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Posts Tagged ‘Eva Green’

Alicia Vikander, Eva Green

“EUPHORIA” My rating: B (Opens June  at)

104 minutes | MPAA rating: R

“When a man knows he’s to be hanged in a fortnight,” observed Samuel Johnson, “it focuses his mind most wonderfully.”

How the siblings  at the center of “Euphoria” focus their minds (or refuse to do so) on imminent mortality is very much the concern of writer/director Lisa Langseth, who initially poses one mystery, only to have it supplanted by a much deeper one.

Ines (Alicia Vikander) returns to Europe at the request of her sister Emilie (Eva Green).  She hasn’t been home for more than a decade, during which time she built a career as an artist in NYC.  Never much of a family person, Ines has delayed this reunion; she’s only doing it now as a way of fleeing the bad reviews of her latest exhibition.

She finds her sister in a curiously spendthrift  frame of mind. Emilie has booked them into a posh hotel and treats her sis to a very expensive dinner. The money, Emilie claims, comes from the sale of her home.

But the big surprise is a trip to Switzerland where Emilie has booked the pair into a posh resort in the middle of a lush forest.

Only when they arrive at their destination does Ines realize what’s going on.  Unbeknownst to her, Emilie has been fighting cancer for years; this is less a vacation than a brief meditative retreat to be followed by a staff-assisted suicide.

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Eva Green

Eva Green

“MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN”  My rating: C 

127 minutes  | MPAA rating: PG-13

Filmmaker Tim Burton’s latest is pretty much par for the course: Two hours of great art direction in search of a movie.

This adaptation of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” the first entry in the popular young adult series by novelist Ransom Riggs, might be classified as a goth version of the X-Men foundation story: Shunned children with supernatural powers are sheltered and trained in a special facility.

The main difference is that this story unfolds in semi-creepy Victorian circumstances that are right up Burton’s visual alley.

The film looks terrific — so dark and weird that even sunlit afternoons seem gloomy.

It’s got the ever-watchable Eva Green as the titular Miss Peregrine, a sort of witchy version of Mary Poppins who can transform herself into a falcon, and Terence Stamp as the occultist grandfather whose secrets launch the story.

What it hasn’t got is any sense of drama, forward motion or a central character interesting enough to warrant our attention.

Young Jake (Asa Butterfield) is a moderately miserable Florida teen (his clueless parents are portrayed by Chris O’Dowd and Kim Dickens, both wasted) who witnesses the death of his beloved grandfather under mysterious and alarming circumstances.

The child psychologist (Allison Janney) who subsequently treats the traumatized teen suggests that Jake go to Wales to confront the reality of Grandpa’s wild tales of the “peculiar children” who were his boyhood friends. Once Jake sees that it was all in the old man’s head, says the shrink, everything will be fine.

Or not.

Jake discovers that Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a rotting shell, flattened by a German bomb back in 1943. And then, magically, he finds himself transported back to the day of the disaster.

Not only is the school restored to its former gingerbread grandeur, but Jake meets Miss Peregrine and her oddly talented wards. Like the lighter-than-air girl (Ella Purnell) who must wear leaden boots lest she float away. Or the teen (Lauren McCrostie) who can start fires with her fingertips. (more…)

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