28th Mar2016

Carol (DVD)

by timbaros

CAROL_Carol and Therese in the store at Christmas time_CA1_3079In the new film ‘Carol’, Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchette play two women who fall in love in a time when it was not accepted and actually frowned upon.

Director Todd Haynes, in his first film since 2007’s ‘I’m Not There,’ has crafted this movie in a style and theme that he’s used before. In ‘Far From Heaven’ Julianne Moore’s housewife faces a marital crisis – her husband is caught kissing another man so she takes comfort in the arms of a black man. Whereas in ‘Carol’ Cate Blanchette’s unhappy housewife falls into the arms of another woman. Both of these films take place in the 1950’s where it’s all dewey and lush and beautiful. And the attention to detail in both films is amazing, capturing the fashion and essence that was the norm of it’s time, where everyone made an effort to dress up, especially the women, even just to go shopping.

Blanchett’s character, Carol Aird, is in a loveless marriage but it’s not because her husband is cheating on her with another man, it’s because Carol is cheating on her husband with another woman. It’s not a mid life crisis that Carol is going through, she’s been linked to Abby Gerhard (Sarah Paulson) in the past, and Abby has always been in the shadows throughout Carol’s marriage to Harge (Kyle Chandler). Harge still loves Carol, he wants to stay married, but Carol insists that the divorce still go ahead, which is very difficult for the both of them because of their young daughter. But one day Carol goes into a department store and is eyed by employee Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), who suggests to Carol to buy a train set for her daughter. Carol and Therese have chemistry, and the next day Carol invites Therese out for lunch to thank her for helping her out with her purchase. Eventually they start seeing each other more and more, and they fall headstrong into a relationship. Carol, who has the perfect husband and the perfect house, pursues a relationship with Therese, at the risk of losing custody of her daughter. Harge, in utter frustration over Carol’s new found relationship, seeks full custody of their daughter using a morality clause as the reason. And Therese risks her impending marriage to her boyfriend Richard (Jake Lacy) to be with Carol, and her and Carol embark on several trips together. It’s not until New Year’s Eve where they consummate their relationship in a full on one minute lip lock, which leads to a sexual act, again full on, there’s almost nothing left to the imagination. But will Carol’s impending divorce and the threat of losing her daughter and Therese’s burgeoning career as a photographer get in the way of their relationship?

Blanchett is magnificent as Carol, who risks losing her daughter yet has strong feelings for a much younger woman. Mara is even more superb as Therese, her innocence and naivete in full display. Both actresses are excellent, yet it’s Mara who ups Blanchette in the acting arena. The movie basically revolves around Therese and her coming of age not just with her career but with her sexuality as well. It would be a shame if Mara is reduced to supporting actress level as Blanchett does get top billing, they both deserve Best Actress Academy Award nominations but it’s Mara who should be on the podium. Chandler is also excellent as Carols’ husband – he’s got an ideal 1950’s look about him. ‘Carol,’ Based on the novel ‘The Price of Salt’ by Patricia Highsmith, was written at a time when it’s subject was considered scandalous, which Haynes truly captures. ‘Carol’ was filmed with Super 16mm to produce the muted hues of glamour magazines of the era, it’s romantic and dramatic and lovely to watch.



Carol [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Todd Haynes
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacy
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara star in this romantic drama adapted from the novel by Patricia Highsmith. In the 1950s a New York department store employee and amateur photographer Therese Belivet (Mara) meets Carol Aird (Blanchett), a lady who has come to buy a Christmas present for her young daughter Rindy (Kk Heim). The two women soon strike up a friendship and, with Carol going through a divorce from husband Harge (Kyle Chandler), they decide to go away on a trip to Chicago where their relationship develops into a romance. But with Rindy's custody in question, Carol, worrying that she will be cut off from her daughter because of the nature of her relationship with Therese, has no choice but to leave. Despite their love for each other is their romance doomed to fail? The film was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Actress (Blanchett), Best Supporting Actress (Mara) and Best Original Score (Carter Burwell).Based on: The novel by Patricia Highsmith Technical Specs: Languages(s): EnglishInteractive Menu
New From: £5.32 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.15 GBP In Stock

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28th Nov2015

Carol (Film)

by timbaros

CAROL_Carol and Therese in the store at Christmas time_CA1_3079In the new film ‘Carol’, Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchette play two women who fall in love in a time when it was not accepted and actually frowned upon.

Director Todd Haynes, in his first film since 2007’s ‘I’m Not There,’ has crafted this movie in a style and theme that he’s used before. In ‘Far From Heaven’ Julianne Moore’s housewife faces a marital crisis – her husband is caught kissing another man so she takes comfort in the arms of a black man. Whereas in ‘Carol’ Cate Blanchette’s unhappy housewife falls into the arms of another woman. Both of these films take place in the 1950’s where it’s all dewey and lush and beautiful. And the attention to detail in both films is amazing, capturing the fashion and essence that was the norm of it’s time, where everyone made an effort to dress up, especially the women, even just to go shopping.

Blanchett’s character, Carol Aird, is in a loveless marriage but it’s not because her husband is cheating on her with another man, it’s because Carol is cheating on her husband with another woman. It’s not a mid life crisis that Carol is going through, she’s been linked to Abby Gerhard (Sarah Paulson) in the past, and Abby has always been in the shadows throughout Carol’s marriage to Harge (Kyle Chandler). Harge still loves Carol, he wants to stay married, but Carol insists that the divorce still go ahead, which is very difficult for the both of them because of their young daughter. But one day Carol goes into a department store and is eyed by employee Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), who suggests to Carol to buy a train set for her daughter. Carol and Therese have chemistry, and the next day Carol invites Therese out for lunch to thank her for helping her out with her purchase. Eventually they start seeing each other more and more, and they fall headstrong into a relationship. Carol, who has the perfect husband and the perfect house, pursues a relationship with Therese, at the risk of losing custody of her daughter. Harge, in utter frustration over Carol’s new found relationship, seeks full custody of their daughter using a morality clause as the reason. And Therese risks her impending marriage to her boyfriend Richard (Jake Lacy) to be with Carol, and her and Carol embark on several trips together. It’s not until New Year’s Eve where they consummate their relationship in a full on one minute lip lock, which leads to a sexual act, again full on, there’s almost nothing left to the imagination. But will Carol’s impending divorce and the threat of losing her daughter and Therese’s burgeoning career as a photographer get in the way of their relationship?

Blanchett is magnificent as Carol, who risks losing her daughter yet has strong feelings for a much younger woman. Mara is even more superb as Therese, her innocence and naivete in full display. Both actresses are excellent, yet it’s Mara who ups Blanchette in the acting arena. The movie basically revolves around Therese and her coming of age not just with her career but with her sexuality as well. It would be a shame if Mara is reduced to supporting actress level as Blanchett does get top billing, they both deserve Best Actress Academy Award nominations but it’s Mara who should be on the podium. Chandler is also excellent as Carols’ husband – he’s got an ideal 1950’s look about him. ‘Carol,’ Based on the novel ‘The Price of Salt’ by Patricia Highsmith, was written at a time when it’s subject was considered scandalous, which Haynes truly captures. ‘Carol’ was filmed with Super 16mm to produce the muted hues of glamour magazines of the era, it’s romantic and dramatic and lovely to watch.

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12th Jan2014

12 Years a Slave – Film

by timbaros

images-57In 1853, Solomon Northup wrote an autobiography called 12 Years a Slave, 160 years later it has been turned into a film with the same title, and is one of the best films of the year.

Directed by British Director Steve McQueen (Shame), 12 Years a Slave tells Northrup’s true story of his kidnapping in Washington D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery, a time when blacks in the United States were commonly and legally treated as slaves. Chiwitel Ejiofor plays Northrup, a skilled carpenter and a free black family man with two children living in upstate New York. One evening he meets two men, they start drinking, one of them drugs his drink, and then he wakes up and realizes that he is going to be sold into slavery. He protests, telling all around him that he is a free man, unfortunately his papers are at his home, so of course no one believes him. So this begins his time as a slave for 12 years, which would see him being shipped to Louisiana, going from one owner to another, and from one who is kind to one who is brutal. What he has to endure in these 12 years is enough to break any man down, but Northrup doesn’t give up.
Northrup is initially ‘bought’ by William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch), a well-meaning but clueless plantation owner. But things get worse for Northrup. He is sold to the brutalistic and cruel Edwin Epps (an excellent Michael Fassbender, who is a shoo-in for Best Supporting Actor) and his passive wife (Sarah Paulson). Epps is aggressive with his slaves, literally treats them like dirt, and punishes them when he is in a bad mood. In one brutal scene, Northrup is hung from a tree as punishment for fighting an overseer, with his feet barely touching the ground, enough to allow him not to hang himself, and he hangs there from morning to dusk, while the other slaves around him go about their work, and children play in the background. The look on Ejiofor’s Northrup conveys an image of a man who has given up hope to escape and who is now focused merely on survival. In another brutal scene that is possibly one of the most harrowing film scenes in recent memory (and one that will make you turn away), Epps punishes slave Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o – sure to receive the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in this movie), who had only briefly disappeared from the plantation to get a bar of soap. Egged on by his wife who knows that Ebbs has been sleeping (raping her) with her, Ebbs orders Northrup to lash Patsey as hard as he can, Northrup can only manage a few strokes when Ebbs takes over and savagely lashes her. It is a scene that was shot in real time, lasts only a few minutes, but feels much longer. Ebbs is in love with her but doesn’t know why he is in love with a slave, so he tries to destroy her.
Brad Pitt shows up near the end of the film (he is also a producer of the film) who has cast himself as a sort of Northrup’s savior, a Canadian labourer who listens to his story and then promises him that he will attempt to help him. It is Brad Pitt, while in a small role, is Brad Pitt – it is a bit distracting when he all of a sudden shows up.
Ejiofor, a British film, television and theatre actor, has either won or is nominated for Best Actor for his work in this film by over 40 critics organizations, including being nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, and winning Best Actor by organizations such as the Boston Society of Film Critics to the Women Film Critics Circle Award. Ejiofor, previously seen in American Gangster, 2012 and Salt, outacts his fellow black actors from this season’s films: Forest Whitaker of The Butler and Idris Elba of Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom. Fassbender, and especially Nyong’o, deserve every award they will receive. 12 Years a Slave has just been nominated for 11 BAFTA’s, including nominations for Ejiofor, Fassbender and Nyong’o.
The stories of these slaves being beaten, raped, and tortured are told by McQueen’s detailed and controlled direction. How did McQueen find this story to tell? His wife is a historian and she recommended that he look into true accounts of slavery, she then found this book, and he said that he had to do it. It is a film where each performance is excellent, every scene has impact, and is emotional from the beginning to the very end. And each and every performance in this film is astounding.
Ejiofor recently told Vanity Fair Magazine that “I remember it (the book) and and being amazed by the story, and also realizing that it was quite daunting to step into something like that.” Yes, the film is quite daunting, but it is all the more daunting when you remember that this is the true life story of a man who lost 12 years of his life, and being away for 12 years from his family and home.