Showing posts with label Neil Jordan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Neil Jordan. Show all posts

Saturday, 8 June 2013


Neil Jordan’s return to the vampire thriller feels a bit like a yo-yo. It ranges from excellent while held in the hand to incredibly dull while close to the ground but spends a lot of time somewhere in between. To take the analogy a step further, it also contains anticipation but like a yo-yo, you know where the anticipation is going to lead. The film portrays two female vampires who land in a small, run down sea-side town, two centuries after their making. Mother Clara (Gemma Arterton) works mainly as a prostitute to make ends meet while her gloomy daughter Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan) struggles to connect with her mother and is lost and lonely amongst their modern surroundings.

Byzantium is pitched somewhere between gothic thriller and family drama and doesn’t quite succeed at either. At its best it’s a poignant coming of age drama but it’s sometimes painfully slow and meanders between the modern day and early nineteen century when it might have worked better to stay in one or the other. The film is host to a wonderful performance from Saoirse Ronan which helps to elevate it above purely mundane and towards something of interest.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Breakfast on Pluto

"Well, fuck me pink with a hairy arse!"

A boy is born in conservative 1940s Ireland to a Priest (Liam Neeson) and an unknown woman who flees to London after the birth. Bought up by a strict Catholic foster mother he shows signs of difference at an early age when he is caught in a dress and heels. By the 1970s the teenage Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden (Cillian Murphy) is a proud and open cross dresser, still living in the small, conservative Irish town. As he gets older he wonders about his mother and discovers that she fled to England. He decides to try to find her and along the way joins a glam rock band, has brushes with the IRA, turns to prostitution and comes close to death on a number of occasions.

The entire film is set against the backdrop of the ‘troubles’ in Ireland during the 1970s. Kitten comes face to face with both sides of the war on a number of occasions and the conflict forms a major stand throughout the story. Another stand is her struggle to fit in with a world that tends to reject her choice of lifestyle and her difficulty with everyone taking life so seriously. The film is cut up into thirty or so chapters. Each is numbered and titled but the plot flows smoothly throughout. This mostly worked well to set up a scene but did become a little tiresome after a while.