Tag Archives: Colin Farrell

“The Beguiled”

LOUISA: 3 STARS


LOUISA SAYS:

It’s almost as if Sofia Coppola ‘s period piece “The Beguiled” was tailor-made to divide audiences, and I place the blame solely on the studio’s marketing department. Chalk this one up for one of the most intentionally misleading movie trailers of the year. For the odd mainstream moviegoer who is tricked by the preview into buying a ticket, it’s going to be a near guaranteed letdown.

The Southern gothic, atmospheric thriller is Coppola’s take on remaking the 1971 Clint Eastwood film of the same name (which was based on the novel by Thomas Cullinan). The story takes place during the Civil War at a boarding school for girls. A group of students (Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice), their headmistress Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman), and teacher Edwina (Kirsten Dunst) take in Yankee soldier McBurney (Colin Farrell), who is wounded with life-threatening injuries.

The women agree to give him a safe place to recover but with a hunky (and forbidden) male in the house, sexual tensions begin to simmer beneath the surface, sparking unspoken jealous rage among the young women. After McBurney gets back on his feet, the story takes an unexpected “fox in the henhouse” turn with potentially dire consequences.

The idea and story are great, I just wish Coppola hadn’t been so restrained with the material. There is so much more that is begging to be explored here but her film only barely skims the surface. When the big “unexpected surprise twist” occurs, it’s a real letdown and quite frankly, doesn’t even make that much sense. Even the motivations and circumstances leave little impact. Oh what a disturbing and vengeful feminist rivalry tale this could’ve been.

Still, the film is beautifully shot and directed with its hauntingly pretty (if often claustrophobic) setting. Think of this film as refined without enough complexity. The underlying tension isn’t nearly tense enough, and there’s a lack of any sense of desperation. danger, or despair. At least the period costumes are intricately detailed, the acting is proficient across the board (with Farrell being the real standout), and the film’s deliberate pacing serves the story well.

This movie should’ve and could’ve been shocking, seductive and disturbing and while it’s a well rounded film, in the end there just isn’t much to it.

“The Lobster”

LOUISA:   4 STARS     MATT:   3 STARS


LOUISA SAYS:

This offbeat, subversive and squirm-inducing film is the perfect companion piece to director Yorgos Lanthimos‘ other feature, “Dogtooth.” In a society where nobody is allowed to be single, loner humans eventually find themselves at an institution where you have 45 days to find a suitable mate or you’ll be turned into an animal of your choice. This, of course, leads people to ‘fake it’ — with dire consequences.

When David (an always fantastic Colin Farrell) finds himself on the run after escaping the institute, he joins a pack of militant singles hiding out in the woods – where coupling is also forbidden – and finds his true love in a short sighted woman (Rachel Weisz).

Presenting an interesting take on society’s obsession with love, sex, and the fear of being alone, this devilishly funny movie often had me questioning my mental state when I’d start to laugh. It’s not for everyone (the director’s trademark horrifying brutality towards animals is certainly in play here), but those who give it a shot are in for a treat. I also loved the simple and silly horror score which punctuated the sarcastic tone of the film.

With an ending that’s open for endless interpretation, “The Lobster” will shatter your notions of what it means to be in love.

MATT SAYS:

Another Sundance Film Festival movie with a strange but fascinating premise: all single people are rounded up and placed in a hotel. They have 45 days to find a partner; if they don’t, at the end of the 45 days they are transformed into an animal of their choice.

The premise serves to drive an insightful story about humanity, and why we feel so driven (or, alternatively, why society thinks it so important) that we find a significant other. It also raises interesting questions about the nature of love and affection, and what it is that we look for in a life partner — and what keeps us bound to that person that we have chosen to walk through life with us.

While I didn’t love “The Lobster,” I did like and appreciate its unique take on one of the central concerns of the human condition. If you appreciate offbeat darkly comic movies and want to be challenged in your perceptions of the nature of love, romance, and solitude, then I encourage you to see this movie.

Sundance Recap: “The Lobster”

LOUISA:   4 STARS     MATT:   3 STARS


LOUISA SAYS:

This offbeat, subversive and squirm-inducing film is the perfect companion piece to director Yorgos Lanthimos‘ other feature, “Dogtooth.” In a society where nobody is allowed to be single, loner humans eventually find themselves at an institution where you have 45 days to find a suitable mate or you’ll be turned into an animal of your choice. This, of course, leads people to ‘fake it’ — with dire consequences.

When David (an always fantastic Colin Farrell) finds himself on the run after escaping the institute, he joins a pack of militant singles hiding out in the woods – where coupling is also forbidden – and finds his true love in a short sighted woman (Rachel Weisz).

Presenting an interesting take on society’s obsession with love, sex, and the fear of being alone, this devilishly funny movie often had me questioning my mental state when I’d start to laugh. It’s not for everyone (the director’s trademark horrifying brutality towards animals is certainly in play here), but those who give it a shot are in for a treat. I also loved the simple and silly horror score which punctuated the sarcastic tone of the film.

With an ending that’s open for endless interpretation, “The Lobster” will shatter your notions of what it means to be in love.

MATT SAYS:

Another Sundance Film Festival movie with a strange but fascinating premise: all single people are rounded up and placed in a hotel. They have 45 days to find a partner; if they don’t, at the end of the 45 days they are transformed into an animal of their choice.

The premise serves to drive an insightful story about humanity, and why we feel so driven (or, alternatively, why society thinks it so important) that we find a significant other. It also raises interesting questions about the nature of love and affection, and what it is that we look for in a life partner — and what keeps us bound to that person that we have chosen to walk through life with us.

While I didn’t love “The Lobster,” I did like and appreciate its unique take on one of the central concerns of the human condition. If you appreciate offbeat darkly comic movies and want to be challenged in your perceptions of the nature of love, romance, and solitude, then I encourage you to see this movie.