25 posts categorized "British Cinema"

January 01, 2021

WILD MOUNTAIN THYME

Wild_mountain_thymeJohn Patrick Shanley might not be a household name, but the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Moonstruck” (1987) has a knack for writing hilarious dialogue for star-crossed lovers. As he did with his stage play “Doubt,” Shanley adapts the screenplay for “Wild Mountain Thyme” to direct the film version.

The play’s pedestrian title “ColeSmithey.com” receives only modest improvement with a tame moniker certain to limit “Wild Mountain Thyme” to audiences of a certain age who fuss over which brand of soap they use in the kitchen. It shouldn’t be so. Ignore the sappy title, and keep in mind that Emily Blunt is one of the most capable film actors on the planet. Emily Blunt is as close to a modern day Ingrid Bergman as currently exists in Cinema.

Wildmountainthyme

Slapstick pratfalls punctuate this delightful movie set in rural Ireland. Savor Christopher Walken’s best efforts at performing an Irish accent while you dream into this sophisticated romantic comedy about Anthony Reilly (Jamie Dornan), a painfully shy farmer stumbling toward love in the arms of his comely neighbor Rosemary Muldoon (Emily Blunt). Inspired moments of sly humor come in barbs of regional Irish mores, coded language, and expressive ways of skirting emotional issues.

Wild-mountain-thyme

Mature date movies are rare enough to come by as it is. When one this good comes along, it’s time to grab a romantically inclined mate, and settle in for some good old-fashioned simmering Irish passion. Tears and laughs will follow.  

Rated PG-13. 123 minutes. 

Four Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Every bit helps keep the reviews coming.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

November 24, 2017

VICTIM — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

ColeSmithey.comMade in 1961, six years before homosexuality was decriminalized in the UK, director Basil Dearden’s brave filmic treatise on the subject contributed to a sea change of public opinion. Here is a movie that is more riveting than necessarily entertaining, although it is that too.

Dirk Bogard gives a brilliant portrayal of Melville Farr, a London barrister living as a closeted gay man to his loving wife Laura (played by Syliva Syms). Farr becomes connected to a blackmail investigation related to the death of a young man with whom Farr had an ongoing affair.

Victim

Written by the husband-and-wife writing team of Janet Green and John McCormic, “Victim” is a love story, a who-done-it mystery, and a gripping social drama. Rich details in the narrative‘s social settings — a gay character’s chic apartment, a local pub, or that of a used bookstore — accurately place the political climate of the day.

ColeSmithey.com

Freedom hardly exists for gay people whose sexual identities are under constant attack from all sides. "Victim" is an essential addition to the LGBT cannon that has the ability to put its audience in a cold sweat. The sense of fear on the screen is palpable.     

Colesmithey.com

Not rated. 90 mins. 

4 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

May 10, 2017

BEDAZZLED — CLASSIC FILM PICK

Bedazzled2Director Stanley Donen mocks British tics such as racism, sexism, and imperialist tendencies in the context of a swinging ‘60s romantic comedy that plays off the urbane comic chemistry between the small-statured Dudley Moore and Peter Cook's lanky trouble-maker. 

Here is a time capsule of '60s era self-loathing and misogyny captured in brilliant comic form.

Moore plays Stanley, a shy young man driven to attempt suicide as a remedy to his inability to approach, much less seduce, the waitress he works alongside at a Wimpy’s restaurant. Enter Peter Cook’s Beelzebub to offer Stanley seven of his wishes be granted in exchange for his soul. Naturally, the Devil manages to sour every best intention. Stanley escapes from each wished-for episode by blowing raspberries. 

Bedazzled

Raquel Welch makes a splash as Lust when she briefly visits Stanley's lonely bed in this smartly stylized romantic comedy with the weight of the world on its mind. Love, as it turns out, means everything. 

Not Rated. 113 mins.

4 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity helps keep the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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