Film Reviews by RhysH

Welcome to RhysH's film reviews page. RhysH has written 48 reviews and rated 59 films.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Guardians

Waiting.

(Edit) 26/06/2019

The dream sequence which shows shooting and killing is the least effective in portraying the horror of war. The reality of war is reflected in the lives of the people left behind, they can do nothing but wait and wait and quite often despair.

The three leading actors at the heart of the drama, Nathalie Baye, Laura Smet and in particular Iris Brey are outstanding.

The film is suffused with powerful acting and is beautifully shot.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

A Delicate Balance

Curtain up.

(Edit) 26/06/2019

This is quite simply a stage play filmed, with no real cognizance of the art of film, all it lacks is a final curtain call. It does, however, make intriguing and very watchable cinema. Albee writes some great dialogue.

Katherine Hepburn plays Katherine Hepburn and does it to perfection. Paul Scofield simmers throughout and just saves his final boil from melodrama. Kate Reid is wonderful as the alcoholic Claire, too much make-up and too much to drink, she tells the truth.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Private

Private lives.

(Edit) 29/04/2019

You don't need a degree in political science to know that this film is a metaphor for all that is happening to the Palestinian people. This is laid on a bit thickly but the film is saved by the wonderful nuanced performances by the actors playing the Palestinian family. They show the full range of emotional responses to their situation; acceptance, anger, hatred, fear and stoicism. The two youngest actors often steal the film.

The film is movingly shot, moments of calm followed by moments of awful tension.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Three Brothers

Three points of view.

(Edit) 04/04/2019

"Tre Fratelli" tells the moving story of three brothers returning to the south of Italy for their mother's funeral. They symbolise different aspects of modern Italian society. Francesco Rosi was known as a crusading, political director who pointed out the inequalities of the economically depressed Italian south and while "Three Brothers" touches on terrorism, workers' rights and religion it does so with a very light touch.

Much of the film is overly sentimental, almost to the point of cliché, it is saved by the beauty of the shooting, the buildings, the people. It is a joy to watch.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Suddenly, Last Summer

A cinema triumvirate

(Edit) 07/01/2019

Taylor, Hepburn and Clift take it turns to dominate a scene.

Elizabeth Taylor cannot help looking glamorous even in those scenes in which she is suppose to be dowdy and when she is allowed to wear a "nice" dress she looks fabulous. She gives a nuanced performance and excels in the final speeches of the Tennessee Williams play. The speeches could have stood on their own without the background flashbacks.

Katherine Hepburn's voice oozes charm and vitriol, often in the same sentence.

it is said that Montgomery Clift had some difficulty completing the longer scenes. He had a car crash three years earlier and had some dependency on painkillers and alcohol. Sometimes the joins in scenes are clearly visible with Clift, in close up, repeating the line of another character or simply saying "go on". It is a great, understated, troubled performance.

Did Hepburn really spit in the face of the director Mankiewicz at the end of the film because of his treatment of Clift?

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Fugitive Kind

Magnificent Magnani.

(Edit) 07/01/2019

A great cinema adaptation of Tennessee Williams's play "Orpheus Descending".

This was Marlon Brando's tenth film and he has the hesitant brooding off to a fine art but it's not so much menacing as reflecting, he even smiles once or twice.

But the film belongs to Anna Magnani, a Tennessee Williams specialist, she gives a stellar performance Every emotion is powerfully played.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Ashes and Diamonds

Assassinating

(Edit) 04/12/2018

The last in Wajda's war trilogy an excellent example of Polish realist cinema.

Zbigniew Cybulski who plays the main part of Maciek was asked to base his performance on the style of James Dean and there is certainly something of that in the performance of Maciek's almost total indifference to the life he leads, that is until he falls in love. An engaging performance.

Eva Krzyzewska gives a fine performance, not just the simpering barmaid but a strong and intelligent woman.

The film is beautifully photographed, often from a low level and each shot exquisitely framed

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

A Generation

A dark place illuminated.

(Edit) 29/11/2018

A dark film. Dark in its cinematography and dark in its subject matter. It is hard to imagine living under a regime imposed by a foreign army but Wajda had first hand experience, his father was shot by Stalin's agents in the Katyn massacre. This film is set during the Nazi occupation of Poland and explores the politicization of the youth at this time.

Wajda had just finished film school when he made this film, it shows the influence of Italian realism without losing any of its Polish credentials.

Wajda has said that he was not entirely happy with the film arguing that it did not quite capture the sense of desperation he wanted. It, nevertheless, remains a potent film about power and resistance.

Tadeusz Lomnicki, one of the few actors who had appeared in a film before, plays the lead Stach with a mixture of naivety and political awareness. At times his smile almost looks imbecilic but this is the mask of a very aware young man. An excellent performance.

Roman Polanski is in the cast and Wajda's influence on him can be seen in his film "The Pianist".

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Journey to Italy

Journey into understanding.

(Edit) 29/11/2018

The film has been described as the Italian film that kickstarted the French New Wave, a very important film. For me it does not live up to that billing. Yes it has the languid introspection of the new wave where little happens but a lot is understood but often loses its way under the Italian sun in a miasma of frustrated egos.

George Sanders was said to be annoyed at the lack of a definitive script for the film. It shows in his performance which is somewhat stilted, although this could be an excellent performance of an unemotional English businessman. Ingrid Bergman as his wife, gives a more nuanced performance without going too deep into the emotional turmoil of the character.

As always in a period piece, in this case Naples in 1954, the street scenes give a great documentary context.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Kaos

A visual feast

(Edit) 26/10/2018

Another lesson in the art of cinematography from the Taviani brothers.

Four short pieces and an epilogue based on stories by Luigi Pirandello. Fables set in early twentieth century Italy.

The performances are excellent, there is the history of the Italian nation in the faces of the actors.

The landscapes, the buildings, the interiors, take on characters of their own, each shot framed for the gallery wall.

A truly delightful visual feast.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Il Posto

Job centered

(Edit) 17/09/2018

Olmi's first films were documentaries and the documentary feel infuses all his later feature films putting Olmi at the forefront of the Italian neorealist cinema.

The film tells the story of two young people entering the world of work, in this case a large office in Milan. The aptitude tests for the job are quite farcical, the people they work with are on the cusp of absurdity. The relationship between the two is beautifully drawn, they never kiss, hold hands briefly but the attraction between them shines on their faces.

Sandro Panseri who plays the young man Domenico has in some of his reflective moments the deadpan look of Buster Keaton particularly in the embarrassingly awful Christmas party he goes to, hoping to see Antonietta played by Loredana Detto. She gives a delightful, sparkling performance; she never made another film but did marry the director.

A delightful film.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Tree of Wooden Clogs

"The Whisper Of Generations"

(Edit) 17/09/2018

This film is rightly acclaimed as a masterpiece, it has all of Olmi's documentary background without ever being voyeuristic. We are allowed the privilege of observing the life of a rural community, love, loss, despair and hope with no hint of sentimentality, all against the background of the changing seasons.

A caring film.

Olmi who died on the 5th of May 2018 said his films were about what the poet Zanzotto expressed as "the whisper of generations".

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Night of Shooting Stars

The landscape of war.

(Edit) 14/08/2018

The Taviani brothers are rightly lauded for their 1977 masterpiece "Padre Padrone". This film while not quite matching "Padre Padrone" is a fine example of the brothers' cinematic art.

War does not have to be depicted in bombed out cities or ravaged grey landscapes it can just as effectively be shown against the beauty of Florence and the sun soaked hills of Tuscany. The film just steers clear of mere whimsy, the characters are engaging, the relationships moving and all acted out against the background of encroaching tragedy.

A beautifully shot poignant film.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Rules of the Game

More than a game.

(Edit) 14/08/2018

How can a film so hated by critics at the time become nearly eighty years later praised as one of the great films in the history of cinema? Certainly the depiction of the French upper class and their moral callousness would not have been endearing to the ruling class and indeed the film was banned because of the effect it might have on the morals of the young. Renoir wrote that, "During the shooting of the film I was torn between my desire to make a comedy of it and the wish to tell a tragic story." A year after the film's release the Germans marched into Paris.

The acting is often too studied, the realisation at times farcical but beneath the frivolous surface is, in retrospect, our knowledge that these characters are about to be pawns in the rules of the game of war. Renoir wrote, "it is a war film and yet there is no reference to the war. Beneath its seemingly innocuous appearance the story attacks the very structure of our society."

For me the best performance is by the director himself, Jean Renoir plays Octave with a wonderful mix of comedy and Pathos.

The cinematography is wonderful a true masterclass in effective use of a camera.

Renoir was so concerned about the reception of the film that he "resolved either to give up the cinema or leave France".

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

I Capture the Castle

Perfect casting.

(Edit) 01/05/2018

The casting for this adaptation of Dodie Smith's 1948 novel is wonderful. Romola Garai is perfect as Cassandra, the right mix of naivety and worldly-wisdom. We know Bill Nighy can do charm and humour but here he dishes up angst and anger. To mention just two performances may be a disservice to the rest of this excellent cast.

The quality of the performances and Heidi Thomas's sparkling screenplay steers this film away from being a flimsy costume drama into a drama with bathos and genuine humour.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
1234

Help & support

Find answers to frequently asked questions and contact us should you need to

How It Works

See prices and levels and find out how Cinema Paradiso service works

Friends for Films

Invite your friends to join and get free subscription each month