Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Dornan’

To All Those That Left

Belfast

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Cast: Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Ciaran Hinds, Jude Hill, Lewis McAskie

Film Rating: 9 out of 10

Running Time: 1 hour and 38 minutes

Director Kenneth Branagh delivers a stunning film, a cinematic ode to his childhood in Belfast in the film Belfast featuring an excellent cast including Jamie Dornan (The 9th Life of Louis Drax), Caitriona Balfe (Ford v Ferrari) Oscar winner Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) and Ciaran Hinds (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hamlet).

Set in August 1969, when the troubles began in Belfast, the entire film is viewed through the eyes of 9 year old boy Buddy brilliantly played by Jude Hill in his first ever cinematic role.

Shot mostly in Black and White, Belfast is an excellent film held together by superb supporting performances particularly from Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds as Buddy’s grandparents who are ultimately the ones that he will leave behind.

As buddy’s parents’ battle with the political and economic instability of Belfast at the end of the 1960’s the lure of safer work opportunities in England, Buddy has to contend with his parents making this momentous decision to emigrate and leave for a more secure future.

As emigration and exodus affects families and communities around the world even more pertinently today from the Ukraine to South Africa, Belfast is an extremely relevant story, an ode to a city that was torn apart by sectarian violence and looting. Belfast could be a stand in for any city in the world that has experienced such devastation when the root of all communities is pulled out. That root is the family.

What makes Belfast as mesmerizing as a film is director Kenneth Branagh’s unique perspective on an extremely difficult topic: a family’s decision to emigrate from their home country amidst increasing political instability.

Peppered with shots from old films and trips to the theatre, Belfast is a brilliantly poignant film, expertly captured and shot by director Kenneth Branagh and beautifully acted by the entire cast from Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe as Buddy’s parents to the sad acceptance and subtle strength of Buddy’s grandparents who soon realize that their son and his family and their grandchildren will be leaving them forever.

With a mixture of mischief and innocence, the superb performance of Jude Hill as Buddy is the emotional centre of the entire story of Belfast.

Both Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds are phenomenal as Buddy’s caring but stoic grandparents and deserve all the acting accolades already heaped upon them.

Belfast gets a film rating of 9 out of 10 and is highly recommended viewing, a fitting and beautiful tribute to a city torn apart by strife but then slowly re-emerging as the stable and flourishing capital of contemporary Northern Ireland.

The Tale of a Thief

Robin Hood

Director: Otto Bathurst

Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan, Paul Anderson, Tim Minchin, F. Murray Abraham, Scot Greenan

A revisionist retelling of Robin Hood for the Instagram generation gets a thrilling thumbs up.

With the gorgeous Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle) as Robin, Lord of Loxley teaming up with Oscar winner Jamie Foxx (Ray) as Little John, director Otto Bathurst sets Robin Hood at the time of the crusades when Robin Hood is conscripted to fight in the holy wars in Arabia leaving his young girlfriend Marian behind.

Marian is played with panache and feisty femininity by Irish actress Eve Hewson (Bridge of Spies). While Robin is away fighting the crusades Marian meets the equally dashing but politically ambitious Will Scarlet played by Jamie Dornan (The 9th Life of Louis Drax, Fifty Shades of Grey).

Heavily influenced by Little John, Robin of Loxley with assisted training by the hunky Moor is roped into stealing from the rich to give to the poor. In this case the rich are represented by the evil Sheriff of Nottingham played with suitable menace by Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One, A Star Wars Story).

The powerful Sheriff answers to an equally corrupt cardinal played with vigour by Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus).

Robin Hood is an ideal escapist action adventure film with some brilliant fight sequences and excellent special effects held together by some incisive editing and a catchy score. Produced by Leonardo di Caprio, this Robin Hood perfectly played by Taron Egerton looks like there could be a franchise in the making.

Peaky Blinders star Paul Anderson plays the ruthless sidekick to the Sheriff, Guy of Gisbourne, who feels nothing at executing prisoners of war or burning down the commoner’s dwellings.

Robin Hood is a fun filled action adventure film quite slim on storyline and historical accuracy but definitely catering for the 21st century audience that is not too worried about authenticity as long as there is sufficient action.

Certainly entertaining, Robin Hood gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and scores an extra point for the really cool graphics that appear in the closing credits. Recommended viewing for light holiday fare.

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