Monday, 17 May 2010

The Review Rack

Here are some of the reviews of note that have been coming up at various festivals recently.
These are mainly mentioned because they single out a performance or two, which I like to do as it makes the acting races not seen like they are from such a small pool (as the choices usually are).

'Another Year'

So far the new Mike Leigh film is by and far the best reviewed film coming out of Cannes at the moment.
He is already a Cannes legend, but still continues to make movies that people are passionate about, even if his films are always the simplest premise (at first thought that is).
The film features wonderful performances from Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, David Bradley, Philip Davis and Imelda Staunton, however the person with the biggest buzz is Leigh regular Lesley Manville. People are going ga ga for her performance and she is already being buzzed for the Actress prize at Cannes.

'Frankie & Alice'

Halle Berry's multiple personality movie got a decent review from 'The Hollywood Reporter'. Duane Byrge called Berry "Spellbinding" and also singled out Phylicia Rashad as her enabling mother. But before you mark you ballots remember that this same magazine gave 'Amelia' a rave last year.

'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps'

Getting pretty decent reviews, but on an acting front, it seems to be the Michael Douglas show with great support from Frank Langella. However it seems the whole cast seems to do well in the film with Josh Brolin and Carey Mulligan getting some fine notices as well.

'Meet Monica Velour'

And finally a big ole surprise.
This comedy about a teenage boy meeting and becoming obsessed with a former 80's porn star got a lot of buzz from the Tribeca Film Festival. It is supposed to be a surprisingly warm and tender comedy that is extremely well written and acted.
The majority of the acting buzz goes to Kim Cattrall - Yes people, Samantha Jones is getting raves.
"The effectively deglamorized Cattrall is terrific, investing her portrayal with a complex mixture of vulnerability, toughness and still-powerful sexuality." - Frank Scheck - The Hollywood Reporter

"Of course, after thirty years of professional wear and tear and marital and substance abuse, Ms. Velour is nothing more than a decaying fa├žade of the glimmering beauty she once was. Spiteful and world-weary, Cattrall shines through the runny make-up and cheap outfits her character has become accustomed to and delivers an authentic portrayal of a woman who walked on the wild side and came through a marvelous mess. Her performance, along with the nostalgic reminiscence of porno’s home-video heyday, offers a loving nod to the skin-flick industry while poking fun at its ludicrous, unnecessary plot lines and C-rate production values." - Daniel Hubschman -

"Thesping is excellent throughout. Cattrall kills as the cynically foul-mouthed ex-sex queen desperately trying to keep her head above water" - Ronnie Scheib - Variety
It would be a wonderful miracle to see her as a major award contender, but stranger things have happened. I for one will be routing for her. Out of all the SATC women she is the one most people would have never thought of being called a thespian.

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