Secret police agent Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy), loses status, power and home when he refuses to denounce his own wife, Raisa (Noomi Rapace), as a traitor. Exiled from Moscow to a grim provincial outpost, Leo and Raisa join forces with General Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman) to track down a serial killer who preys on young boys. Their quest for justice threatens a system-wide cover-up enforced by Leo’s psychopathic rival Vasili (Joel Kinnaman), who insists “There is no crime in Paradise.”
Based on the novel of the same name by Tom Smith, this hard hitting drama can get a bit heavy and caught up in its subplots but Hardy excels in his role, He truly is outstanding and I have to say his Russian accent is way better than the welsh accent he tried in Locke. This is a highly charged, thought provoking drama.
See If You Liked: Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, The Crimson Rivers.
A LITTLE CHAOS
A female landscape-gardener, Sabine (Kate Winslet) is awarded the esteemed assignment to construct the grand gardens at Versailles, a gilt-edged position which thrusts her to the very centre of the court of King Louis XIV and bringing her to the attention of Andre (Matthias Schoenaerts), the courts renowned landscape artist, leading to a tangled romantic web.
A charming period chick flick with some big names and a return to the English Rose role Winslet plays so well. Director, Alan Rickman pulls off a nicely shot film with beautiful scenes and great costumes; it just doesn’t seem to flow too well and lacks any real get up and go.
See if you liked: Madame Bovary, Labor Day.
In 1870s America, Danish ex-soldier, Jon, (Mads Mikkelsen) lays waste to the scoundrels who killed his wife and son; he unleashes the fury of a notorious gang leader. His cowardly fellow townspeople then betray him, forcing him to hunt down the outlaws alone.
Predictable western style storyline, it all seems so familiar and there are definitely no surprises in store; however Mikkelsen delivers a strong performance in this entertaining, well staged old-fashioned stylized western thriller.
See if you liked: The Homesman, The Dark Valley.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS
Jamie (Jeremy Jordan), a young, talented up-and-coming Jewish novelist falls in love with Cathy (Anna Kendrick), a Shiksa Goddess and struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through song. All of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to the beginning of their love affair, while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the centre when Jamie proposes.
Disclaimer: Ear plugs are needed if you want to see this film, the entire story is told through song…and not very good song either, every number is monotonous, every song sounds the same and who told Anna Kendrick she could sing? Whilst the storyline looks at the struggle of the modern day relationships and juggle love with your career the whole musical adaption let’s this down.
See If You Liked: Rent, Chicago.
John (Jack Reynor) is young taxi driver on the fringes of the criminal underworld, who in an effort to save his mother (Toni Collette) from addiction and unite his broken family, is forced to take a job which will see him pushed further into its underbelly. Whatever he decides to do, his and his family’s lives will be changed forever.
Toni Collette is utterly mesmerizing and pretty amazing in Glassland, This woman really needs to get a lot more recognition than she does and to quote Reynor she was only on set for 5 days to film her part which is pretty mind blowing. The only thing about this film is it really does feel like it drags on with no real action taking place, it’s tough and gritty and tells a powerful story.
See If You Liked: Partisan, Pilgrim Hill.
AMAR AKBAR & TONY
A Sikh, Amar (Rez Kempton) a Muslim, Akbar (Sam Vincenti) and an Irish Catholic, Tony (Martin Delaney) take stock of their lives in contemporary London. Amar, whose promising career gets derailed by a turn of events, Tony, whose obsession with winning over the Asian woman of his dreams finds him pursuing the wrong woman, while Akbar, an ambitious charmer tries to manage business, love and friendship with the gift of the gab.
Trying to cram a number of different storylines into one film may leave you with a bit of a headache, but the fact it takes a stab at just how multicultural our country has become with an air of feel good comedy thrown in.
See if you liked: It’s A Wonderful Afterlife,
OUR PICK OF THE WEEK: CHILD 44