Tag: Colin Firth


Arthur Newman

April 18th, 2013 — 7:27pm

Arthur Newman**

Arthur Newman –sp  Despite excellent performances by Colin Firth and Emily Blunt who play two people trying to find themselves, we didn’t feel this movie moved us to the point where we would recommend it. First time feature film director Dante Ariola  was attracted to the story written by Becky Johnson, of a man who wasn’t there for his son once he himself felt he was a failure in life. He takes Firth’s character, a newly invented Arthur Newman, on a journey as he tries to leave his old life behind. He meets “Mike”(Blunt)  a young woman who is trying to escape from what she feels is inevitable mental illness that is the fate of  her mother and her twin sister. They embark on a kind of road trip where they try to briefly inhabit the lives of people they meet along the way. In the course of experiencing other people’s lives they are supposed to come to terms with their own. British actors Firth and Blunt both speak and act like the all American Ford Thunderbird convertible that they travel in. The photography by Eduard Grau is quite good, There are supporting roles by Ann Heche as the old girl friend and Sterling Beaumon as the son who is struggling to figure out his missing father. The film held our interest but this road trip didn’t take us any place. (2012)

Comment » | 2 Stars, Drama

The King’s Speech

December 12th, 2010 — 6:51pm

****

The King’s Speech-rm Whenever a new insight into history is provided by a film, it has the potential to be of great interest. If it is done well such a movie is usually a winner. This is the case with The King’s Speech where two great actors  turn in a near perfect performances with director Tom Hooper and the production staff pulling together an authentic period piece which captures pre World War II Great Britain and the royal family. Just about anyone in our generation or any student of this piece of history knows that when King George V of Great Britain died his oldest son became King Edward VIII but shortly thereafter abdicated the throne “to marry the woman I love” who was Wallis Simpson  twice divorced American, making his younger brother next in line to become the new King George VI ( Colin Firth)  just as the World War II was starting.  What you probably did not know was that the new king had a terrible stammer, which presented him with an enormous problem since he was expected to address his people and spur them on in their upcoming battle with Germany led by Adolph Hitler. His wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) even before he ascended to the throne located a somewhat unconventional speech therapist, an Australian by the name of Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).  Logue insists on a first name basis with his royal highness and includes some exploration of the king’s childhood and his emotional conflicts as part of his speech therapy. Needless to say after some twists and turns, dramatic moments, a great musical background, meeting the king’s young children (now Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret), the new king  triumphs while Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall), many others including the whole British Empire cheer him on. Knowing the ending (which you probably knew already ) will not spoil the enjoyment of this superb movie. It may have been a tad repetitious and we would have liked a little more of a psychological explanation or exposition of how  the interaction between the speech therapist and the king led to his improvement ( perhaps there was a father transference) However, it is doubtful that most viewers will find very much lacking from this movie. (2010)

2 comments » | 4 Stars, Biography, Drama, History

A Single Man

September 15th, 2010 — 2:24am

***

A Single Man – nf-  This is one of those films which tries to explain what life is all about. It is set in 1962 and George Falcon  (Colin Firth)  is a gay English Professor at a college in Los Angeles. Very early in the movie we learn that his partner of 16 years has died in car accident while visiting his family in the north. The funeral is only for  “ family” and George is not welcome to attend. The movie proceeds to show a subsequent meaningful day in his life, albeit with various flashbacks, while he is drowning in his grief. It is a meaningful day because we see that George is planning for this day to be his last one. Many of the people whom he meets in his usual day seem to detect that he is unhappy and do seem to care about him. There are two people who are capable of moving him   We meet Charley (Julianne Moore) whom he first knew in England, was briefly a former lover  and now lives nearby and is a very good friend. She seems to mirror his struggle trying to find the meaning of life and their interaction is warm, intimate and provides rich insight into both of them. However he seems to be able to leave her behind. As determined, as George is to make this his last day, his order of things seems to be shook up as Kenny (Nicolas Hoult) one of his students seeks him out and makes a connection with him. This is very complicated connection, no doubt, and this relationship makes the point of the movie about the meaning of life. This film is based on book written by Christopher Isherwood more than 25 years ago and appears to have had a very special meaning to director Tom Ford who wrote the screenplay with David Scearce. In the commentary on the DVD, it is clear that Ford clearly identifies with the main character. He describes many of the complicated symbolism and imagery, which he used in the film which certainly did not come to mind while watching it.  On  the other hand, it is the total effect that really counts and Ford has put into the film a musical score that parallels the mood being developed, as does the changing tints and colors that have been used . Whether or not you get caught up in the message of the movie, it is easy to see why Colin Firth was nominated for an Oscar for this performance. In his British understated manner he conveys usually just with his facial expressions a range of emotions from unmitigated grief and sadness to the subtle joy of caring and being cared about. (2010)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama, Romance

Easy Virtue

November 7th, 2009 — 12:53am

* * * *
Easy Virtue
– sp- Noel Coward was obviously a genius and this movie is based on a play that he wrote when he was 25 years old. It is a period piece set in England where a young man (Ben Barnes) comes back to the family manor with a new glamorous American wife (Jessica Biel) who just came in first at the Grand Prix auto race in Monte Carlo. Most of the stuffy British family especially the mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) can’t handle her and her modern ways. Colin Firth does an excellent job portraying the father who has his own history. The plot has depth to it and the screenplay is true to the Coward genre, which includes many witty lines from him as well as from writers Stephen Elliot and Sheridan Jobbins (the latter was a guest at our course). Although it is not a musical, there is a most enjoyable musical background with many pieces by Coward. 2008

Comment » | 4 Stars, Comedy, Romance

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