Film Reviews by NR

Welcome to NR's film reviews page. NR has written 4 reviews and rated 11 films.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Nobody Knows

Cinematic magic

(Edit) 09/03/2021

We have been watched several movies by Hirokazu Kor-eeda (written and directed) and these certainly show a magical touch in working with child actors - drawing wonderfully natural and convincing performances (are they professionals).

Nobody Cares, an earlier example, is a supremely powerful tale of child neglect and child survival - based around a real case (which was apparently more brutal than shown in this film).

At a length of two hours and twenty, the movie repays the viewer's attention (while easily winning our attention), as it tells its story (always a good narrative in Kor-eeda's films) in a magically cinematic way, through images and the gradual accumulation of images. It's really impressive and most of these films are impressive.

The story may reflect in some way the period of stagnation in Japan, and the comparative hardship faced in that society, as well as a particular case of eccentric fecklessness.

While it is tempting the judge the adult characters, or to believe that you know the best interests of the children, or to prescribe what should happen to them in the story, the movie creates instead a self-contained, self-sufficient world, which accumulates its own logic and morality.

There seems to be a theme in recent Japanese movies about the social and psychological condition of young people - the issues of happiness or neglect, or what constitutes a caring family or a sustaining life - to which Kor-eeda's work contributes very satisfyingly.,

In simple terms, a very involving and lovely 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.

No End

Early Kieslowski - worthwhile

(Edit) 09/03/2021

A feature from the Polish period of Kieslowski, before French exile and obviously before his ascent to cinematic legend status, after the Three Colours Triology.

This movie sees some of the director's elements in play, in particular the "supernatural" element. Arguably these are more effective in a film such as The Double Life of Veronique (admittedly one of my favourite movies of all time), but its interesting to see how the director's ideas have developed or been applied differently.

Perhaps the overall story and situations are less compelling than in the more commercial or famous films, but we are dealing with a great auteur here; and the period of Polish history is always going to be interesting. Here we are dealing with the period of Martial Law.

In political terms, it's interesting to observe the pessimism or even fatalism of characters here. It's from 1986, I believe, and it seems that reforming characters - including Solidarnosc figures - only see compromise, subjugation and defeat in Poland at this moment. Of course we are well aware that the moribund system is about to crumble - as the personages (and the creative people behind them) are not aware. So from that angle, it demonstrates that despair can be misplaced. A message perhaps to the Russian people in 2021. Let's see.

Grazyna Szapolowska is superb here. The soundtrack by Priesner (forgive my spelling) is rather dirge like, but I still enjoyed the sound and again it prefigures more confident work to come.

Definitely a piece in the Kieslowski puzzle, for admirers.

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 Party

Top Notch Satire

(Edit) 19/10/2018

Indeed a top notch satire, sharper than the stiletto of a Tory wannabe, darker than a walk through a London park after midnight.

It lances a number of trendy lefty taboos - always a good thing to laugh at yourself - and makes PC seem as tame as Cinderella.

All the things you cannot talk about on the BBC.

Sometimes the humour is so off-colour that it takes your breath away - rather like the main character of this drama.

Probably has its origins in a stage play - in fact that's most certain - but as I don't live in Hampsted or the best part of Islington, I would not have seen it - but for once the theatrical feel of the action is not a detraction.

A number of superbly judged twists, including the ending (unless you guess).

The cast, as other viewers say above, is absolutely excellent and gets it spot on; with a variety of fictional grotesques.

The black & white cinematography is fine, as it emphasises every wrinkle and cranny of the (rather desperate and sad) characters; and emphasises the black comedy of the entire situation, or 'situations'.

So this is truly sophisticated and fearless social satire. Probably not the Corbynistas idea of a good movie. Although, I could be wrong about that, as reality turns the golden calves of the safe-space ideology of today back to lead.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Hidden Figures

Very Watchable and Brings Home Some Truths

(Edit) 19/10/2018

While taking some points from the review which argues how Hollywood distorts history and facts, the viewer cannot fully deny the merits of this film.

The very point that three black women took important roles at NASA, during this period, as mathematicians and as engineers, is surely a powerful message. Most significantly for black girls , studying and working today, in terms of aspirations and self-image; then secondly to the other non-black Americans (not only Caucasians) who have prejudiced or discriminatory views about black people, and black women in particular.

Even those who consider themselves to be non-racist, liberal, socialist, or just fair, will have the point made very strongly in this film: black women can be much smarter than you. Many black women are most likely smarter than you. I know that they are smarter than me.

The very notion to a post-slavery US can be subversive. Certainly to the gated communities of the privilege that popular university campuses, and then corporate recruitment processes.

Yes, some of the family scenes in this movie are schmaltz, and are have the smell of racial stereotype about them. Not the marriage proposal scene, in front of all the children - people of colour as saints and paragons of society (an over compensation for the opposite image).

Yet it is a warm and witty drama, that surprises with its facts and truth. Plus the Kevin Costner character (ignored by the above hostile review) is hardly a personification of white man evil. On the contrary, Costner does his usual excellent job as the paragon of conscience and justice.

This film is not going to set your world on fire, but it is very satisfying and does prompt valuable self-questioning, as to one's true attitudes to people of African descent, in particular to women.

Of course that's why some men will hate it.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.