UNCLE CHARLIE IS BACK

stokermovieSTOKER (2013)
4 and a half out of 5 stars

Written by Wentworth Miller (under the pseudonym Ted Foulke), the story revolves around India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) and the events after her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) arrives at her father’s funeral. An uncle whom she never knew existed, she is intrigued yet infatuated with this charismatic character.

India Stoker: He used to say, sometimes you need to do something bad to stop you from doing something worse.

I’ve come to appreciate Mia Wasikowska in various roles – she can be whimsical or serious and her face doesn’t give anything away. It’s a dark tale and I guess families all have skeletons in their closet, just that this skeleton is darker. One of the most intense scenes was the piano duet which I thought was well-executed by Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode. Something happened and wow, it’s indeed intense.

If this is written by Wentworth Miller, I can’t wait for his other works.

A QUIET MAN

ALBERT NOBBS (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Glenn Close plays Albert Nobbs, a woman living as a man working as a hotel waiter in 19th century Ireland, where jobs for women were hard to find. His life is shaken when a painter, Hubert Page, arrives at the hotel and gives Nobbs a new perspective on life and his future.

Nobbs certainly has a tough time growing up and it’s even tougher when she’s been a man for so long, she doesn’t remember her real name. The ending was almost heartbreaking although you could predict it the moment it happened. Well, some people just have a tougher life to live.

AT THORNFIELD HALL

JANE EYRE (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars 

Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender star as Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester in this 2011 film adaptation of the Charlotte Brontë classic.

Mr. Brocklehurst: And what is hell? Can you tell me that?
Jane Eyre: A pit full of fire.
Mr. Brocklehurst: And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there forever?
Jane Eyre: No sir.
Mr. Brocklehurst: What must you do to avoid it?
Jane Eyre: I must keep in good health and not die.

I’ve only read the comic book version of Jane Eyre and after watching the movie, I’m gonna find some time to devour the actual book! I’m extremely enamoured by their way of speech, especially how everything sounds like poetry out of their mouths. I’ve included my favourite line from the movie at the end of this post. OMG the moment I heard it, my knees went weak. The girl beside me was like controlling herself not to scream out in happiness. LOL. Yup, period dramas really set my heart racing.

I thought Mia Wasikowska did a pretty good job playing Jane Eyre. Not to mention, Michael Fassbender was hot in an old English way. And I have a really odd question – did people in those times kissed quite like they did?

4 out of 5 stars

I’d probably die without regrets if someone said something similar to me:

Edward Fairfax Rochester: I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you—especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.

A CHICKEN AND A PONY

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (2010)
– 4 and a half out of 5 stars

First of all, let me just say that The Kids Are All Right is available at the Cathay Cineleisure because it can only be released on one print. That’s because the film “normalises a homosexual family unit”. Well, at least they bothered to show it in Singapore. That said, I can officially announce that I have watched all TEN films nominated for Best Picture at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards! It’s a FIRST!

Back to the film, Nic (Annette Benning) and Jules (Julianne Moore) are a married lesbian couple who conceived kids using the same anonymous sperm donor. Their family is turned upside down when Laser (Josh Hutcherson) persuades his sister, Joni (Mia Wasikowska), to contact their biological father (Mark Ruffalo).

Nicole Allgood: You’re an interloper. This is my family. If you want a family, go and make your own!

Watching this film has been a real eye-opener. I mean, you don’t really see much lesbian films out there. They pretty much operate like a conventional family – one’s the breadwinner, one’s the housewife, one’s more strict, one’s more laidback… you get the picture. It’s interesting watching which parent wants the children to eat their vegetables, write Thank You cards, or is the only one bothered about the hair in the toilet. I liked how they interchanged their parental roles effortlessly.

But like all relationships, they have their difficult moments. This is a complicated case because the one causing the friction is the sperm donor, who happens to be a complete stranger before they initiated the meetup. Annette Benning and Julianne Moore deliver heartfelt and raw performances and it’s really hard to take sides because their actions and reactions were reasoned throughout the film. But I guess it’s how they dealt with it that matters. It had 4 nominations at the 83rd Academy Awards and Annette Benning won Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 68th Golden Globe Awards.

ALL ABOUT MUCHNESS

ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010)
– 3 out of 5 stars

Alice In Wonderland tells of Alice’s adventures back into Underland (Wonderland) 13 years after her first visit. Upon her arrival, she is told that she has to slay the Jabberwocky, the Red Queen’s menacing dragon-like creature, in order to bring peace to Underland. The Mad Hatter and his friends – the White Rabbit, the March Hare, the Dormouse, the Cheshire Cat and Tweedledee and Tweedledum await her arrival to overthrow the Red Queen’s reign.

I suppose one of the main draws of the movie was seeing Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, and I really liked how his eye makeup and colour of his pupils changes according to his moods! I have never read Lewis Carroll’s novels when I was young so I’m not really familiar with the characters, but they seem rather amusing. The Red Queen mistreats animals by using them as leg rests, clubs, balls and table- and chair-bearers – such poor animals! She also collects anyone with a large-whatever (ears, noses, stomachs and breasts) and executes at ease (“Off with their heads”). The final action sequence was okay to watch and the part I looked forward to was the Mad Hatter’s Futterwacken dance. Glad Alice made it good in the real world.