Film Reviews by TB

Welcome to TB's film reviews page. TB has written 6 reviews and rated 18 films.

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Shoplifters

An emotionally powerful movie

(Edit) 12/05/2020

This film is essentially in two parts. In the first an already poor family take in a young girl who we learn is being abused by her parents. We watch as this little girl becomes part of the family. It is Dickensian, as other reviewers have said, but this group of people in terrible circumstances just about keep their heads above water. It is heart-warming to see the abused little girl come back to life is the warmth of her new, adopted family. Then we come to part two. This family also have their skeletons, which become clearer as the film progresses. They supplement their meagre incomes with shoplifting, and it is shoplifting that brings about their demise. I will not give away any spoilers, but I didn't see what was coming. The film packs an emotional punch as the protagonists adjust to this development. Beautifully shot, very believable, and well directed. Prepare to have your heart punctured.

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The Pumpkin Eater

A sad tale of a disastrous marriage

(Edit) 08/04/2020

Anne Bancroft stars as a thrice married wife to Peter Finch who is an adulterous shit. She already has five children from previous marriages. The strain of being married to a lothario takes its toll on her mental wellbeing. She suffers breakdowns, and is deeply unhappy, but her Finch is the consistent in her life. The final scene is devastating. She is holed up in a new home, clearly distressed, when she glances at the field below and sees her troupe of kids together with Finch. The nightmare is to begin all over again.

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The Day of the Locust

A look into Hollywood's black heart

(Edit) 18/03/2020

Hollywood used to be a powerful machine. The system used to control, own and abuse actors, then spit them out onto the scrap heap.  This film looks at the blameless lives of a would-be starlet and a would-be illustrator. Their lives grow close, then grow apart but for the male lead, he can never really get over his desire for the starlet, played by Karen Black. The story moves through their lives, but as the title suggests, dark days are ahead. The film ends when big crowd at a film premiere gets out of control and disaster ensues. There are stand-out performances from a number of the assembled cast. A powerful film, well shot, and a strong depiction of the life beyond all that false glamour.

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Ladybird Ladybird

A difficult watch, but an outstanding performance

(Edit) 12/02/2020

Ken Loach films always feature very believable, everyday characters, so much so that you could be watching a documentary. This film charts the life of a woman and mother who is doing her best to support her brood of children. Life has not been kind to her, she grew up in a spiral of violence and abuse which is still inside her. It is not long before tragedy strikes and her work is turned upside down as her children enter the care system. The rest of the film charts her journey as she descends into rage and trauma. She strikes up a relationship with a loving man, but that is not enough to stop yet more of her children being wrongly taken into an uncaring care system. Shudderingly, this film was based on a true story. The mother, played by Crissy Rock, is a stand-out performance.

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Raw

A meaty performance

(Edit) 05/02/2020

An interesting take on a vegetarian who is drawn to meat after an unfortunate incident involving being force fed a lamb's liver. It is an oddity and all the better for it. In these days when the subject of meat vs. veggie fills the media, this film has an air of freshness and a great performance from the 18-year-old lead and her family also.

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The Last Tycoon

Not faithful to the book

(Edit) 13/03/2019

As a big fan of the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald I was keen to see this movie. It had an all-star cast and a veteran Hollywood director so what was there not to like? The story. It dramatically veers away from the book. Mr Starr is not shown to be besotted with his dead wife, not enough by my judgement, and the film has a happy-ish tinseltown ending. The book is darker and more powerful, even though it is incomplete due to the author's premature death. The notes at the end of the book are spine-tingling. Another Fitzgerald adaptation, another disappointment I'm afraid. And don't get me going on the travesty that is Baz Lurman's Great Gatsby.

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