Tag Archives: Carey Mulligan

35. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn (2011)

First Viewing.

I knew almost nothing about this film before viewing it, and perhaps it was helped by the lack of expectations, but this really captivated me from the opening seconds. No doubt this was helped by the stunning editing of Ryan Gosling’s Driver passing through LA, at night, cut to Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx. It’s a great way to start a movie (I never thought I’d get to namecheck some CSS with this film either!) Drive draws heavily from the film noir genre – little dialogue, a femme fatale-ish character, a mysterious protagonist, and all kinds of trouble going down – but it also has it’s own modern style. I suppose you could compare it to Rian Johnson’s Brick with it’s composition of the contemporary and the old noir. I’m also really starting to be impressed with Gosling’s collection of work, I know he has done some mainstream stuff to pay the bills, but Lars and the Real Girl, Half Nelson, and the brilliant Blue Valentine are a fine trilogy (I’m looking forward to seeing The Ides of March at some point too.) The film never lags or feels bloated, despite the drawn out nature of some of the scenes, and it’s definitely one of the best contemporary movies I’ve seen in quite some time. The only downside to the movie is the relatively minor role Carey Mulligan has, she never gets much to say or do, and a little more interaction with Gosling would have been fun to see. Perhaps I was just hoping he could rekindle some of the electric chemistry he had with Michelle Williams, from Blue Valentine, back here with Mulligan. Nevertheless it’s a movie that cannot fail to impress.

Marks out of ten – Nine

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29. Shame – Steve McQueen (2011)

First Viewing

After a fair amount of hype about the provocative nature of Shame I can’t help but feel this is all style over very little substance. McQueen directs his arse off, but the audiences complete lack of connection with any of the characters makes the film an utterly aesthetic pleasure. The supposed depravity of the main character, Brandon (Fassbender), has been taken to greater lengths with far more shameful acts performed in appreciably more accomplished films (Gaspar Noé’s work immediately springs to mind) often with deeper, more interesting characters and considerably better scripts. Brandon trends too close to unintentionally pastiching Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman (from American Psycho.) I almost expected Fassbender to announce he had “some videotapes to return” and start chopping the heads off of unsuspecting hookers. The saving grace of Shame is the cinematography, it’s often beautiful and the extended, uncut scenes are wonderfully acted and composed, they really are the high points of the film. However it’s not enough to save the film for me, and, if anything, Shame doesn’t go far enough, it’s too much of a tease.

Marks out of ten – Six

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