RBG – Review

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The superhero that we didn’t deserve.

If you have not heard of her then you must be one of those rare people who manage to both have no social media presence and avoids any and all reference of American news (the second one is impressive given the current political climate we are all living in). Associate Justice of the Suppreme Court of the United States, she has been a powerful force in the fight for gender equality since the 1970’s. Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1993, her popular appeal started to increase in the early 2000’s when she became the only female judge on the court and became a strong voice of dissent in several cases.

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RBG lays out the above explanation in an hour and thirty eight minutes of documentary film brilliance. The film focuses on her life from childhood, her dedication to the fight fo gender equality and all of the hurdles and personal slights that she has overcome along the way to give her the voice that she has now. Combining interviews from family, personal friends, colleagues and people she has inspired, it provides a humorous, emotional and insightful look into the life of an exceptional woman who dedicated her life to her cause. The filmmakers made the decision to focus on cases where the plaintiffs are still alive and where there is audio recording of Bader Ginsburg in court, knowing that having this human element and being able to see the people that she has explicitly helped, while creating a framework  for wider change will be more interesting that just having narration or having someone talk about the cases from a removed perspective.

The absolute heart of the film though is the love story between Ruth and her husband. Setting new couple goals for everyone, the story of unquestioning support and love between them gives the film an emotional centre and reminds you that these are real people despite the incredible things that they are doing.

There is great use of musical scoring in the film which manages to combine opera, a musical form that she loves and has even appeared in, and rap (you couldn’t make a film about the Notorious RBG without referencing the Notorious B.I.G.).

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I am honestly finding this review hard to write as all you need to know is that it is amazing, she is amazing and everyone should go and watch this. I saw this at the BFI with two friends and all three of us were tired going into this. By the end, we were all reenergised by this film and I hate to think what would have happened if RBG had actually been at the screening. Extreme fan girling of an incredible human who has done so much and is not done yet despite being 83. The best way to end this review is to repeat how it was started.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The superhero we didn’t deserve but thank goodness we got her.

 RBG is out in cinemas Friday 4th January! 

BAFTA Film Awards – EE Rising Star Announced

Every year at the BAFTA Film Awards, the audience get to vote on one – the EE Rising Star. The award is given to upcoming actors or actresses who are set for stardom and acclaim. It was first awarded to James McAvoy and continues to highlight fantastic and brilliant performers.

This year’s list of nominations have surprised no one. It’s very exciting though. The EE Rising Star Nominations are Jessie Buckley, who wowed us all in Beast; Cynthia Ervio, star of Widows and scene-stealer of Bad Times at the El Royale; Barry Keoghan, the absolute amazing actor of American Animals; Lakeith Stanfeild, who has been stellar in Sorry to Bother You; and national treasure Letitia Wright.

OK. So this is going to be a tricky one this year!

What do you think?

Vote now for your favourite and for your chance to win a pair of tickets:
The EE BAFTA Film Awards are on the 10th February! 

The Kid Who Would Be King – Brand New Trailer!

Joe Cornish is one of Britain’s greatest writers and directors so we’re thrilled to have him return after directorial debut Attack the Block.

His latest big screen adevnture revolves is a truly Arthurian tale to the big screen with The Kid Who Would Be King! 

Starring Louis Ashbourne Serkis (yep, son of the great Andy,) The Kid Who Would Be King revolves around a young kid who stumbles upon the mythical Excalibur and finds himself on a legendary quest.

Also starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Rebecca Ferguson, this looks to be an amazing adventure. What do you think?

The Kid Who Would Be King is out February 15th! 

EE BAFTA Film Awards Announce Joanna Lumley as Host

Though the festivities of Christmas are done and there is a chill in the air as resolutions are completed, failed, and we all feel just that slightly bit hungover. That means it’s AWARD SEASON and one of our favourite ceremonies returns. EE BAFTA Film Awards have announced that Joanna Lumley will return as host and they’ll be back at the Royal Albert Hall AND, furthermore, Cirque du Soliel will perform again. =

Of the news, Emma Baehr, Director of awards at BAFTA said: ‘We’re delighted to be returning to the iconic Royal Albert Hall for the third year and collaborating again with Cirque du Soleil. We’re thrilled that Joanna has agreed to return as our host for a second year, she was fantastic and we’re looking forward to the ceremony with her once again at the helm.’

As beloved as Joanna Lumley is by the British public, it does make BAFTA feel stuff . In a year where the Golden Globes have  By having an almost exact replica of last year’s event, the BAFTA  Film Awards feels alarmingly out of touch.  There are so many young, upcoming British presenters that could’ve revamped the awards.

Still, we expect a lush and lavish ceremony at the hall and Lumley is certainly a legendary icon. What do you think of the news?

EE BAFTA Film Award nominations are announced on 9th January 
The ceremony is 10th February. 

Welcome to Marwen – Review

Jeff Maimberg’s celebrated documentary Marwencol is a must-see. The movie revolves around Mark Hogancamp, a man who was savagely beaten by a group of men and left for dead because they hated Mark for being a cross-dresser. With barely any memories of his former life and unable to afford therapy, Mark created the titular 1940s town with dolls representing himself, his friends and his attackers.

Inspired by Marwencol, Robert Zemeckis, acclaimed director of movies such as Back to the Future and Forrest Gump, tries to make a drama out of Hogencamp’s story but instead fumbles at every stage.

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The film, starring Steve Carrell as Hogencamp, takes place years after the brutal attack which left Mark with scarce memories of his former life and struggling to cope with PTSD. Once a former artist, he can barely write his own name. Instead to channel his skills and to help overcome his trauma, he creates the aforementioned Marwencol. His life is further disrupted by the appearance of a brand new neighbour.

Welcome to Marwen is a disaster of tone, pacing, and sheer surrealism. There are a lot of factors in Hogancamp’s stories that are just misused here. Though the dazzling effects of the animated dolls are somewhat impressive (if utterly strange,) these scenes throw the movie off-course and damage any intimacy or quiet exploration that this real-life story truly needs.

For some reason, it’s the women who suffer most in Zemeckis’ movie that is somehow trying to convey the message that women are the best. In a film that stars Diane Kruger, Janelle Monae, Leslie Mann, and Merrit Wever, their use here is confusing and befuddled.  In the film, Mark uses over-sexualised dolls that move like a stiff femme fatale of 1940 movies and garble trilobites at him during imagined warfare. There is even one point here one of the dolls, a plastic re-imagining of the hobby store clerk Roberta, who cares for Mark, is topless for a whole sequence. This bizarre obsession with the slinky sexiness of the dolls turns the film into an infantile adventure where  Zemeckis even casts his own wife as a porn star.

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Steve Carrell is a brilliant dramatic actor but even here he seems out of place. At points randomly screaming whilst thriving on the floor, his awkward and socially inept Mark falters because of this weird attempt to schmaltz him up for a big Hollywood inspirational story. Despite having most of the screen time with Hogancamp, it feels as though we barely get to know him as a character because we’re either deviating to the dolls again or Steve Carrell is shouting. It feels as though the intricacy of Maimberg’s documentary is lost and this now fictional realization of Hogancamp is a cheesy and shallow attempt at a Hollywood-style telling.

The movie is a mess. Instead of focusing on how Mark uses his art to , the film blends the fantasy and the trauma in such a haphazard manner that it is one of the weirdest films you’ll ever see. Nothing truly works here; each element at odds with one another: the actual horror that Mark went through is mislaid for a hammy romantic subplot, the actual aid those around him offered him is misused with the doll vignettes, and the actual effects of PTSD are waylaid and mismanaged.

Welcome to Marwen is an oddity and a movie that does a hefty disservice to Mark Hogancamp and the journey he went through.

Welcome to Marwen is out in cinemas now.