Here Are The 2018 Women Film Critics Circle Nominations!


BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN
Mary Shelley
Roma
The Favourite
Widows

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Leave No Trace
The Kindergarten Teacher
You Were Never Really Here

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]

Sara Colangelo: The Kindergarten Teacher
Debra Granik: Leave No Trace
Tamara Jenkins: Private Life
Audrey Wells: The Hate U Give

BEST ACTRESS
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Viola Davis, Widows
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Kindergarten Teacher

BEST ACTOR
Ben Foster, Leave No Trace
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Hugo Weaving, Black 47

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS
Helena Bonham Carter, 55 Steps
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Kathryn Hahn, Private Life
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS
Elle Fanning, Mary Shelley
Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace
Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
Capernaum
Happy As Lazzaro
Roma
Zama

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
RBG
Say Her Name: The Life And Death Of Sandra Bland
Seeing Allred
Shirkers

WOMEN’S WORK/BEST ENSEMBLE
55 Steps
Ocean’s Eight
The Favourite
Widows

SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS

COURAGE IN FILMMAKING
Haifaa Al-Mansour, Mary Shelley
Sara Colangelo, The Kindergarten Teacher
Sandra Luckow, That Way Madness Lies
Jennifer Fox, The Tale

COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]Helena Bonham Carter: 55 Steps
Viola Davis: Widows
Nicole Kidman: Destroyer
Melissa McCarthy: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women
Call Her Ganda
I Am Not A Witch
On Her Shoulders
Say Her Name: The Life And Death Of Sandra Bland

JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America
If Beale Street Could Talk
Life And Nothing More
The Hate U Give
Widows

KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity
93 Queen
On The Basis Of Sex
Roma
Woman Walks Ahead

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD: [Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Andrea Riseborough, Nancy
The Women Of Widows

BEST SCREEN COUPLE
A Star Is Born
Crazy Rich Asians
Disobedience
If Beale Street Could Talk

BEST FEMALE ACTION HEROES
Adrift
55 Steps
Black Panther
RBG

MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOM OF THE YEAR AWARD
Krista Allen, Party Mom
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Nicole Kidman, Destroyer
Jacki Weaver, Widows

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES
Black Panther
Like Me
On The Basis Of Sex
Widows

BEST ANIMATED FEMALES
Incredibles 2
Liyana
Mary And The Witch’s Flower
Mirai No Mirai

BEST FAMILY FILM
Eighth Grade
Incredibles 2
Science Fair
The Hate U Give

WFCC HALL OF SHAME
Bryan Singer

Embracing the Melodrama Part II #117: Never Let Me Go (dir by Mark Romanek)


NeverletmegoposterquadI can still remember, back in the year 2010, when I first saw Never Let Me Go at the Dallas Angelika.  Going into the film, I didn’t really know what was waiting for me.  I hadn’t read the novel that it was based on.  All I knew was that it had a cool trailer and it starred two of my favorite actresses, Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley.  Before I watched Never Let Me Go, I didn’t even know who Andrew Garfield was but that changed quickly.  Never Let Me Go took me by surprise.  I figured it would be a sad movie, based on the melancholy trailer and title.  But I had no idea how sad or effective it would be.  By the end of the movie, I was in tears.

And, even though I was already writing for this site at the time, I somehow never wrote up a review of Never Let Me Go.  Oh, I certainly meant to.  I went out of my way to recommend the movie on twitter.  I included it on my list of films that deserved Oscar consideration.  But I never actually got around to writing that full review.  The emotions were just too overwhelming.

Well, I’m going to use this opportunity to recommend that, if you haven’t already, you make an effort to see Never Let Me Go.  It’s a beautifully done film, one that confirms that director Mark Romanek is a major talent who really should have more than just three feature films to his credit.  (True, he does have a lot of music videos…)  As well, the film was written by Alex Garland, which should interest those of you who fell in love with Ex Machina earlier this year.

As for the film itself, it takes place in a world where, we’re told, a medical breakthrough was discovered in 1952 that allows people to live to be over 100 years old.  The details of that medical breakthrough are slowly revealed to us over the course of the film.  Unfortunately, it’s impossible to really talk about this film without revealing those details so consider this to be your SPOILER WARNING.

Basically — much as in Clonus — life has been extended through the use of cloning.  Cloned children are raised outside of the view of “normal” society.  They go to special schools.  And when they turn 18, they are harvested for their organs.  Clones are told that their ultimate goal is to “complete,” which is a polite way to say that most of them die before they ever reach 30.  A few lucky ones are allowed to be “carers.”  They take care of and comfort dying clones and, as a result, they get to put off their first organ donation for a few years.

Unlike Clonus, where the cloning was clandestine and done only to benefit the very rich, the clones are not a secret in Never Let Me Go.  Everyone knows why they exist and everyone knows what is going to ultimately happen to them.  Whenever the clones are allowed to leave their schools and explore the real world, they are greeted with a mix of hostility, fear, and guilt.  Because they are due to be sacrificed, society chooses to believe that the clones are somehow less than human.

As for the clones, the majority of them accept their fate.  You watch Never Let Me Go and you keep waiting for some sort of revolution and it never comes.  Some of the clones are angry.  Many of them desperately believe that there’s some way that they can avoid having to give up their organs.  A good deal of the film is spent listening to people you’ve come to love talk about getting a “deferral” that the audience knows does not exist.  For the most part, though, the clones passively accept their fate because that’s what they’ve been raised to do.

The film itself follows three clones from their childhood to their completion.  Kathy (Carey Mulligan) is a carer.  Ruth (Keira Knightley) starts out as a snob but softens as her fate becomes more and more inevitable.  And, lastly, there’s Tommy (Andrew Garfield).  Tommy starts out as an awkward young boy and he grows up to be an awkward young man.  Of all of them, Tommy is the most convinced that, as a result of the artwork he innocently drew as a boy, he will somehow be given a deferment.  Garfield is so heartbreaking in this role.  When he finally snaps and screams in frustration, you scream with him.

Never Let Me Go is not an easy film to watch but it’s one that I highly recommend.  It’ll make you think and it’ll make you cry.  And after you watch the movie, read Kazuo Ishiguro’s wonderful novel.  It’s even more heart-breaking than the movie.

Quick Review: Birdman (dir. by Alejandro González Iñárritu)


birdman-clickTo help you understand how little I knew going into this film, there was a time where I seriously thought Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) was a film adaptation of the old Hanna Barbarra cartoon character. I later found out it wasn’t (to my disappointment), but that it was a Michael Keaton movie helped to keep my interest. If Harvey Birdman is what you’re expecting, stop right there. You’re looking for the wrong film.

Here’s the short of it:

If you enjoy the Theatre, Birdman may be right up your alley. With a focus on a play, it takes the view through the nuances of getting the play into action. There are terrific, funny performances throughout (particularly from Keaton and Edward Norton) and it just flows so incredibly well. Birdman explores what it means to be into your craft (in this case, acting), the nature of what Fame actually is these days, and how much a person is willing to get/keep it. You could basically watch this back to back with Black Swan.

From a script by Iñárritu, along with 3 others, Birdman is the tale of a once famous actor dancing a fine line between total irrelevance and greatness. Hoping to reclaim that fame, he attempts to produce, direct and star in a Broadway play, but not everything is going to plan.

Forget any promos and just see it. I skipped a lot of the advertising for this and after watching the movie last night, I saw a commercial for the film that already feels like it gives too much of the film away. If you’ve followed them all, you’ve seen most of Birdman. Had I not already watched Richard Linkater’s “Boyhood”, I might consider Birdman one of the best films I’ve seen this year, especially in terms of the way it was made.

The Long Haul:

Let’s start with the Cinematography, but this will the element that stands out more than anything with this film. Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Children of Men) is at the top of his game here with the use of a seemingly single tracking shot that lasts almost the entire movie. The camera moves from scene with such fluidity that I wonder if it’s entirely CGI. Most of those shots have to be.

Remember that part in Goodfellas where the camera stayed with Karen and Henry Hill on their first date, moving with them through the back of a restaurant all the way to when they took their seats? Or more recently, True Detective’s fantastic shot of an escape/arrest that had McConaghey moving behind houses and over fences? Or the opening “unpacking” tour of the haunted house in The Conjuring? Those are tracking shots. It’s one long take from Point A to Z, instead of cuts at B, C, and so on. If anyone makes a mistake during filming, the crew has to move back to the start of the take and try again if they want the entire shot to be seamless. I have no idea how it was pulled off in Birdman, but it’s beautiful to behold. If the movie gets nothing else come Awards season, Cinematography should be theirs, right now. One could argue it moves like a found footage film sans the shakiness, but you’d have a hard time selling me on that one.

My only nitpick about Birdman, the only problem I had with it was the representation of Critics. Not that what’s said about them is entirely incorrect, but I kind of hunkered down in my seat at some of the commentary. While I wouldn’t consider myself a Critic, I do share my opinions on films. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all out to gut the next release on Friday.

It seems almost too appropriate that Michael Keaton – once a Dark Knight himself – has this role. He’s had his ups (Batman, Beetlejuice, and my personal favorite, Johnny Dangerously), his downs (That horrid Robocop remake, blech) and his in-betweens with Need for Speed earlier this year. He carries the character with a depth that rivals Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in The Master. It’s strange, but it works.

At one time, Riggin Thompson (Keaton) was famous in Hollywood as the superhero Birdman, but after passing on a second sequel (much like Keaton leaving Batman behind and passing the baton to Kilmer and Schumacher), he hasn’t found much fame since then. The story starts with Riggin hoping to reclaim his former glories with a revival of “The Things We Talk About When We Talk About Love” on Broadway. When one of his theatre cast members are injured on set, they recruit a popular actor (played with a slightly over the top Edward Norton) that may prove too much to handle. Add to this Riggin’s shaky relationship with his daughter Sam (Emma Stone), an off again / on again love interest (Oblivion’s Andrea Riseborough) a lawyer trying to keep him afloat (Zack Galifinakis), and a voice in his head reminding him of the problems he faces…well, he’s just a mess. Then again, everyone here is a mess in their own way and maybe because of it, they all kind this good sense of chemistry.

The film is backed by a percussion score from Antonio Sanchez, which doesn’t get in the way at all. I’m not sure I’d call it a soundtrack, though. The music sounds great outside of the scope of the film, but you probably won’t recall the music afterward in the way you would for a soundtrack with a full on orchestra.

Birdman is the first film I’ve watched by Alejandro González Iñárritu. I remember that he was nominated for an Oscar with either Babel or 21 Grams. I feel like I’ve missed out on something grand because Birdman is good. Not that “good” you say when when someone puts a broken bone back into place (“Yeah, I’m good.”, he cried), but that “good” that comes from your first taste of creamy Tiramisu. (“Omigod, that is goood!”, he purred). It’s definitely one I can consider catching one more time before it ends it’s run in the cinema.

 

Review: Oblivion (dir. by Joseph Kosinski)


Oblivion-Movie-Poster

Good science-fiction films tend to be far and few between. Most of the time the ideas and ambition to make a good or great science-fiction film are right there on paper, but loses much once people actually have to create it for others to see. This puts the latest sci-fi film from Tron: Legacy filmmaker Joseph Kosinski in a weird position. His follow-up to the underwhelming sequel to the classic sci-fi film Tron is called Oblivion and it manages to be thought-provoking and entertaining, yet also have a sense of a been there and done that to the whole proceeding.

Oblivion quickly gets the introductions to the film’s backstory out of the way. Earth was attacked 60 years ago by aliens who were called “Scavengers” (Scavs for short) who destroyed the moon thus causing massive tectonic upheaval and gigantic tsunamis to ravage the planet. Humanity in its desperation would fight back with the only weapons it had left once the aliens began landing troops and that would be the nuclear kind. The planet is now devastated with the surviving population leaving Earth for a new colony on Saturn’s moon of Titan and in a massive tetrahedron space station orbiting Earth simply called “The Tet”.

It’s the story of the technician pair left behind to provide support for the array of armed drones who patrol Earth for any remaining Scavs and protect the reclamation factories that has been removing the remaining resources that the planet has to be used as an energy source for the Titan colony. This pair of technician are Jack (Tom Cruise) and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) who live in a towering base above the clouds. Jack does the dirty work by flying patrols in the area that encompasses what used to be the East Coast of the United States while Victoria (who also happens to be Jack’s lover) provides comm and technical support back at their base.

Oblivion01

Victoria can’t wait to finish their five-year stint on Earth and with two weeks left before they can rejoin the rest of humanity on Titan her dream is coming closer. Yet, Jack doesn’t seem to want to leave Earth behind. He has begun to dream about Earth before the war that he should have no memory of. First they’re dreams while he’s asleep but as the film shows it soon begins to invade and distract his waking hours as well.

It’s during one such mission where he comes across the a sudden arrival of a human spacecraft with surviving humans aboard that his dreams become reality. A woman he has dreamed off that he’s never met is one of the survivors (played by Olga Kurylenko) and she becomes the key to unlocking the secret that’s been kept from him about the true nature of the war that devastated Earth sixty years past and why he continues to have flashes of memories that he should never have had.

Oblivion sounds like it’s original at first glance, but as the story moves along we begin to see influences (at times outright plot point lifts) from past innovative sci-fi films such as Moon and The Matrix. While Kosinski (who co-wrote the film as well as directed it) does put his own spin on these ideas it’s not enough to fully distinguish the film from past sci-fi films which did them better. Oblivion is not bad by any means, but it fails to stretch beyond it’s influences that would’ve made it a great film instead of just being a good one. It doesn’t help that the script lags behind Kosinski’s talent for creating some beautiful images and vistas. The world-building he does with art director Kevin Ishioka manages to make a devastated Earth look serenely beautiful which when paired with cinematographer Claudio Miranda’s panoramic sweeps of the Icelandic location shoot make Oblivion one of the best looking film of 2013.

Yet, the script tries too hard to explore some heavy themes such as the nature of memory and identity. The film doesn’t explore them enough to make this film come off as something heavy sci-fi like Solaris. It just teases the audience enough to start a spark that could lead to conversations afterwards. The action that does punctuate the more introspective sections of the film does come off quite well despite coming only few at a time and not for any extended length.

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What seems to hold the film together outside of it’s visuals would be the performance of the cast which sees Tom Cruise doing a very workman-like performance as Jack. We’ve seen him do this sort of performance time and time again that it seems to be second-nature to him by now and something audiences come to expect now. Even Morgan Freeman as an aged resistance fighter lends a bit of serious gravitas to the film whenever he’s on-screen. But it’s the performances of the two female leads that sells the film despite it’s flaws. Olga Kurylenko has less to work with in the role of Jack’s mystery woman Julia. What she does get she does so with a level of empathy that instantly sells the notion that Jack and her were destined to be together despite the vast gulf of time and space.

The stand-out performance comes from Andrea Riseborough as Jack’s lover and partner Victoria. Where Jack comes off as restrained chaotic glee who marvels at the sight he sees every day he’s out on patrol the opposite is Victoria. Her organized and reserved demeanor comes off as sexy in a cold and calculated way, yet just behind that British reserve we see glimpses of her hanging on by a thread at the chaos she sees in Jack. Andrea Riseborough plays Victoria so well that every scene she’s in she steals it from Cruise. Her performance was all about slight changes to her body movement, a quick glance that speaks volumes of what she’s thinking. While this film may not make Riseborough an outright star it will get her noticed by other filmmakers soon enough.

With the summer blockbuster season of 2013 coming closer like a freight train with the approach of Iron Man 3 it’s a good thing that Oblivion was released weeks before this hectic season. For despite it’s flaws in it’s script and the lack of originality in it’s premise the film does succeed in being entertaining and thought-provoking enough that people should see it on the big-screen. Plus, nothing but the massive screen (especially IMAX) does full justice to some of the vistas shot of Iceland that doubles as devastated Earth. So, while Oblivion may not be the slam-dunk hit for Kosinki after failing with Tron: Legacy it is still a film worth checking out.

Disconnected From Disconnect


Disconnect, the feature film directing debut of award-winning documentarian Henry-Alex Rubin, has been getting some fairly positive reviews.  According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a critical score of 71 while audiences have been even more impressed.  The last time I checked, it had an audience score of 83%.  If you’ve seen any of the commercials for this film then you’ve undoubtedly heard it referred to as being “the best film of the year.”

That’s high praise for a film that’s essentially Crash with better acting.

Much like Crash (which, incidentally, I consider to be the worst film to have ever won the Oscar for Best Picture), Disconnect is an ensemble film that tells several different stories.  For whatever reason, first-time directors seem to have a weakness for movies with ensemble casts and multiple-story lines.  When done well, an ensemble film can say something profound about the way that people in a society relate to one another.  When done poorly (like in Crash or Disconnect), they just feel trendy.  Watching Disconnect, I felt as if the filmmakers couldn’t come up with a way to tell one compelling story from beginning to end so, instead, they just tossed together fragments of three separate stories and then desperately tried to come up with a theme to connect them all.

That theme, by the way, is that our reliance of modern technology has created a society where people are Disconnected from one another.

Gee, you think?

Disconnect tells three separate, inter-connected stories.  In one story, Paula Patton and Alexander Skarsgard are a married couple who are struggling to deal with the recent death of their child.  Skarsgard deals with his grief by going on long business trips and getting addicted to online gambling.  Meanwhile, Patton joins an online support group and finds herself tempted to have affair another member (Michael Nyqvist).  Patton’s activities leads to identity theft and bankruptcy.  With the help of a sleazy private investigator (Frank Grillo), Patton and Skarsgard try to track down the man who stole their identity.  This story falls apart once Patton and Skarsgard find the man and both characters suddenly start acting in the most inconsistent ways conceivable.  It really should be impossible t0 make charismatic performers like Alexander Skarsgard and Paula Patton seem  bland and boring but somehow, Disconnect manages to do it.

In the film’s best storyline, Grillo’s teenage son (Colin Ford) catfishes and cyber-bullies an alienated classmate (Jonah Bobo).  When Bobo hangs himself as a result, Ford is wracked with both guilt and fear.  Ford’s attempts to cover-up his involvement leads to him meeting and briefly befriending Bobo’s father (Jason Bateman), who has no idea what led to his son attempting suicide.  In this story, Bateman proves that he’s as good with drama as he is with comedy and Ford’s complex and multi-layered performance is more than award-worthy.  This was probably the most powerful part of the film and, if the filmmakers had simply concentrated on this story (as opposed to diluting it by making only one part of a multi-part film), Disconnect would fully deserve the high-praise that it’s currently receiving.

In the film’s third (and most flamboyant) storyline, Andrea Riseborough is a cynical and opportunistic reporter who does a story about a cocky teenager (Max Thieriot) who performs on an adults-only site and who recruits other teenagers for a manipulative pimp (played by none other than Marc Jacobs).  Riseborough finds herself charmed by the teenager (and who can blame her because, after all, he’s played by Max Thieriot) and soon she’s having an affair with him.  However, her news story captures the attention of the F.B.I. and soon both Thieriot and Riseborough find themselves in danger.

At first, I thought I was going to enjoy this storyline because I love Max Thieriot.  He’s ideally cast here and he gives a good, sympathetic performance. For that matter, so does Andrea Riseborough and even Marc Jacobs brings a certain reptilian charm to his role.  However, this story falls apart as it quickly becomes obvious that the filmmakers, having set up a potentially interesting situation, have no idea what to do with it.  Instead, much as with the characters played by Skarsgard and Patton, Riseborough ceases to behave with anything resembling logic or consistency.  Both she and Thieriot go from being interesting, well-rounded characters to being mere plot devices.

That, ultimately, is the main reason why Disconnect fails.  With the exception of the characters played by Bateman and Ford, nobody in this film feels real and, again with the notable exception of Bateman and Ford’s storyline, very little that happens feels genuine.  The film is watchable because of the talented cast but, otherwise, it’s a melodramatic and predictable mess that seems to think that it’s a lot smarter than it actually is.

Perhaps that’s why so many people over on the imdb have been praising this film as “the best of the year.”

Some people will always enjoy feeling like they’re thinking without actually having to do it.

Trailer: Oblivion (Official)


Oblivion-Movie-Poster

Every year always has a couple of big genre films that seem to continually fly under the radar. This is surprising since people tend to think that films with huge budgets and a cast headlined by one of the biggest names in Hollywood tend to be overhyped before they even reached the big-screen. While I’ve heard of the upcoming scifi and post-apocalyptic film Oblivion for almost two years now it’s still a film that doesn’t generate much talk.

We know several things about Oblivion that came out before the release of the film’s first trailer: 1. it stars Tom Cruise and 2. it’s the follow-up film for Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. The second part may be one thing that has kept this film from being one of the biggest anticipated films of 2013. Kosinski’s underwhelming sequel to Tron didn’t make many genre fans excited as to what he might come up with next.

The trailer looks to erase some of those doubts as we get to see Oblivion as a very beautifully-shot film. We get see some great looking art direction for the film if the trailer show’s us anything about Oblivion. Plus, it has Morgan Freeman all decked out like one of David Lynch’s Fremen from Dune.

Oblivion is set for an April 12, 2013 release date.

Source: Apple

A Quickie With Lisa Marie: Brighton Rock (dir. by Rowan Joffe)


Brighton Rock is a British film noir that’s currently both playing in limited release and which is also available via video-on-demand.  Based on a novel by Graham Greene, Brighton Rock is the story of Pinkie (Sam Riley), a sociopathic gangster who murders a gambler.  The chase leading up to the murder is witnessed by a mousey waitress named Rose (Andrea Riseborough) who doesn’t realize what she’s actually seen.  In order to keep her quiet, Pinkie marries Rose.  Rose, however, works for Ida (Helen Mirren) and Ida just happens to have been friends with the murdered gangster.  Realizing that Rose is in danger, Ida takes it upon herself to expose Pinkie for the murderer he is.

Brighton Rock is a visually striking film and it has a handful of good performances but it never quite comes together.  Before making his feature film directing debut here, Rowan Joffe wrote the script for last year’s The American and, much like The American, Brighton Rock has an abundance of style and is full of references to the classic crime films of the 60s and 70s.  Also, much like The American, the style — too often — seems to exist separately from any larger vision.  As a result, the film ultimately feels like several disconnected — if pretty scenes — strung together by convenience.  The film has an intriguing-enough plot but the narrative lacks any sort of forward momentum.  Interestingly enough, Greene used the story of Pinkie, Rose, and Ida to examine larger theological issues within the Catholic church.  With the exception of a scene where Pinkie prays, an over-the-top sequence featuring a judgmental nun, and a few inserts of crucifixes artfully hanging on grimy walls, Joffe pretty much jettisons the story’s religious angle but without it, Pinkie and Rose’s actions make a lot less sense. 

Joffe’s decision to cast Sam Riley, whom I’ve had a crush on ever since I first saw Control, in the lead role of Pinkie is problematic.  It’s not that Riley gives a bad performance because he doesn’t.  He makes a convincing psychopath and if he’s never quite charming enough to be a true anti-hero, he’s still makes Pinkie into a compelling figure.  Unfortunately, Riley is still totally miscast in the film.  In Graham Greene’s original novel, Pinkie was only 17 years old.  Sam Riley is 31 and looks even older.  Unfortunately, all of the other characters in the film continually refer to him as “the kid.”  John Hurt, at one point, gives a monologue in which he wonders how someone so young could be so evil.  But Riley isn’t young and as a result, I found myself wondering just how old someone had to be before they were considered to be an adult in 1960s England.

Still, if nothing else, Joffe gets some good performances from his supporting cast.  Andrea Riseborough manages to be both poignant and annoying as Rose while Andy Serkis appears to be having a lot of fun playing a slightly ludicrous gangster.  Not surprisingly, Helen Mirren commands every scene she appears in and she and John Hurt have got a great chemistry.  Regardless of how you might feel about the film as whole, it’s impossible not to enjoy their scenes together.  They’re final scene together made me squeal with delight and, in the end, that has to count for something.