’s a very long film, but the entire story is just so compelling that you just don’t see the time pass by. You’re so enthralled in the film and in this story, especially at the end, that when the movie is over, you wish there was more.

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The most important reason I think that is, is off course Mel Gibson’s way of filming. He’s a master of images, of long historic tales with grand endings. The images are brilliant, the music adds to the feeling of the film and his direction of his actors is just on point.

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Again here the movie is carried by Andrew Garfield. He’s just perfect in this movie. Just like in silent, he takes this out of the normal-role and takes it even more out of this world. He is Desmond and his accent is just so believable. The way he carries himself and goes through everything at training. Never throwing his friends or comrades under the bus. He’s just a brilliant actor and I can’t wait to see what he’ll play next.

8/10 stars… I’ll definitely be watching this one again.

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.

Movie Review – Kingsman: The Secret Service

by Matthew Vaughn

by Matthew Vaughn

‘A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.’ (IMDb) (by Matthew Vaughn, 129 min.)

I didn’t expect to like this movie as much as I did. I’m a huge fan of James Bond and now this gives a different take on the genre. It is funny, entertaining and still has a lot of class.

It tells us the story of a young man in a difficult environment who gets picked up by a spy organization and put through a difficult training program. We get a lot of world building in the sense that the characters all get a story and we get the chance to learn to appreciate or hate them.

It’s definitely worth watching if you like a good laugh and a lot of action.

3,5 out of 5 stars.

Movie Review – The Theory of Everything

by James Marsh

by James Marsh

‘The relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.’ (IMDb) (by James Marsh, 123 min.)

This movie was so good. I never thought a film about Stephen Hawking could be this great, but man, I almost cries while watching this film. Off course, the only reason this film worked was because of the actors and their connection.

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are so adorable together and they have this connection that sparkles of the screen. They are perfect together and give this entire relationship on screen an extra dimension. And they’re both marvelous in their roles.

Eddie Redmayne gave a beautiful performans as Stephen Hawking. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for him, but I’m glad he won the Oscar. He so deserves it for this role. The entire story is just so marvelous and his performance just draws you in.

It definitely is a movie I won’t forget and will watch again and again. It gave me chills when I watched it in the cinemas and I’m glad it got all the attention, because they definitely earned it all.

out of 5 stars.

Movie Review – Unbroken

by Angelina Jolie

by Angelina Jolie

‘After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he’s caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.’ (IMDb) (by Angelina Jolie, 137 min.)

I quite liked this movie. It has some flaws, but you could clearly sense the influence from the Coen brothers. This movie was quite entertaining, but their was just too much to tell for just one movie. It is an interesting story, one I’m glad I’ve learned about. But this man just went through so much, that you could make a few movies out of it.

Angelina Jolie decided to make just one movie out of this story. And with that much to tell, the movie sometimes felt overwhelming and there were just so much to tell and so much information that I feel that she could have narrowed the story down a bit.

Overall I liked it and I’ll definitely watch her next movie.

3 out of 5 stars

Movie Review – Interstellar

by Christopher Nolan

by Christopher Nolan

‘A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival.’ (IMDb) (by Christopher Nolan, 169 min.)

I had such high expectations for this film. I’m a huge fan of Christopher Nolan. Everyone of his movies were just a thrill. Every image, every sound, every character are so beautifully interwoven and the story and everything just clicks. So I was so excited when I heard he was making a science-fiction film.

And I saw it. And I loved it. I already heard from a few people that it was beautiful. The images are gorgeous. The actors are great. The music and everything just helps the story along. So I was super excited to see this film. But I do feel like it has a few flaws.

One of the things that bothered me the most was that some times he explained to much of what was happening. The characters in the story just explained what was going on. So there wasn’t a lot of mystery in the story. You could expect what was going to happen next. And on other moments, when you needed a little bit more help with the science, we didn’t get enough explications.

I don’t know if the science in his film is correct. I’m not a science-person but I am interested in it. I actually don’t really care if it’s correct. The science helps the story to move along and for me, that’s enough. I know the basics are correct. I do like the way Christopher Nolan used science and gave it his own twist. I can’t wait to see it again.

4,5 out of 5 stars… super excited to see what Christopher Nolan is up to next…