Tag Archives: movies

First Position (2011)

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Documentaries should effectively draw you into a world where you otherwise have no real interest, and this is a riveting glimpse into the world of ballet. First position is a film that follows contestant for the Youth America Grand Prix, the largest ballet competition for youth worldwide. the competition offers scholarships and entry to ballet academies and companies. One of the nicest aspects of this film is the contestants it folows are extremely diverse, and each of their stories are just as compelling as the next. The passion is tangible and the unwavering dedication is admirable, it’s really a inspiring follow your dreams message. Directed by Bess Kargman, this film makes it easy to connect to the story and characters like a good scripted movie. It is an effective drama as it questions to what extent passion and following your dream is the right choice, but as it is an uplifting film it mainly answers this question with yes it is the right choice. It believe it would have been a more effective portrayal if it focused more on the struggles and harsh realities of dancer’s world.

Big Fish (2003)

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A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him. And in that way he becomes immortal.

My favourite Tim Burton film, with close competition, but this is a movie I am fascinated by each time I watch it. It follows the troubled relationship of father and son, played by Albert Finney and Billy Crudup respectively. The father tells his whole life in stories and it flashes back through his life, and the young Edward Bloom is played by Ewan Mcgregor. It’s a fantastical epic life story, based on the 1998 novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace and was adapted for the screen by John August. You have to embrace the unbelievable mythical aspects of the story to love this film, much as you learn to embrace Edward’s factually inaccurate life story. Other notable characters are portrayed by Jessica Lange, Helen Bonham Carter, Marion Cottillard and Danny DeVito. It’s a fantasy film that transcends the mythical aspects to study the father son relationship and the role of stories in our life. Film is a form of story telling and having this story based on a man made up of stories is an interesting manner of analysing their importance and role. It leaves you amazed by the characters and scenes but is extremely telling on reality a rarity in Burton films.

An Education (2009)

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“Studying is hard and boring. Teaching is hard and boring. So, what you’re telling me is to be bored, and then bored, and finally bored again, but this time for the rest of my life? This whole stupid country is bored!”

A beautiful coming of age story about a girl deadset on getting into Oxford University in 1960′s London, who’s world is thrown upside down when met by an older, cultured man. Carey Mulligan’s breakout role is absolutely fantastic, and even playing a mousy plain girl she has a quality that draws you in.  Peter Sarsgaard plays the older man with just enough charm and just enough creep to keep the dynamic interesting – this film is gripping while being almost excruciating to watch as the story plays out. I think it was absolutely brilliant, it captures the teenage angst and desire – for me it was an interesting take on how to deal with feeling unfulfilled. The way it’s shot really draws you in, the beautiful setting of rich 60’s London fascinates you but it’s the characters and story that stays with you. It’s a subtle nuanced film, and honestly explores this budding relationship in a mature and mostly charming manner. One last thing I have to say is simple – you’ll remember it and you’ll definitely remember Carey.