Posts Tagged ‘Barry Keoghan’

76th BAFTA Awards / The British Academy Film Awards

The 76th British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFAs, were held on 19th February 2023 at the Royal Festival Hall in London, honouring the best national and foreign films of 2022

Best Film: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Director: Edward Berger – All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Actor: Austin Butler – Elvis

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett – TAR 

Best Supporting Actor: Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Supporting Actress: Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin

Best British Film: The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Original Screenplay: Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Adapted Screenplay: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Costume Design: Elvis

Best Foreign Language Film: All Quiet on the Western Front

Rising Star Award: Emma Mackey

The Five Fingered Friend

The Banshees of Inisherin

Director: Martin McDonagh

Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan, Pat Shortt, Aaron Monaghan

Running Time: 1 hour 54 minutes

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

From the acclaimed writer and director of In Bruges and Three Billboards Outside Edding, Missouri, Martin McDonagh reunites his In Bruges cast, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in a slightly dark comedy about friendship gone south, isolation and gossip in the brilliantly titled The Banshees of Inisherin.

Set exactly 100 years ago in 1923 in a small desolate island Inisherin off the coast of Ireland at the time just after the Irish War of Independence in 1922, this superbly scripted film focuses on the friendship between two men: Padriag Sulleabhain expertly played by Colin Farrell in a career best performance and the lonesome fiddler Colm Doherty played by Brendan Gleeson (Hampstead, Live by Night, Assassin’s Creed). Colin Farrell won the Best Actor Prize at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival.

On this beautiful but bleak island in this desolate place, Colm wakes up one morning and decides that the slightly simple Padraig is boring and decides not to talk to him anymore, foregoing any more afternoons at the local pub discussing the world’s problems over a pint of Guinness to while away the hours into the early evening. Naturally, Colm’s sudden snubbing of Padraig leaves the poor man devastated, but initially he thinks Colm is playing an April Fool’s Joke on him, but as the days drag on he realizes that Colm is deadly serious. 

Padraig tries to make sense of the situation while discussing things with his brighter sibling sister Siobhan excellently played by Kerry Condon (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Siobhan has been looking after her brother for years but she yearns for a brighter literary career on the mainland to get away from all the mental and bitter people on Inisherin. Kerry Condon is absolutely superb as the no-nonsense Siobhan who realizes that what she really needs is to escape the island.

Meanwhile the sudden feud between Padriag and Colm escalates unexpectedly providing all the villagers something to gossip about. Padriag finds friendship with a simple young guy Dominic Kearney expertly played in an exceptional performance by rising actor Barry Keoghan (American Animals, The Batman) as a browbeaten tragic man trying to escape his brutal father.

What writer director Martin McDonagh does so expertly is peel back the layers of each of the four main characters and the motivations that drive them from spite to compassion, from a desire for freedom to the ideal of being left alone in artistic contemplation. What absolutely makes this film work although quite bizarre but equally plausible considering how tricky human relationships can be, is the brilliant acting by all four main actors set to haunting Irish music courtesy of Carter Burwell.

The Banshees of Inisherin is a top class film, a dark and brittle comedy about friendships that sour and superstition that becomes reality superbly played by four actors completely in tune with their characters and this fascinating narrative.

The Banshees of Inisherin gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is slow moving in parts but worth the wait in gold and Irish luck. Highly recommended viewing for those that enjoy an inventive character driven story, which is funny, sad and thought provoking.

City of Vengeance

The Batman

Director: Matt Reeves

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Andy Serkis, Rupert Penry-Jones, Barry Keoghan

Running Time: 2 hours and 56 minutes

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves goes full out for the highly anticipated Batman remake simply called The Batman featuring Robert Pattinson as the stubbled caped crusader ready to fight off all Gotham’s evil creatures. In this case there are several.

Drawing massive inspiration from such films as Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and David Fincher’s Seven, Matt Reeves paints Gotham as a dark and seedy metropolis filled with particularly twisted individuals, corrupt politicians and a serial killer that leaves cryptic clues while he livestreams killing his victims.

Gotham becomes a City of Vengeance as The Batman has to battle the entirely twisted The Riddler superbly played with a particular sinister panache by Paul Dano (There will be Blood, 12 Years a Slave, Little Miss Sunshine). Paul Dano’s The Riddler accurately rivals Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar winning portrayal of Joker in 2019.

Besides The Riddler that Batman has to contend with, there is the slinky Catwoman wonderfully played with a nefarious independence by Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road). The onscreen chemistry between Kravitz and Pattinson is electrifying as they reluctantly band together to track down The Riddler while also dealing with The Penguin played by an unrecognisable Colin Farrell (In Bruges, The Gentleman, The Beguiled) who is the henchman to the reclusive city gangster Carmine Falcone superbly played by John Turturro (Barton Fink, Quiz Show, Jungle Fever).

Screenwriters Matt Reeves and Peter Craig delve into all the Bruce Wayne mythology, including the dark and treacherous past of Bruce Wayne’s wealthy parents and their link with the Arkham asylum.

Robert Pattinson comes across as a less confident Batman, a Billionaire cape crusader less comfortable with becoming the saviour of the city, until he reconciles that this is his destiny. Pattinson’s Batman is far different from Ben Affleck as the arrogant Batman or Christian Bale as the wealthy, snobbish Batman who feels that it his right to defend the city because he inherited billions.

Pattinson is brilliant in the role of The Batman giving the iconic screen character a three dimensionality never seen before especially when forced to deal with the criminally insane but ingenious The Riddler who Paul Dano portrays as an extraordinary orphan with a meticulous grudge to bear against the rich, corrupt and powerful. 

From the seedy nightclubs of Gotham including 44 below, from Zoe Kravitz’s excellent interpretation of Catwoman, from the brilliant pacing of the film, from the quietly dark periods before the explosions rock the outskirts of Gotham and all hell breaks loose, The Batman gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10.

This is a long film but director Matt Reeves gives every cinema goer their money’s worth. This interpretation of The Batman is enthralling, gothic and grungy. Highly recommended viewing.

Operation Dynamo

Dunkirk

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Jack Lowden, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, James D’Arcy, Michael Fox, Tom Glynn-Carney, Barry Keogh

Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy director Christopher Nolan achieves a cinematic feat when he authentically tackles the war genre in his brilliant film Dunkirk starring a host of young British actors including One Direction lead singer Harry Styles, Fionn Whitehead and Aneurin Barnard backed up by some Oscar nominees Tom Hardy (The Revenant) and Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn) and Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies).

Dunkirk shot entirely with Imax cameras and with crystal clear cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema who also worked on Interstellar and superb production design by Nathan Crowley is a cinematic experience of unparalleled proportions. Epic, immediate and accessible.

SURVIVAL IS VICTORY

Christopher Nolan keeps his war film as authentic as possible with hardly any use of CGI and using real planes, ships and shot mostly on location at Dunkirk in Northern France, the film immediately positions the viewer in the centre of Operation Dynamo: the forced evacuation by allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk between 26th May and the 4th June 1940 as the allies were hemmed in by the Nazi’s approaching from the Western Front and the Luftwaffe were bombing the evacuees at a rapid rate over the English channel.

With minimal dialogue, Dunkirk brilliantly retells this eventful evacuation from three different geographic perspectives Land, Sea and Air.

While the British soldiers viewed the evacuation as a retreat, the fact that so many of the soldiers were saved by civilian ships, was an absolute miracle: 338 226 mostly British, French and Dutch soldiers were rescued in possibly the biggest military evacuation in human history especially during a World War.

Dunkirk is told from three distinct perspectives, Tommy, the everyday 19 year old British soldier played by Fionn Whitehead, from air force fighter pilot Farrier played by Tom Hardy and also from the perspective of Mr Dawson played with determination by Mark Rylance who takes his civilian fishing boat across the channel to save soldiers aided by his son Peter played by Tom Glynn-Carney and his friend George played by Barry Keogh.

 

The best sequence in Dunkirk is when Collins, played by Jack Lowden (A United Kingdom), another fighter pilot crash lands in the icy channel and is trapped inside the sinking spitfire intercut with Tommy and a gang of young soldiers including Alex played by Harry Styles are trapped inside a precariously berthed ship which is being shot at from an unseen enemy as the tide is coming in on the beach.

Cillian Murphy (Inception, The Wind that Shakes the Barley) gives a harrowing portrayal of a rescued shell shocked soldier who is desperate to leave the slaughterhouse that was Europe during World War II and is horrified when he goes back to the shores of Dunkirk to rescue more soldiers under the stern command of Mr Dawson.

The visceral tension as the evacuation gets more dangerous and urgent aided by a frenetic original score by Hans Zimmer, makes Dunkirk a truly exceptional, economical and sublime war film, authentic and utterly immediate. Christopher Nolan places audiences directly in the centre of Operation Dynamo with ships sinking, aerial battles and underwater sequences which put James Cameron’s Titanic to shame, Dunkirk is a truly exceptional film.

Come Oscars 2018, Dunkirk should be recognized for being a masterful film, in terms of sound editing, cinematography and the sheer scale of the cinematic production.

Highly recommended viewing for those that enjoyed Steven Spielberg’s Oscar winning Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk is a cinematic masterpiece and gets a film rating of 9.5 out 10.

 

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