Film Reviews by JT

Welcome to JT's film reviews page. JT has written 2 reviews and rated 4 films.

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I, Tonya

Viscerally entertaining biopic, that kept me glued to the screen

(Edit) 09/04/2019

Not a classic maybe, but this film bears all the hallmarks of a genre buster. Clearly made with the intention of being laughed at, the humour is, however, so dark that most will find their sensibilities challenged at some point. Did Tonya's mother really lacerate her daughter's arm by flinging a steak knife across the room at the defenceless pre-teenager with the prodigious skating talent? (Did cinema audiences laugh or shudder at this event, I found myself wondering.) That the story depicts recent historical fact interspersed by documentary-type interviews with the main protagonists (played by actors) only serves to strengthen the film's lurid attraction.

It is impossible to overlook the inherent bathos in the fate of this hapless, wannabe superstar who, as depicted, was callously abused by her overbearing mother, and hopelessly led astray by a witless boyfriend to whom she turns for sanctuary. And yet, despite all the grotesque maltreatment, the kid prevails at key moments to lay claim to having been the consummate little princess of US ice-skating.

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The King's Choice

Surprisingly gripping account of an intriguing constitutional conundrum

(Edit) 15/05/2018

My history is wonky enough to forget which of the Scandinavian countries declared neutrality at the outbreak of WW2 (Sweden) and which offered resistance to the National Socialists marauding northwards from Schleswig Holstein; e.g. Norway. This account of Norway's annexation is surprisingly exciting thanks not least to excellent performances from a solid cast among whom shine out Jesper Christensen (who also played Mr White in the new Bond version of Casino Royale) as good King Haakon, and Karl Markovics who gives an inspired performance as the German ambassador to Norway attempting futilely to preempt the outbreak of hostilities when the German navy sails into view.

The film convincingly portrays the pandemonium brought about by the invasion including the resignation of the Norwegian government and the King's flight to a safe haven outside Oslo before his eventual exile to the UK from his occupied homeland. For those who wonder what monarchies are useful for, this relatively obscure chapter in recent European history provides an answer. When a small country with a monarch is overwhelmed by a vastly superior force; it is the monarch who becomes the figure of formal rejection of the invader's terms and carries on constitutional resistance to the occupation from abroad. He does so thanks in large part to his birthright as sovereign; a legitimacy that a mere General such as deGaulle could not bring to a similar situation in France.

Well worth watching!

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