London Film Festival Round Up (part 2)

‘Never Let Me Go’ (UK, 2010)

‘Never Let Me’ is a hauntingly powerful film, expertly adapted from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. Carey Mulligan, Kera Knightly and Andrew Garfield star as Cathy, Ruth and Tommy there clones who exist for the single purpose of donating their vital organs. They start their lives at Hailsham, watched over and taught by ‘guardians’, encouraged to be creative for reasons they can only grasp in an almost childlike way, leading to one of the most disturbing scenes of the film. Cathy, Ruth and Tommy have a childlike innocence that is slowly eroded away as they really start to understanding their reality. The film is dark and raises interesting ethical and moral questions. Highly recommended.

‘Black Swan’ (USA, 2010)

An uncomfortable take of passion, obsession and desire. Darren Aronofsky makes you feel every moment, every impact and every decision, and it’s relentless. Like Natalie Portman’s brilliantly flawed Nina, we are given no breaks, no time to relax and kept on the edge of your seat for the entire film unable to resist.

Portman is outstanding as the tragic Nina, trapped within her passion and lost in obsession, Mila Kunis is delightful as the would-be-successor, in fact everyone is wonderful – you can’t help but believe every aspect of their characters. There is no single weak moment in the film, every second is a visual treat and it’s a hugely evocative and emotive film that is just beautiful to watch. Do not miss.

‘Brighton Rock’ (UK, 2010)

This years ‘surprise film’ really did take my by surprise – I didn’t know anyone was remaking the 1947 film! (Sorry, apparently it’s ‘like Shakespeare, worthy of multiple adaptations’). Based on the 1938 Graham Greene novel, this version moves the action forward to 1964 and puts it slap bang in the middle of the ‘youth revolt’.

‘Brighton Rock’ is your typical average gangster flick, the same unsympathetic and rather stupid characters who thoroughly deserve everything that happens to them. It looks and feels like something that started life as a two part BBC4 special, and it probably plays better on the small screen.

Decent acting all round, but John Hurt and Helen Mirran were completely wasted.

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