British painter J.M.W. Turner (Timothy Spall) is deeply affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito with in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.
Spall’s portrayal of Turner is nothing short of genius, if he doesn’t win an abundant of awards for this character he would have been robbed. Whilst this historical period drama won’t be for everyone, it’s full of interesting, weird, touching and funny moments to will fill the senses.
See If You Like: Set Fire To The Stars, Becoming Jane.
Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal),is a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling, where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou thrives. In the breakneck, ceaseless search for footage, he becomes the star of his own story.
Be prepared to witness Gyllenhaal like you’ve never seen him before, taking on the appearance of a man who is in need of a nice fat burger or two, he won’t be making many girls heart beat fast with his looks but boy does he deliver the performance of his life. It’s quite refreshing to see something pretty fresh and not the same old story dressed up in different clothes. This is quite possible one of the slickest crime thriller’s of the year.
See If You Like: Drive, Collateral
THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN
When his late mother appears in a vision and tells him to go to Bucharest, Charlie (Shia LaBeouf) immediately boards a plane across the Atlantic. But when he meets a fellow passenger, Charlie finds himself with another promise to fulfill. Charlie does so – and falls head over heels in love with Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood), a beautiful musician. However, a vicious gangster has already laid claim to Gabi, and has no intention of letting her go. Determined to protect her, Charlie enters into the hallucinatory, Romanian underworld filled with violence and, strangely enough, love.
Well we have another actor in LeBeouf who has taken to forgetting to eat for a role. Unfortunate for him, even with his outstanding flawless performance this film is nothing but pretentious drivel. The whole film just feels like a jumbled mess. I’d give this a miss if I was you.
See If You Like: Bruges.
MY PICK OF THE WEEK: NIGHTCRAWLER