Tag: Sally Hawkins


Maudie

September 11th, 2017 — 2:40am

***

Maudie-rm

Sally Hawkins turned in one of the best acting performances of the year and in our opinion deserves Oscar consideration. Ethan Hawke also was magnificent and deserves acclaim along with Director Eisling Walsh who put together this very touching movie written by Sherry White.

The setting is a rural community in Nova Scotia, which looks like it is the 1930s but was probably more likely the 1980s. Hawkins plays Maudie, a handicapped young woman who has physical disabilities and has lived a difficult life. We meet her as her brother tells her that he has sold their deceased mother’s house and Maudie has to continue living with her aunt with whom she doesn’t seem to get along very well. While in a general store of a small community, she then sees a fisherman (Ethan Hawke) put an advertisement on a bulletin board looking for a woman to help him with chores like cleaning and making meals in his one–room cabin. She applies for the job, gets it when no one else applies and moves into his cabin.

The remainder of the film is an examination of the relationship between these two people and the small community in which they live. Maudie is a natural artist and she begins to draw on the wall and windows of her cabin. She is discovered by a wealthy tourist from New York, who gives her work some visibility. She is ultimately the subject of a TV show, which popularizes her work and she becomes a somewhat known artist. She also ultimately wears her “employer” down and convinces him to marry her. There is no evidence that she achieves any kind of wealth from her work but she clearly derives great satisfaction from what she does and even grudging respect from her husband. In the film we only see the couple as poor people living in the small cabin.

Despite the captivating performances of these two actors, the plot doesn’t expand with any interesting stories nor do the characters develop in any depth. While we were drawn to these people who seemed as real as they were different from anyone we have known. However, we felt that the movie was too drawn out and ultimately fell short. We wanted more than we were given especially since we realized at the end of the film, that the story was based on real people as we were shown a brief video clip of them . (2017)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama

Blue Jasmine

August 4th, 2013 — 5:24pm

Blue Jasmine  *** Blue Jasmine rm –  This is another Woody Allen movie which is a study of two sisters. It is an in depth character analysis but yet we never really understand the origins of their personality development. Jasmine (Kate Blanchett) who gave up her last year of college to marry the man of her dreams . He is quite wealthy , seemingly devoted to her, gives her everything she could ever desire from clothes, beautiful home, vacations and even a son from another marriage who eventually goes to Harvard. Hal is a smooth and slick  as Alec Baldwin who actually plays him but is not who he seems to be (think a younger Bernie Madoff). Her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) is a San Francisco waitress, down to earth with two young children who is married to Augie (Andrew Dice Clay) when we meet her. They visit Hal and Jasmine in their luxurious New York City apartment and make the mistake of asking for advice from Hal on how to handle their $200,000 lottery bonanza. Circumstances that you can probably imagine reverse Jasmine’s good life and she now has to live with her sister in a cramped San Francisco apartment where we meet divorced Ginger’s now boyfriend Chili (Bobby Carnnavale). All these characters are very compelling and interesting including Al (Louis C.K.) who has a quick fling with Ginger The story shows the desperate, superficiality of Jasmine’s character and many of women who surrounded her and similarly although to a lesser degree presents her sister as eager, if not desperate  to latch on to a man. But if Allen is showing us a weak image of woman, there is not much to say for all the men in the story. They are lying, cheating, crying, groping or phony. However, Woody Allen who wrote and directed this movie gets your attention and holds it. The casting, as usual, is near perfect. The dialog draws you into the characters. He used flashbacks to effectively tell the story so you ultimately understand all the nuances. Allen as a writer gets away with using several coincidences to develop his story line such as characters just happen to witness some indiscretion in a busy city street or just happens to bump into somebody who says something that changes everything. Nevertheless, he gets great performances from the actors including what we think could be Oscar nods for Kate Blanchett and maybe Ginger Hawkins. Chalk this one up to ano   ther Woody Allen movie worth seeing. (2013)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama

Made in Dagenham

June 7th, 2011 — 3:29am

****

Made in Dagenham- nf- If you are one of those people who care about the important equal rights and social justice moments, especially those of the last 50 years, you will not want to miss this movie. It is a dramatization of a true story that took place in 1968 when the women in a Ford manufacturing plant in London who sewed the upholstery for the car seats demanded the same pay as men for their work. The movie shows the coming together of three unlikely allies in the cause of justice for women. Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) a young factory worker becomes incensed when she realizes the inequalities towards women and takes a leadership role in organizing the strike of the 187 women of a factory which also employs thousands of men. She by chance meets Lisa (Rosamund Pike), wife of one of the company executives who despite being wealthy feels treated as a second class citizen even in her marriage and lends encouragement to the beleaguered strikers. Ultimately a meeting with the British Secretary of Labor Barbara Castle (Miranda Richardson), who also identifies with the strikers who by this time are quite determined although holding on by their finger tips. Despite facing the serious threat of Ford pulling out from England Carson  then institutes the deal which promises near parity with men and a plan to put forth equal rights legislation. The dramatic victory at the conclusion will send a chill up your spine and a tear to your eye. The acting is excellent and it was well directed by Nigel Cole . There are no big surprises but the movie will grab your emotions. In a sense, it  channels the 1979 classic film Norma Rae which told the true story of one woman’s battle to organize the minimum wage workers in a cotton mill and which earned Sally Fields an Academy Award. We need films like this to remind us what determined people can do and how some things are worth fighting for. (2010)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, History

Happy-Go-Lucky

November 7th, 2009 — 1:44am

* * *
Happy-Go-Lucky
– np – Poppy (played by Sally Hawkins for which she won a Golden Globe) is a thirty year old impish London schoolteacher who has a great sense of humor and is always making jokes which will make you smile. She has some close girl friends and even meets a nice guy. But her sensitive side shows through when she sees kids in trouble and also in her relationship with her once a week driving instructor who is somewhat unbalanced. This is a slice of life piece of a very likeable character. Kudos to the acting and to Michael Leigh the director for a good character study. We could have used subtitles for the first ten minutes until we were use to the British accent. We weren’t sure the film was worth an hour and 58 minutes. 2008

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy, Drama

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