STAR WARS #7: THE FORCE AWAKENS ...
Loved the original Star Wars, hated the pre-equals, so it was with some apprehension that I sat down to watch this, the seventh film in the franchise.
Great to see the return of some old favourites (including my favourite Chewbacca), the return of the humour of the original films and, perhaps most of all, no Jar Jar Binks (yeah!). Albeit one feisty woman but I'm not too sure about (main female lead) Rey .... yet. The droid BB8 I however loved - almost but not quite as much as C-3P0 and R2-DT. All in all I enjoyed this film, really enjoyed it. TT
Not having caught the Star Wars bug despite being of the ripe age to do so when the first movie, episode whatever it was, was released. I remain unimpressed. There is nothing new in this one to change my mind. Jungian good versus evil, who is who's father mother, brother, lover and has the biggest light sabre, hero, anti-hero all very basic stuff and completely lacking in any depth or moral. NJT
MR HOLMES ...
What can I say?
A poignant film beautifully acted by Ian McKellen as both the elderly (and not so elderly) Sherlock Holmes. I defy any one to watch this without the odd tear in their eye as a lonely Holmes, slipping into senility, mourns his life without family or friends (with the exception of his housekeeper's young son) as he re-visits his last case. TT
A delightful fiction on the Sherlock Holmes of dotage as his intellect and deductive powers weaken and drift into senility, he mourns for his life that has left him without family and friends; the shreds of his last case that have never really reconciled themselves and living a sedentary life in need of assistance.
There were moments in this film where I felt genuinely saddened by the portrait of ageing portrayed in the much reduced Sherlock played haltingly by Ian McKellen with pathos and grace. His relationship with the young son of his intemperate housekeeper provides the thread eventually resolving matters in both the case and maintaining the fire in the old mans belly as he struggles with his mortality and loneliness.
Good film with some intricate weaving of themes in three inter-twined stories. NJT
THE LADY IN THE VAN ...
Alan Bennett's touching memoir based on his diarisation of dealings with the eponymous character who lodged in her beaten up old Bedford van, parked on his driveway for 15 years. Margaret Fairchild who lived a life hidden, having been a successful concert pianist, remained secluded in this driveway never giving her name, history or origins whilst tormenting the denizens of Camden with her appearance and eccentricities. Good turn as Bennett and his internal dialogue, from Alex Jennings and Maggie Smith lives humour and tragedy with equal aplomb. Some will no doubt find the film perhaps slow or insufficiently slapstick, and I have heard such, but this is a dialogue of living and dying which is 'mostly true' right up to the end and a glorious ascension... NJT
As always wonderful acting by Maggie Smith but alas not one for me (based on Alan Bennett's book of the same name, I feel I may fare better with the novel).
Annoyingly glib and why oh why the two Alan Bennetts? Yes, I know, as Mr T explained, one was Bennett the individual, the other (the one sitting at the typewriter) Bennett the author. A sort of internal dialogue made both visual and audible if you like but all rather pretentious if you ask me. TT