An education


Carey kicks Nick Hornby's ass.

What a charming, lovable but vacuous film this is.

Carey Mulligan lights up the screen from start to finish and won the best supporting actress nomination that her outstanding performance may have deserved.

Likewise, Peter Sarsgaard is brilliant as the creeping ‘peado’ with a charm to bowl over Carey’s dad (Alfred Molina) and Mum (whoever she was – doesn’t really matter because she was crap).

To give this movie credit you have to look at the magic between Mulligan and Sarsgaard because apart from that it’s mostly awful.

Nick Hornby’s script cracks along at a right good pace for 70 minutes until it hits the white cliffs of Dover and then falls horribly to its death.  It looked like he couldn’t find a suitable ending and just gave up.  It reeked of pish and ham at the end.

The Continuity Dept was obviously on a holiday season because it’s rank (openng scene in the rain is on and off like an Icelandic volcano threat) and Alfred Molina is pathetically cast for two reasons.  Firstly he hams up his part and secondly he has a “jew ” problem about Sarsgaard despite being one of the UK’s most prominent Jewish actors.

It’s a mess.  It really is.  And yet; for 70 minutes I loved it.

7/10

She even blew the BAFTA’s away with the best dress of the night.  (And haircut. Ed.)

"that" dress.

Rachel Getting Married


Anne Hathaway in a career defining role.

I caught up with this 2008 gem on Sky last night.  How on earth could I have missed a cracker like this so completely at time of release?

Maybe I thought it was a chick-flick given its overwhelmingly female dominated cast.

It stars Anne Hathaway and RoseMarie DeWitt (plus that bloke from TV on The Radio). The movie engages from the opening frame in a deliberately low budget looking arthouse style from director Jonathon Demme (Silence of the Lambs).  OK, some of you won’t like the hand held camera work, contrived as it can be.  But on this occassion it creates the feeling of a home movie and that is precisely the point of it and the film because it’s a film about home and what home means.

Hathaway was a bit of a scene stealer in Alice in Wonderland as a cookie White Witch.  In this she is by turns vulnerable, beautiful and tortured.  Really it’s a barnstorming appearance.

The premise is simple Kym (Hathaway) is released from a long term rehab institution to attend the wedding of her sister Rachel.  The family reveals itself as increasingly dysfunctional and Hathaway’s drug dependency is at the core of the problem.  The reason why is unfolded in subtle layers until it becomes the fulcrum for the events that unfold at the wedding.  I won’t spoil it by telling you what happens but believe me when I say this is a stunningly acted and observed family drama that is really quite moving.  As a big music fan (including TV on The Radio) the phalanx of indie musos that make an appearance was the icing on the cake for me. (Robyn Hitchcock, Tunde Adebimpe, Fab 5 Freddy)

Oh, and did I mention Debra Winger as the mother?  No?  Outstandingly bitchy.

9/10.