Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘James Purefoy’

Left to right: Sam Swainsbury, James Purefoy, David Hayman, Dave Johns

“FISHERMAN’S FRIENDS”  My rating: B- (Now on Netflix)

112 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

With its seaside locale, eccentric characters and general sense of whimsey, the Brit “Fisherman’s Friends” bears not a little resemblance to Bill Forsyth’s sublime “Local Hero.”

Not that it’s nearly as good as that 1983 classic. But when you’re stuck at home during a pandemic, this little movie might be just the spirit lifter required.

Chris Foggin’s film was inspired by real events…and it’s sometimes painfully obvious which aspects of the yarn (it was written by Piers Ashworth, Meg Leonard and Nick Moorcroft)  were rooted in reality and which in Screenwriting 101. Nevertheless, it will be a churlish sod indeed who fails to respond to the movie’s charms.

Here’s the poop: A decade ago a bunch of Cornish fisherman rose to the top of the UK charts with a record of authentic sea chanties sung in impeccable 10-part harmony. This film purports to tell us how they were discovered and made the unlikely journey to pop stardom.

Music industry hustler Danny (Daniel Mays) has come to quaint Port Isaac, Cornwall, as part of a bachelor party for one of his co-workers. There the wise-ass city boys come across a gang of singing fisherman;  as a practical joke Danny’s colleagues order him to sign these blue-collar troubadours to a record deal.

What starts as a joke turns into a quest for Danny, who falls under the spell of the music, the town’s ambience, the garrulous seamen and especially the young divorced mother (Tuppence Middleton) in whose B&B he takes up temporary residence.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston

“HIGH-RISE” My rating: C+

119 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Duration is the enemy of allegory.

At 50 minutes Ben Wheatley’s “High-Rise” would have been a stunning achievement — a vicious, snarling, breathless satire of class warfare and social apocalypse.

At two hours, though, it’s a slog, one that very nearly wears out its welcome and ends up repeating itself like a 33-record with a track-skipping scratch.

Screenwriter Amy Jump’s adaptation of the 1975 novel by J.G. Ballard (Crash) bears more than a few  similarities to William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and especially to the the recent cult hit “Snowpiercer.”  Just replace the hermetically sealed high-speed train with an equally isolated high-rise apartment complex.

We are introduced to this modern Tower of Babel through the new tenant, Liang (Tom Hiddleston, who seems to be everywhere nowadays: “I Saw the Light,” TV’s “The Night Manager,” Marvel movies).  An unmarried M.D. with more money than he knows what to do with, Liang takes an apartment about halfway up the 30-plus story edifice.

The tower has all the amenities of a decent-sized town: health spa, swimming pool, school, a traditional English garden on the rooftop complete with livestock. There’s even a grocery store that sells only generic products (“Thank you for shopping on floor 15”). Alas, the place is chilly and sterile, all poured concrete and glass. Which is fine with Liang, who has no furniture and never gets around to unpacking his boxes.

It quickly dawns on the newcomer that the building has a social pecking order.  Towering over everyone else in his penthouse is the symbolically named Royal (Jeremy Irons), the architect who designed the building and is forever tinkering with improvements meant to validate his experiment in social engineering.

Just below Royal are the wealthy aristocrats embodied by the sneering, pompous Pangbourne (James Purfoy).

Then come the mid-level residents like Liang and Charlotte (Sienna Miller), the salacious single mom whose bright young son (Louis Suc) is building what looks like a homemade bomb.

Below Liang are residents like Wilder (“The Hobbit’s” Luke Evans), an aggressive and rabble-rousing documentary film maker, and his ever-pregnant wife Helen (Elisabeth Moss). (more…)

Read Full Post »