Gods of Egypt Review

gods of egypt5Where the line is drawn between bad and entertainingly bad I really couldn’t tell you?  Why did I laugh my head off, for instance, in Gods of Egypt but sit there in agony at Norm of the North? I literally have no idea.  Gods of Egypt is a terrible movie but maybe it was my audience because we were cracking up.  You might say it’s deliciously awful.

If Gods of Egypt were a low brow sci-fi channel film it might make sense but the fact this atrocity cost $140 million to make it boggles the mind.  It attempts to be an epic sword and sandles story about Ancient Egypt but it ends up being a horrible cg-fest with inconsistent characters and a story that makes no sense.

It’s kind of about an Egyptian God named Set (the God of Darkness evidently but it is never really clear what his powers are or what he is trying to do except TAKE OVER THE WORLD!).  He has a brother who is King and a nephew Horus who is about to be coronated at the start of the film.  There is his Grandfather Ra the God of Creation, Thoth the God of Wisdom, Hathor the Goddess of Love (I think),  also 2 commoners in love Zaya and Bek.

gods of egypt4But as silly as those characters sound it means nothing with bad writing.  Characters like Hathor seem to change powers whenever is convenient.  I was never even clear who was named what or what they did.  That’s how muddled and poorly developed EVERYONE was.  The dialogue is laughable and the story has so many scenes where I was like ‘why are we here? what is going on?  how did they get here etc?’.  There’s scenes in the afterlife that seem to assume a certain understanding of the steps of Egyptian spirit world because there didn’t seem to be any clear rules about death or judgement.

gods of egyptThe special effects- holy cow are they awful.  It has some of the worst green screen shots I’ve ever seen especially when they are supposed to be flying or riding in a chariot.  The powers make no sense.  One minute they are flying.  One minute they need their eyes.  One minute they don’t.   Horus makes a whole journey to get water from Ra and then it is dropped and spilled, never to be talked about again.  Most of the special effects are kind of fuzzy looking and I’m sure it is even worse in 3D and like I said the green screen is so bad.

They also have gold blood, which was a creative touch.  The action scenes were so badly staged all you could hear was someone in the sound mixing board hitting the ‘thump key’ over and over again. There are two mortals Bek and Zaya who are around so Zaya can be dead and Bek can be Aladdin stealing Horus’ eye back for him.  There is no chemistry or bond between anyone or epic feel to anything.  It feels like a video game.

gods of egypt2The acting is so bad. Gerard Butler continues his horrific slide of awfulness in a performance that had me laughing in its ‘evil bad guyness’.  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau continues the streak of Game of Thrones stars being awful in movies not called Cinderella in the lead as Horus.  He’s so bad.  Just grumbling around and snarling with one eye covered.  The women are horrible and mainly seem to be there to sacrifice for and have sex with the men.  Rufus Sewell is an embarrassment.  And Chadwick Boseman gives a whole room of terrible performances as Thoth.

gods of egypt3It almost has to be seen to be believed.  I can see Gods of Egypt playing at festivals for bad movies.  I think Riff Trax definitely needs to do it because there is so much material to mock.  My whole audience was laughing from start to finish.  The sad part is we weren’t supposed to be laughing (which probably makes it even funnier).

So in the end Gods of Egypt is terrible but I can’t say I wasn’t entertained- just not in the way the producers hoped.  Unless you like very silly movies it’s a definite skip.

Overall Grade- F (C if you just want to make fun of it)

Oh and the whole whitewashing controversy of the film- if only that were its greatest problem. The producers would be clicking their heels if that was people’s only complaint. Expect this to be an Egyptian sized bomb.

 

Eddie the Eagle Review

So this week has been a bit of a rough one for me. I got a horrible stomach flu, pulled a muscle in my back and had a 3 day brutal migraine.

Needless to say I needed a pick-me up, and thankfully Eddie the Eagle was just such a film! It fits all the standard tropes of an underdog sports movie but as someone who loves those kind of movies I loved it!!

Eddie the Eagle tells the true story of Eddie Edwards who in 1988 charmed the Olympics by finishing last at the ski jump.  How’s that possible, you ask?  Well, it’s because the Olympics is not always about who gets those medals but who ‘takes part’ and does their best.

The real Eddie the Eagle
The real Eddie the Eagle

As a child Eddie had to be in the hospital for a year because of his bad legs, and he used the dream of becoming an Olympian to motivate him to recover. Unfortunately he didn’t have the physical prowess or natural abilities of most Olympians but he eventually found skiing and almost made the British downhill team.

When that didn’t work out he decided to learn how to ski jump.  There was no British team and he could qualify with a modest jump.  He basically teaches himself until he meets Bronson Perry (Hugh Jackman) who is an American jumper who never reached his full potential.  Through sheer determination Eddie convinces Bronson to be his coach and he makes his way to the Olympics.

eddie the eagle3Amazingly enough he completes his jump in the 70 meters and then in the 90 meters- a jump he had never attempted until that day in the Olympics!  Isn’t that nuts!  He did a major ski jump for the first time in the Olympics!

Jackman and Taron Egerton, who plays Eddie, have great chemistry and they sell the admittedly schmaltzy dialogue.  Director Dexter Fletcher keeps things pretty tightly paced and the film has a lot of sweetness and humor.

Is it new or original? Of course it’s not.  It’s basically the same movie we’ve seen in Rudy, Cool Runnings, and even Miracle.  As I love all 3 of those movies that is no problem for me!  It doesn’t transcend the genre like the boxing film Warrior or even Creed did but I didn’t need it to.  I just wanted something that would make me smile and feel good, and that’s what Eddie the Eagle did.

It doesn’t hurt that I am a huge Olympics junkie and have watched every year since I was a little girl as well!  The Olympics are just awesome.  It’s so random we’ve had 2 Olympics movies in 2 weeks.  That’s actually really rare.  For all their drama there aren’t that many films set in the Olympics- Miracle, Chariots of Fire, Cool Runnings, Cutting Edge.  Not that many.  I do think Eddie the Eagle is tighter and better done than Race; although I enjoyed both films.

I would say I don’t think it is quite as good as last year’s McFarland USA, which to me took this formula and told a compelling story about lower income America.  That movie was more emotional for me; whereas, this was just a good time at the movies.

eddie the eagle4If it’s not your cup of tea I totally get it but sometimes I like going to the movies and being inspired by a sports movie.  The performances are winning.  The ski jumping is well portrayed and I found myself cheering for Eddie and his dogged optimism.

And after the week I had I needed that…

Overall Grade- A-

2016 Rachies

Oscar statuettes are displayed at Times Square Studios 23 January 2006 in New York. The statuettes will be presented to winners of the 78th Academy Awards 05 March 2006 in Hollywood.

In spirit of the Oscars (which I will not be watching this year because I am not a Chris Rock fan and they will only tick me off like they did last year) I am giving my own nominations and winners for the major categories (as well as making my own categories up!).   Last year the Rachies were all animation.  This year since I saw so many more films I expanded it.  So if I ran the world this is how it would all go down!

Best Picture

Nominees-

Brooklyn

Spotlight

The Martian

Inside Out (I’ll award it later)

45 Years

Ex-Machina

Mad Max Fury Road

Star Wars Force Awakens

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Matt Damon (The Martian)

Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)

Emory Cohen (Brooklyn)

Michael B Jordan (Creed)

Best Actress

Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

Alicia Vikander (Testament of Youth)

Carey Mulligan (Far From the Madding Crowd)

I’ll See You in My Dreams (Blythe Danner)

Supporting Actress

Julie Walters (Paddington)

Cate Blanchett (Cinderella)

Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)

Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina)

Supporting Actor

Oscar Isaac (Ex-Machina)

Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Henry Adofo (Freetown)

Kyle Chandler (Carol)

Ian McKellan (Mr Holmes)

Animated Film

Good Dinosaur

Peanuts Movie

Inside Out

When Marnie was There

Cheatin’

Animated Short (I didn’t use any anthology shorts)

Sanjay’s Super Team

World of Tomorrow

We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

Le Gouffre

An Object at Rest

Best Song

Fine On the Outside (When Marnie was There)

Cold One (Ricki and the Flash)

See You Again (Furious 7)

Writings on the Wall (Spectre)

Better When I’m Dancin’ (Peanuts Movie)

Best Score-

I only picked movies I’ve actually seen for these nominations so no Ennio Morricone for Hateful Eight

Ben Salisbury, Geoff Barrow (Ex-Machina)

Tom Holkenborg (Mad Max Fury Road)

Michael Giacchino (Inside Out)

Max Richter (Testament of Youth)

Michael Brook (Brooklyn)

Best Vocal Performance in Animated Film

Raymond Ocha (Good Dinosaur)

Noah Schnapp (Peanuts Movie)

Amy Poehler (Inside Out)

Phyllis Smith (Inside Out)

Richard Kind (Inside Out)

Best Director

Pete Docter (Inside Out)

George Miller (Mad Max Fury Road)

Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs)

JJ Abrams (Star Wars: Force Awakens)

Todd Haynes (Carol)

Best Costumes

Carol

Brooklyn

Cinderella

Testament of Youth

Far from the Madding Crowd

Hair and Makeup

Mad Max Fury Road

Jupiter Ascending

Cinderella

Star Wars Force Awakens

Carol

Cinematography

Rob Hardy (Testament of Youth)

Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)

Charlotte Bruus Christensen (Far from the Madding Crowd)

Yves Belanger (Brooklyn)

John Seale (Mad Max Fury Road)

Production Design

Colin Gibson (Mad Max Fury Road)

Francois Seguin (Brooklyn)

Dante Ferretti (Cinderella)

Rick Carter (Star Wars: Force Awakens)

Adam Stockhausen (Bridge of Spies)

Best CG Characters in Live Action

Star Wars Force Awakens

Cinderella

Paddington

Ant-Man

Spongebob: Sponge out of Water

Best Visual Effects

Mad Max: Fury Road

Star Wars: Force Awakens

Avengers Age of Ultron

Ex-Machina

The Revenant

Best Screenplay

Inside Out

Brooklyn

Spotlight

The Big Short

The Martian

Best Faith Based Film

Kahlil Gibran The Prophet

Woodlawn

Freetown

Once I was a Beehive

Old Fashioned

Best Ensemble

The Big Short

Spotlight

Inside Out

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Avengers: Age of Ultron

 Best Kiss (these shows take themselves way too seriously)

Age of Adaline

Far from the Madding Crowd

The DUFF

Cinderella

Brooklyn

My congrats to all the nominees and winners. 🙂

Dark Knight Thoughts and Going Against the Grain

dark knight2Everyone has one.  I know you do.  That movie that everyone else seemingly adores and you just don’t gel with.  I’d like you to think about that movie while reading this post.  Most likely you can see why that movie is highly regarded by other people.  Perhaps the performances are good or the cinematography or whatever.  You can appreciate it but it just isn’t your favorite movie.  Well, my friends I confess The Dark Knight is that movie for me.

…..Don’t hate me!

I acknowledge The Dark Knight is an exceptionally made film.  The acting is great especially by Heath Ledger as The Joker.  It is also very well shot by Christopher Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister.  It is a masterpiece in filmmaking in that regard.  No doubt about it.

I have a few issues with the pacing and the middle does sag a bit when they are going to Hong Kong and building details about the mob.  Basically when the Joker is off screen it isn’t quite as exciting.

Partly this is a problem with Batman in general.  Aside from Mask of the Phantasm Batman is always less interesting than the villains.  You can make an argument that Batman Begins is the only live action film that is actually about Batman’s journey but the rest of them the villains have all the personality, charisma and character development.  People complain about Marvel villains.  I’d way rather have interesting heroes than villains but that’s just me.

Anyway, Dark Knight is a great movie.  I just don’t like watching it very much. My main problem is the film is very violent and with the darker tone it rams that violence in without many breaths of hope.  That’s just not the kind of movie I like.  Clearly most people do and that’s cool, but variety is the spice of life! Just the opening scene at the bank robbery has 6 or 7 people shot point blank in close contact and that’s not nearly the most violent scene of the movie.

Just to prove my point a little visual. On screenit.com the violent content for The Dark Knight has to be microscopic to fit onto a screenshot.

dark knight3In contrast 1989’s Batman is much shorter and therefore much easier to read!

batman 1989We all have our sensitivities and while I can usually handle battle or historic violence when it gets close and people are shot or pencils are shoved down people’s face that bothers me.  It just does.  I’m sorry but it does.   The truth is The Dark Knight is not a comic book movie.  It’s a crime drama told with a few mildly comic book characters.  It’s all about a battle between criminals and authorities- a crime drama. Nothing wrong with that but those have never been my favorite films.

Sometimes I feel like people expect me to lie and say I like it when I don’t.  Like my being bothered by the violence somehow effects their enjoyment of the film.  There was a time when I did pass a bit of judgement over those that liked the movie but that was only because I felt so judged for not liking it.  It’s a vicious circle!  The fact is I totally get why you love it.  I just have a personal sensitivity when it comes to violence and particularly violence with a dark tone to it.  Not everyone has those sensitivities, and that’s ok!

I don’t judge anyone for having different tastes than I do.  That’s awesome!

So the Dark Knight will never be a favorite of mine but it is a very well made movie.

What movies are like that for you?  Classics you feel a bit judged over for not being super into?  Share in the comments section. And don’t make me turn off the comments on this.  Trolls go away!!!

Pete’s Dragon Teaser Trailer Response

Everyone is talking about it so I might as well add my two cents.  They just put out the teaser trailer for this summer’s Pete’s Dragon remake.  I have to be honest- I like the trailer.  I think it looks kind of magical.  Now I thought the Maleficent trailer looked promising and you see what that brought us…

I would certainly rather there be no remakes at all and get new and exciting content but that’s not happening any time soon.  The best we can hope for is these remakes are more of the Cinderella vein and less Maleficent/Alice in Wonderland (and no the new Looking Glass trailer does nothing to excite me).  I guess I’m more positive about Pete’s Dragon because I’m not super attached to the original; although, I do enjoy it.

What does seem cool about Pete’s Dragon is they are doing more of a reimagining than a remake, which begs the question- why call it Pete’s Dragon in the first place?  Fair enough, but at least it isn’t like Maleficent where they restage our favorite scenes but ruin the characters and story.  At least that doesn’t appear to be the case.

One thing I don’t understand in these remakes is why they shy away from the music?  I understand not wanting to make everything a musical but why not have a soundtrack?  Candle on the Water is a great Disney song and I feel it at least should be in the closing credits.  You had no Bibbity Bobbity Boo in Cinderella.  No Once Upon a Dream but in credits in Maleficent.  That is so bizarre. Why not take full advantage of the properties you are remaking? It’s not like Oz where they don’t have the rights to the original music.

Either way, I thought it was an effective, enticing trailer that didn’t tell me too much but just gave a spirit of the film.  This movie has been very hush-hush so I’m glad to see some images of the dragon and what the story is going for.  The fact Pete is a feral boy living in the forest for 6 years is interesting and Robert Redford being in your movie never hurt anything.

So I’m hopeful.  What say you?  I know some people are very upset about it and I can see their points.  Share in the comment section.

Race and Risen Reviews

This will be a bit of a quick review but I wanted to let you know what I thought about both Race and Risen. I feel they are both better than their RT scores might lead you to believe.

I grouped these films together because I feel they have the same strengths and weaknesses.  If you are someone who requires super original stories than Race and Risen might not be for you.  But if you can appreciate a solid genre film outing than I think there are things to like in both films.

Race-

race posterRace tells the story of Jesse Owen’s and his journey to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.  This was the time the Nazi’s were using the Olympics as a PR stunt and the movie does a good job showing that dynamic and the debate the US Olympic Committee had in attending the games.  I also did not know about the pressure put on Jesse and other athletes to individually boycott the games.

Stephan James is great as Owens and I really liked Jason Sudeikis as his coach Larry Snyder.  It feels a little drawn out and could have started sooner to get things moving close (over 2 hours is too much for this kind of story).

That said, I thought they got the period details right and Sudeikis embodies a Clark Gable type charisma that fits the era very well.  There are too many subplots but the acting from Jeremy Irons, William Hurt and others is great.

Overall, it’s an inspiring story that’s pretty well told.  I think you would enjoy going with your family.  There wasn’t much that is offensive and it could start a good discussion about race, discrimination both in the past and in our current society.

Overall Grade- B

Risen_2016_posterRisen is a very unique and strong entry in the faith-based film genre.  It stars Joseph Fiennes as Clavius who is a Roman Tribune who is responsible for looking into the lost body of Jesus Christ.  It kind of becomes a CSI Jerusalem at a certain point!

There were a lot of refreshing choices they made in this film.  First of all, to tell the story from the perspective of a non-believer was compelling and interesting for a faith-based film.  They also take the subject seriously without much preaching.  It’s just the story without the dogma of some religious films.

It’s very well made and acted.  I liked the cinematography and overall feel of the film.  It’s actually pretty gruesome for a faith-based film; although, I don’t think anything too bad.  There were a few points that were a bit repetitive in feel but overall the 107 minutes goes by pretty briskly.  The performance by Fiennes is good and his journey feels authentic and subtle.

There are some problems.  I didn’t like the portrayal of the apostles as kind of ‘Jesus and his Merry Men’.  They were a little too silly for my taste.  I also didn’t like the portrayal of Mary Magdalene. As the only female presence in the film I felt the transformation I see in her in the scriptures should have been more accurately shown.

But overall it’s a solid entertaining film.  It doesn’t preach too much and has a good story.  I think Christian viewers will really like it and I hope it does well.  It’s certainly a step in the right direction for faith-based films.

Overall Grade- B

Here is my youtube review of Race and Risen. I’d be really grateful if you checked it out and gave it a thumbs up if you like it.

2016 Oscar Nominated Short Reviews

I’ve been wanting to do this post for some time but I had a hard time finding 2 of the nominated animated shorts for this years Oscars.  I finally was able to watch them all and thought I would give you my thoughts.

animated shorts5Bear Story

Coming out of Chili by director Gabriel Osorio Vargas Bear Story is about a bear who builds diorama’s kind of like what we saw in Hugo.  He is a lonely bear and tells the story of that loneliness through the diorama.  The animation is beautiful with a heavy steampunk feel to it.

Basically the story is the bear is taken from his family to perform in the circus.  You get that sadness mixed in with the fun of the circus. Each scene is layered with movement and details.  It is extremely charming.

Overall Grade B+

animated shorts1Prologue

Animator Richard Williams vision of ancient warfare is definitely a unique nominee.  It is done using a pencil, hand drawn style and the animation is quite striking.  When it focuses on a characters eyes or face it reminded me of a lithograph or an etching.

However, this film is ADULTS ONLY!  I am not being quaint or hesitant when I say that.  It is extremely bloody and  the nudity is graphic and repeated.  For a short that is just over 5 minutes it is kind of astonishing how R rated it could be!

Evidently it is accurate to ancient warriors for them to fight naked (who knew?) but there really isn’t any story here that I could see at least.  It is people brutally killing each other and then at the end a girl stands in shock over the blood.  I guess that is a message about war but not particularly inventive or thought provoking in my opinion.

Maybe we will learn more in future episodes? It is called Prologue after all

Overall Grade- C-

animated shorts44We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

We Can’t Live Without Cosmos is out of Russia and directed and written by Konstantin Bronzit.  It may not have the most stunning animation but the story makes up for any failings in that department.

It is 2D animation in the style of TV animation like The Simpsons, and tells the story of 2 best friends who dream of becoming cosmonauts.  It starts with them in training and they joyously complete every task.  At one point they even leap off of their beds trying to get a feeling of zero gravity.

I don’t want to spoil it for you but suffice it to say I love stories of friendship and this one had my heart. It is very sweet and lovely.

Overall Grade- A

animated shorts2World of Tomorrow

Oh boy…how do I explain World of Tomorrow?  To be honest Don Hertzfeldt’s sci-fi study of human nature makes me feel kind of dumb.  I’ve seen it a lot and I still don’t really get it.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing but did it need to be quite so obtuse?  I guess for Don’s artistic vision it did.

Basically it is about a little girl named Emily who receives a video transmission of a clone version of herself from the future.  This clone takes Little Emily into her current world where they have a land called ‘the Outernet’.

Clone Emily then takes Little Emily through different memories and then tells her that the earth will be destroyed by a meteoroid. Then Clone Emily reveals she came to see Little Emily to retrieve a memory she had forgotten.  She hopes this memory will be comforting for the end of the world.

So there you have it.  The main message is we should focus on the important stuff. That when the end comes the trivial will dissolve and only the most special memories will remain.  Technology  obscures the hear and now and makes us focus only on the fluff.

Clone Emily says

“Do not lose time on daily trivialities. Do not dwell on petty detail. For all of these things melt away and drift apart within the obscure traffic of time. Live well and live broadly. You are alive and living now. Now is the envy of all of the dead.”

The animation is brilliant and different in World of Tomorrow and I think it will win, and it is probably deserved.  On one hand I like it is layered and tricky to decipher it’s meaning, but I think it goes a little too far in that department, to the point of ostracizing me a bit as a viewer.  It’s great but I still don’t love it like some people do.

That said Overall Grade- A

animated shorts3

Sanjay’s Super Team

I have already done a whole blog post on Sanjay’s Super Team.  This is Pixar’s offering (Lava was actually submitted in 2014).  Everyone seems to think it is shoe-in for Sanjay to win this category but I did some research and Pixar actually doesn’t have a great track record here.  They haven’t won since 2001!  Even something like La Luna (my favorite Pixar short) was beat by Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore which is completely charming so I get it.  The academy seems to like to reward smaller studios in animated short category.

Anyway, Sanjay’s Super Team is directed by Sanjay Patel and it is inspired by his childhood growing up as an American boy with Hindu observant parents.  The story is little Sanjay is watching his favorite superhero show when his father is praying and meditating.  His father insists he join him and Sanjay starts out bored but imagines the Hindu Gods as superheroes.

It is a beautiful film about how a meeting of the minds can occur and generations can understand each other better.  The animation is bright and colorful, some of Pixar’s best, and the lesson Sanjay learns is very sweet.  He see’s that maybe his Dad’s crazy ideas aren’t so bad after all.

Overall Grade- A+

 

My thoughts on all 5.  Prologue is too R rated for me and lacks a good story so it is my least favorite. The other 4 I like a lot, even if World of Tomorrow makes my head hurt.  I would probably order them

  1. Sanjay’s Super Team
  2. We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
  3. World of Tomorrow
  4. Bear Story
  5. Prologue

Have you had a chance to see the animated shorts? I would love your thoughts. Which do you like the best? Do you think World of Tomorrow will win or are you pulling for another choice?

Screenwriting Interview w Melissa Leilani

writing freetown

Hi guys!  I had the cool experience today where I got to interview screenwriter Melissa Leilani and find out what it is like to write a script.  She was the main writer for a film I loved in 2015 called Freetown.

Freetown is a faith-based film but one that is approachable to anyone.  It tells the story of a man who must smuggle 6 missionaries out of Liberia during their brutal civil war.  Things are tense and Brother Abubakar is a man of practical faith mixed with a healthy dose of skepticism.  It makes him a very compelling character.

What I really appreciated about Freetown is that it told a compelling story and let the messsaging take care of itself.  Unlike many faith based films (that I still find some value in) I didn’t feel it was preachy or forcing a message upon me.  In fact, my friend Yusuf who is Muslim liked the film as much as I did.

Here are both of our reviews:

I think you might find it interesting to watch the film and then listen to the interview about her experience.  However, I also think it will be interesting if you are just interested in screenwriting or writing in general.  We do get off topic a few times (we have very similar movie and theater taste!).  She has a theater background so her transition from playwright to screenwriter was very interesting to me.

Anyway, this is only the 3rd interview I have done, so if you have any feedback that would be great.  I hope you enjoy it.

45 Years Review

45 years-4It’s funny I went to the theater tonight and scores of people were coming out of Deadpool with smiles on their faces.  I’m sure they had a great time and that’s awesome. I instead went to see 45 Years and I was alone in the theater and came out literally sobbing.  Quite the contrast! But I wager to say in 10 years my experience will be the more memorable one. Suffice it to say, I have a new entry in my Best Movies of 2015.

45 years-245 Years is a very simple movie.  It tells the story of a week in the life of a couple before they celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.  On day 1 Geoff, the husband, played by Tom Courtenay, gets a letter in German informing him that the body of the love of his youth has been found and he can come and claim it.

Kate, the wife, played brilliantly by Charlotte Rampling, is aware of the relationship but is surprised when the news is so impactful upon her husband.  She starts to wonder if there was a side to this old relationship she never knew about? Has her husband of 45 years been honest with her?  Was she the 2nd choice over his true love? All of these questions are asked by Kate as the days unwind.

45 years-3I think what made this movie so particularly moving for me is Kate reminds me so much of my beloved Grandmother.  She is one of my best friends but in the last 2 years her health has not been well and it is difficult for her to talk on the phone.  This has made talking to her quite difficult since we live in different states.  Watching this movie made me realize how much I miss my Grandma.

45 years-5Even Charlotte Rampling’s look and disposition reminds me of my Grandma. I loved the way she had her life ordered and was a bright light to all in her circle.  When she finds out her husband hasn’t been completely honest with her the devastation is so palatable.  You can see it in Rampling’s whole body not just her face.  I wanted to give her a hug.

If it hadn’t been so late I would have called my Grandma right after and told her I loved her.  I’m going to do it tomorrow. That’s the kind of emotion this movie evoked in me.  I was literally sobbing.  I just love my Grandma so much.

45 yearsI know what it feels like for people you love to come out of nowhere with news and to have to absorb it as best you can,  so I related to that storyline as well.  I related to having to come to grips when you thought the person you loved was one way and turns out to be another.  There is nothing harder than that in my opinion.

Some will probably find this boring.  It’s kind of like Boyhood in the way it is just about a week in the life of this couple.  Some people don’t like that kind of movie.  Some may not like the somewhat ambiguous ending, but I thought it was pure truth.  It may be the best movie I’ve ever seen about marriage.  That’s not hyperbole.  It’s really how I felt.

45 years-6Tom Courtenay is also wonderful in the role.  You want to hate him for the dishonesty and the pain he is causing Kate but you can also see why he left the past in the past. It felt authentic and real to the way such a man would behave. We all know older men like Geoff.

I’m not saying don’t see Deadpool.  Go see it.  Have some laughs if the content is your thing, but make time in your schedule to see a film that something to say about life.  Make time to see 45 Years. It was a stunning film and I’m so glad Charlotte Rampling was nominated for best actress. She is much better than either Cate Blanchett in Carol or Brie Larsen in Room.

The rest of the supporting cast is wonderful and gives the entire experience a lived in feel.  It seems like a real group of friends, a real community that surrounds Geoff and Kate.

Props to director Andrew Haigh for his tremendous achievement.  I loved this movie and I encourage all of you to see it.

As far as content it is rated R but it is a pretty mild R.  There are a few F words and one mild scene of sensuality between the couple.

Overall Grade- A+

My youtube review: