The Best Of…Sam Claflin

Sam Claflin is one of our greatest young talents. His performances in a whole array of genres have helped his career soar and accumulate a great deal of fans along the way (including us, we LOVE him,) The actor, hailing from Suffolk, bounced into our lives in television series The Pillars of the Earth. But it’s his inclusion in franchises such as The Hunger Games and Pirates of the Caribbean that launched him as one movie star to keep an eye on. Yet Claflin is unafraid to get into the dirt and excavate a grim, hapless, or villainous role. That’s what really makes him special.

To celebrate his starring role in drama Adrift, we’re looking at the best of the actor!

Honourable Mention: While we certainly had a few tears in our eyes during romantic drama  Me Before You, we had to leave it off our main list.

The Riot Club (2014)

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Perhaps the first film where you can see the intricacies of Claflin’s acting skill and how he can transform into a beastly and slimy character. In The Riot Club, Lone Scherfig’s movie about high society students acting awfully because of their entitlement, Claflin is a main draw. Here, he excels in a sea of plum voices all equally brilliant and deplorable as the next. Though his performance is perforated by that of Max Irons, Freddie Fox, Douglas Booth and the lovely Ben Schnetzer, Claflin is vilified and it’s a stunning loathed role. He captures the essence of Alistair and unravels it with ingenuity. Starting off coaxing slight empathy as he is backlashed against by his family, Iron’s Milo and is even mugged, Claflin dwindles his mad sense of entitlement in an enthralling way. Lyle’s viewpoint of his comforted world has turned into rage, one that he uses to undermine those he think are beneath him. Claflin’s talent is to not exude it with straight-on ferociousness but placates the anger so it boils under astute facial expressions and eye flickers. When that steam rises to straight-up bile from his mouth, you loathe him, which is a stellar turn from the likeable Claflin.

My Cousin Rachel (2017)

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The growing talent of Sam Claflin has been a phenomenal one indeed. And he turns his astute talents to the role of Phillip, a heir who becomes enthralled with the widow of his late cousin (played phenomenally well by Rachel Weisz) These are palpable qualities that he brings to the role of Phillip. As the young heir and farm-owner, he commands the screen with is a waspish and irritable man but layered with fascinating emotions and a beguiling innocence. This is all flourished with Claflin’s performance as he dominates with Phillip, making us yearn and burn alongside him.

Their Finest (2017)

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A story about screenwriters crafting propaganda during WW2 may not seem interesting but Lone Scherfig’s brilliantly layered film is greatly entertaining. Here Claflin plays Buckley, a pompous and maddening writer who has a plethora of character development that the talented (but unrecognisable) Claflin fleshes out. He is impossibly charming in his disconcerting manner, and Claflin makes him meaty and real. It helps that he has an abundance of chemistry with our leading star Arterton and their friendship sparks throughout the film.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

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Catching Fire is one of the best book adaptations of all time. It is also one of the greatest Young Adult films ever. It is astonishing. Kinetic, dark, beautiful, and rich with detailed themes, the movie went beyond The Hunger Games premise and crafted a masterpiece action drama. Claflin is a welcome addition to the series as Finnick Odair. A previous winner of the Games, he’s considered a “heartthrob” in the Capitol. But like many survivors of the vicious and brutish sport, he has darker elements and is considerable suspicious throughout. Claflin is great balancing this duality where you’re never sure where his loyalties lie until the bitter end.

Journey’s End (2018)

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The brutal horrors of war are captured in this mournful and rage filled performance by Sam Claflin. As Captain Stainhope, he is the leader of the squadron in a bloody and brutal dugout. With hope and morale dwindling, Stainhope turns to alcohol to calm his nerves Claflin showcases an immersive talent that really inhibits the roles that he is playing. As Stainhope, he plays a man with enormous responsibility that becomes progressively twisted and rotten due to the countless deaths of his men.  If this was a just and fair world, he’d have a BAFTA nomination for this.

Adrift is out in cinemas now!

Custody – Brand New Trailer!

There are quite a few films out there that grapple the devastating effects that divorce can have on children. With Loveless on it’s way, another critically acclaimed drama looks to be  tackling similar themes – Xavier Legrand’s Custody

Starring Denis Ménochet  and Léa Drucker, Custody revolves around a  bitter divorce where a dad tries to rekindle a relationship with his son but a troubled past beings to resurface.

With critical acclaim and showcasing at many festival, this looks to be an explosive and powerful drama. What do you think?

Custody will be coming to UK cinemas on 13 April 2018.

The Weekend Binge: Seinfeld

Is there a kind of TV show more comfortable than a sitcom? Some people relish reality TV because they know it’s terrible, and some never feel more at home than when they’ve got their teeth sunk into a crime-of-the-week detective show. But sitcoms transcend them all; a compact package of laughs that you can fall into no matter what time of day, no matter what episode of what season, and no matter how many times you’ve seen it before. We’ve all seen every episode of Friends a million times. We all have our favourites, and I thought I’d seen it all, until I made the impromptu decision to start watching Seinfeld.

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Seinfeld is the iconic adventures of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, playing a fictionalised version of himself alongside his bizarre group of friends; ex-girlfriend Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), eccentric next door neighbour Kramer (Michael Richards) and hilariously pathetic best pal George (Jason Alexander). Four terrible people, making their way through life in New York, and something I truly couldn’t believe.

To maybe oversimplify the show a little, it’s humour consists of almost entirely observational pieces on people, life, love, all sorts of topics. In other words, it’s very easy to see that it’s written by a comedian. But it’s well known that Seinfeld is a show about ‘nothing’…It took me longer than I should have to pick up on this. Over the course of the show’s nine seasons, it very rarely contains any kind of important narrative, and almost entirely does away with the concept of consequences. It wasn’t until the fourth’s season when the show starts getting a bit meta – Not something that lasts – that it truly hit me, and I was blown away. Where shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother base it’s comedy and emotion on the ever developing relationships of it’s main cast and consistently come back to it for the progress of the show, Seinfeld takes pride in being exceedingly detached, and seriously makes it work.

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And yet, for a show so detached and so uncaring, how can it mean so much to so many people? This was question that hit me in the face when I found myself close to tears at it’s unsurprisingly non-event of a finale – Saying that, it wasn’t quite as uneventful as many claim – and I realised, it was because there just isn’t anything like it. It feels so unique, yet it’s set up and execution seems so simple. It’s a strange feeling to be so entranced with four objectively awful people, another trait that this show takes pride in, and for every episode to move on from disaster to disaster simply because these characters refuse to learn their lesson and grow up, a strict rule in the writing of the show. Like most sitcoms, it takes a little while to find it’s feet, but once it gets there it’s unstoppable. It lead to some of the best supporting characters and quotable lines that TV had to offer. The four leads are perfect; Jerry is charming, but is ultimately not that dissimilar to his real life persona. It’s the effort of his co-stars that really shine, in particular that of Michael Richards’ almost entirely physical performance and Jason Alexander’s constant anger, depression, desperation, over the top, and just about anything else that George requires.

For a show about nothing, it truly is something; Seinfeld is one of the best TV shows of all time. To quote the Green Day song used in it’s final season, “It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right”. It’s one of the most consistently funny and undeniably impressive shows around, and it may take you several weekends to get through. Trust me, it’s completely worth it.

Seinfeld is available on Netflix!