"Finding your Feet"

On the eve of retirement a middle class, judgmental snob discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend and is forced into exile with her bohemian sister who lives on an impoverished inner-city council estate.

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"Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool"

EON Productions choose their projects well. The company behind the amazing James Bond movies have just produced two films —being Call Me Bwan in 1963 the first one, the year after the debut of my loved 007— outside of that franchise, but when they do it you know you’re going to enjoy it, you can be sure that will be something special, and that is exactly what happens with Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, an absolute gem.

 

 

 

 

"Bening and Bell are outstanding"

             

The film opens with a beautifully set-up sequence in which Gloria Grahame is seen going through her ritual of getting ready to go on to stage: she unpacks her toiletries and precedes to meticulously put on her make-up, and then comes a knock on the door and a voice informing her that she has five minutes. Next, Gloria is taken ill and is seen clutching her stomach in agony. Picking up from there, McGuigan recounts the story in a series of flashbacks, bringing the story back to 1981 each time

Staring Annette Bening and Jamie Bell (who played Billy Elliot in 2000), Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool is the new offer from director Paul McGuigan. Based on Peter Turner’s memoir, the film recounts the story of Turner’s relationship with Oscar winner actress Gloria Grahame, a household name in the 40s and 50s, who sadly fell out of grace in her later years and had to content with a few TV roles and a few odd theatre in the West End. Following an episodic narrative which is cleverly constructed around Matt Greenhalgh’s beautifully screenplay, the film manages to capture only a glimpse of the former star’s life, but does it with a great deal of tenderness and solemn reflection towards its subject. 

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Annette Bening and Jamie Bell respectively are outstanding building a credible romance in which you will felt in love with. Bell is charming as the young Turner, a compliant beau with a kind heart, wide shoulders and neat footwork. It’s fun to see that Billy still has the moves but is Bening that breaks your heart when they are dancing. This is her movie and it’s aimed at the Academy. Yes, Bening shoul get the Best Actress Award at the Oscars, but please don’t discount Bell either as both are magnificent in every scene. She captures Grahame’s breathy voice and sharp wit perfectly; her pleasure in her young lover is clear, as is her wistfulness for the classical stage career she never had. Bening doesn’t dodge the lens which highlights her own ageing face and gives a superbly brave performance.

Director Paul McGuigan pulls off some real cinema magic, using back projection and fluid camera moves to convey the lovers’ golden time in America —even knowing that the whole film was shot in the UK!— but it falls down in the art department. The interior scenes are suffocating with their near-obsessive period detail: patterned wallpaper, nightmarish carpeting and painfully bad wigs for Julie Walters (who also was in Billy Elliot) as Peter’s warm-hearted mum and Stephen Graham as his grumpy brother. The costumes, hair and make up are absolutly amazing. Congratulations to the whole team but, in special, to Jany Temime (costume designer) and hair designer Naomi Donne, both of them from the Bond world alongside casting director Debbie McWilliams.

The moving, well-judged, wonderfully acted film has humour, compassion, tenderness, kindness and sadness that is even more moving because it all basically happened.

Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool swept me up and had me cowering in my seat as the final credits rolled down, a sequence that just about allows you to mop up your tears before you venture outside the auditorium. The woman that was next to me the day of the premiere said me «Did you liked it? It’s quite slow but it’s so nice… isn’t it? I loved it!».

Just one more thing: Mrs Barbara and EON Productions, the Bond films are amazing (I love them!) but your other two non 007 productions are so amazing too, so, be back soon please!

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"Modern Life is Rubbish"

Beautiful

Some —many— couples have their (love) song: the song which was played when they first met, the dance song on the day of their wedding, a song they heard  at some (important) moment on a (important) day. But in Modern Life is Rubbish, the story of this couple is not just a song; it is a bunch of songs —in CDs and Vinyls.

Adapted from his own short film , Daniel Jerome Gill debut film Modern Life is Rubbish is a romantic comedy with an irresistible hook: a young couple remembers the ups and downs of their crumbling relationship as they divide their CD collection. It is a premise that is as sticky as the various songs of the soundtrack and offers the opportunity to see the different stages of this nice couple’s life, from first love to the pressures being an adult living in the XXI century.

The two main characters are charming, in their own way,  but also completely different. The moments they share are absolutely adorable. Liam (Josh Whitehouse) is a non-profit artist (whose band is called Headcleaner) who dreams about the kind of fame and fortune that only a very few achieve. He is energetic and enthusiastic, but sometimes humorous: the type of man who shines with emotion or desperately needs a hug. Nathalie (Freya Mavor) is the most practical of both, and she decides to grow and find new dreams when she decides to give up to hers goals because of her boyfriend.

The structure of the movie is really interesting. It begins when Liam and Nathalie have already broken up and start packing their stuff and, with flashbacks, we discover their love story. It is a simple structure but clearly shows the development of the relationship from something passionate and “perfect” to something that no longer works. It also makes the first days of the relationship look strangely, surely from the pity, since we know how it ends.

The music that is used in this movie in general wants to be close but our connection to it will completely depend on your personal tastes. There are some memorable original songs from Liam’s band and, in general, the soundtrack adapts to the atmosphere of the scene where it is. The selected tracks of The Smiths, Oasis, Radiohead and other Brit bands of the 80s and 90s give to the plot a great sense of nostalgia.

Modern Life is Rubbish is a musical love story of the old school, not cheese just beautiful. Modern Life is Rubbish is sometimes “Someone Like You” and sometimes is “Dakota”. Modern Life is Rubbish is completely worth.

SONG CREDITS

“THE LONELINESS AND THE SCREAM”
Written by Scott Hutchinson, Andrew Monaghan, David Kennedy & Grant Hutchinson
Performed by Frightened Rabbit

“BAM BAM”
Written by Winston Riley & Ophlin Russell
Performed by Sister Nancy

“DON’T LOOK BACK INTO THE SUN”
Written by Peter Doherty & Carl Barat
Performed by The Libertines

“DAKOTA”
Written by Kelly Jones
Performed by Stereophonics

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WE ARE FLOATING IN SPACE”
Written by Jason Pierce
Performed by Spiritualized

“BELLA”
Written by Julia Stone & Angus Stone
Performed by Angus & Julia Stone

“HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS”
Written by Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie & Simon Raymonde
Performed by Cocteau Twins

“IF YOU WANNA”
Written by Justin Hayward-Young, Árni Árnason, Freddie Cowan & Peter Robertson
Performed by The Vaccines

“GIVE IT TIL YOU LOST IT”
Written by Ben Parker, Matthew Racher, Jimmy Sims & Joshua Whitehouse
Performed by Headcleaner

“BROKEN DREAMS”
Written by Ben Parker, Matthew Racher, Jimmy Sims & Joshua Whitehouse
Performed by Headcleaner

“UNCONTROLLABLE”
Written by Ben Parker, Matthew Racher, Jimmy Sims & Joshua Whitehouse
Performed by Headcleaner

“SHE MOVES IN HER OWN WAY”
Written by Luke Pritchard & Max Rafferty
Performed by The Kooks

“BULLET PROOF… I WISH I WAS”
Written by Thomas Yorke, Edward O’Brien, Colin Greenwood,
Jonathan Greenwood & Philip Selway
Performed by Radiohead

“ONLY”
Written by Ry Cumming
Performed by RY X

“LOVE WILL TEAR US APART”
Written by Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris & Bernard Sumner
Performed by Lewis Watson

“HEX”
Written by Sebastian James Fox, Alexander James Mitchell, Stephen McMinn
Performed by Mt. Wolf

“BIRD”
Written by Isabella Tweddle & Olivia Broadfield
Performed by Billie Marten

“MYSTERY”
Written by Ben Parker, Matthew Racher, Jimmy Sims & Joshua Whitehouse
Performed by Headcleaner

“ENDING SONG”
Written by Ben Parker, Matthew Racher, Jimmy Sims & Joshua Whitehouse
Performed by Headcleaner

“LIQUORICE ALLSORT GIRL”
Written by Ben Parker, Matthew Racher, Jimmy Sims & Joshua Whitehouse
Performed by Headcleaner

“SEX”
Written by Ross Macdonald, Adam Hann, Matthew Healy & George Daniel
Performed by The 1975

“STARS”
Written by Theresa Becker-Wayman & Emily Kokal, Jennifer Linberg, Shannon Sossamon
Performed by Warpaint

“DEATH”
Written by Harry McVeigh, Charles Cave & Jack Brown
Performed by White Lies