I’m gonna try and make this short and sweet…as it’s already late and I need to wake by 6am again tomorrow.
It was quite a day. 4 films…all (mostly) good.
First off, I saw David O. Russell’s SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Russell did I HEART HUCKABEES, FLIRTING WITH DISASTER and – starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro. This dysfunctional family comedy about mental illness was full of laughs – mostly due to honest observations. I wish it had been a little shorter, but ultimately I think it will be crowd-pleaser. (editorial note – I think that the pairing of obsessing over sports paired mental illness issues is an interesting marriage)
A ROYAL AFFAIR is a period drama about Queen Caroline of Denmark in the late 18th Century. She married into the monarchy, and her husband was a childish, self-absorbed man. Caroline had an affair with the royal physician, and they managed to make numerous changes to government. The photography and set/costume design of this film are delicious, and the lead actress – Alicia Vikander – is absolutely stunning (she’s also in ANNA KARENINA).
This evening, I saw the film that will undoubtedly be dubbed “The Next Marigold Hotel.” QUARTET – Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut – stars Maggie Smith, Bill Connolly, Pauline Collins, and Tom Courtenay. This little film is an absolute delight! It’s about a retirement home for retired musicians…and in addition to the 4 lead actors, it stars numerous singers and musicians in their 70’s 80’s and 90’s (Hoffman wanted real musical artists to live in his scenes – not just actors playing musicians) . Tonight was it’s world premiere, and I must confess something…. I’ve seen people go insane for movie stars over the years. Johnny Depp. Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie. People scream, the jump up and down, and sometimes they even cry. Tonight, when Maggie Smith was standing 10 feet away from me, tears streamed down my face. From THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE to ROOM WITH A VIEW…from THE V.I.P.s to DOWNTON ABBEY, I have loved Dame Maggie for decades, and it was a complete thrill to see her in person! The Q&A with the principal cast as well as Hoffman was a night to remember, and the film is going to be a hit with our audience.
Lastly, I saw LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED – the latest film from Sussane Bier (director of BROTHERS, IN A BETTER WORLD and OPEN HEARTS). (Interestingly, the original Danish title would be translated into THE BALD HAIRDRESSER.) This film is much lighter than Bier’s recent work. There are some serious subjects on the table – but there are also a lot of laughs. Bier, along with lead actress Trine Dyrholm (also in A ROYAL AFFAIR) and Pierce Brosnan, introduced the film and did a Q&A. Though I liked most of this film, I also thought it was a little too long given the subject/story. That said, Dyrholm is a joy to watch.
Off to bed! Thanks for reading!