Film Reviews by JW

Welcome to JW's film reviews page. JW has written 3 reviews and rated 1 films.

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'Round Midnight

Best jazz film ever

(Edit) 08/09/2018

If you are a fan of post-bop jazz and 1950s Paris, you're going to love this film. The story of an ageing saxophonist battling with addiction befriended by a French fan is based on a true story. Far from being grim, the characters on and offstage are full of life. The Oscar winning soundtrack is played live on set by luminaries of the jazz world. 1950s Paris is loving recreated on the screen. Dexter Gordon's portrayal of a jazz artist facing the end of his life while producing amazing music is riveting. This is far and away the best film about the life of a jazz musician, capturing its mixed realities and great music at the same time. I would love to step into the screen and live in the world portrayed.

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A Great Day in Harlem

Short and sweet

(Edit) 30/08/2018

A absolutely fascinating snapshot of the New York jazz scene in the fifties. Although only an hour in length, you get to learn a lot about the personalities of the big names in jazz. While the music may be familiar, the personal interactions between these stars is eye-opening. The added DVD features are also interesting. All in all, this film makes a good opening feature to accompany other jazz films such as 'Bird' or 'Round Midnight'.

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Paper Moon

A forgotten classic

(Edit) 30/08/2018

Beautifully filmed in black and white, Paper Moon tells the story of an unlikely pairing of an orphaned girl with a down-at-heel con man. The two bicker their way across the stark landscape of Depression-era middle America while working scams on unsuspecting locals. Ryan O'Neil and his daughter Tatum have an infectious on-screen character that pulls you in to their often hilarious world. Tatum won an Oscar for her role in this film and is still the youngest person every to win Best Supporting Actor. The cast of supporting characters, especially Madeline Khan as Miss Trixie Delight, bring colour to each scene. You can't help but sing along with the soundtrack. If you like movies set in the 1930s, or quirky comedies such as 'O Brother Where Art Thou', give Paper Moon a try.

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