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Archive for January, 2006

NANNY McPHEE – Patrick Doyle

January 27, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Peter Simons and Jonathan Broxton

A Mary Poppins fantasy for the modern age, Nanny McPhee is based on Christianna Brand’s successful series of Nurse Matilda children’s books, adapted for the screen by actress Emma Thompson. Thompson herself plays the titular nanny, a hook-nosed, wart-faced, fright-wigged governess who uses magic and good humour to control the children in her charge. Newly-widowed Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) is failing to control his seven children, who have already chased away 17 nannies with their unruly behaviour. However, when a mysterious voice urges Cedric to hire Nanny McPhee, she arrives at the Brown home quickly stamps her authority over hew new charges. Things seem to finally be settling down, until trouble erupts when Cedric’s cantankerous Great-Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) tells him he must be married by the end of the month, or she’ll cut off his money and separate the children – so Nanny McPhee and the oldest Brown sibling Simon (Thomas Sangster) team up to find a wife for Cedric, thereby keeping the family together. The film, directed by Kirk Jones, has a supporting cast full of heavyweight British thespians (including Derek Jacobi, Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, and Kelly Macdonald), and features a delightful, whimsical score by Patrick Doyle. Read more…

HALF LIGHT – Brett Rosenberg

January 13, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

One of the absolute best things in being a film music fan is when a score for a film which no-one has heard of, written by a composer no-one knows, appears out of nowhere and reaffirms your faith that somewhere, out there, great film music is still being written. This is what happened to me with Half Light, an Australian-British co-production starring Demi Moore and directed by Craig Rosenberg, with music by the director’s brother, composer Brett Rosenberg. I first discovered Half Light back in March 2006, when I rented the DVD from Blockbuster purely on the strength of its interesting cover art. The film is a supernatural thriller-cum-romantic drama, which sees Demi Moore playing novelist Rachel Carlson, whose idyllic London life with her family is shattered when her young son Thomas (Beans El-Balawi) drowns in a freak accident. With her already rocky marriage on increasingly unstable ground, and seeking solace to recover from the tragedy, Rachel retreats to an isolated village in a remote part of northern Scotland, where she also plans to finish her latest book. At first everything goes well: the locals, despite being a little unusual, are generally friendly, and she even embarks on a hesitant, illicit romance with local lighthouse-keeper Angus McCulloch (Hans Matheson). However, before long, things start happening which cause Rachel to begin to examine her sanity – not least the fact that she seems to be receiving frightening visits from her son’s ghost… Read more…

FATELESS (SORSTALANSÁG) – Ennio Morricone

January 6, 2006 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Director Lajos Koltai’s film Fateless (Sorstalanság) has finally reached North America cinemas almost a year late, having been an art house and film festival hit across Europe following its initial release in February 2005. A historical drama based on Nobel laureate Imre Kertesz’s semi-autobiographical novel about Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust, it stars Marcell Nagy as Gyuri Köves, a young Jewish boy from Budapest who is pulled from a bus on his way to a war labour job and sent to the terrible Buchenwald concentration camp, where he must endure all manner of horrific experiences and harsh living conditions just to survive. Read more…