Tagged: Pauline Collins

You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

Summary: Director Woody Allen once again assembles an all-star cast including Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts and Josh Brolin for his comedy of two couples who find their lives turned upside down by unfulfilled longings. Alfie (Hopkins) is the husband of Helena (Gemma Jones) and the father of Sally (Watts). Sally’s marriage to Roy (Josh Brolin) is in jeopardy after she falls for Greg (Antonio Banderas). Both father and daughter find themselves running away from their romantic problems.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 17th January, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, Spain

Director: Woody Allen

Screenwriter: Woody Allen

Cast: Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Jonathan), Antonio Banderas (Greg), Ewan Bremner (Henry Strangler), Josh Brolin (Roy), Pauline Collins (Cristal), Anna Friel (Iris), Anthony Hopkins (Alfie), Celia Imrie (End Wicklow), Neil Jackson (Alan), Theo James (Ray), Gemma Jones (Helena), Alex Macqueen (Malcolm Dodds), Zack Orth (Narrator), Jim Piddock (Peter Wicklow), Freida Pinto (Dia), Lucy Punch (Charmaine), Naomi Watts (Sally), Fenella Woolgar (Jane)

Runtime: 98 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stanger’ Review: 

Poor old Woody Allen (To Rome With Love, Midnight In Paris) while directing the brilliant ‘Midnight In Paris’ resurrected his career and once again reminded the world of the fact that he is a filmmaking genius but it has also cast a shadow of everything he has released ever since. See you make a masterpiece and nothing else quite equals it.

‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger’ was actually made before ‘Midnight In Paris’ but is only just surfacing in Australia now, and to be honest it is a pretty good romantic drama but it is nowhere near as good as ‘Midnight In Paris’.

The film’s plot follows two couples. Firstly there is Helena (Gemma Jones – The Lady Vanishes, TV’S Death In Paradise) and Alfie (Anthony Hopkins – 360, Thor) who have just become divorced after Alfie went through an old-age crisis and decided he was too young for Helena… when actually he is just refusing to admit that he is growing old.

Now Helena is trying to get her life back on track after a failed suicide attempt by listening to everything that so-called medium, Cristal (Pauline Collins – Quartet, Albert Nobbs) is telling her. Meanwhile Alfie is leaking money like there is no tomorrow in a bid to impress his younger bride, escort and sometimes actress Charmaine (Lucy Punch – Stand Up Guys, Yellow).

Then there is Helena and Alfie’s daughter Sally (Naomi Watts – Two Mothers, Movie 43) who is married to frustrated writer Roy (Josh Brolin – Gangster Squad, Men In Black 3). While neither would admit the love went out of their marriage a long time ago and now Roy is stimulated by next door neighbor Dia (Freida Pinto – Immortals, Black Gold) while Sally is developing feelings for her boss Greg (Antonio Banderas – Ruby Sparks, Haywire).

If you think you’ll settle into watching ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger’ and laugh away at Woody Allen’s usual witty comedy think again! Here Allen takes a trip down the romantic drama path and it has to be said that it works quite well. The fact that Allen has brought his usual style of characterisation to the film is what makes it work so well. Each character is unique and you are quickly drawn to them.

As a film ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stanger’ does twist and wind its way through the characters’ lives but it is not an aimless journey instead it seems as though Allen is using the film to take a fair swipe at love, suggesting that the illusion of love is better than love itself. It may be a little cynical but Allen’s good script really allows him to make a powerful statement.

As usual Allen has put together a stellar cast and once again they deliver for him. Naomi Watts as usual does a great job while it’s good to see Josh Brolin shrug off some of the cornier roles that he has done recently. It is also good to see Anthony Hopkins also take on a role where he can once again show that he can be a dramatic actor without having to go down the ‘evil’ path.

Yes ‘You Will Meet A Talk Dark Stranger’ is nowhere near as good as ‘Midnight In Paris’ but it is still a worthy romantic drama to check out.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger′: Check Episode #16 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger’. Dave’s other review of ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 3.5/5

IMDB Rating: You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) on IMDb

Quartet

Summary: Cecily (Pauline Collins), Reggie (Tom Courtenay) and Wilfred (Billy Connolly) are in a home for retired opera singers. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday and they take part. Jean (Maggie Smith), who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on… and it does.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Dustin Hoffman

Screenwriter: Ronald Harwood

Cast: Shola Adewusi (Sheryl), Colin Bradbury (Olly Fisher) Virginia Bradbury (Daisy), Michael Byrne (Frank White), Pauline Collins (Cissy Robson), Billy Connolly (Wilf Bond), Tom Courtenay (Reginald Paget), Sarah Crowden (Felicity Liddle), Alexander Duczmal (Marta), Ania Duczmal (Eva), Ronnie Fox (Nobby), Michael Gambon (Cedric Livingston),John Georgeiadis (Bill),  John Heley (Leo Cassell), Ita Herbert (Regina), Jack Honeyborne (Dave Trubeck), Ronnie Hughes (Tony Rose), Jumayn Hunter (Joey), Dame Gwyneth Jones (Anne Langley), Denis Khoroshko (Tadek), Patricia Loveland (Letitia Davis), Iona Mathieson (Young Violinist Iona), Isla Mathieson (Young Violinist Isla), Cynthia Morey (Lottie Yates), Luke Newberry (Simon), Kent Olesen (Lars), Trevor Peacock (George), Eline Powell (Angelique), John Rawnsley (Nigel), David Ryall (Harry), Andrew Sachs (Bobby Swanson), Graeme Scott (Fred), Maggie Smith (Jean Horton), Sheridan Smith (Dr. Lucy Cogan), Patricia Varley (Octavia), Melonie Waddingham (Marion Reed), Nuala Willis (Norma McIntyre)

Runtime: 98 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Quartet’ Review: 

‘Quartet’ is unashamedly aimed at an older audience, but that certainly shouldn’t put you off if you’re of the younger generation and enjoy a good film. Because age demographic aside ‘Quartet’ is an enjoyable film that is likely to provide a chuckle or two along the way.

Directed by legendary actor, Dustin Hoffman (who hasn’t directed a film since 1978’s Straight Time) Quartet’ finds three members of England’s once-most talented opera quartet living together in a retirement home for retired musicians under the charge of young doctor, Dr. Lucy Cogan (Sheridan Smith – Mr. Stink, TV’S Jonathan Creek).

The first member of the group is Reginald (Tom Courtenay – Gambit, The End Of An Era) who seems  so active and ‘with-it’ it would appear he has gone into the home too early. He is still extremely active and keeps his mind going by passing on his musical knowledge to young students. When asked why he went into the home he always says he is in there to be with his best friend, Wilf (Billy Connolly – Brave, TV’S House) who has lost the ability to censor himself after a stroke affected his brain. Rounding out the group is Cissy (Pauline Collins – Albert Nobbs, TV’S Mount Pleasant) who knows suffers from such severe dementia that she constantly needs to be reminded what she should be doing.

The trio’s world is turned upside down though when the new resident who moves in just happens to be Jean (Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, TV’S Downtown Abby) – the missing member of their quartet. While Cissy and Wilf thinks it would be great to get Jean to rejoin their quartet so they can perform in a gala night being put together by the extremely bossy Cedric (Michael Gambon – Restless, TV’S Luck). It seems like a good idea however Jean seems like she is reluctant to ever perform again while poor Reginald is at a loss at what to do as Jean once broke his heart.

Hoffman brings together a wonderfully brilliant film that certainly captivates it’s audience, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t made a couple of mistakes along the well. On the surface the idea of having the central characters played by actors and the other residents in the home being played by some of the Europe’s finest opera performers and musicians seems like a great idea, however during the film the ‘others’ seem to get dangerously out-acted by what can only be described as an A-List of some of the United Kingdom’s finest actors.

No matter your age you will find yourself drawn to the characters of ‘Quartet’. It’s a heartfelt story and let’s be honest you don’t have to be in this film’s demographic to know what heart ache or the lack of self-worth feels like. Don’t take any notice of the advertising this really is a film that can be enjoyed by all age groups.

Of course as you would expect one of the standouts about ‘Quartet’ are the acting performances. As usual Maggie Smith is brilliant while Pauline Collins also does a fabulous job. But even they seem to be outdone by Michael Gambon who seems to embrace a slight comedic part while Billy Connolly leaves everybody in his wake and he gathers up laughs left, right and centre.

‘Quartet’ is a great little film that reminds us all that you don’t need a big budget, just a great script, to work as a cinema piece.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Quartet′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Quartet’. Dave’s other review of ‘Quartet’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 3.5/5

IMDB Rating: Quartet (2012) on IMDb