Posts Tagged ‘Emily Mortimer’

Displaying Lolita

The Bookshop

Director: Isabel Coixet

Cast: Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Patricia Clarkson, Honor Kneafsey, James Lance, Jorge Suquet, Hunter Tremayne, Frances Barber

Elegy and Endless Night Spanish director Isabel Coixet brings to the screen Penelope Fitzgerald’s poignant novel The Bookshop set in a small East Anglian town in 1959. The story centres around a relatively young widow Florence Greene wonderfully played by British actress Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns, The Sense of an Ending, Hugo, Shutter Island) who decides to open a book shop in this remote gossip ridden environment.

While naturally stocking the classics like Thackeray, Dickens and George Eliot, Mrs Greene decides to sell more controversial literature including Ray Bradbury’s dystopian classic Fahrenheit 451 and Vladimir Nabokov’s scandalous novel Lolita.

In a genteel correspondence with a mysterious reclusive bibliophile Edmund Brundish superbly played by British screen legend Bill Nighy (Their Finest, Pride, Wrath of the Titans), Florence gradually draws Brundish out of his reclusive liar as she continually sends him fascinating literary works.

However. like in many conservative small towns, the idea of a progressive bookshop which could disseminate radical ideas soon finds opposition amongst the townsfolk headed by the snobbish and influential Violet Gamart, played with menace and sophistication by Oscar nominee Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April).

Violet’s wicked emissary is the slippery playboy Milo North played by James Lance (Bel Ami, Marie Antoinette) who ultimately betrays Florence Greene as slowly but surely each of the town’s inhabitant’s turns against her best literary endeavors.

The Bookshop is a slow moving poignant drama about a women’s wish to fill a lifelong dream and a community who finds repulsion their best way to combat any radical innovative changes such as a well-stocked and resourceful bookshop. Director Isabel Coixet displays her art house aesthetic in The Bookshop to comment incisively on the cruelty of a small English town which is just emerging out of the post-World War II shock and horror, only to find themselves not quite ready to embrace an innovative literary aesthetic, which eventually become fashionable in the 1960’s.

This film’s theatrical release was later in other parts of the world

Spanish director Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop receives a film rating of 6.5 out of 10 and is a subtle portrait of narrow mindedness which will not give audiences that expected cathartic release that accompanies happy endings.

The Bookshop is recommended viewing for those that enjoy European Art House cinema even though this literary themed film is set in Britain.

Whimsical Magical Musical

Mary Poppins Returns

Director: Rob Marshall

Cast: Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson, Dick van Dyke, Angela Lansbury

Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha director Rob Marshall returns with another hit musical Mary Poppins Returns featuring Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins immortalized by Julie Andrews in the original 1964 hit film Mary Poppins.

Fortunately Emily Blunt is such an accomplished actress that she nails the part of Mary Poppins to absolute perfection ably assisted by Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the lamplighter who between the two of them share most of the musical numbers.

Brideshead Revisited and Skyfall star Ben Whishaw plays Michael Banks and his sister Jane Banks is played by Emily Mortimer. The real stars of Mary Poppins Returns are the three Banks children John, Anabel and Georgie wonderfully played by Nathanael Saleh, Pixie Davies and Joel Dawson respectively.

Mary Poppins Returns is Disney in full swing for the 21st century and the musical numbers are brilliant especially the lamp lighters dance sequence as well as some well-placed cameo’s by Oscar winner Meryl Streep (Sophie’s Choice, Kramer vs Kramer and The Iron Lady) as the garish and outrageous cousin Topsy along with Oscar nominee Angela Lansbury (Gaslight, The Manchurian Candidate, The Picture of Dorian Gray) as the Balloon Lady and Golden Globe nominee Dick van Dyke (Mary Poppins) as Mr Dawes.

Other notable stars are Oscar winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) as the evil bank manager Wilkins who is completely unsympathetic to the plight of Michael Banks whose Cherry Tree Lane house in Depression era London is about to be repossessed unless Mr Banks can find share certificates which can prove he has some form of collateral to retain his family home.

Oscar nominee Julie Walters (Billy Elliott, Educating Rita) stars as the housekeeper Ellen who manages to keep the chaotic Banks household in some form of domestic stability.

Cleverly Mary Poppins Returns captures the magic of a whimsical musical for a 21st century audience while paying homage to the original 1964 film which made a star out of Julie Andrews who also won an Oscar for her iconic performance in 1965. Emily Blunt, with her pithy and clipped English accent, is superb as the no nonsense nanny who ignites imagination in the three young Banks children while handling all the brilliant musical numbers.

Highly recommended viewing for the entire family, director Rob Marshall does a brilliant job with Mary Poppins Returns and is definitely worth seeing.

Mary Poppins Returns gets a film rating of 8 out of 10 and is absolutely brilliant. If Disney is going to do a sequel so long after the original film you can bet that it’s going to be spit spot!

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