Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Film review: REPEAT PERFORMANCE (Alfred L. Werker, 1947)


Just before the turn of the New Year of 1947, renowned stage actress Sheila Page (Joan Leslie) shoots her emotionally abusive husband Barney, having reached her limit regarding his philandering and alcoholism. She regrets it immediately, wishing for the opportunity to go back in time to avoid making this mistake. Miraculously, as the clock chimes midnight, her wish is granted, and she finds she has been transported back to the beginning of 1946.

Alfred L. Werker’s drama plays like a blend of It’s a Wonderful Life with Groundhog Day, via the well-known trope of errant husbands. There is no doubt of the protagonist’s devotion to her cheating husband, even if, like Bette Davis’ character in Of Human Bondage, he doesn’t display any qualities that merit such love.

Despite Barney being a total cad, it is revealed that he, a playwright, gave Sheila her first big break as an actress, and thus, her patience towards him is heavily inflected with gratitude. But as her close friend William notes, ‘You can’t feel grateful to him forever. That’s going to wear thin at some point’.

Whilst Sheila’s success as an actress is part of the reason why she loves him so much, it’s precisely this why Barney’s so embittered towards her. Just as his play was the springboard for Sheila’s career, it was also the last good thing he produced, and watching his wife thrive whilst his own career stagnates fomented increasing feelings of bitterness towards her.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Love, Emma

This is a BBFC-ccentric blog. In the great tradition of the BBFC, I will now preface articles on film ratings with a film rating (how meta, eh?).

This entry would be rated 12A for references to murder, sexual threat, racist behaviour and snide digs at certain druggie actresses.

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Midnight Sun, a film which I have no interest in seeing (it stars that meth-head Bella Thorne (for future reference, just so you know, whenever I refer to ‘Meth-head’, I’m talking about Bella Thorne, and ‘Cokehead’ is Cara Delevingne), recently got handed a rather interesting BBFC insight.

It is rated 12A purely for ‘underage drinking’.

The extended insight reads:
There are scenes glamorising alcohol use in which teenagers, including some who are underage, attend a party where they play drinking games and do shots.

Seems a pretty draconic reason to hand out a 12A certificate, no? The actual 12A rating itself I’m not going to quibble with too much, as it got PG-13 in the States and 12A in Ireland, so it’s probable that the BBFC just didn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb by giving it a PG rating.

But at least Ireland came up with a semi-plausible reason for their 12A, citing ‘moderate sex references’. By giving a film a 12A purely for underage drinking, the BBFC have opened up an unwelcome can of worms, a can of worms which BBFC pedants like me are quick to catch on to.


See, Love, Simon, another 12A-rated film, also contains a party scene where the characters (who are in High School, and thus underage), drank alcohol. Yet Love, Simon is rated 12A for ‘infrequent strong language, moderate sex references’, with no mention of the underage drinking in the extended insight or short insight.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

My 25 Favourite Performances of 2017

My final post commemorating the cinematic year that was 2017 is my favourite: the acting!

This list is judged from two factors: acting quality, and my heavy, unrepentant sense of favouritism. I like to think that I wouldn’t put a bad performance on the list, but it would also be inaccurate to claim every performance listed was one of the 25 best acting performances of 2017 (for example, I’d have a hard time arguing that Gal Gadot was better in Wonder Woman than Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes, say).

Warning: the following blog under the cut is gif heavy! (To paraphrase Hamilton, ‘We rendezvous with Rochambeau, consolidate their GIFS!’)

25. Will Poulter as ‘Krauss’ in Detroit

Fun fact: one of my friends works in the same building as Poulter's father (who's a very big dog in his field of science). Thus, whenever I see the BAFTA Rising Star winner in a film, I feel like we're mates (by three degrees of separation, but still. 😂)

Monday, April 09, 2018

Film review: DUNKIRK (Christopher Nolan, 2017)

I tried to write a review of Dunkirk without using the vernacular 'twink', or slagging off Cokehead Delevingne. Did I succeed? Read on to find out...

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The evacuation of 400,000 British men from Northern France during World War II is depicted from three viewpoints: that of the Allied soldiers on the beach, the civilians who bought them back to Britain in their personal boats, and the pilots caught trying to protect the soldiers from German attack overhead. Three time scales are employed in the film; we follow the soldiers for a week, the civilians for one day and the pilots for an hour, as their arcs converge to one pivotal moment.



Friday, April 06, 2018

My Favourite Films of 2017 [5 to 1]

Part one here!

05. The Florida Project

The less affluent underbelly of Disneyland Florida’s sunny surroundings is depicted with affection and humanity by Sean Baker, who follows 6-year-old Moonee through her adventures at the bright lilac motel where she lives with her mother.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

No Country for Young Men

Dunkirk 2: The Frenchman Rises - where Tommy goes back for Gibson, rescues him, and the two celebrate being evacuated by going to a LA Dodgers game. Absolutely love that Barnard is wearing Ray-bans in this photo!

Over the Easter weekend, when I wasn't watching my club lose miserably to Spurs, I was making the most of the poll function on Instagram, to investigate one of life's most important, unanswered questions:
Just who is the hottest actor in Dunkirk?