Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pattinson/Radcliffe Double Feature

Well sort of. A proper double feature would entail 2 films being watched one after the other in a single session. Sadly, due to the fact that I completely made this amazing combination up in my head, I had to spread it out on Friday and Sunday night. Still amazing though. It was really just down to good timing: 'The Woman in Black' was released here on May 17 and 'Bel Ami' on May 25. So I decided to hold out (i.e not completely inundated with uni/thesis work) and do both in one weekend (AHAHAHAHA.....I wish :| )
What a coincidence! This was my weekend .

Part 1: Friday June 1: Pattinson and Bel Ami. Place: Event Cinemas Bondi. Guest: Laura
Yes. This is how I write all my essays. Looking at you seductively in the eyes and pouting. Problem?

I've been waiting for this film for close to two years now (it was filmed in early 2010...!) and personally, it delivered. It's odd because it's the only film where I've read the script before watching it, but only later did I remember bits that had been cut out of the final version. The film is about a penniless French soldier, Georges Duroy, who returns to Paris down on his luck. By befriending an old soldier comrade of his, he manages to screw his way up in society.
Screw his way up society?
Yes. Oh yes. You read that right. Basically like a male gold digger of the late 1800s.
There's also a whole back story with a newspaper bringing down a corrupt government trying to invade an African country because of oil, but why would we be interested in that?
Church: a great place to pick up women

I thought the story was very good. Georges (Robert Pattinson) is so poor at the beginning that you can't help but feel sorry him and even when he treats all the women like castoffs, I didn't hate him. He doesn't really get his comeuppance at the end either, there's no karmic retribution, perhaps because of the all the crap he went through at the beginning. The actors were well cast in their roles especially the main ladies; Christina Ricci as Clothilde, Uma Thurman as Madeleine and Kristin Scott Thomas as Virginie. There is one scene which is off putting for some viewers; essentially it is Georges getting 'raped' by Madeleine but the camera focuses solely on Georges. I understood it but Laura was looking at me during that scene with 'What is this I am watching ohgodwhy?!?!' face. I think she liked the film but I'm not entirely sure. It may not have been what she had thought it was going to be (that sentence sounds like a five year old wrote it. Apols.) Really loved the scene when Georges founds out what's been happening at the newspaper from Virginie and goes all Hulk on her. Robert does angry quite well. Moving on, I also liked how Holliday Grainger was paired with Robert again (see 'The Bad Mother's Handbook if not for them but Robert in total geek mode). The editing may have flawed the film though- some parts just felt a bit rushed. But overall, it didn't disappoint at all. I do have to say I am guilty of thinking during an early scene 'TONKS WHY ARE YOU HAVING SEXY TIMES WITH CEDRIC?!?!?!?!?'
4 chocs out of 5 tops

Part 2: Sunday June 3: Radcliffe and The Woman in Black. Place: Hoyts Eastgardens (aka the ghetto). Guest: Katerina
There's a fob watch in this outfit. Fun fact.

This film had actually been released overseas many months ago and so I was incredibly happy when I saw that it had finally gotten an Australian release now. Perhaps they were waiting for a seasonal change because the timing for such a ghost story couldn't be better. Yes, it was a darkish, rainy afternoon as I huddled my way into the dimly lit cinema. Cliche much? This film is based on the novel by Susan Hill where Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a widowed lawyer in the 1800s on a sort of 'last chance' assignment from his firm to travel to Eel Marsh and organise the papers of the newly deceased Alice (didn't catch the surname. can't be bothered looking it up). Little does he know that the house on the marsh is haunted! (dun dun) And the villagers don't go there! (dun dun) Because bad stuff happens! (dun dun dun)
It's a quintessential horror story. Actually, Katerina and I had a bit of discussion about this post-viewing as she felt it was more suspense, where as I was more adamant that it was horror/thriller. It has all the good features of a scary movie: a protagonist who ventures into the forbidden, suspenseful music, creepy characters and dolls and clowns. So by and large it sounds cliched- perhaps it is to more clued in horror fans- but I still found myself on the edge of my seat, heart beating fast, jumping out of my seat and trying not to scream. I guess it's a sign of a good film when a couple of teenage girls shriek ever time something scary happens on screen. Every. Single. Time.
Actually, going back to cliches, Kat was scarily accurate on her guesses as to what was going to happen. Either she's seen too many horror films, I've seen too little or this film is cliched. Regardless, I still liked it.
Kat 'He needs an axe to open the door'. Daniel 2 secs later picks up an axe . Kat 'HAHA! '

As this was Radcliffe's first post-Potter outing, I thought he acted quite well (Kat says he was too stiff....*badumcha*) but I've never noticed his 'bad acting' during the Potter films or December Boys. There was a great deal of non-dialogue scenes and I thought his  'HOLY CRAP WHAT WAS THAT ARGGH!'  face had greatly improved. With regards to pacing, as opposed to Bel Ami, there were some parts that felt slow but to be honest, I was too scared to care. Extra points to Misha Handley, Radcliffe's godson who plays his son in the film, just for being adorable.
3.5 chocs out of 5 tops

Final thoughts: Although both films were period pieces featuring two Potter alumni, they were both strikingly different. These are both smaller, independent films and the advertising for them hasn't been that great but I think that the turnout in both the sessions I went to were pretty good. The reviews from here have slated Bel Ami and found TWIB to be good but average. I disagree, I think both are bit more than average. All I need now is to see Robert and Daniel in a period film together. That is all.