Tag: Saoirse Ronan


Lady Bird

November 4th, 2017 — 7:48am

****

Lady Bird

This film has nothing to with LBJ’s wife and the movie previously reviewed. It does have a great deal to do with the accomplished actress and writer 33-year-old Greta Gerwig (Francis Ha, Greenberg and many other films) who is making her directorial debut in this film for which she is also the screenwriter. It appears that Ms. Gerwig has drawn upon her experience growing up in Sacramento, California and having attended a Catholic High School around the year 2002. We won’t speculate how much of the rest of the film is autobiographical nor is it important. However, this talented writer/ director has captured the painful and glorious experience of a high school girl coming of age. This young woman Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) tries to break through what is expected of her and finds and shows her individuality. Ms. Saoirse is near perfect in realistically bringing this character alive with the words and direction of Ms. Gerwig. There is equally well-written character portrayed in an outstanding performance by Laurie Metcalf as Lady Bird’s mother who is a nurse (as was Ms. Gerwig’s mother). The friction and interaction between mother and daughter will be familiar to many. The father is sensitively played by actor-play writer Tracy Letts.

One major conflict that is played out very well and may reverberate with many viewers is Lady Bird’s desire to go to an expensive East Coast College with a plan that is rejected by her mother. Will she be accepted and will her parents support this dream? This conflict along with typical ups and downs of friendships among girls and the problems of negotiating her own sexuality and her relationship with boys are universal and will reverberate with the audience. In the end, we believe this film will stand out and be well-remembered. (2017)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama

Brooklyn

November 4th, 2015 — 8:17am

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 12.37.05 PM****

Brooklyn -sp

This movie set out to describe the immigrant experience of one Irish young woman in the 1950s who leaves her mother and her her sister to come to America. The film seems to do everything right from vintage automobiles, the old country atmosphere in Ireland, the Brooklyn Brownstones, the views of the Manhattan Skyline, Coney Island including the beach with bathing suits of the time, a department store with pneumatic tubes and most of all authentic characters and their moving stories.

Producer Finola Dwyer shared with our preview audience the great efforts that were made to find the right actors for this sensitive independent movie. Although they are not well known, they all seemed perfectly casted. Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) is the young woman who is choosing to leave her mother (Jane Brennan) and sister Rose (Fiona Glascott) to make a new life in America, thanks to some contacts a priest Father Flood (Jim Broadbent), known to the family, is able to make for her. Isn’t it always some contact or connection that often opens the door for the new immigrant? Eilis falls in love with Tony an Italian boy (Emory Cohen). You obviously don’t have to be Italian to play one. There also is the attractive Irish lad in the old country (Domhnall Gleeson). The courtship and love story is so 1950s tender and real.

Of course there is conflict, tension and resolution although done extremely well. Nick Hornby, an accomplished author, wrote the screenplay based on the successful novel by Colm Tóibín. The music by Michael Brook was perfect. The take away from the movie was that your home is where your true love is.

The centerpiece of the movie is young Eilis who makes the trip to the United States not knowing what awaits her. She could have been your mother or your grandmother who made that trip many years ago and built a family from where we come or she could have been one of the young immigrants in the United States or elsewhere in modern times. Each one has a different love story that ultimately will make a home for a new generation. (2015)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Drama, Romance

The Way Back

December 11th, 2010 — 2:20am

***

The Way Back- sp– This movie has all the ingredients for an epic movie. The story is that a handful of prisoners escape from a Russian gulag in 1940  and trek across Siberia  to the Himalayas and ultimately into India more that 4000 miles. There are freezing cold temperatures, snow storms, sand storms, blistering hot desserts, gigantic mountains, starvation, lack of water. The actors include Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess and Colin Farell all who do a terrific job as does the the supporting cast, especially Saoirse Ronan a spirited 15 year old actress, under the direction of Peter Weir who had a 29 million dollar budget. The scenes are quite realistic as you can almost feel their numbness in the frigid temperatures, the pain from the blisters on their feet and their parched throats or deliciousness of an occasional oasis of water.  The story is based on popular memoir written  by Slavomit Racuwicz in the 1950s which sold 500,00 copies worldwide. It was ultimately determined that the author, while he was prisoner in the gulag for awhile, did not make this trek himself but based it on stories that he had heard about. Peter Weir and his team or writers and producers extensively researched the subject and ultimately this adventure is also based on the experiences that some real  people actually went through. Certainly it is tribute to the human spirit, the will and ability of man to survive the horrors of mankind and the harshness of nature. The problem that we had with this two hour and 13 minute movie is that the individual stories of each of the characters were not developed in a manner, which engaged us. Yes, we ultimately learned about some of them, usually through a brief conversation. We did not find that their stories came together nor did it made us care about them as individuals as much as we may have cared for them for who they symbolized. As survivors who were seeking freedom through an almost impossible (and very long) path, we rooted for them. But in the end, we don’t think we shall remember them. (2010)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Biography, Drama

The Lovely Bones

January 16th, 2010 — 2:44am

The Lovely Bones* * *
The Lovely Bones
– sp – Early in the film, narrator of the story tells you what everyone who has read the book already knows and that is that she has been murdered at age 14 and she will not get a chance to live out the life to which she was looking forward. The movie shows her in the space between living on earth and heaven while she waits for things to be resolved. It was very easy for us to identify with 1970s family and watch the unimaginable horror that they felt after the disappearance and evidence of the killing of their daughter and then to see it dissolve into what we shrinks call complicated grief. The young girl played by Saoirse Ronan an Irish actress with no accent at all who was 13 during the making of the film radiated all the freshness and anticipation that you would hope a youngster would have at that stage of life. That made the tragedy of her murder all the more difficult as we saw the glimmers of her first love never to be realized during her lifetime. However Director and Producer Peter Jackson was intent on making this more than just a good 10 pm Special Victims Unit or CSI TV show. The script that he, his wife Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens wrote based on the popular novel by Alice Sebold created a beautiful ethereal existence for our lost soul where she observes the struggles of her family and the mystery of her unsolved murder. Jackson then brings the special effects for which he is known as other characters in this special place are also introduced. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz are on the mark as the parents and Stanley Tucci is the villain that is any parent’s nightmare. Executive Producer Ken Kamins related that to his surprise the movie “tested off the charts” with young teenage girls who obviously identified with the 14 year old victim and her aspirations and maybe even more so with her younger sister who we see grow to age 18 and become a heroine in her own right. While the movie provided suspense and held our interest, we were too much in pain to even be happy when she eventually makes it to heaven. (2009)

Rachel Weisz

Comment » | 3 Stars, Action, Crime, Drama

Back to top