Category Archives: United Kingdom

Pick or Pan of the Week: “Submarine”

PICK SubmarineA dramedy directed by Richard Ayoade, starring Craig Roberts, Noah Taylor, and Sally Hawkins which tells the story of Oliver Tate, a self-absorbed 15 year-old with two major feats on his to-do list: 1. devise a calculated plot to save his parents’ marriage, and 2. lose that pesky virginity of his before his next birthday.

As far as coming-of-age protagonists go, Oliver isn’t entirely likable. He’s melodramatic and kind of a manipulative little punk, but nevertheless, you root for him. Submarine feels at once refreshingly new, and tenderly worn and familiar, like an old blanket. The film marks a wistful directorial debut from Ayoade, who is definitely someone you’re going to want to keep your eye on for more great things to come.

Check what the Movie Skope has to say about Submarine. What do you think?

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Filed under Dramedy, United Kingdom

“An Education” Trailer Review: A Young Girl’s Heartbreaking Journey into Adulthood

Trailer Review: An Education is an elegant coming-of-age drama based on the memoir of Lynn Barber. At the heart of the film is Jenny, a clever but impressionable suburban teen, whose older beau and life guide easily lures her away from the ennui of suburbia into a thrilling world full of adventure and glamour. The film stars Carey Mulligan along with Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, and Rosamund Pike.

Set in London in 1961, An Education explores lessons of youth versus maturity. Jenny (Mulligan) is bright beyond her years and on her way to study at Oxford. Yet, as Jenny spends much of her time lost in reveries about living in Paris, she can’t help but wonder if perhaps she could gain more from life outside of university.

an educationHer opportunity to explore this vacillation comes along during a chance encounter with a man named David (Sarsgaard). Even though he is twice her age, David is a smooth operator, the kind of guy who could talk a dog off a meat wagon, so Jenny, as well as her parents, quickly falls under his spell of urbane charms. David whisks Jenny away into an exhilarating world of cocktails, jazz clubs, and Parisian weekend getaways. Jenny positively thrives in this new environment, learning many things about life that she could never have learned in a classroom. This exceptional education does not come without a price, however, as the threads of David’s sensational world begin to unravel.

As An Education is a coming-of-age piece, the primary aim of the trailer is to foster an understanding of the protagonist so as to set up her growth arc. In the trailer’s opening scenes, Jenny’s character is established as precocious but with a tender, rebellious streak. When the silver-tongued David enters the picture and transports Jenny into a scintillating new dimension, she is left starry-eyed and wanting more. Wearing her plaid, school girl dress, Jenny at first appears to be very naïve and vulnerable in her new surroundings. At the same time, however, the trailer does an excellent job of portraying Jenny’s innate sophistication so she does not entirely seem like a fish out of water.

Ripening in measured steps from fledgling vulnerability to ever optimistic world weariness, relative newcomer Carey Mulligan is outstanding in her portrayal of Jenny, a performance that garnered her an Oscar nomination. The trailer is very adept at choosing clips and dialogue excerpts that effectively showcase Jenny, and concurrently Mulligan’s powerhouse talent, at each of the key stages of her maturation process, creating a simultaneous vibe of ecstasy and heartbreak. 

Check out the trailer for An Education below. What do you think? 

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Filed under Drama, United Kingdom

“Eichmann” Trailer Review: The Stirring Tale of a Super Villain

Eichmann trailer reviewTrailer Review: “Husband, father, soldier, monster,” Adolf Eichmann was a member of the Austrian Nazi party and is sometimes referred to as “the architect of the Holocaust.” Directed by Robert W. Young, the new film, Eichmann, is based on the final confession made by Eichmann before his execution in Israel on the May 31, 1962.

After World War II, Adolf Eichmann fraudulently obtains a laissez-passer travel document from the International Red Cross, which he then uses to flee to Argentina. Fifteen years later, the world’s most wanted man is eventually captured by Israeli intelligence operatives. Eichmann’s interrogations are conducted primarily by a young Israeli police officer by the name of Captain Anver Less. In the struggle to divulge the exactitude of Eichmann’s role in the Third Reich, a powerful battle of wills ensues between him and the captain–the outcome of which will profoundly affect the state of Israel.

In the trailer, Eichmann’s character is firmly established as that of a super villain. It is accomplished in a way, though, that almost causes the texture of the film to feel more like a graphic novel. From the character’s costumes to the environmental backdrops, the colors that are utilized in the film areEichmann trailer review mostly grays and sepias, conveying the impression of dinginess. In the trailer, however, there are frequent, episodic punctuations of sensational text set across lurid, red stripes, which, when contrasted with the film’s drab coloring, cause the film’s melodrama to be hyperbolized, especially when paired with bold sound effects and a dramatic score.

Eichmann stars Thomas Kretschmann, Troy Garity, Franka Potente and Stephen Fry. Aside from a motley mash of imprecise, foreign accents, the acting, as evinced in the trailer, appears to be very intense and stirring. Thomas Kretschmann looks especially good as the title character, playing the role of the evasive interrogatee with a chilling stoicism and just a hint of wryness.

Check out the trailer for Eichmann below. What do you think?

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Filed under Biopic, United Kingdom

“Creation” Trailer Review: Natural Selection’s More Personal Side

Creation trailer reviewTrailer Review: From director Jon Amiel, the powerful biopic Creation is the tale of revolutionary thinker Charles Darwin and his personal struggle with science and religion preceding the 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species. The film stars real-life husband and wife team Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles and Emma Darwin.

The primary focus of Creation is on Darwin the man, not the explosively divisive theory of evolution. The film examines Darwin’s familial struggles and the personal demons that dog his core, which involve the death of his beloved 10-year-old daughter, Annie, and the fear of becoming estranged from his deeply religious wife, Emma. In the film, the conflict of science versus religion is personalized to become husband versus wife. In effect, the divided sentiments persisting in the Darwin family circle represent a microcosm of the great evolutionary dispute.

The tensions brought about by these circumstances serve as the foundation on which Creation is built. Darwin is a churchgoer who passionately loves his wife, but he also is a scientist with a mounting conviction that he lives in a world where God has no place. His spousal relationship serves as the foil that most drastically affects his readiness to unleash his discoveries.

Creation trailer reviewSet primarily within the confines of a small English town, Creation could be classified as a domestic melodrama. Yet, from what is evinced in the trailer, the film plays more like a fantastical, almost dream-like voyage. With breathtaking images of lush countryside, crashing waves, and jungle rivers interspersed among the plot-driving points, the trailer for Creation sweeps viewers off their feet and makes them feel as if they are about to embark upon a great, mystical adventure.

Creation appears to be a compelling, heartfelt story with superb performances from both Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly. Bettany appears especially strong in his role as Darwin, playing the world-renowned scientist and “man who killed God” with a gentle eloquence that speaks volumes. It will be interesting to see if the film can hold up against the cinematic natural selection and garner much critical acclaim.

Check out the trailer for Creation below. What do you think?

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Filed under Biopic, United Kingdom