Posts Tagged ‘Javier Bardem’

Ariel’s Earthly Adventure

The Little Mermaid

Director: Rob Marshall

Cast: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Javier Bardem, Melissa McCarthy, Noma Dumezweni, Art Malik, Akwafina, Jacob Tremblay, Daveed Diggs

Running Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Oscar nominated director Rob Marshall (Chicago, Mary Poppins Returns, Memoirs of a Geisha) returns with another Disney classic live action musical The Little Mermaid  featuring the gorgeous and talented Halle Bailey as the mermaid that causes all the trouble.

Ariel lives down in the Ocean but is constantly fascinated by the humans above sea level collecting items off their ships that sink to the cavenous ocean’s floor. Banished by her overbearing father, King Triton, God of the seas, played by Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) from going to the land, Ariel willingly defies her father when she makes a dangerous deal with her aunt, the evil sea witch Ursula superbly played by Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Bridesmaids) to trade in her fins for legs so she can approach land.

Ariel is desperate to meet up with a handsome prince because this is Disney, and there is always a handsome prince lurking about! In this case Prince Eric is played by Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women) who defies his own mother, the Queen played by Noma Dumezweni (Dirty Pretty Things) and is keen to see the beautiful mermaid that saved him during a storm which shipwrecked his vessel.

Ariel is unaware that Ursula has cast a spell when she arrives on land and is generously taken in by Eric except she cannot talk and her only assistance are a crab voiced by Daveed Diggs, a fish could Flounder voiced by Jacob Tremblay and Scuttle voiced by Awkwafina.

The Little Mermaid is pure Disney fantasy assisted by some amazing songs and brilliant special effects particularly the underwater sequences of which there are many. If audiences suspend their disbelief then The Little Mermaid will be a delightful film to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Despite lavish sets and production design, Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid lacks pace in certain aspects of the storyline and the film could have been edited properly, shaving at least twenty minutes off the running time.

The real treat of the film is Melissa McCarthy as Ursula who is suitably villainous and camp as the evil witch complete with pearls and a dreadful hairdo. Javier Bardem’s acting talents are underutilized in a film which his character does not feature prominently. There are also some issues with questionable casting but if audiences focus on the fantasy narrative then they will find this film enjoyable.

Halle Bailey holds her own in the title role although Jonah Hauer-King could have been more masculine as the Prince. His performance comes off as boyish and naïve.

If audiences love a Disney musical, then go and watch The Little Mermaid, it will either infuriate or dazzle the viewers. Unfortunately not as brilliant as one expected, The Little Mermaid gets a film rating of 7 out of 10. It’s as light as a mermaid staring at an idyllic sunset.

The Uncertainty Principle

The Good Boss

Director: Fernando Leon de Aranoa

Starring: Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor, Oscar de la Fuente, Tarek Rmili¸ Sonia Almarcha, Fernando Albizu

Film Rating: 8 out of 10

Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes

This film is in Spanish with English subtitles

The extraordinary depth of talent of Spanish actor and Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) can be seen in the humorous yet clever comedy The Good Boss starring Bardem in the title role as Blanco, the owner of a factory in Spain that makes scales on an industrial level.

As an inherited factory owner, Blanco likes to treats his employees as his family yet in the week whereby his company could receive a prestigious European industrial award, Blanco has to contend with a whole range of bizarre occurrences at his factory including the crazy antics of fired worker Jose played by Oscar de la Fuente who decides to create a single man strike right outside the company’s headquarters much to Blanco’s literal disgust.

As Spain’s official entry for Best Foreign Language film at the 2022 Academy Awards, The Good Boss is a superb almost cynical look at how a Boss manages to stay on top amidst his colleagues meltdown, a distraction by a beautiful yet provocative young intern Liliana wonderfully played with panache by Almudena Amor and the pestering Jose whose continued presence outside the factory causes a problem for Blanco.

Javier Bardem (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Being the Ricardo’s) inhabits every aspect of this role as a duplicitous, commanding and ultimately egotistical boss Blanco who manages to outwit all these business and personal complications except for one. Bardem commands the screen and is brilliant as the wealthy yet slimy Blanco who appears to please everyone, but is ultimately protecting the company and himself.

The rest of the supporting cast are equally good although this comedy drama belongs to Bardem. The Good Boss is a cutting comedy of manners about workplace politics, illicit liaisons, scheming and betrayals while shining a cynical look on the hierarchal structure of industrial companies, from the boss to the head of production to the secretary and of course the misbehaving interns.

Like a work week, director Fernando Leon de Aranoa divides the film into days of the week, so it appears episodic in nature but in actual fact every little occurrence tips the scales of fairness against Blanco without him realizing it, adding the uncertainty principle into a series of events in which the boss appears to be in control. From the humorous exchanges between Blanco and the security guard Roman played by Fernando Albizu to Blanco’s deceitful affection towards his beautiful wife Adela played by Sonia Almarcha, The Good Boss is everything but decent.

The Good Boss is highly recommended viewing, a clever adult comedy about work politics, infidelity and underhand industrial tactics.

The Good Boss gets a film rating of 8 out of 10 and Javier Bardem is absolutely phenomenal. Highly recommended viewing.

My Favourite Husband

Being the Ricardo’s

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J. K. Simmons, Nina Arianda, Jake Lacey, Clark Gregg, Christopher Denham, Tony Hale, Alia Sawkat

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Running Time: 2 hours and 11 minutes

This film is only available to watch on Amazon Prime.

Despite the extremely limited release of Being The Ricardo’s, the casting genius of having Oscar winners Nicole Kidman (The Hours) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) play husband and wife pays off in this talkative Aaron Sorkin film pays off.

Kidman and Bardem are absolutely superb playing the film and TV star Lucille Ball and her Cuban husband Desi Arnaz and it is a real treat to watch both actors feed off each other’s immeasurable talent.

The tumultuous marriage of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz is vividly captured in Being The Ricardo’s as they work together on the hit TV show I Love Lucy, filming all the while in the late 1950’s in Los Angeles amidst the tail end of the McCarthyism Anti-Communism trials which affected the American Film and Television industry as Republican senator Joseph McCarthy targeted the entertainment industry as being a cesspool for communist sympathizers, whipping up Anti-Communist sentiment in America which was rife in the 15 years following the end of World War 2.

Audiences just need to read Arthur Miller’s The Crucible as a cultural point of reference for his allegorical play about the Salem Witch trials of 1692 in Massachusetts. Arthur Miller himself was targeted by the Committee for Un-American Activities.

Fortunately for writer and director Aaron Sorkin, Being the Ricardo’s is exceptionally well researched but what really shines through is the brilliant acting of Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem.

Both are experienced actors and their portrayal of Lucille Ball and the suave and charismatic Cuban entertainer Desi Arnaz is perfect. In actual fact, Javier Bardem is as good as Nicole Kidman and to add into this are the supporting cast most notably Oscar winner J. K. Simmons (Whiplash) playing drunken actor William Frawley.

There is a superb scene in Being the Ricardo’s when William Frawley takes Lucille Ball to a dive bar at 10am in Hollywood to escape the histrionics on the set of I love Lucy, which at that point in the late 1950’s was sponsored by the American Tobacco company Philip Morris to assuage her feelings of control and her constant suspicion of her Cuban husband Desi of committing adultery.

Like The Trial of the Chicago 7 spotlighted a particular event in American socio-political history, Being The Ricardo’s is a slice of American entertainment history superbly acted by Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem as all the suspicions surrounding infidelity and being a communist sympathiser are heightened on the night of the live filming of I Love Lucy. The rest is pure dress rehearsal.

If audiences can get to watch Being The Ricardo’s make sure to see it for the excellent performances by Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, their combined acting talents are enthralling.

Being the Ricardo’s gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is highly recommended viewing.

Fall of the House Atreides

Dune

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Timothee Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Charlotte Rampling, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Sharon Duncan-Brewster

Running Time: 2 hours and 35 minutes

Film Rating: 8.5 out of 10

After its impressive premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival, Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve’s eagerly anticipated Dune has finally arrived on Commercial cinema screens globally.

Unlike David Lynch’s equally ground breaking film version of Dune back in 1984, this absolutely superb version of Dune is a film for the 2020’s – a vision of the future quite attuned with the current state of the geopolitical world.

Assembling an unbelievably fantastic cast including Oscar nominee Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) as the pivotal hero Paul Atreides, there is also Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (Milk) and Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) rounding off a truly international and talented cast.

To add some much required muscle there is Jason Momoa (Aquaman) as Duncan Idaho and Dave Bautista (Spectre) as Beast Rabban Harkonnen nephew to the brutal and slimy Baron Vladimir Harkonnnen superbly played by Stellan Skarsgard, who is hell bent on destroying the House Atreides, headed by the pompous Duke Leto Atreides played by Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year, Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi).

On every level, visually and technically, Dune is a truly ground breaking cinematic achievement, a carefully constructed allegorical tale on the fall of colonialism, the collapse of a nobility and more significantly the journey a young heir has to take, from boyhood into manhood.

Dune is equally an astute comment on paternity, the expectations brought onto sons by arrogant fathers, the brittle strength of masculinity, which is often a combination of skill, strength and ingenuity and the complex relationship between mothers and sons, as betrayed in the pivotal scenes between Paul Atreides and Lady Jessica Atreides, beautifully played by Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson.

Visually Dune is an epic, a science fiction story about the fall of the House Atreides, but at its emotional centre is the unique character growth of Paul Atreides, wonderfully played by Timothee Chalamet, who at times does get overshadowed by the grandeur of Denis Villeneuve’s vision of this Science Fiction epic.

Based on the acclaimed series of novels by Frank Herbert, Dune fans will not be disappointed at this brilliant reimagining on the big screen. Dune is both a comment on fragile power structures as it is on the effects of climate change, Dune is at once insightful and incredible, remarkable and respectful.

In a pivotal scene and key to the whole film is the remarkable scene between the young Paul Atreides and the Reverend Mother Mohiam expertly played with an austere aloofness by the commanding Charlotte Rampling, whereby the young heir is tested on his capacity for fear, endurance and leadership?

The Reverend Mother promptly tells Paul’s mother Lady Jessica Atreides exceptionally well played by Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Fallout, The Greatest Showman), that she was told only to give birth to daughters, because a son would challenge the intergalactic order.

Dune should be a front runner for Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Original Score.

Director Denis Villeneuve has outdone himself in his brilliant film about the epic fall of the House Atreides and done justice to the legions of Dune fans globally. From the colour palettes, to the amazing costumes, to the visual and sound effects, Dune is next level entertainment, a film to savour on the big screen, impressive, spell bounding and legendary.

Dune gets a film rating of 8.5 out of 10 and is absolutely a testament to the new decade of the 2020’s, a political society that has been revolutionized, whereby humanity’s existence is fragile purely because they ignored the yearnings of a planet that refused to be mined, colonised and mistreated.

Dune is highly recommended viewing, a visual feast about nobility, patriarchy and greed.

The Quest for Poseidon’s Trident

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

Directors: Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg

Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, David Wenham, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Stephen Graham

Viewers can be forgiven for thinking that they are on a spectacular Disney theme park ride, when watching the highly entertaining opening sequence of Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge co-directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge was released in South Africa, Europe and the UK under this title but is also known as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in America possibly for trademark reasons.

This fifth installment of the hugely successful Pirates franchise which made stars out of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, not to mention cementing Johnny Depp’s status as a massive box office drawcard, is maximum entertainment. Depp’s performance as the wayward pirate Captain Jack Sparrow was Oscar nominated back in 2003 for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

As the film opens we see Australian actor Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, Gods of Egypt) as Henry Turner conversing miraculously underwater with his trapped father Will Turner played again by Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End).

Henry makes a pact to find Poseidon’s Trident which will undo all the curses which have befallen pirates and sailors alike in the turbulent waters of the Caribbean, thus freeing his father from his watery confinement.

Under another such curse is Salazar, the archetypal villain wonderfully played with a Spanish accent by Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) who is a ghostly pirate trapped for eternity in an unholy state keen on exacting revenge on every pirate and sailor he encounters, more specifically Captain Jack Sparrow who he blames for tricking him into sailing into the Devil’s Triangle, cursing his Spanish crew forever.

After an attention grabbing opening sequence involving a chaotic bank robbery on the British controlled island of Saint Martin, Captain Sparrow reluctantly gathers his crew again including Henry Turner and newcomer Carina Smyth played by Kaya Scodelario as they escape the island and set sail in search of the elusive Poseidon’s trident. The bloodthirsty Salazar has made an unlikely pact with another of Sparrow’s enemies Hector Barbossa wonderfully played by Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine).

While Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is fantastic entertainment with alluring special effects, the plot and direction is occasionally ambivalent lacking a unity of vision in certain sequences.

Besides the swashbuckling, the cameo appearances and a relentlessly fast narrative which taps into a pervasive Pirates mythology which subscribes to the notion that they are outlaws, reckless and merciless, this version of Pirates of the Caribbean is worth seeing especially since it deftly introduces the franchise to a younger audience with the love affair between Carina and Henry, promising of more sequels to come.

Perhaps the action might seem implausible or downright fantastical, but Pirates delivers on its franchise promise and gets a rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Fans of the previous films, will enjoy this version especially the welcome re-appearance of its most notable anti-hero, the rum-sipping, wise-cracking and perverse Jack Sparrow played with suitable delinquency by Johnny Depp.

61st BAFTA Awards

THE  61st BAFTA AWARDS /

THE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS

Took place on Sunday 10th February 2008 in London

BAFTA WINNERS IN THE FILM CATEGORY:

atonement

Best Film: Atonement

no_country_for_old_men

Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen – No Country for Old Men

there_will_be_blood_ver2

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis – There will be Blood

la vie_en_rose

Best Actress: Marion Cotillard – La Vie en Rose

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men

michael_clayton

Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton

this_is_england

Rising Star Award: Shia LaBeouf

Best British Film: This is England directed by Shane Meadows

juno_ver3

Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody – Juno

diving_bell_and_the_butterfly

Best Adapted Screenplay: Ronald Harwood – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Costume Design: La Vie en Rose

lives_of_others

Best Foreign Language Film: The Lives of Others (Germany) directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Source: 61st BAFTA Awards

 

Calvary Rebounded

The Gunman

gunman

Director: Pierre Morel

Cast: Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Mark Rylance, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Jasmine Trinca, Peter Franzen

Taken director Pierre Morel brings to cinematic life an above average thriller The Gunman based upon the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette pairing Oscar winners Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) together for the first time.

Set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, England and Spain, Penn plays an off the books Mercenary who is unwillingly hired to assassinate the Minister of Mines in the DRC after his announcement that the war torn country would be limiting foreign owned mining companies from operating in the ravaged but mineral rich central African country formerly the Belgian Congo.

gunman_ver5Dubbed operation Calvary, once the assassination takes place in 2006 Terrier was to leave the country and the continent and also that of his love interest, NGO worker Annie played by Italian actress Jasmine Trinca.

Fast forward eight years to 2014 and Terrier is targeted back in the DRC by some mean looking machete welding men and soon hightails it back to London after a narrow escape. Back in England, he confronts the mastermind of operation Calvary, the shady British businessman Cox played by Mark Rylance (Anonymous, The Other Boleyn Girl).

Terrier soon realizes that all the men involved in operation Calvary have been killed only leaving himself and boozy Spaniard Felix played by Bardem. The action thankfully moves to the fabulous Catalonian capital of Barcelona where things really heat up as Trinca realizes that her former flame is alive and well. After a very bloody shootout in a Spanish villa, Terrier travels to the British protectorate of Gibraltar to finally confront the real culprit in this scandalous and dangerous international cover up.

Unfortunately director Pierre Morel’s film The Gunman despite having two A list actors in it, suffers from the wait of its own importance and does not nearly come close to such masterpieces as the brilliantly directed Fernando Meirelles thriller The Constant Gardener based on a John le Carre novel.

The Gunman has all the right ingredients including shady Multi-Nationals plundering Africa’s vast mineral wealth, a covert operation which went horribly wrong and a doomed love affair which is finally reconciled.

gunman_ver4Penn gives an impressively muscular performance as the mercenary Terrier but Bardem and even Golden Globe nominee Idris Elba (Mandela, Pacific Rim) are wasted in this overlong meandering thriller which despite the exotic locations could have been neatly edited. The script needed an incisive treatment by Oscar winning scriptwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, Rush).

The Gunman is an average thriller and although at times exhilarating lacks a clear vision and less contrived plot, although the bullfight sequence at the end certainly is inventive. Recommended viewing for those that enjoyed The November Man and The Constant Gardener. Look out for cameos by Ray Winstone (Noah, Snow White and the Huntsman) and Finnish actor Peter Franzen as the crazed gun for hire.

65th Golden Globe Awards

65th Golden Globe Awards

The 65th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and television of 2007, were scheduled to be presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on January 13, 2008. However, due to the Writers Guild of America strike, the traditional awards ceremony did not take place;[1] instead, the winners were announced at a news conference at 6:00 pm PST on that day (02:00 January 14 UTC).

Golden Globe Winners in The Film Categories:

atonement

Best Film Drama: Atonement

sweeney_todd_ver3

Best Film Musical or Comedy: Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

there_will_be_blood_ver2

Best Actor Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis – There will be Blood

Best Actor Musical or Comedy: Johnny Depp – Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

la vie_en_rose

Best Actress Musical or Comedy: Marion Cotillard – La Vie en Rose

away_from_her

Best Actress Drama: Julie Christie – Away from Her

no_country_for_old_men

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men

im_not_there

Best Supporting Actress : Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There

diving_bell_and_the_butterfly

Best Director: Julian Schnabel – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Foreign Language Film – The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (France, USA)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/65th_Golden_Globe_Awards

2004 Venice Film Festival

2004 Venice International Film Festival Winners

Venice International Film Festival, known as the Biennale di Venezia takes place annually
in late August, early September and is the oldest Film Festival in the World.

Winners of the 2004 Venice International Film Festival are as follows: –

 vera_drake

Golden Lion (Best Film): Vera Drake directed by Mike Leigh

3iron2

Silver Lion (Best Director): Kim Ki-Duk – 3-Iron

sea_inside

Best Actor – Javier Bardem – The Sea Inside

Best Actress – Imelda Staunton – Vera Drake

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice_International_Film_Festival

 

2000 Venice Film Festival

2000 Venice International Film Festival Winners

Venice International Film Festival, known as the Biennale di Venezia

takes place annually in late August, early September and is the oldest Film Festival in the World

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice_International_Film_Festival

Winners of the 2000 Venice International Film Festival are as follows: –

TheCircle

Golden Lion (Best Film) – The Circle directed by Jafar Panahi

Silver Lion (Best Director) – Jafar Panahi for The Circle

Before Night Falls

 Best Actor – Javier Bardem – Before Night Falls

Goddessof1967

Best Actress – Rose Byrne – The Goddess of 1967

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