Pigging out on film!Posted on: 16 March 2012 by Anthony Page
Just occasionally there is a glut of good films on the circuit – well just such a time was last week. We had Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen, The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep and The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy. Spoilt for choice – not really – watched them all in one day!
It was great – started off at Cineworld in Fulham Road London using one of their ‘all the film you can eat in a month’ tickets -£17.99 in London and £14.99 for the rest of the country. Great value if you enjoy the cinema!
We started off with The Iron Lady – Baroness Thatcher biopic with her suffering from dementia. Now to have an American actress playing one of our iconic political leaders (and who is still alive to boot) just didn’t seem right to me. Was I so very, very wrong? Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Thatcher shuffling around her London flat is absolutely spellbinding – voice, mannerisms, eyes, stance. It transports you back to the days of the Poll Tax riots, The Falkland’s war and the strikes of the 1970s. The performance is magical and whoever did the makeup sheer genius!
Now Thatcher polarises all manner of emotions and opinions throughout the UK. Some love her and many more hate her and her policies. If you are over forty you will have your own opinion on her. Whatever it is you will not avoid the fact that she impacted on your life! The film trips you back and forth from the present to key event during her time as Prime Minister. All the time she is accompanied by the now famous Dennis Thatcher portrayed by Jim Broadbent as her manifested fantasy as she moves in and out of her demented state. It’s a sad film as it portrays the decline of an awesome individual to one slipping from one reality to another. Is it entertaining – it certainly is if you lived through these times? You will be shocked at the newscasts of the time showing the police brutality used to quell the miners and Poll Tax riots. If you’re under forty wait for the DVD!
After a quick glass of wine in the cinema bar on to the second film. I didn’t know what to expect from The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold but wanted to see it just for the cast – Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame.
The story is very simple and uncomplicated – a group of pensioners (five singles and a couple) separately decide to ship out and retire to the ‘Best Exotic Hotel Marigold’ in India, run by the young budding entrepreneur Dev Patel. Well as you can imagine ‘all that is said to glitter is not gold!’ Shattered expectations bring out the British ‘fighting spirit’ and everybody (except the moaning mini wife) makes the best of a bad job. From here on in we have some of the best one liners of any comedy I have seen. The whole film is funny from start to finish and embodies every emotion from love and passion to pity and pathos. Wonderful performances from all and sundry bringing out the best of every word from a brilliant screenplay. Don’t expect a ‘deep plot and storyline’ – you’ll be disappointed! A great laugh you are guaranteed – if it’s in your area go see it – or if not get the DVD. I’m doing both!
Last but by no means least: ‘Midnight in Paris’ starring Owen Wilson, Rachel Adam and Kathy Bates. It starts slow and for a while you think you are watching Woody Allen film but without the man himself! Written and directed by Woody Allen it reeks with his words, jokes and quips and unique humour. It has a slow beginning and I felt cheated as Woody wasn’t there. As soon as it gets into the plot proper this feeling passes and the novelty of the plot unfolds. At a surface level it’s all about a young couple on a trip to Paris with the girl’s parent. The journey of self discovery is thwarted by a series of novel events which make the fragile world the couple have created shatter. A great film full of Allen humour- If you love him you’ll love this and watch it time and time again.
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