Posts Tagged ‘Christina Ricci’

Choice is an Illusion

The Matrix: Resurrections

Director: Lana Wachowski

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Neil Patrick Harris, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jonathan Groff, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Christina Ricci, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Jessica Henwick, Chad Stahelski, Lambert Wilson

Film Rating 7 out of 10

Running time: 2 hours and 28 minutes

Firstly what audiences have to realize is that director Lana Wachowski transgendered from being a man to a woman and in the original Matrix film made in 1999, her directorial credit was as Larry Wachowski. Secondly the original film won four Oscars back in the year 2000 mainly for visual effects and sound editing.

So after nearly twenty years, Neo and Trinity are back in or out of The Matrix depending on which pill you took. For Choice is an Illusion.

Superstar Keanu Reeves has had a hugely successful career ever since he first caught my eye on screen playing the young lover to La Marquise de Merteuil expertly played by Glenn Close in director Stephen Frears Oscar winning costume drama Dangerous Liaisons back in 1989.

The release of the original The Matrix film back in 1999 was utterly ground breaking, but this new reboot with The Matrix: Resurrections is equally flamboyant, visually challenging and downright entertaining.

Smith played in the original trilogy by Priscilla, Queen of the Desert star Hugo Weaving is now played by Jonathan Groff who looks like a Tom Ford model, handsome, sleek and drop dead gorgeous.

In an alternative reality we find Thomas Anderson working as a computer programmer in San Francisco where he accidentally meets Tiffany aka Trinity in a Silicon Valley coffee shop.

Through a thoroughly reflexive narrative, Thomas Anderson aka Neo gets sucked into the Matrix by Bugs with the Blue hair played by Jessica Henwick. Down the rabbit hole he goes and he reconnects with an updated version of Morpheus brilliantly played quite flamboyantly by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman, The Trial of the Chicago 7).

Neo soon discovers that Trinity is back in the Matrix and that his shrink The Analyst is actually a villain wonderfully played by Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl, A Million Ways to Die in the West).

Through impressive visualizations and awe inspiring production design, Neo is guided by Sati played by Priyanka Chopra Jonas (The White Tiger) while meeting some digital exiles including The Merovingian played by Lambert Wilson (The Belly of an Architect, Catwoman, 5-7).

The Matrix Resurrections can only be enjoyed if audiences have brushed up on the original films particularly The Matrix made in 1999. From a semiotic point of view, The Matrix Resurrections is rich in film symbolism and digital versions of alternative realities from a sleek San Francisco skyline to a pandemic era ride on a bullet train in Tokyo. Director Lana Wachowski makes full use of her semiotic skills which is her uncanny ability to manipulate images to tell a story using film language.

Extremely entertaining, The Matrix Resurrections gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is definitely made for the fans of the original trilogy but most significantly Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are back as the digitally fated coupled and they are both kicking ass.

The highly anticipated The Matrix Resurrections is highly recommended viewing strictly for sci-fi fans only. And there will definitely be a sequel…

Scandalous Liaisons

Bel Ami

Beautiful Friend

A French Quartet!

Directors: Declan Donnellan & Nick Omerod

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, Colm Meaney, Holliday Grainger, James Lance

Robert Pattinson is desperately attempting to shed his alter cinematic ego Edward Cullen now that the Twilight series has wrapped up and stars as Georges Duroy a manipulative and penniless soldier who returns to Paris in the 1880’s after fighting a colonial war in Algeria and soon rises to the heights of Parisian society through various indiscriminate sexual liaisons in the film adaptation of the 19th century writer Guy de Maupassant’s novel Bel Ami, meaning Beautiful Friend.

Uma Thurman is desperately trying to recapture that Parisian intrigue in Bel Ami starring as Madeliene Foster who soon becomes embroiled in an ill-fated love quadrangle with Georges and two other influential and wealthy woman. Unfortunately for Thurman, Bel Ami is no match to the extraordinary brilliance of Dangerous Liaisons the 1988 hit film starring Thurman along with the brilliant Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer and whilst the latter was skilfully directed by Stephen Frears with a razor-sharp script by Christopher Hampton, Bel Ami lacks the uniformity of vision which Dangerous Liaisons so clearly perfected as a masterpiece in drawing room cinema.

Kristin Scott Thomas is no stranger to scandalous period films and has starred in the Oscar Winning The English Patient along with Up at The Villa and Paul Schrader’s film The Walker and in Bel Ami, Scott Thomas plays Virginie Rousset a pliable 19th century cougar who falls victim to the charms and seduction of Georges played by Pattinson.

Christina Ricci seen in the fabulous retro series Pan Am is most famous for The Adams Family and Monster, stars as Clotilde de Marelle another wealthy Parisian housewife who assists Georges in climbing the social ladder rather rapidly in French Society to such a point where he abandons his former lovers and shocks everyone even his former employer, a newspaper editor Monsieur Rousset oddly played by Colm Meaney.

Bel Ami is a fun foursome period romp with some sultry sex scenes to spice up a rather vacuous tale of ambition, betrayal and seduction in 19th century Paris, but is no match to films in a similar genre most notably the brilliant Dangerous Liaisons and the equally enjoyable Belle Epoque set drawing room drama Cheri also directed by Stephen Frears and starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend and Kathy Bates.

For those who love scandalous liaisons and seduction with Robert Pattinson as the young ruthless seducer, then Bel Ami will most certainly appeal especially the final and rather hilarious wedding scene where Georges takes revenge on all those socialites who scorned him in his ambitious rise to power and wealth, a plot only to be found in a fashionable French novel.

Lacking in singular direction and a brilliant script, Bel Ami directed by Donald Declan and Nick Omerod is entertaining, slightly provocative and relies too heavily on raunchy sex scenes and occasional nudity than on the sophisticated art of seduction.

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