ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER TIME

insidellewyndavisINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

WATCH IT BECAUSE…
1) Oscar Isaac sings with a lot of soul. It is not the first time I heard him sing (that was in 10 Years) and each time he just blows me away.
2) Garrett Hedlund is in it! OMG please cast him in every country/folk movie and make him sing!
3) Carey Mulligan sings with Justin Timberlake and Oscar Isaac.
4) That ginger cat.

THE MOST HOPEFUL MAN

greatgatsby-1THE GREAT GATSBY (2013)
4 out of 5 stars

Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it follows the life of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his neighbour, Nick Carraway (Tobey McGuire) who recounts his encounter with Gatsby during his time in New York in the 1920’s. There is mystery surrounding Jay Gatsby, the businessman who holds extravagant parties yet no one seems to know anything concrete about him. But one thing is clear to Carraway; Gatsby is in love with his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, whom he met in the past. However, she is now married. What follows is the doomed romance of Jay and Daisy, which could only seem to be wishful thinking on their part.

Like any Baz Luhrmann production, music plays a big part in the movies and audiences were treated to the likes of Lana del Rey, Florence and the Machine, Fergie and Jay-Z. It makes you feel like you’re at Gatsby’s parties.

I felt really sad after the movie ended. I’m not sure if Gatsby was really hopeful or deluded. Perhaps I’m too cynical for my own good but if I agreed with Carraway, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the same way. Or maybe I’m just not that into doomed romances anymore (that should be a good thing, right?).

I didn’t know Callan McAuliffe was in the movie as young Gatsby, or young Leo! What a striking resemblance! And I didn’t recognize Adelaide Clemens (Parade’s End) in the movie at all! I blame it on the eye makeup.

Jay Gatsby: I knew it was a great mistake for a man like me to fall in love…

greatgatsby-2

A REAL HERO

DRIVE (2011)
– 4 and a half out of 5 stars

RYAN GOSLING! (AGAIN!)

This was way more bloody than expected. If I didn’t know better, I would think they were all trained to slash arteries. *splash*

This is the must-see Ryan Gosling movie of the year! Mechanic and stuntsman by day, getaway driver by night, Gosling is the ultimate representation of a man. Always seen in his signature satin scorpion jacket, he gives his all to protect his neighbour, Irene (the lovely Carey Mulligan), when she is implicated in a heist gone wrong.

I love the elevator scene, though it must have frightened Irene. I can hear the bones crack. And his driving is so good, it really inspired me (for the duration of the movie). The ending was bittersweet, and I guess it was expected in a sense because bad guys will always be bad guys.

The soundtrack is also very groovy! Electro-80s-synth pop!

IT’S VERIFIABLE

NEVER LET ME GO (2010)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars 

Never Let Me Go is based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro and is narrated by Kathy (Carey Mulligan) as she reminisces about her life.

Kathy, Ruth (Keira Knightley) and Tommy (Andrew Garfield) are three friends who grew up and bonded at Hailsham, a boarding school in England. Strains form when Ruth starts dating Tommy even though she knows that Kathy loves him. As they move into adulthood, they learn the truth about their existence and the fate that awaits them. When they meet ten years later after they went separate ways, they come to terms with the love and regret they felt and start making amends.

Kathy: It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed. If I’d known, maybe I’d have kept tighter hold of them and not let unseen tides pull us apart.

I’ve never read the book but it’s pretty raved about. It’s quite nice; I liked the scenery most – very tranquil but the reality of what the characters were going through was not. I share Tommy’s frustration when they learnt that there was never a deferral, but it really was a beautiful story of friendship (or even more) and all good things come to an end.

MONEY IS THE BITCH THAT NEVER SLEEPS

WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS (2010)
– 3 and a half out of 5 stars

This is the sequel to the 1987 film, Wall Street, where Gordon Gekko first appeared. I would say I waited considerably long for the movie’s release since it was supposed to be out in February.

Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) is released from prison after eight years and finds out that he is alone as his family has cut all ties with him after his son’s death from overdose. Fast forward a few years and the US financial markets are in a mess. Enter Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf), an ambitious trader who is dating Gekko’s daughter, Winnie, and works at Keller Zabel Investments (KZI), a banking institution. After the death of his mentor, he tracks down the man responsible for the drop in price of KZI’s shares and enlists the help of Gekko, who tries to mend his father-daughter relationship through Jake.

What I loved about the movie is Gordon Gekko’s speech at the lecture he gave at Jake’s alma mater. He delivered it in layman’s terms and I actually understood what he said because I learned it in school. Terms like CDOs, CMOs, ABS, leverage and moral hazard do not sound alien to me. I think I was smiling to myself when I heard them. You can find Gekko’s speech here, and I find it pretty enlightening.

Gordon Gekko: You are the NINJA generation. No Income, No Job, No Assets.

Plus, Shia LaBeouf should stop riding bikes. It’s so distracting! You see a lot of scheming and plotting among the power players and it really opens your eyes to what lies hidden behind these people. One of my favourite characters is Jules, or Julie, who does this weird whistling thing whenever someone/something is in trouble or when he feels like ending that particular conversation. Charlie Sheen from the original Wall Street makes a cameo appearance too.

THE UNIVERSITY OF LIFE

AN EDUCATION (2009)
– 4 out of 5 stars

I’ve finally seen An Education! Bet it would be better on a large screen.

Set in the 1960s, it tells the story of Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan), a 16-year-old who is trying to get into Oxford on her father’s wishes. One rainy afternoon, she meets David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard), and her life changes forever. She is able to pursue her cultural interests – attending classical concerts, bid at auctions, have dinners at fancy restaurants and going to Paris. However, the truth about David hits her after she gives up her chance at getting to Oxford.

Peter Sarsgaard is so creepy! As the older guy trying to woo Jenny, he was very charming even with her parents? No wonder all of them fell for it. I guess anyone in Jenny’s shoes would find the opportunity to good to pass especially when her father dictates everything in her life and she gets to follow her life’s passions whenever David is around. Carey Mulligan plays Jenny really well – no wonder she got nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. I can feel her anguish when she realized everything she knew about David was a hoax and that her life was over because she gave up her chance at a degree. It shows how important it is for females to be able to stand on her own feet and not be over-reliant on men. Anyway, I’m so glad the ending happened the way it did. 4 and a half out of 5 stars.

Jenny Mellor: Action is character, my English teacher says. I think it means that if we never did anything, we wouldn’t be anybody.