Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Shirley is a semi-biographical films about horror writer Shirley Jackson. As she struggles to start writing her latest book, a newly-wed couple arrive to stay in the home she shares with her philandering husband, Stanley Hyman, a man who is worshipped by the students he teaches at the local university. The young couple are toyed with by Shirley and her husband who use them as pawns in their power play with each other.
Shirley wasn't an easy film to watch, the characters weren't particularly likeable and the film drifted in and out of reality in parts which I guess was trying to work as an insight into Jackson's mind and the story she would ultimately compose. Elizabeth Moss gave a really good performance in the title role but overall it wasn't a particularly memorable biopic.
Lee Israel earned success as a celebrity biographer during the 1970's and early 1980's. However, when her writing fell out of favour with her publisher and audiences she found herself struggling for to make an income. Out of desperation she finds she has a skill for forgery, beginning with forging signatures of the famous icons of years gone by and then finding that she could write in the voice of these famous figures and went onto forging private letters which sold for a great deal of money at auctions.
Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant both hold their own here as two social rejects struggling to get ahead in life, grasping at any opportunity that is thrown their way. Both are very watchable and despite them performing mass deception you find yourself willing them to get away with it because they play memorable and likeable characters. It's also just a fascinating story, how Lee Israel managed to get away with this deception for such a long time and also the sheer skill she had for bringing long dead celebrity icons back to life on paper, having close friends and colleagues believing the fakes were real. An interesting tale of literary deception in the 80's.
After the human race is wiped out Del believes he is alone in the world. He spends his time living in his small hometown, burying the bodies left behind, collecting supplies and cataloguing books at the Library. When he finds a young woman called Grace still alive in a crashed car he cares for her and he reluctantly agrees to her staying. However, when two strangers arrive claiming they know Grace Del realises that the world outside of his small town is not what he thought it was.
This isn't an action packed film and there is a very small cast but Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning do a decent job of leading the film and keeping you interested. There are no big story arcs about saving humanity here, it is purely a character piece about how different people cope in extreme circumstances and how these extraordinary circumstances might bring the most unlikely of characters together to keep us feeling human. It is a little slow in places and it's a shame we didn't get a wider glimpse into the world beyond Del's life but was still a worth while story.
A car accident has left Gina blind since a young child. Since then she fell in love and married her husband James. Gina relies on James to help her navigate their lives in Bangkok. However, once Gina has ground breaking surgery to restore the sight in one of her eyes she begins to gain back her independence and her relationship with her husband dratically changes.
This film surprised me because initially I thought it was to be a standard thriller and the husband was to be revealed as someone different who had a secret life or was some kind of psychopath. However, it is a story a lot more grounded in reality in that. Previous to her regaining her sight James is the most important person in Gina's life and he enjoys it but when she gets back her independence, makes new friends and restyles herself he begins to lose some of the control he had and the reliance she had on him and so does all he can to regain control and get back the life they once had together.
One of the main things that stands out from this film is the visual style. It is filmed in a way to reflect Gina's limited sight and to also show the slowly growing fractures in the central character's relationship. It's a well acted and surprising story that I enjoyed, not at all what it seemed like from the trailers.
Tom and Gemma are looking for their perfect home when they stumble upon an estate agent who takes them into a new development where every house and street looks exactly the same. They look around, eager to leave only to find the estate agent has vanished at which piont they climb into their car to drive home, The only problem is that every road they take brings them back to the same house. As day becomes night they give up and settle down into the house, hoping to find a way out the following morning. However, the next morning a box of provisions arrives and a child with a note telling them they can only leave once they have raised the child as their own.
Vivarium is a completely bonkers mix of sci-fi and psychological horror. Both Eisenberg and Poots are superb in their roles as a couple forced into domesticity as a matter of survival and the young actor who plays their adopted child is the most disturbing child character that has ever graced the screen. His character will get under your skin and stay there and will certainly put you off having children. The film as a whole can be best described as one slow and surreal decent into madness. There was no real explanation at the end as to how this situation occured but it didn't need it, it was such an unnerving experience that you'll be happy to move on with your life without explanation.