Tag Archives: Eddie Redmayne

Jupiter Ascending

The Wachowski siblings are a talented duo but they haven’t managed to produce a film as good as The Matrix. Their latest is a space opera adventure starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis that has been panned worldwide. Does Jupiter Ascending deserve all the criticism it’s getting?

Jupiter Jones (Kunis) is an ordinary girl who cleans toilets for a living. Her life changes when she meets Caine (Tatum) an alien soldier, and realises she’s actually genetically identical to a dead alien queen and therefore is the owner of Earth. However the dead queen’s three devious children are all making plans against Jupiter. Can Caine save her?

Considering how many films are sequels, remakes or based on existing franchises you have to admire the Wachowskis for trying to produce something original. However when the end result is Jupiter Ascending it’s no wonder audience are rushing to see the latest Marvel movie instead. On the one hand Jupiter Ascending is never boring and there are some laughs to be had. Unfortunately none of it is intentional. Perhaps a bit more intended humour or some knowing winks at the audience would have been a bit bearable but everything is so serious that it’s hard to take the film seriously.

While some of the visuals are fine the script is poor with lines such as bees can tell if you’re lying and apparently they can also recognise royalty. I feel sorry for actors like Sean Bean (playing a bee/human hybrid Stinger Apini- yes it’s that kind of movie) having to be the one having to say such dubious lines of the film. Still at least he keeps a straight face while saying these lines. Him and Tatum look like they are trying to approach the film seriously while Kunis looks like she’s bored through most of the movie. Maybe because she’s constantly playing the damsel in distress throughout the film.

Then there’s the House of Abrasax family, who are the dead queen’s children. It seems as though the three siblings (Eddie Redmayne, Tuppence Middleton and Douglas Booth) were directed to ham it up as large as possible, with Redmayne the worst offender. Middleton’s Kalique is perhaps the most interesting of the three but unfortunately she’s the one we see the least. Instead we get Redmayne’s Balem hamming it up in his plots against Jupiter and Booth’s Titus in a bizarre quest to try to marry his mother’s clone. And no one mentions how creepy that is.

Despite its flaws I could see Jupiter Ascending become some kind of cult classic in the future for those who like it’s camp ‘charm’.  It’s just a shame because you can tell that those involved wanted it to be taken much more seriously than that.

Rating 2/5 – ridiculous and dumb but it’s never dull

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The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything has been a success critically and has recently received a Golden Globe for its leading man Eddie Redmayne. But is the film really worth all the awards and critical applause?

In 1963 young,astrophysics Cambridge University student Stephen Hawkins meets fellow student Jane Wilde at a party and fall in love. However Stephen is soon diagnosed with motor neuron disease and is told he has two years to live but Jane refuses to give up on him or their relationship. With Jane’s help Stephen not only manages to live beyond his life expectancy but become a world-renowned physicist.

The Theory of Everything is well made and directed but this film is really about the two lead performances. I was a bit dubious before how Eddie Redmayne was going to transform convincingly into Hawkins but he is brilliant in the role. It’s not only a physically demanding role as Redmayne contorts his body like Hawkins but he also excels at showing how the disease takes an emotional toll on Hawkins. After a while I forgot it was Redmayne in the role.

Taking nothing away from Redmayne but the person myself and others were raving about when we left the cinema was Felicty Jones as Jane Wilde. It could so easily have been written as another ‘wife of’ role that has been seen so many times in biopic like this -you know, the barely two-dimensional supporting/nagging wife of a brilliant man. However this film is as much about Jane as it is about Hawkings (perhaps not so surprising once you realise the film was based on Jane’s book Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen). Jones is superb, going from determined and loved up young girl to the exhausted wife of a brilliant but frustrating man. It may not be a showy role Jones simple dazzles on-screen and brings real empathy to her role.

Some people may find themselves wanting to know more about Hawking’s work and theories but I liked that the film focused on this amazing couple who achieved extraordinary things through their determination and love.

Rating 4/5 – a lovely British filmwith two wonderful leading performances from Jones and Redmayne

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Les Miserables

I came out of seeing Les Miserables an emotional wreck. I wasn’t expecting the film to hit me this hard. After all everyone’s singing –it can’t be sad right?

Very wrong.

The basic plot of Les Miserable starts in 1815 when prisoner Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is set free after nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread. When he breaks his parole to start a new better life for himself under a new identity he is followed by Russell Crowe’s Javert who is determined to bring him to justice. Years later Valjean’s life crosses that of Fantine (Anne Hathaway) and her daughter Cosette (Isabelle Allen and later Amanda Seyfried) changing his life forever.

It’s astonishing that Tom Hooper is not nominated for Best Director at this year’s Oscars. The scale of this film is immense and he handles an all-star cast and the extravagantly detailed sets with aplomb. Anyone else might have let the grandness of this film overwhelmed the film itself, Hooper manages to keep everything in order and produce a fantastic film at the same time.

As the film is set in three time periods it appropriate that there’s three actors who stand out in each time period.

In the film’s first section set in 1815, Hugh Jackman is amazing as Jean Valjean. When we first see him he is thin, haggard, a prisoner whose been barely treated like a human for nineteen years. His desperation shows throughout his face and his transformation from petty criminal without hope to a well-respected man with a new sense of dignity and responsibility is convincingly portrayed. He thoroughly deserved his win at the golden globes.

Speaking of golden globe winners-best supporting actress Anne Hathaway steals the second part of the film based eight years later.  Although she is barely in the film Hathaway makes a huge impact. Her character’s Fantine’s fall from grace is harrowing and Hathaway bares it all in her performance. Fantine is broken and has given up everything for the love of her child. It was a risk for Hooper to make the cast sing live on film, rather than in a recording studio but it pays off when you hear the emotion and despair in her voice during “I dreamed a dream”.

The last part of the film takes place nine years later. It’s here where newcomer Samantha Barks (from tv’s I’d do Anything) stands out against the Hollywood heavies acting beside her. It helps that she played Eponine in the west end. As lonely, hopelessly in love Eponine she conveys much more feeling and emotion than the bland love story between Marius (Eddie Redmayne) and Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) does. Her song of unrequited love for Marius in “On my own” shows her impressive vocal range whilst pulling tightly on your heart strings. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor girl.

It’s fair to say that Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks break my heart in this film.

However the film is not without its flaws. It does feel too long at times, where the story seems to drag. I didn’t feel emotionally connected to the story of Cosette and Marius (mostly because I cared about poor Eponine instead). Also Russell Crowe doesn’t have the strength in his singing voice that the other actors do, although it’s not as bad as others may have you believe, but he does struggle with the singing but then that is the risk in letting all your actors sing live. However he acts the part well and is an intimidating antagonist to Jackman’s Valjean.

These points however don’t get in the way of a heartbreakingly, emotional film full of terrific performances.

Rating 4/5

Tears, young love, unrequited love, death, a man on the run and a student uprising-the film packs a lot in its 158 running time, but it wasn’t a disappointment.

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