Posts Tagged ‘Cate Blanchett’

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Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)

November 17, 2015

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After an opening credits sequence in which we follow a male individual through the streets of 1950s New York and into an indoors encounter with a female acquaintance, director Todd Haynes drops a fairly explicit reference to another film in the beginning of his new movie, Carol, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt. The film he references is David Lean’s 1945 effort Brief Encounter, oft-considered one of the great works about the intertwining of romance and repression. The reference comes through this male individual’s unfortunate interruption of a meeting between that female acquaintance, Therese (Rooney Mara), and the woman she has been listening to with such intent, Carol (Cate Blanchett). The male’s unbeknownst disturbance upon a most important meeting sees Carol make an early departure, touching the seated Therese on the shoulder as she leaves the public venue, just as Trevor Howard does to Celia Johnson in Brief Encounter.

Like in Lean’s film, there is a sense that this may be the last time the pair meets, and that their precious time together has been cruelly cut short by a frivolous link to their lives outside of each other (the male acquaintance is a friend of Therese’s male beau). In what’s also a similar structural conceit toBrief Encounter, this scene will repeat itself towards the end of Carol, as what’s in between fills in the blanks, revealing what this relationship is all about. It’s a bold move to so overtly bring to mind another major romantic work at the very beginning of your own, but it’s a gambit that doesn’t see Haynes’ efforts flounder. As premature as it might be to say in a review for an initial theatrical run,Carol more than earns the right of comparison to Brief Encounter in terms of quality. Frankly, it’s one of the new great romantic films…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Peter Jackson, 2014)

December 10, 2014

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What began with An Unexpected Journey ends in an altogether expected fashion, as Peter Jackson wraps up his frequently misguided three-part adaptation of The Hobbit with basically no (pleasant) surprises and most of the same weaknesses that plagued both …Journey and The Desolation of Smaug. There is a smattering of fantasy fun amid the po-faced gloom, though. On a minute-by-minute basis, The Battle of the Five Armies – by far the shortest of Jackson’s Middle Earth films – is the most solid entry of this prequel trilogy…

Click for the full review for The Skinny

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Peter Jackson, 2013)

December 13, 2013

The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug

Though still brimming with some narrative bloat, the second Hobbit feature is overall a considerable improvement on its meandering, tonally scattered predecessor. Less shapeless, though not free of venturing down uninteresting tangents (Hi, Legolas), it feels much more confident and moves with a greater sense of urgency…

Click for the full review for The Skinny