Showing posts with label Sally Hawkins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sally Hawkins. Show all posts

Monday, 19 May 2014


Sixty years after his debut screen appearance, Godzilla is back on our screens in his second American guise. For anyone who remembers the 1998 Roland Emmerich version, this news may legitimately cause trepidation. My interest in the picture came about when I heard that the new film was to be directed by second time director Gareth Edwards. For nearly half a decade since Edwards’ first film, I’ve been telling anyone I can get my hands on to watch his film Monsters. That movie was outstanding; an ultra low budget monster-thinker which Edwards wrote, directed, shot and edited himself besides doing all of the FX work in his bedroom. In comparison to that movie, Godzilla is a let down.

Things start well with an interesting and attractive titles sequence which gives a slight spin on the traditional Godzilla back story. The film postulates that the atomic tests of the 1950s were in fact not tests at all but an elaborate attempt to destroy the gigantic titular beast. Fast forward several decades and we find Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) hard at work as the supervisor of a Japanese Nuclear Power Plant. Brody is concerned by strange seismic patterns which are unlike any earthquake he’s seen before. In fact he’s convinced there are no earthquakes at all.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Double

Richard Ayoade’s second film and follow up to 2010’s critically acclaimed Submarine is The Double, a dark comedy based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s satirical novella of the same name. Set in a subterranean hinterland of unknowable time and location, the film follows the life of lonely, ignored and unseen data imputer Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg). Simon floats through life unnoticed by those around him, stating that he feels as though people could almost reach through him as though he wasn’t there. When a new co-worker is introduced, Simon is shocked to discover that he looks and sounds exactly like himself. His doppelgänger though is everything he is not; cocky, outgoing and highly visible.

The Double could easily have been a film that was known for its story. Based on the work of one of the literary greats of the nineteenth century, the film has the narrative already safely mapped out and it indeed delivers an interesting and complex story. In the hands of Ayoade though, this film will be remembered for more; chiefly its design and sound. Richard Ayoade has constructed a magnificent film that evokes so much but remains unique. It’s beautiful and funny, grim and depressing all in equal measure.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Made in Dagenham

I’d wanted to go and see this film when it was on at the cinema but was unable to persuade my girlfriend to join me. I found this disappointing as at its core, this is a film about feminism. The story of female workers at a Ford Motors plant in Dagenham, Essex is based on real events from 1968 when a dispute with management with regards to a change of being classed as unskilled from semi-skilled labour provoked a series of events that ended up with the women demanding equal pay. This in turn helped lead to the Equal Pay Act 1970.

The film follows a young Dagenham employee played wonderfully by Sally Hawkins who becomes the unofficial spokesperson for her fellow employees. Hawkins as so often is the case comes across to the audience as a quiet, likable girl next door in the first act but as the film progresses unleashes a tirade of seemingly off the cuff speeches to various people and organisations about the women’s plight and eventually gains the attention of Secretary of State for employment Barbara Castle, played here by Miranda Richardson.

I felt that the film was a well told portrayal of life for a working class family in the late 1960s and the fight for civil rights. It is clear that the women’s fight is not an easy one and that the men behind them while mostly supportive, wavered from time to time.

I remember on the films release hearing an interview with producer Stephen Woolley who was outraged at the films 15 Certificate due to the use of the word ‘fuck’. Having now watched the film I can understand totally why he felt aggrieved and despite I think two or maybe three uses of the word would definitely encourage any young person to watch it. If I ever have children it will certainly be amongst the pile of films I will be showing them.

I think it is important the films like Made in Dagenham are seen by a large young audience at a time where female role models include The Only Way is Essex ‘stars’ and Jordan/Katie Price. I’d rather young girls were influenced by and inspired by the Essex girls of Made in Dagenham than by the Essex girls they see on TV in 2012.   

Barbara Castle meets with the strikers. But only the pretty ones...

If I was to have one criticism of the film it would be that in the important negotiation scene with Miranda Richardson, only the good looking girls were involved, once outside, the 'larger' ladies appeared from nowhere and joined in with the celebrations. I thought for a film with a strong feminist tone it was strange that of the 180-something strikers, only the good looking ones were involved in such a pivotal scene.