Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The bad film review - me no likey!

While I write lovely, positive reviews for 'The Good Review' web site, I don't like everything I go and see.

I don't want to dislike a film. I've made my choice based on the trailers and reviews on Film 2012 with Claudia Winkelman and I've paid good money to be entertained.

However, I am sad to say that of the last two films I've watched, I could give neither a 'good review'.

Starring Charlize Theron  - from the Director of 'Up In The Air' and the writer of 'Juno'.

Picture source Wikipedia.
It should have been great. It had everything going for it, and Claudia loved it.

This synopsis is taken from the Young Adult official web site:

Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either.

Charleze Theron is certainly odious and at times looks rougher than the dog she carries around in her hand bag. But it just didn't work, because I didn't believe that this part slob, part super model were two sides of the same character. It needed to be played by someone much trashier or more stupid!

Plus her High School beau, the reason why she went back to Hicksville (to lure him away from his new wife and baby),  just wasn't special enough to merit all the fuss. 

The saving grace was former class mate Matt Freehauf played by Patton Oswalt. Crippled by gay bashing High School jocks, Matt's locker was next to Mavis' when they were younger. Not that she ever noticed. Now that they are older, he gets the opportunity to deliver some great observational one liners and the two form an unlikely friendship.

Other than that - I was bored. Sorry, I really did want to like it.

Again, I had high hopes. An adaptation of a John le Carré novel. A stellar cast of John Hurt, Gary Oldman and the lovely Colin Firth. A film with BAFTA's coming out of its ears.

Picture source Wikipedia.
I was really surprised, but I found the whole thing 'muddy'. The plot was muddy and everything visually was brown so it even looked muddy. I know that colours are often used in films to evoke an era, but I don't remember the 70's looking quite like that. Apart from the cars it felt more like the 1950's.

While it was filmed beautifully - after a while the enigmatic shots taken of reflections in windows started to lose their impact. And while I do agree that Gary Oldman played the complex character of Secret Service agent George Smiley very well, I just didn't care enough about the characters or what happened to them.

'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' is not a short film - it's over two hours long. And it's slow - really slow! It was like the book had been ironed with all the peaks and troughs of a thriller flattened out into one constant tempo that just bubbled along at the same level of intensity. The film just wasn't allowed to breathe. Its shallow, restricted breath was like those of a person asleep - ah no, that was me!

I felt that the film had gazed into its navel for so long it had folded in on itself with a self satisfied chorus of "aren't we good". But it wasn't. It made me want to defect. I know it's about a mole - but then I knew that before I'd even seen the film.

But then what do I know. BAFTA loved it - awarding it the 'Outstanding British Film Award'. Sadly I don't think that says much about the other nominees.

Anyway don't take my word for it - you might love it! However, if you do decide to watch it, read the synopsis beforehand, then at least you'll have a fighting chance of understanding what's going on.

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