Original Review by Jonathan Broxton
The latest film from French director François Ozon, Jeune et Jolie (Young & Beautiful) is a powerful drama about a young girl discovering her sexuality. Marine Vacth plays Isabelle, a teenage girl on summer holidays with her family in the in the south of France. After a brief sexual encounter with a tourist leaves her cold, Isabelle decides she needs more experience – and soon starts working as a prostitute named ‘Lea’, meeting all kinds of clients and seeing her world of sexuality opening before her. The film co-stars Ozon’s regular muse Charlotte Rampling, as well as Géraldine Pailhas and Frédéric Pierrot, and has an original score by Ozon’s regular collaborator Philippe Rombi. Read more…
After much thought and deliberation, I have decided that, from now on, I will no longer be assigning star ratings to any of the reviews I write. The main reason for this is because, for too long now, I have had the feeling that many of my readers simply look at the star rating at the end of the review and use it as a quick and easy overview of my thought processes about a particular score, when in actual fact I want the meat of the review itself to convey my feelings. Slapping an arbitrary *** rating onto this score or that score really does nothing other than try to distill 2,000 words of prose into a single idea, whereas in reality the differences between three star, three-and-a-half star and four star ratings are subtle and can be swayed by all manner of different criteria.
So, here we go. I hope that the change in thinking will not be too radical for everyone. I do spend a lot of time crafting my thoughts and trying to put over intelligent arguments and detailed descriptions of each score I review, and hopefully the lack of an all-encompassing thumbs-up or thumbs-down will encourage people to really read what I write, (hopefully) understand my point of view about things, and stir up some interesting debate and discussion, both in the comments here and on the MMUK Discussion Board.
Original Review by Jonathan Broxton
Elysium is the sophomore theatrical film from South African director Neill Blomkamp, who made such a splash and received such critical acclaim following his debut effort, District 9, in 2009. The film is set in a post-apocalyptic future where 99% of the world’s population lives in overcrowded slums on the planet’s surface, eking out a meager existence as best they can despite desperate poverty and a lack of adequate healthcare. Meanwhile, the wealthiest 1% live in an orbiting space station, named Elysium, in lavish comfort, with access to the best of everything that money can buy. Matt Damon plays Max, an ex-con working in a factory, dreaming of a better life, but whose dreams are shattered when he is involved in an industrial accident and exposed to massive amounts of radiation, giving him just days to live. Desperate to find a way out of his dilemma, Max decides that his only possible salvation is to somehow make his way off the planet and up to Elysium, where their state-of-the-art medical facilities will easily cure his problems. However, when news of Max’s plan of action starts to spread around future Los Angeles, it causes stirrings of civil unrest and rebellion in the population, attracting the attention of Elysium’s harsh governess Delacourt (Jodie Foster), who will stop at nothing to enforce Elysium’s draconian anti-immigration laws which ensure that her utopian paradise remains isolated and protected from the masses below. To this end, Delacourt activates a sleeper assassin, Kruger (Sharlto Copley) to deal with the troublemakers – and Max is the first one in his sights. Read more…