Tagged: Miranda Richardson

In remote Western Australia, two estranged brothers, Colin (Sam Neill) and Les (Michael Caton), are at war. Raising separate flocks of sheep descended from their family’s prized bloodline, the two men work side by side yet are worlds apart. When Les’s prize ram is diagnosed with a rare and lethal illness, authorities order a purge of every sheep in the valley. While Colin attempts to stealthily outwit the powers that be, Les opts for angry defiance. But can the warring brothers set aside their differences and have a chance to reunite their family, save their herd, and bring their community back together?

RAMS is directed by Jeremy Sims and stars Sam Neill, Michael Caton, Miranda Richardson, Asher Keddie and Wayne Blair.

Testament Of Youth

Summary: Based on the popular novel of the same name Testament Of Youth is a coming of age story that follows Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander), a young girl growing up as England heads into World War I. Before the War Vera’s biggest problem is trying to get into university to study literature during a period when a woman’s studies were considered a waste of time.

Upon getting into University though Vera learns that the war is beginning to spread across Europe. Soon she finds herself right in the middle of it as her brother, Edward (Taron Egerton), her fiancé Roland Leighton (Kit Harington) and best friends Geoffrey Thurlow (Jonathan Bailey) and Victor Richardson (Colin Morgan) are all sent off to Europe to serve. As the stories coming from the frontline get worse and worse Vera decides to put her studies on hold and instead become a volunteer nurse.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd April, 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United Kingdom

Director: James Kent

Screenwriter: Juliette Towhidi, Vera Brittain (autobiography)

Cast: Hayley Atwell (Hope), Jonathan Bailey (Geoffrey Thurlow), Anna Chancellor (Mrs. Leighton), Taron Egerton (Edward Brittain), Laura Elsworthy (Nurse Scott), Henry Garrett (George Catlin), Kit Harington (Roland Leighton), Alison Harris (Vad), Charlotte Hope (Betty), Colin Morgan (Victor Richardson), Jenn Murray (Dorothy), Miranda Richardson (Miss Lorimer), Alexandra Roach (Winifred Holtby), Joanna Scanlon (Aunt Belle), Branwen Summers (Vad), Julie Vollono (Mrs. Ellinger), Daisy Waterstone (Clare Leighton), Emily Watson (Mrs. Brittain), Dominic West (Mr. Brittain), Barney White (Billy), Alicia Vikander (Vera Brittian)

Runtime: 129 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR TESTAMENT OF YOUTH REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Every now and then a film comes along that leaves you thinking ‘wow… just wow.’ In the time of special effects and CGI it’s normally been something epic happening on the screen that causes that response. Sadly, it is rarely a film that totally engrosses you in both its visual beauty and immersing storyline. But that is where Testament Of Youth comes to its fore… this is a film that will stick with its audience for a long, long time to come.

While many films often lack the ‘feel’ of the novel they are based here screenwriter Juliette Towhidi (who recently also showed her skills on Love, Rosie) manages to capture all of the teenage angst and anger that the real Vera Brittain wrote in her autobiography. For once a screenwriter read the novel they were adapting and understood exactly what the writer was trying to get across to their audience. Testament Of Youth is anti-war but it is a film that is supposed to show how important it was that men did die during the conflict and also graphically depicts why war is such a nasty affair for the people left behind.

What stands Testmant Of Youth apart from the many other films that have tried to show the horrors of war is the creative styling of director James Kent and veteran television director who is at the helm of his feature film. Kent brings a real beauty with this film working with his cinematographer in such a way that at times the images on the screen feel like you are looking at paintings. Even the most hardened emotionally draining scene seems to have an air of beauty around it with Kent in the director’s chair. Perhaps what shows his skills the most though is the fact that this is a film that is able to depict the horrors of war without ever actually showing a battle. The scenes of soldiers with limbs blown off or suffering from battle shock grouped together by something as simple as a father scouring the list of war dead in the newspaper does more than enough to show the audience how evil war can be without an overly graphic battle sequence.

Having heaped praise on the film though it is only fair to warn cinema goers that Testament Of Youth is not a film that is going to be enjoyed by all. The film is slow in pace and if films like Atonement have had you snoring then it is likely you won’t be a fan of this film either. Still the positives of this film largely outweigh the negatives and the fact that this film delivers such a powerful message about subjects as deep as feminism and the horrors of war without ever feeling that it has become bogged down just shows how talented the team of filmmakers behind it really are.

Also making Testament Of Youth a must see are the performances of its cast. Taron Egerton (who most would remember from Kingsmen: The Secret Service) and Kit Harington (yes Jon Snow from Game Of Thrones) put in such great performances that they are both virtually unrecognizable in their roles. Both show that they have the acting ability to go far beyond the roles that made them household names. But the strongest performance here comes from Alicia Vikander, an actress who has been on nearly everybody’s ‘star on the rise’ list since her performance in Anna Karenina. Her Vikander out performs her age and shows that she deserves to mentioned as one of the best young actresses in the industry at the moment. With Testament Of Youth she easily overcomes everything thrown at her and delivers a emotionally powerful performance that helps make this one of the films of the year.

Next time somebody says that there are no great films made any more point them in the direction of Testament Of Youth. This powerful film delivers a strong message about war while also making the audience wish that James Kent had turned his hand to directing features a lot earlier in his career. The beauty of this film is hard to describe in words but it is enough to show that Kent is one director that has been underestimated over the years. Aided by some amazing cinematography and an outstanding acting performance by Alicia Vikander Kent has helped create a film that is worthy of five stars.

 

Stars(5)

 

 

 

Greg King:

You can hear Greg’s full Testament Of Youth review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #126

 

Stars(3)

 

 

Nick Gardener:

You can hear Nick’s full Testament Of Youth review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #126

 

Stars(3)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3.5)

 

IMDB Rating: Testament of Youth (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Testament Of Youth reviews: You will also be able to hear our Testament Of Youth review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #126. You can also read our Testament Of Youth review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

BELLE_A4 Payoff Poster_CMYK_Rated_No Billing Block

Summary: An illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 8th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Amma Asante

Screenwriter: Misan Sagay

Cast: Susan Brown (Baroness Vernon), Tony Eccles (Mr. Francis), Tom Felton (James Ashford), Sarah Gadon (Elizabeth Murray), Matthew Goode (Captain Sir John Lindsay), David Grant (Zoffany), Cara Jenkins (Young Elizabeth), Alex Jennings (Lord Ashford), Lauren Julien-Box (Young Dido), Bethan Mary-James (Mabel), Alfred Mather (Mr. Francis), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dido Elizabeth Belle), Alan McKenna (Harry), James Northcote ((Mr. Vaughn), James Norton (Oliver Ashford), Sam Reid (John Davinier), Miranda Richardson (Lady Ashford), Timothy Walker (Wimbrdige), Emily Watson (Lady Mansfield), Rupert Wickham (Reverend Davinier), Tom Wilkinson (Lord Mansfield), Penelope Wilton (Lady Mary Murray)

Runtime: 104 mins

Classification: PG

OUR BELLE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Greg KingYou can check out Greg’s Belle review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #78

Stars(3)

Nick GardenerYou can check out Nick’s Belle review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #78

Stars(3)

David Griffiths:

Sometimes timing is everything when it comes to a film’s release. Twelve months ago people would have been saying that Belle was a much needed film looking at equal rights for all people, no matter their skin colour. But in a stroke of bad luck for Belle it comes out only a few months after the critically acclaimed 12 Years A Slave, a film that went further into the subject matter than any film before it.

Still Belle does deserve some credit, it tells the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Odd Thomas, TV’S Touch) a young girl who was parented by a black slave mother and her father, Navy Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode – Stoker, The Vatican). When her mother dies, her father who loves her dearly decides that it would be best for her if she was looked after by his wealthy Aunt, Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson – The Book Thief, Some Girl(s)) and Uncle, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson – The Grand Budapest Hotel, Felony).

The plan doesn’t go completely to plan though. While Dido is loved by her adopted guardians and Lady Mary Murray (Penelope Wilton – The Girl, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) they find that no matter how hard they try society just won’t accept her the way that it accepts their own daughter, Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon – Maps To The Stars, The Amazing Spider-Man 2). The divide becomes even more apparent when the two women enter the ‘dating circle.’ While the well-off James Ashford (Tom Felton – In Secret, From The Rough) pursues Elizabeth his brother Oliver (James Norton – Mr. Turner, Rush) goes against his wishes and tries to become a suitor for Belle. Their mother, Lady Ashford (Miranda Richardson – Muppets Most Wanted, TV’S World Without End) does not fully like the fact that her son may marry a ‘mixed race’ woman but certainly sees financial benefit from it.

Just to further cause problems for Dido she becomes ‘interested’ in John Davinier (Sam Reid – ’71, The Railway Man), an ambitious young law student who continuously butts heads with Lord Mansfield.

Belle is the kind of film that will slightly frustrate its audience. The story behind the film is a fascinating one and not one that most people would be familiar with and while director Amma Asante (A Way Of Life) does a good job bringing the story to the big screen there just seems to be something that stops this film from becoming a brilliant cinematic experience.

While Asante and those involved for set design and costume capture the time period that Belle is set in have made the film look as good as a classic like Pride & Prejudice the screenplay, which comes from the pen of Misan Sigay (Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Secret Laughter of Woman), sadly lets the film down a little. The script makes the film feel more like an episode of Downton Abbey rather than something people would want to pay $20 to see at the cinema.

There are a number of scenes in the film that needed to be more dramatic than they actually are. The confrontation between Dido and James Ashford needed to be a lot more suspenseful and threatening while a lot of the ‘dating circle’ scenes that feature Lady Mansfield and Lady Ashford almost seem like they were written for a soap opera rather than a big screen film. Even the scenes revolving around the whole court case never reach the dramatic peaks that they should have. Perhaps as a screenwriter Sigay should have taken another look at Lincoln to see how a good screenwriter can make scenes like that so suspenseful.

The acting in Belle is also let down by the screenplay. The talented skills of Penelope Wilton, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson are hardly even tested as they never seem to get out of cruise control throughout the film. The younger cast fair a little though. Sarah Gadon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Sam Reid all show that they have promising careers ahead of them while it is also good to see Tom Felton being able to show his talents outside of the Harry Potter franchise.

Belle is far a disappointment but discerning film goers are likely to want a little more out of their film. Still it is good to see such an important story making it onto the big screen.

Stars(2.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2.5)

IMDB Rating:  Belle (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Belle′: Please check our full Belle review that aired on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #78

Trailer: