‘Mother!’ (2017)

‘Mother!’ is actually one of the worst films I have ever seen. Don’t be fooled by other critics, art it is not. In the climax I couldn’t stop myself from laughing, it was so ridiculous. This is such a heavy handed biblical alegory/ metaphor done in the least subtle way possible. This could be a career ending film, first the god awful ‘Noah’ and now this. Man-splaining womanhood at its worst. Can’t wait to hear the mental contortions, explanations of men who love this film explaining it to women. The director in trying to depict the ‘violent sacrifice’ of women has himself created a deeply abusive film towards women. Depiction may not be endorsement but the violence depicted here is laughable and gratuitous. The first half is not terrible but the ending is as if a teenage angst boy who hates the world wrote a bible inspired wet fever dream about his woman hating/using guilt. How could academy award winning Jennifer Lawrence degrade herself as an actress and a woman to make this film. My response to this film can be summed with ‘ugh I get it!’ Enough. 1/10

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‘Manchester By The Sea’ 2016

‘Manchester By The Sea’ is one of the most moving and true depictions of men grieving that I have ever seen. As someone who has experienced the death of an immediate family member the film really struck a nerve and spoke to a truth I knew. Casey Affleck is cast in the role of his career, a note perfect performance that never over steps the mark reminding me of Heath Ledger or Brando in its naturalism and stunted emotion. It’s funny in parts, emotionally draining in others, but always true. A beautiful painting of sadness, grief and tortured masculinity reaching out for something great than what we have and can ever say. C.S Lewis once wrote that grief is the loneliness experience you can go through, no two people grieve in the same way. Words fail, interactions gloss over the immensity of thoughts and emotions, depths remain unspoken. It is such a human experience watching this film, seeing us fail so spectacularly again and again and yet redeem ourselves in a look or a turn of phrase. ‘Manchester By The Sea’ captures both our inability to overtly express our true emotions and yet subtlety shows us the tortured soul that lurks in all of us. The screenplay is a work of surgical genius, rare it is to see a film that conserves its dialogue to say so little and express so much. One of the best films of the year 10/10

‘Monster’s University’ 2013

‘Monster’s University’ 2013

Director: Dan Scanlon

Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

‘A Pale-Imitation of A Pixar Classic : A Pastel Plot Without Real Light And Dark’. Last year with the release of the sub-par ‘Brave’ I declared that the golden age of Pixar had ended. ‘Monster’s University’ the prequel to the wildly successful ‘Monster’s Inc’ 2001, solidifies that opinion. This view was most painfully obvious in the unexciting climax.¬†Though the film starts out as a cheerful reminisce in the vibrant Pixar pastel hues, the story-line develops in a flat-line manner without the unexpected, surprising and original plot highs and lows that is the hallmark of every great Pixar film. Uncle Walt famously stated that ‘for every laugh there must be a tear’. The laughs owe much to the former classic and the flat-line plot never reaches giddying highs or lows. Both ‘Brave’ and ‘Monster’s University’ suffer from the same lack of confidence, unwilling to be daring and challenging, instead creating plots that may help children face some life challenges and develop but follow a formulaic safe path. Where in a film about monsters scaring children are the truly scary moments? or the truly sorrowful moments? where is Pixar’s courage? Truly scary is when the Beast first encounters Belle, truly sad is the first 10mins of Up, truly complicated is as the characters of Toy Story hold hands in stoic acceptance of their impending death. All round an enjoyable film but left me yearning for the Pixar golden age. ¬†7/10 B+