Benediction has a lot of strong parts about it, for starters the acting is very well done from everyone involved Jack Lowden as Siegfried Sassoon was quite fantastic, the end of the film is truly powerful and leaves with a very strong note in hand. The direction from Terrance Davies is very raw and quite powerful as well, the best part about the film is the film’s exploration of Sassoon as a poet and him as a person. Which leads to some quite fascinating moments that truly capture the 1920s during World War I, what mostly helps it feels like Davies’s direction feels a bit personal here. Which isn’t a first time occurrence as he sometimes does put some personal type elements in his autobiographical films, whether that be camera angles that really standout and are up close, parts of the writing that instantly connects the viewer to who the film is about in this case Sassoon, or the very raw acting that completely builds some of the strongest moments in his films. The pacing and the running time do slow the film back a bit, however it isn’t nearly enough to stop this film from being beautifully done and told.
Orders From Above is a very straightforward film that immediately gets to the point, the whole film is 15 years after World War II Israeli police officer Avnet Less interrogates Adolf Eichmann who was the person who came up with the Holocaust. The film is shot entirely in black and white which adds to the atmosphere to the film, it’s a very raw piece that explains Eichmann’s crimes. As Eichmann constantly denies that he was the mastermind behind the Holocaust, Less keeps pushing him and even showing videos of what he’s done. Richard Cotter who plays Avnet Less and Peter J Donnelly who plays Adolf Eichmann are both fantastic, they give powerful performances and the interrogation conversations are masterfully performed, when Eichmann is shown videos of his crimes (which are actual real videos and photos of Holocaust victims so be warned if you plan on watching this film it does get a bit disturbing), Donnelly truly knocks it out of the park with his performance. The writing is truly powerful with tons of striking moments that grab the viewer’s attention, overall Orders From Above is raw, powerful and disturbing. I highly recommend checking this one out!
Orders From Above is available on all VOD Platforms.
Call Jane definitely tells a true story that’s very important when it comes to abortion rights, there’s a lot good things about this movie even if it all does not come together as good as it could have been. For starters Kate Mara, Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver all give really strong performances that absolutely make this movie, they are fully invested into their roles and truly deliver, the incredible true story that’s being told here however I wish was told a lot better than just decently told. The movie doesn’t go quite deep enough despite the movie being 2 hours and 1 minute, it feels like it’s building up to something huge but then just gets sidetracked. There’s also the 16mm camera style that I’m not entirely sure worked here, I get what they were going for but I really don’t think it fit here. There’s moments where I thought it worked well, but a lot of it just feels like they did it because they could. Call Jane is definitely not a bad film, if anything it’s a very decent movie that tells an incredible true story decently enough, but it really could have been so much more.
Munich: The Edge Of War tells the true story of Hitler preparing to invade Czechoslovakia and the government of Neville Chamberlain wanting seek a peaceful solution fine enough. The main issue is the constant switch in tone, for some reason the movie decides to add humor into it which given the subject matter is most definitely not a good idea to do. The performances are all pretty well acted George MacKay, Jeremy Irons and Jannis Niewöhner being the standouts and the production of the film is actually quite impressive. The writing unfortunately is just not strong enough, there’s moments where it feels very weak and is begging to be rewritten and then there’s times where it’s actually very solid. Munich: The Edge Of War also could have shaved off at least 10 minutes as well, overall it’s not terrible history buffs will definitely get something out of this. But then again you could also look up the information on Wikipedia.
The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain is another example of showing how Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the best actors working today, he does such a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of Louis Wain in so many different ways. For starters Cumberbatch does a great job of matching Wain’s mannerisms, it’s quite impressive to see and I’m really glad Cumberbatch was chosen for the role. The acting all around is quite fantastic, Claire Foy does a very solid job (even if she isn’t in most of the film), the filming combined with the score is quite beautiful. There’s certain scenes where the film itself does feel like a painting with a lot of bright colors that pop out really nicely, the film itself is also really wholesome at times and you just can’t help but smile. There’s also a lot of heartbreaking moments that I actually did cry during, which is to be expected when making a film about Louis Wain. The truth is Louis Wain did not have the best life like some other artists did and the film does a fantastic job of showing that perfectly. The cats are also present and yes are as cute as you would expect, it is very interesting to see how a simple drawings or paintings could turn into someone’s career and make a ton of people feel a tremendous amount of joy inside. Overall The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain is a beautiful film that I highly recommend!
The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain is available on Amazon Prime Video!
Spencer might seem like a biographical film on the surface but when you watch the film it truly is a one of a kind experience, Kristen Stewart has evolved so much as an actress, she’s certainly come a long way since Twilight and has always been one of my favorite actresses. Her portrayal of Princess Diana is her best performances and is quite honestly one of the best performances I’ve seen in a film and that’s no exaggeration. She captures every single detail about Princess Diana especially the looks and mannerisms, which add much more power to her role. The writing is absolutely flawless, it goes beyond being a biographical film. The writing becomes hypnotic to the ears, with a dreamlike to state to it while also feeling incredibly raw. Speaking of which you can not convince me that Spencer isn’t part horror, one of the major points of Spencer was to show how Isolated Diana felt from the royal family. Spencer does this in a very nightmarish but fascinating way that gets pretty psychological. The filming combined with the location also feels like a dream mixed with a nightmare, there’s this sense of loneliness you get from Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Princess Diana. You really understand why she felt isolated and why she wanted out of the royal family, Pablo Larraín’s direction is absolutely fantastic. He brings much fascinating elements to the film such as dreams, sense of loneliness, nightmares and rawness that hits you like a truck. Spencer is a powerful film that’s effective from beginning to end, Kristen Stewart truly deserves Best Actress at the Oscars because this is the type of role you just don’t see anymore. Make sure to watch Spencer because this is truly something special!
The Last Duel is easily Ridley Scott’s best film in a very long time, for starters the performances all around are some of the best of the year. The standout being Jodie Comer (who absolutely deserves a nomination) she completely stole the show as Marguerite de Carrouges, giving such a raw and incredible performance that really captures the film. Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck all do quite incredible as well, they bring so much power into the film which ends up giving fantastic results. The Last Duel’s main film element is build up, it’s told in three different perspectives all of which get more and more suspenseful, interesting and stronger as they stack on each other. The writing also adds to the film giving it a huge gut punch type feel, especially given what happens (there are a few rape scenes I’m saying this for everyone who isn’t comfortable with them, just giving you a heads up), The Last Duel also ends up being a brutal film writing wise and The Duel itself, as well as some action scenes thrown in certain sections of the film which are very well filmed. The filming is absolutely beautiful, it compliments the setting very well and is just overall a very beautiful looking film. Then there’s The Duel itself which while it isn’t very long the build up is what gives it so much strength, suspense and worth the build up. It’s truly one of those films that knows how to properly build up to a climax and make it all the more worth it. Overall The Last Duel is a masterful piece of work, it’s truly a powerful film that shows just how talented Ridley Scott still is!
The Eyes Of Tammy Faye is interesting and sort of surprising, right from the beginning it gives this bizarre style to it that I had no idea what to make of it. There are very standard biopic bits during the first half that aren’t too exciting but not anything really bad, Jessica Chastain gives one of her best performances here and is more than likely going to get nominated when the award shows start. And as she should she becomes Tammy Faye, she nails every single thing about her from how she acted and spoke to her style of singing. Speaking of which the songs were very great, despite Christian music certainly not being my type of music I still found myself singing along and have actually listened to a few of the songs since I saw the film. Andrew Garfield is also pretty great as well, while he isn’t as good as Jessica Chastain he still delivers a fantastic performance and was very believable as Jim Bakker. There are moments when he even becomes Jim Bakker it gets pretty scary, Cherry Jones who plays Rachel LaValley deserves to be talked about more for her performance. She’s hilarious, she gives this sarcastic yet loving performance that really makes you smile. The major flaw with The Eyes Of Tammy Faye is skimming over certain subjects. Especially with her connection to the LGBT community sure it’s shown in the film a few times and it does show she genuinely cares about the community, however it doesn’t feel like it’s discussed very much. I would have also loved to see the film dive a bit deeper on the shadiness of televangelist, but for what the movie did talk about it did a solid job. The writing definitely improves as it goes on, it starts out good enough but just very strange for the sake of feeling strange, but as the movie reaches its 30 minute mark it improves quite well. Overall The Eyes Of Tammy Faye is quite great, it does feel like a very standard biopic at times but there is a lot to like about this one, I recommend watching this one solely because of the performances!
Worth is a pretty solid movie that tells the true story of lawyer Kenneth Feinberg who battles a ton of obstacles to help the victims of 9/11. Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci both give very solid performances, Worth is at it’s best when it focuses on the victims of 9/11 particularly the interview scenes. It has a lot of human interaction during those scenes and has a huge sense of rawness to it as well, that ultimately make this movie an emotional ride at times. I do wish the writing could have been a bit stronger in some areas, particularly the first act that does take a bit to get going. Worth is overall a solid enough movie that is quite interesting and delivers the emotional moments quite well.
Judas And The Black Messiah was definitely one of the biggest highlights of Sundance 2021 hands down. This film was also one of my most anticipated films of 2021 and it does not disappoint at all! There’s so much to talk about here so Iet’s get started, first off all of the performances were fantastic. But the standouts are definitely Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield and Dominique Fishback. All of which do an incredible job in their roles, Daniel Kaluuya captures the spirit of Fred Hampton. How he acts, how he felt, how he thought about certain situations, his relationships with other people. It’s all there and really makes the film that much more powerful, LaKeith Stanfield also does a fantastic job with playing William O’Neil in fact I feel this is one of Stanfield’s best performances so far in his career, like how Daniel Kaluuya captures the spirit of Fred Hampton. Stanfield captures the spirit of William O’Neil incredibly well it’s like you are being thrown back in the past and witnessing events take place all over again. Speaking of which I feel that’s what this film does an incredible job, it feels like a huge time capsule and a truly fantastic one. It captures the moments that will make you angry in the best way possible, mostly due to how incredibly well written this film is, given the events that happened and just how beautifully made this film is. Shaka King should really be proud of himself because this is so far one of the best directed films I’ve seen so far this year, he captures every important moment about Fred Hampton and what made him who he was. Shaka King also captures the relationships that Hampton had and why he is an important figure. The last 20 minutes of the film will make you angry and rightfully so, because of what happened to Fred Hampton. The last 20 minutes are powerful and horrifying they don’t sugarcoat anything at all, the film doesn’t hold back at all which is very important when you talk about films like Judas And The Black Messiah. Overall Judas And The Black Messiah is a fantastic film, it’s wonderfully crafted and a very powerful film that as I said before will make you so angry. I can’t wait to see what Shaka King does next! Make sure to see this film on HBO Max when it comes out tomorrow February 12th!