Film Reviews by CW

Welcome to CW's film reviews page. CW has written 113 reviews and rated 115 films.

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Magnolia

Huge, complicated and compelling

(Edit) 23/05/2020

As other reviewers have said, Magnolia is a composite of several stories that later are woven together. I enjoyed each story and their resolution. Excellent cast and directing. I think THE best role Tom Cruise has had. Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s performance will break your art. Riveting performances.

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Gloria Bell

How and why did this get made?

(Edit) 07/05/2020

I agree with the other reviewers who will have expressed this much better. This is a totally depressing movie about a sad woman with a tiny life. She loves her grown children (that part of her life good) and to go to a disco bar at night so she can drink and dance. Since dancing his her one hobby or real passion it was surprising  to me that either the character or Julianne Moore  was a self conscious clumsy dancer. 

Many great movies out there, including with Julianne Moore and John Turturro but this is not one. 

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Ash Is Purest White

I kept waiting to like it

(Edit) 19/04/2020

Maybe I just didn’t get it. There are many Chinese movies that I love but this was not one of them. Unlike able characters, dull story. To me a total yawn.

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Ivans xtc

The final scene

(Edit) 17/04/2020

I am giving this 5 stars because of the last scene. Watching the movie I was tempted to stop because I just wasn’t interested in the totally self centred people . I kept going though because the main character Ivan, played by Danny Huston, is such a sweet loveable guy. Ivan has a smile that lights up the room. There are glimpses of him at parties, surrounded by people, when you see sadness in his eyes. If anyone looks at him he breaks into a smile. His best friend seems to be an old golden retriever. (I did wonder when does that poor dog ever get taken out?). 

Spoiler: Then the final scene. Ivan’s world is imploding.  He is in intensive care, dying in hospital. The soaring music is from Tristan and Isolde. Ian is tethered to the bed with tubes. Machines blinking to either side of him. A nurse enters his room. She does not know him but with profound empathy she tenderly wipes his face as his wild eyes bore into her. He reaches to her shoulder. Instead of shrugging him off, she puts her hand on his. She holds his other hand. She puts her forehead on his. She offers him dignity. This compassion, human touch is what he so craved. As she leaves, in slow motion, she touches his foot. I watched this while we are in lockdown with the plague like virus. Doctors, nurses and staff in hospitals are covered in protective gear. They are unable to offer this human touch. People are dying without being held. This last scene is done so incredibly well I was literally gasping. As soon as it was over, I reversed and watched that scene again. The directing is truly marvellous. 

Danny Huston  is as good as it gets. I want to see every movie he is in. 

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Judy

No wonder Renee Zellweger won the academy award!

(Edit) 15/04/2020

I think Renee Zellweger nailed the role. She achieved the look, the voice and the way Judy Garland moved her body, turned her head, used her arms. I was amazed and delighted to learn that Renee Zellweger did her own singing. She transformed her body for the role (thin to the point of gaunt) as she has for other roles. I was in NYC when Judy Garland died and it felt as if the entire city was mourning. I thought the movie was very well done. Wouldn’t change a thing. 

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The Possibilities Are Endless

Truly inspiring

(Edit) 13/04/2020

I have thrilled many times to The Magic Piper of Love and A Girl Like You. The music! The dancing! The concept! I didn’t know anything about the man. This documentary was recommended to me. I learned about the stroke, the massive brain bleed. Six months in hospital. Edwyn Collins could not speak except for a few words. Could not read or write or walk. With the fierce no matter what love of his wife Grace Maxwell, Edwyn Collins struggled to relearn motor skills. He practiced reading and writing, starting from the basics. He was a words man and had to deal with barely being able to string words together. You never see him complaining nor feeling sorry for himself. He answers questions about his past and the paths to recovery but his own focus is the present and the future. It is heartbreaking to see and hear him struggle but positively heartwarming to witness all he has now achieved. His lust for life and commitment to love comes across. He is a real hero and unbelievable role model. There is no stopping him. 

Grace still has her adorable smile and flirtatious manner. They are obviously in love. They love their life together and their son William and time on earth.  

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Wild at Heart

Very David Lynch

(Edit) 05/04/2020

Saw this years ago and wanted to revisit and hear the wonderfully dark moody music again. Some of the same actors as in other Lynch movies including the mother daughter team of Diane Ladd and Laura Dern. David Lynch seemed to like downplaying the beauty of Isabella Rossellini. The usual flat acting that one sees in other Lynch movies, part of his storytelling. Willem Dafoe plays the most incredibly scary thug, chilling to watch plus he is made up to have absolutely vile teeth to enhance the character. Story of mostly vile low life characters with few redeeming qualities. Enjoyed but don’t need to see again. 

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The lovers on the bridge

Waterskiing in Paris

(Edit) 03/04/2020

This is a strange sometimes surreal movie. It is at times realistic and then drifts or slams into fantasy. There are raw ugly scenes but there are some gorgeous scenes that made me gasp. We see Alex & Michele steal a speed boat. Fireworks all over Paris lighting the canal. He furiously drives the boat as she water skis (with great ability). They are crazed and mad with a vicious joy. Dance scene on the bridge showcasing her dancing and Denis Lavant’s skills as a gymnast. A scene in underground tunnel with posters lining the walls bursting into flames. Interesting and quirky. Raw. I don’t think I have seen the gorgeous Juliette Binoche looking so roughy scruffy (and yet still gorgeous). Good escape from this time of the plague.

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The Good Fight: Series 2

Only for those who detest Trump

(Edit) 30/03/2020

Loved the series! Already have series 3 on my queue. Wickedly fun and interesting watching the behind the scenes work of the attorneys and investigators as well as the heated courtroom scenes. Fabulous clothes too. I loved that Republicans were either the bad guys or total jerks. Sometimes both. 

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Fleabag: Series 2

Just absolutely brilliant

(Edit) 27/02/2020

Just alas that there are only 6 short episodes, but as reviewer CH mentions, there is so much going on, a wealth of material. And as LL says, a sexy priest. This is screamingly gaspingly good, wicked, marvellous, shocking, laugh out loud funny alternating with scenes that ate poignant and difficult. Perfect writing, casting, directing, casting. Loved the costumes too. Kristin Scott Thomas actually dressed to look a bit frumpy. I felt that the actors loved doing their roles. Just loved it and do hope that there will be a series 3. Moments of asides, spoken or just glances, work so well. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a genius. Fleabag AND Killing Eve. I want more.

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Mrs. Lowry and Son

So glad to have seen this

(Edit) 22/02/2020

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Lowry Museum when I was in Manchester. Thrilling to see works spanning his career. Like the reviewer JD, I wish film would have continued to explore his life and painting after his difficult mother died. I would like to have scenes when his bedroom was opened revealing his passion for and purchase of Pre Raphaelite paintings, especially Rossetti. Still, what we saw was really interesting, poignant and well done. Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave nailed their roles. He suppressed so much of his life to care for and amuse her. This is a thoughtful loving movie. The extras in the Lowry Museum were also v good, where Spall studies a few selected paintings with the curator. This is an important movie of course for those who are familiar with Lowry’s work, but also for those who have not seen the paintings. It inspires one to visit the excellent museum too. 

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Spitfire

Thrilling

(Edit) 18/02/2020

I had rented this for my husband who is v interested in the history of the Spitfire. We started watching & I was spellbound. There are fascinating and poignant interviews with the surviving fighter pilots as well as two of the women who ferried the planes. One woman was 101 when interviewed. She got to see the last Spitfire she had delivered. There are film clips, both British and German of arial combat. There are scenes of arial manoeuvres that are like watching a gymnast suspended in time. I gasped. The special features are as good as the movie, showing how the documentary was made. I watched Spitfire twice and highly recommend it.   

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If Beale Street Could Talk

Captures the essence of James Baldwin’s novel

(Edit) 18/02/2020

I actually think that if James Baldwin had seen the movie based on his book, he would have been delighted. Perfectly directed, cast, acted. Like the book, it is slow moving while allowing the characters to reveal themselves. The story is at times showcasing a loving family and over the moon romantic couple and then the cruelty of racism and incarceration. I did volunteer for a few years in Texas prisons and saw the sea of handsome black faces, many who would never get out. This is a story that stays with you. Beautiful in love and pain. 

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The Goldfinch

An adaptation that works

(Edit) 27/01/2020

As another reviewer mentioned, The Goldfinch is quite a special book. I loved it (and also enjoyed Donna Tartt’s other 2 books but this one is my fave). Difficult to create a screenplay from such a dense, well researched, complicated book. I think that the screenwriters, director, casting director and actors did an excellent job. Of course some bits of plot had to be left out because of time restraint but I think the movie will appeal to those like me who loved the book as well as those who have not read it. I was throughly entertained and not one bit disappointed. Thank you again Cinema Paradiso for hours of pleasure. I love being able to rent new and old movies from around the world. 

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The Keeper of Lost Causes

Very well done.

(Edit) 18/01/2020

I agree with the very favourable reviews. I read the book last year and this is a good adaptation. Yes, I would love to see more episodes! 

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
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