Posts Tagged ‘Rooney Mara’

Finding Ganesh Talai

Lion

Director: Garth Davis

Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Sunny Pawar, David Wenham, Priyanka Bose, Abhishek Bharate

If child trafficking or the plight of India’s lost street children is the point of the true life drama Lion, then first time Australian director Garth Davis achieves a momentous and riveting family film made particularly poignant by the breakout performance of the young Saroo, aged five, wonderfully played with a resilience by screen newcomer Sunny Pawar.

Hindi speaking Sunny Pawar portrays the streetwise Saroo, a young Indian boy who after losing his older brother Guddu played by Abhishek Bharate on a train platform in Khandwa, central India mistakenly gets on a decommissioned train heading for Calcultta, some 1600 kilometres away from his family and his beloved mother Kamla played by Priyanka Bose. Surviving on the overcrowded and voluminous streets of Calcutta, Saroo is eventually picked up by child services and placed in a poverty stricken orphanage.

Fortunately, Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple John and Sue Brierley, played by Australian actor David Wenham (300, Public Enemies) and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours). Fast forward roughly twenty years from 1987 to 2008 and the young man Saroo, superbly played by Dev Patel (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) who burst onto international screens in the Oscar winning smash hit film Slumdog Millionaire in 2008.

In the second half of the film, set in Tasmania, Australia where the twenty something Saroo Brierley starts questioning his real identity in a move to Melbourne where his passion to find his real mother and siblings is ignited with the help of his American girlfriend Lucy, brilliantly played by Oscar nominee Rooney Mara (Carol, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

With the assistance of Google earth and threw a series of random calculations, Saroo manages to identify the exact train station in India where he first went missing and was fatefully separated from his birth family.

With a measured screenplay by Luke Davies coupled with stirring music by Dustin O’ Holloran and Volker Bertelmann, Lion is sure to pull at any audiences heartstrings, as the film intricately explores the issues of family, adopted or birth, identity and the continued quest to find answers.

What makes Lion so exhilarating is the first half of the film primarily focused on the harrowing experiences of young Saroo expertly acted by Sunny Pawar who takes on each challenge in Calcutta with a tenacity and bravery that a very smart young boy is known for. Lion is assisted by strong supporting roles particularly by the ever versatile Kidman as Sue Brierley whose intense scenes with her adopted son, played by Patel are electrifying.

Lion is a nuanced portrayal of one man’s search for his real identity, an emotional journey emblematic of the many train tracks he inadvertently stumbles on both literally and metaphorically.

Director Davis focuses the emotional crux of Lion on an overwhelming human desire to find meaning in one’s existence and a naturally passionate urge to reconnect with one’s birth family. This is a fascinating and complex film, beautifully shot and exceptionally well-acted by Kidman and Patel adding to its cross cultural appeal which is even more refreshing because it does not have an American context.

Lion is highly recommended viewing, an intelligent exploration of a truly extraordinary real life story spanning decades and two very different countries: India and Australia.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saroo_Brierley

 

 

Martini’s and Cigarettes

Carol

carol

Director: Todd Haynes

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, Cory Michael Smith

Far From Heaven director Todd Haynes adapts the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt for the big screen in the visually beautiful and meticulously directed film Carol featuring Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (The Aviator, Blue Jasmine) and Oscar Nominee Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as unlikely lovers in New York during Christmas in 1952.

Similar to Far from Heaven which also featured a love story which was socially prohibited back in the 1950’s, Carol focuses on a love affair between an affluent married woman Carol Aird and a young shop assistant Therese Belivet wonderfully played by Mara. Blanchett brings a nuanced perspective to the role of Carol, a strong willed and affluent woman whose sexual desires for the same sex are severely limited by the narrow social attitudes of the early 1950’s America, particularly mirrored in the attitude of her affronted soon to be ex-husband Harge Aird superbly played by Kyle Chandler, who typically views his wife and daughter as his patriarchal properties which need to be possessed.

Carol has to be viewed through the long struggle for international LGBT rights which is now enjoyed by many but wasn’t the case some sixty years ago. Carol like Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain depicts a socially taboo homosexual love affair which affects not only the lovers involved but also their respective partners or suitors. In this case, it is Therese’s suitor Richard Simco played by Jake Lacy who is mystified as to why Therese is constantly rebuffing his advances.

Carol’s situation is more complex as she is married with a husband and a little daughter, which really speaks to the emotional pull of the entire film. As Carol and Therese embark on a cross-country jaunt from New York to Chicago, their travels reflect their own emotional and sexual journeys as they soon realize how deeply they have fallen for each other despite the consequences.

After their initial encounter in a swanky New York department store whereby shop assistant Therese persuades the chain-smoking and glamourous Carol Aird to rather buy a train set than a doll for her daughter as a Christmas present, Haynes makes a valid point about the perceived gender typical socialization of children and how sexuality itself is in fact a social construct.

carol_ver2

Their scandalous affair is assisted by Carol’s ex-lover Abby Gerhard played by Sarah Paulson and as those they affect soon realize what has occurred, it’s the peripheral characters conservative viewpoints on morality which frames this tender and beautifully constructed love affair characterized by Martini’s and cigarettes.

far_from_heaven

Carol has generated a lot of critical acclaim because Blanchett and Mara both have the acting abilities to pull off such nuanced and complex performances especially in the hands of a brilliant director like Todd Haynes who after his stunning mini-series Mildred Pierce and his earlier films Far From Heaven and I’m Not There is an artist at the peak of his creative powers, both in terms of semiotics and visual arts.

Carol is highly recommended viewing, extraordinarily acted, beautifully designed and most notably directed with a flair for detail which is rarely glimpsed in the 21st century’s era of effects laden contemporary cinema.

Viewers that enjoy a mature adult drama, should definitely watch Carol, a film which does not resort to explicit nudity or shock value but critically evaluates an extraordinary love affair taking place in an exceptionally conservative era of American history.

2015 Cannes Film Festival

2015 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL WINNERS

2015_Cannes_Film_Festival_poster

Winners of the five main prizes at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival were as follows: –

dheepan

Palme d’Or– Dheepan directed by Jacques Audiard

The Assassin

Best Director – Hou Hsiao-Hsien for The Assassin

The_Measure_of_a_Man_(2015_film)

Best Actor: Vincent Lindon – The Measure of Man

Best Actress: shared between

carol

Rooney Mara – Carol

mon_roi

Emmanuelle Bercot for Mon roi

chronic

Best Screenplay – Michel Franco for Chronic starring Tim Roth and David Dastmalchian

carol_ver2

Queer Palm Award: Carol directed by Todd Haynes starring Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson and Kyle Chandler

Source: 2015 Cannes Film Festival

 

 

Harvard Harassment to Global Phenomenon

The Social Network

social_network

 Canadian director David Fincher’s latest film The Social Network could fit more comfortably in the made for TV film category, but is nevertheless a fascinating examination of how one idea can affect the world.

The Social Network traces the rise of the Facebook phenomenon from the frat houses of Harvard to going global, the lawsuits that ensued and how the lives of over 500 million users have been transformed by using of Facebook from Silicon Valley to Henley-on-Thames, from Brazil to Cape Town, from Sydney to Toronto.

Harvard Harassment

Jesse Eisenberg makes a superb entrance in a major role as Mark Zuckerberg the genius behind linking the Ivy League American University social networks from Harvard to Stamford and supersedes any former attempts by creating a user-friendly interface for virtual network, sharing photos and updating one’s relationship status, now known universally as Facebook. Love it or hate it, the rise of Facebook is now a commercially viable form of communication, which has taken the digital world by storm. Fincher’s film shows the rise of the Facebook phenomenon from Zuckerberg’s cocky online response on his blog after being spurned by Erica, a lovely cameo by Rooney Mara at Harvard to his rise through several collaborations firstly with Eduardo Saverin, a diversely perceptive performance by Andrew Garfield, and then with Napster founder Sean Parker, the colourful and confident character suitably played by Justin Timberlake, proving that his acting abilities are certainly maturing.

Fincher responsible for some high end thrillers including Seven, The Game, Fight Club and Oscar nominated Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a prolific choice for a film which if left in the hands of a lesser director, could have become a slightly drawn out geek match about intellectual property rights, failed love affairs and immense wealth bestowed on a set of twenty-something’s who surely were given an added advantage already being at Harvard in the first place. The Social Network is an engrossing look at a very recent digital phenomenon and the ingenuity, entrepreneurial savvy  and success of three men who clearly realized that they had discovered a gaping hole in the social fabric of Anglo-American society and filled that void with a network which combines privacy with a sense of community.

Global Phenomenon

Facebook, like the invention of the light bulb, the car, and most obviously the internet is here to stay and will definitely grow, transform and has embraced the real 21st century notion of a global digital village. Watch out for a wonderful performance by Armie Hammer playing both the affluent, rowing crazy twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and of course the cleverest part of The Social Network is the poster, – You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies, reminding the viewer of a similar poster?

Every face tells a story…

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
September 2021
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  
  • Barbie Unveils Awesome Music-Producer Doll ‘to Highlight the Gender Gap in the Industry’
    Fighting the gender gap in the music industry is not a role that Mattel’s Barbie doll traditionally has taken on, but the company has used the iconic figure for exactly that purpose with its awesome Music-Producer doll, which it announced earlier this week. The company, which partnered with veteran songwriter-producer Ester Dean for the series, […]
    Jem Aswad
  • How Film Festivals Safely Made Their In-Person Return With COVID-19 Precautions
    With all due respect to the streamers who kept us distracted during the pandemic, movies were meant to be seen on the big screen, in the company of others and, ideally, debated and dissected with fellow cinephiles as we exit the theater. Cautiously reopening megaplexes have restored that experience to some degree, although film festivals […]
    Peter Debruge
  • Variety’s 2021 TV Producers Impact Report
    This time last year, Variety’s annual TV Producers Impact Report had a heavy bent on those who successfully and innovatively pivoted their productions post-shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With the pandemic still raging on, those creating content for traditional broadcast networks, cablers and streaming platforms alike have had to double down on originality of story […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • Paramount Plus, CBC Team for Medical Rescue Drama ‘Skymed’
    Paramount Plus and CBC have partnered on the drama series “Skymed.” The series is produced by Piazza Entertainment in association with CBC and CBS Studios. It is currently in production in Manitoba and Ontario and will be available to stream on Paramount Plus in 2022. The series follow the triumphs, heartbreaks and tribulations of budding […]
    Joseph Otterson
  • How ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ Costume Designer Channeled Tammy Faye Bakker’s Colorful Signature Style
    How do you make a movie about colorful televangelist and gay icon Tammy Faye Bakker without veering into caricature? That was the challenge for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” costume designer Mitchell Travers and star and producer Jessica Chastain, who were united in their vision for the look of the film. “We never wanted it […]
    jazztangcay
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90