Tagged: Tom Kemp

Summary: Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st January 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 9th January 2020

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Greta Gerwig

Screenwriter: Greta Gerwig, Louisa May Alcott

Cast: Dash Barber (Fred Vaughn), Timothee Charlamet (Theodore ‘Laurie’ Laurence), Chris Cooper (Mr. Laurence), J.M. Davis (Susan Robbins), Laura Dern (Marmee March), Lilly Englert (Kate Vaughn), Sasha Frolova (Mrs. Hummel), Louie Garrel (Friedrich Bhaer), Jayne Houdeyshell (Hannah), Ana Kayne (Olivia), Tom Kemp (Asa Melvin), Charlotte Kinder (Viola), Adrianne Krstansky (Mrs. Dashwood), Tracy Letts (Mr. Dashwood), Bill Mootos (Mr. Davis), Jen Nikolaisen (Evelyn Meriweather), James Norton (John Brooke),  Bob Odenkirk (Father March), Maryanne Plunkett (Mrs. Kirke), Florence Pugh (Amy March), Abby Quinn (Annie Moffat), Jared Reinfeldt (Ned Moffat), Hadley Robinson (Sallie Gardiner Moffat), Saoirse Ronan (Jo March), Amber Leanne Rothberg (Young Meg), Eliza Scanlen (Beth March), Meryl Streep (Aunt March), Emma Watson (Meg March), Lewis D. Wheeler (Josiah Workman)

Running Time: 135 mins

Classification: G (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

 

OUR LITTLE WOMEN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths Review:

Timeless tales never die. That is the only defence you can really use against people who are convinced that the new adaption of Little Women should never have been made. Yes, there have been a number of cinematic versions of Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale that have made it to the big screen over the years, but every adaption has its own tone and feel and that is what makes them unique. I can remember the same being said when Baz Luhrmann re-created Romeo + Juliet… and look how well that ended up turning out. Besides after the quirkiness of Ladybird how could anybody not be curious to see what Greta Gerwig was going to do with Alcott’s classic.

Gerwig does do little to change the basic storyline. The film is set in 1868 with Jo March (Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn), a budding young writer getting a story published by a local publisher. At the same time her work is heavily criticised by one of her co-workers and in a bid to escape how she feels about it she uses the fact that her sister, Beth (Eliza Scanlen – Sharp Objects) is sick to return home. As she spends time with her mother (Laura Dern – Wild) and her other two sisters, Meg (Emma Watson – Harry Potter & The Philospher’s Stone) and Amy (Florence Pugh – The Commuter) she reflects on their lives and the obstacles they have overcome.

A scathing critic would probably try to point out that Little Women’s main focus is on female empowerment but I would argue that Gerwig’s film goes even deeper than that. This is not simply a film about female empowerment this is the film that explores the notion of how a family pulls together to overcome some of the most turbulent and life-changing obstacles that anybody can face. From the harsh fights between Amy and Jo, through the four sisters having to face numerous struggles with their father is off at war this is more a film about family then it is anything else.

The power of this version of Little Women though is how much the film draws you into the character’s lives. At a quick glance the character of Jo could be considered cold-hearted especially towards the men in her life, including Laurie (Timothee Chalamet – Beautiful Boy). But through the power of Gerwig’s writing and directing the audience gets to see what makes Jo this way and that is something that can’t be said for all versions of Little Women. Gerwig also allows the film to show the struggle of the artist as well – whether it be a writer, a painter or a teacher all find themselves tested during this time of war and this secondary element to the plot adds a powerful element to the film that continues to draw the audience in.

What also drives this film is a repeat of one of the strengths from Lady Bird. As a director it is obvious that Gerwig knows how to draw the best out of her cast. Here Saoirse Ronan is once again in award winning form and she is well supported by Emma Watson and Florence Pugh who both seem to have turned up their acting game several levels as well. In regards to Ronan though she is well directed by Gerwig with the scene of the final confrontation between herself and Laurie being an absolute highlight. The raw emotion that is generated from the screen during the scene is a rarity in modern day cinema and needs to be cherished.

A special mention must also be made to Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada). While she has limited screen time she managed to steal every scene she was in with a truly powerful performance. Her scenes with both Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh are some of the best examples of brilliant acting you will all year. There is a real power with those scenes and neither younger actress seems to be over-awed by the fact that they are sharing the scene with acting royalty.

Every adaption of Little Women has something that sets it apart from the others but few have the sheer emotion and power that we see here with Gerwig’s interpretation. Here Gerwig uncovers secret layers to the plot that lesser filmmakers would have not noticed while at the same time she directs one of the most talented younger casts that modern day cinema has ever seen assembled. If you leave in preconceived notions you have about Little Woman at the cinema door you will find yourself totally drawn into this worthy drama.

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating: Little Women (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment LittleWomen Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

Demolition

Summary: A successful investment banker struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. With the help of a customer service rep and her young son, he starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 14th July 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Jean-Marc Vallee

Screenwriter: Bryan Sipe

Cast: Madison Arnold (Ray), Stephen Badlamenti (Mickey), B Bastian (Jennifer), Blaire Brooks (Amy), James Colby (John), Ben Cole (Steven), Chris Cooper (Phil), Polly Draper (Margot), Brendan Drooling (Todd), Jake Gyllenhaal (Davis), Royce Johnson (Secuirty Marty), Tom Kemp (Dr. Brodkey), Judah Lewis (Chris), Heather Lind (Julia), Alfredo Narcisco (Michael), Wass Stevens (Jimmy), Naomi Watts (Karen),C.J. Wilson (Carl), James Young (Ahmed)

Runtime: 101 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR DEMOLITION REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

For me as a critic ‘Demolition’ is like a five star explosion. The director, Jean-Marc Vallee, received five stars from me for his last two films – the heart-gripping drama ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ and the visually spectacular ‘Wild’, while leading man Jake Gyllenhaal has garnished the same scores for his recent films – ‘Prisoners,’ ‘Nightcrawler’ and ‘Southpaw.’ I would be lying if I said I was expecting something brilliant from ‘Demolition’ and this time I was disappointed.

‘Demolition’ is the story of a broken man. To the outside world Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal – ‘Nightcrawler’) is a man who has everything. He has an amazing looking home, a successful career in finance and the perfect marriage to Julia (Heather Lind – ‘Mistress America’). But then when Julia is killed in a car accident he re-accesses his life through a series of letters to a convenience machine company and soon he finds himself wondering whether or not he really loved Julia and also suddenly discovering a need to want to demolish everything. These letters also bring him into contact with the emotionally damaged Karen (Naomi Watts – ‘The Ring’) and her troubled young son, Chris (Judah Lewis – ‘Deliverance Creek’)… something that causes an even big rift between Davis and his father-in-law, Phil (Chris Cooper – ‘American Beauty’).

It’s not a cliché that I normally like to use but ‘Demolition’ really is one of the movies of the year, in fact it is a lesson in filmmaking (from the screenwriting up) to any young filmmaker out there. Screenwriter, Brian Sipe (‘The Choice’) doesn’t waste a single second of screen time. He sets up the relationship between Davis and Julia in less than a minute and as the film delves into the life of a man falling apart the audience are kept guessing exactly what is going to happen next in that special form of character driven suspense… something that we previously have only got to experience in special films like ‘The Safety Of Objects.

‘Demolition’ is one of those amazing films were the director really understood what the screenwriter was trying to do and captures the vibe from the page and brings it to the screen in a remarkable way. So many lesser directors would have taken Sipe’s script and tried to make everything painfully obvious to the audience but here Vallee keeps his audience guessing. There are a tonne of questions that need to be asked about the brilliantly written and edgy character of Chris while the will they/won’t they tension between Davis and Karen is ever present without ever becoming clichéd or cheesy. That also leads to a second level of suspense as the audience waits to see what happens with Karen’s ‘boyfriend’ Carl (C.J. Wilson – ‘The Intern’).

Sipe’s screenplay also allows the cast to put in some amazing performances that are deserved of any awards that they should pick up. As we saw in ‘Nightcrawler’ and ‘Southpaw’ Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance goes to a whole new level when he is asked to play a character who is falling apart and here Gyllenhaal certainly brings his A-Game. Whether it be a scene where he is mentally breaking down while demolishing his home with a sledgehammer or sharing a touching emotion scene with Judah Lewis… his performance is truly captivating.

Follow in Gyllenhaal’s footsteps in Naomi Watts who has sadly been wasted in woeful films like ‘Allegiant’ and ‘Diana’ recently. But here as Watts is given a meatier script and able to play the drug affected Karen she really comes to the fore and reminds audiences just what a fine actress then she really is. Then there is the arrival of Judah Lewis. This young actor seems to relish playing a young character struggling to cope with his sexuality and the fact that his drug addicted mother is not paying enough attention to him. Lewis breezes through even some of the more difficult scenes and he really announces himself as a young actor to watch in the future.

In a cinematic world where bigger is considered better and every film released seems to what to out do it’s predecessor’s special effects it is a real relief to be able to sit down and watch a film like ‘Demolition’ – a film that relies on the fact that it has a brilliant screenplay and actors who are at the top of their game to pull it off. ‘Demolition’ is one of the films of the year and also shows why Jake Gyllenhaal now has to be considered one of the best actors of our generation.

 

Stars(5)

 

 

 

Greg King:

Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a hot shot financier whose wife is killed in a car crash. He goes into denial and his life goes into melt down and he begins to alienate everyone around him. Including his father-in-law Phil (Chris Cooper), who also happens to be his boss.
A minor incident involving a vending machine in the hospital though is the real catalyst for his frustration. He writes complaint letters to the company, which attract the attention of Karen Moreno (Naomi Watts), the sympathetic customer service representative. She finds something about the personal revelations in his letters of complaint that intrigues her. An unlikely relationship slowly develops. But it is his relationship with her troubled delinquent son Chris (newcomer Judah Lewis), who is struggling with his own sexuality and identity, that really starts the healing process. Davis becomes something of a surrogate father figure for the wayward adolescent.
Davis also finds release through demolishing things, from household appliances up to his own house. Wrecking his own beautiful, architecturally designed house with a sledgehammer proves cathartic, but it is also a heavy handed metaphor for leaving his old life behind and moving on. Ironically, in one of his letters Davis writes: “For some reason, everything has become a metaphor.”
Written by Bryan Sipe (who also penned the recent adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice), this is a rather downbeat and unpredictable drama dealing with death, grief, and the process of moving on.Demolition has been directed by French-Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee, who directed Matthew McConaughey to an Oscar in Dallas Buyers Club. Demolition is full of some of his trademark stylish flourishes – such as dreamlike shots, slow motion flashbacks and looped images – that give parts of the film a similar surreal quality to his enigmatic Cafe de Flore. Music has also been an important element in Vallee’s films beginning with the coming of age tale CRAZY, and here he has compiled a great soundtrack that mixes older acts like Heart and Free with indie bands like Cave and Half Moon Run, and some classical music.
Demolition has been shot by his regular cinematographer Yves Belanger, and there are some crisp and striking images. But this vaguely disappointing tale attempts to explore similar territory to that Vallee essayed in the more successful Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon as a woman trying to find herself through an arduous physical experience.
There are solid performances all round, particularly from the charismatic young Lewis who brings a spark of energy to the film that contrasts with Gyllenhaal’s downbeat and quietly compelling reading of his grieving character. The always reliable Gyllenhaal appears in virtually every scene, and he anchors this quirky but ultimately flawed drama, delivering another of his intense, edgy performances as the self destructive and emotionally stunted Davis. Cooper brings his usual stoic, gruff and world weary persona to an underwritten role, while Watts delivers another strong performance as a woman who is also dealing with her own emotional issues.
But despite the emotional content and late bursts of sentimentality, Demolition is a film that will not have broad appeal. However, it should do well on the festival circuit and in art house cinemas.

 

Stars(2.5)

 

 

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

 

IMDB Rating:  Demolition (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Demolition reviews: Nil.

 

Trailer:

Blue Jasmine

Summary: After everything in her life falls to pieces, including her marriage to wealthy businessman Hal (Alec Baldwin), elegant New York socialite Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) moves into her sister Ginger’s modest apartment in San Francisco to try to pull herself back together again.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 12th September, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Woody Allen

Screenwriter: Woody Allen

Cast: Alec Baldwin (Hal), Tammy Blanchard (Jane), Cate Blanchett (Jasmine), Louis C.K. (Al), Bobby Cannavale (Chili), Max Casella (Eddie), Andrew Dice Clay (Augie), Alden Ehrenreich (Danny), Ali Fedotowsky (Melanie), Sally Hawkins (Ginger), Emily Hsu (Amy), Daniel Jenks (Matthew), Tom Kemp (Nat), Andrew Long (Ed), Annie McNamara (Nora), Max Rutherford (Johnny), Peter Sarsgaard (Dwight), Carl Schreiber (Tristan), Michael Stuhlbarg (Dr. Flicker), Charlie Tahan (Young Danny), Kathy Tong (Raylene)

Runtime: 98 mins

Classification:M

OUR REVIEWS/RATINGS OF ‘BLUE JASMINE’:

Greg King: Stars(4)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Blue Jasmine’ that is available on www.filmreviews.com.au

Nick Gardener: Stars(4)

Please check Nick’s review of ‘Blue Jasmine’ that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 49

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

IMDB Rating:  Blue Jasmine (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Blue Jasmine′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 49 for our in-depth review of ‘Blue Jasmine.’

Trailer: