Tag Archives: Sundance

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.

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The Kids Are All Right (2010)

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“Marriage is hard… Just two people slogging through the shit, year after year, getting older, changing. It’s a fucking marathon, okay?”

A Sundance 2010 breakout hit, with two golden globes achieved (best comedy or musical, and best actress in comedy or musical for Annette Bening) this film is a win all around. The film centers around an unconventional family, two kids with the same sperm donor and two mother’s who gave birth to one each. The kids then want to discover the identity of this sperm donor, and Paul (Mark Ruffalo) is brought into a family. One thing I respect about this film is it’s portrayal of lesbian couples and mainly an unconventional family, something more involved in our world today and really just shows they can seem perfect and can be very messed up – just like the rest of the world. It doesn’t try to portray as the perfect life, or with any sense of malice: it simply shows that a family is a family, problem and all no matter the sex of the parenting unit. In the end this film is touching and gets you involved in the story rather than leaving you feeling unconnected. Main thanks are to the brilliant cast, but also the writing which leaves it hilarious and dramatic – in the end this film just works. All aspects work together from direction, to writing, to acting it all gels together to make a cinematic success.