Showing posts with label Olivia Coleman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Olivia Coleman. Show all posts

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Iron Lady

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep) now in her eighties is struggling with dementia and has difficulty distinguishing the past from the present. As she potters around her home she tries to place herself but continues to struggle with the reality that her husband Dennis (Jim Broadbent) has passed away. As Thatcher attempts to come to terms with her loss she slips back into the past, remembering her lower middle-class youth and subsequent rise to becoming the world’s most powerful woman. With Dennis by her side she finds it difficult to let go of the past and realise that she no longer has the power she once had. As an ageing woman she realises that she has virtually no power at all, not even over her own life.

I have really mixed feelings about The Iron Lady. On the one hand it features a career defining performance from someone who is already one of the most distinguished actresses in history but on the other hand it is a biopic about one of the most divisive people in recent history that somehow manages to treat a neutral line. There is surely no one in Britain who has neutral feelings towards the former Prime Minister. People either love her or loathe her yet the film appears to brush over both the best and worst of her character and time in office, leaving a fairly mundane story in its wake.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee

Shane Meadows (This is England) directs this mock music documentary about Le Donk (Paddy Considine), a Nottingham based roadie working for The Arctic Monkeys and managing rapped Scor-zay-zee (playing himself). The film blends reality and fiction and is set and filmed in five days leading up to an Arctic Monkeys gig in Manchester. Le Donk has recently separated from his pregnant girlfriend (Olivia Coleman) and travels to Manchester with Scor-zay-zee for work and with the hope that he can somehow get the rapper on the bill at the gig.

Paddy Considine is brilliant as Le Donk and carries the entire movie. Most of his lines are improvised and the majority work, with hilarious results. He appears to be channelling David Brent and Alan Partridge at times but is thoroughly convincing.  The film itself outstays its welcome after about 45 minutes. Despite a promising start the joke kind of gets old by the mid way point and although the film comes in at only 71 minutes, it feels long. I couldn’t help feeling that it was more suited to TV and perhaps would have worked better as a 45 minute or one hour special. I’m glad that I didn’t see it at the cinema myself.

Friday, 24 February 2012


Tyrannosaur is the fantastic debut film from actor Paddy Considine. The film focuses on the lives of two people who are bought together through their mutual loneliness and apathy towards life. Joseph (Peter Mullan (NEDS)) is an unemployed drunk, a violent man who is on a path to destruction. After killing his dog in a fit of rage he seeks shelter in a charity shop where he meets Hannah, (Olivia Coleman) a Christian charity worker for whom life seems good but as we learn more about her we discover that she is just as damaged as Joseph, if not more so.

This is not an easy film to watch. It is most definitely not a Friday night popcorn kind of movie. It features abuse, degradation and violence from the onset and that sets the tone for the rest of the film. Some scenes are very upsetting and difficult to watch. Despite the despair and humiliation on screen, the film looks very beautiful. The shots of council estates on cloudy days are stunning. Considine has found beauty in a place which is known for being ugly and grotty and that is a testament to him.

The acting is tremendous. There has already been a lot written about Olivia Coleman’s award snubs and having seen the film, I couldn’t agree more. I’d also put forward the case for Peter Mullan who is equally sublime here. Both actors are incredible throughout and that is what makes the film so great. I don’t know whether the film would have been so good had they not been involved. I really feel that it is a travesty that neither has been nominated for any major awards. This being said, both have won awards but it’s their lack of BAFTA and Oscar nominations that has surprised everybody, me included.  

This is a film which can hardly be described as enjoyable but is powerful and incredibly well acted.