Posts Tagged ‘Nicholas Britell’

DON’T LOOK UP – Nicholas Britell

December 31, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Pitching a satire at the right level is always a tricky task, especially when the thing you are satirizing is something that is happening at the time. Whether you are tackling politics, war (like Dr Strangelove or MASH), religion (like Monty Python’s Life of Brian), bureaucracy (like Brazil), or something else entirely, you run the risk of alienating the half of your audience that doesn’t agree with your stance – and this appears to have happened to Adam McKay with his new film Don’t Look Up. The film stars Leonardo di Caprio and Jennifer Lawrence as Randall Mindy and Kate Dibiasky, two astronomy scientists who make a shocking discovery – that a comet, larger than the one which killed the dinosaurs, is on a collision course with Earth, and will strike in six months with 99% probability. Despite their scientifically accurate (but, obviously, desperately dire) warnings, they face opposition and scorn at every turn: from politicians more concerned about their poll ratings, from a disinterested media more concerned with the latest celebrity breakup, and from an apathetic public who immediately become polarized based on their political and religious beliefs. The film co-stars Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Timothée Chalamet, and Ariana Grande, among many others, and has been the recipient of equal amounts of praise and scorn in the wake of its release. Read more…

CRUELLA – Nicholas Britell

May 25, 2021 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The latest film to examine the origin stories of famous Disney villains, after Maleficent in 2014, is Cruella, which tells the history of Cruella De Vil, the antagonist of both the 1961 Disney animated film One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and the original novel by Dodie Smith. There has already been a live-action adaptation of the story in 1996, with Glenn Close playing Cruella, but this prequel sees Emma Stone donning the famous black-and-white hairstyle wig. She plays Estella De Vil, an aspiring fashion designer in 1960s London, who takes a job working for the brilliant but difficult Baroness von Hellman, the head of a prestigious fashion house, played by Emma Thompson. The intense rivalry that develops between the two slowly eats away at De Vil’s sanity, and she eventually transforms herself into ‘Cruella’ and becomes a notorious and dangerous criminal obsessed with dalmatian dog furs. The film co-stars Joel Fry and Paul Walter Hauser as Cruella’s henchmen Jasper and Horace, and is directed by Craig Gillespie, whose last film was the Oscar-winning drama I, Tonya. Read more…


February 12, 2019 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

If Beale Street Could Talk is the latest film from critically acclaimed director Barry Jenkins, whose previous effort Moonlight was the winner of the Best Picture Academy Award in 2016. The film is adapted from the novel by James Baldwin, and is a romantic drama charting the relationship between an African-American couple, Fonny and Tish, in New York in the 1970s. At its heart it is the story of two people deeply in love, and how that love endures despite all manner of difficulties – notably the casual racism towards black people in that era, the systemic corruption of the criminal justice system, and their own familial problems. Specifically, as it relates to Tish and Fonny, the core issue is the impending birth of their child, and how Fonny’s arrest for a crime he did not commit affects Tish and the rest of the family on the outside. The film stars Kiki Layne and Stephan James as the protagonist couple, and Regina King in a critically acclaimed supporting role as Tish’s mother. Read more…

VICE – Nicholas Britell

January 2, 2019 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

How much do we actually know about Dick Cheney? According to director Adam McKay’s new film Vice, the answer is ‘not enough’. The film is a fascinating, hilarious, eye-opening piece of cinema, one part biopic, one part satire, and one part exposé of the way the political machine works in Washington DC, examining how one man can have so many fingers in so many pies that he can fundamentally alter the entire world without us really realizing it. It follows Cheney from his early years as an electrical lineman and violent drunk in Wyoming, his relationship with his wife Lynne, and how he eventually turned his life around and over the course of the next 40 years became a White House staffer during the Nixon administration, the White House Chief of Staff under Gerald Ford, a long-term member of the House of Representatives, the US Secretary of Defense under George Bush, the CEO of the Halliburton oilfield services company, and eventually Vice President under George W. Bush. He was directly involved in Operation Desert Storm, the military response to 9/11, the invasion of Iraq and the ousting of Saddam Hussein, and the drafting of the US Patriot Act – but the film also posits that he was also indirectly involved in the creation of Fox News to act as a mouthpiece for right wing views, advocated for the torture enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, and helped created the circumstances which led to the rise of ISIS. Changing the world indeed. Read more…

BATTLE OF THE SEXES – Nicholas Britell

September 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I’ve been a tennis fan for much of my life, both playing it and watching it. Since I began following the sport in earnest in the mid 1980s, men’s and women’s tennis has, over time, become more equal, with increasingly similar prize money, air time, and sponsorship deals for the elites in both games. Perhaps most importantly, the respect given to female tennis players has increased over time, such that they are for the most part seen as being on a par with their male counterparts. This was not always the case; back in 1973 55-year old Bobby Riggs, a genuinely great former champion who won both Wimbledon and the US Open in 1939, made a series of sexist and misogynist remarks about female tennis players of the era, and challenged the then world number one woman, 29-year-old Billie Jean King, to an exhibition game dubbed ‘the Battle of the Sexes’. This new film, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, is the story of that game, and how its outcome changed the perception of women’s professional sport forever. Read more…

MOONLIGHT – Nicholas Britell

December 16, 2016 Leave a comment

moonlightOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Moonlight is a critically acclaimed drama film from director Barry Jenkins, which follows the life of a young black man growing up under difficult circumstances in contemporary America. As a child, “Little” Chiron deals with bullies, and a an abusive relationship with his crack-addicted mother, but finds a father figure in the shape of Juan, a crack dealer who takes him under his wing and shows him more love and compassion than his family. Later, as a teenager, Chiron continues to suffer an abusive home life, while simultaneously struggling to find himself as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love while grappling with his own sexuality. The film is based on the stage play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney, and stars Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert, Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali, who appears to be the front runner for the 2016 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Read more…