Posts Tagged ‘Geoffrey Rush’

This film from 1998 won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench). It’s a completely fictionalised account of Shakespeare’s (Joseph Fiennes) problem with writer’s block, while he was writing Romeo and Juliet, and how he overcomes such difficulties (but creates more problems for himself) when he falls in love with Viola De Lessups (Paltrow), who is betrothed to the evil Lord Wessex (Colin Firth).

I expected to really love this film – after all, it’s historical fiction, based on William Shakespeare and has an undeniably excellent cast – but I think I went in with my expections set a little too high, as I enjoyed it, but not as much as I had hoped. I cannot criticise any of the cast – Fiennes is great as Shakespeare, Paltrow is great as Viola, and Judi Dench is simply terrific as Queen Elizabeth I. Firth is his usual excellent self, camping it up as the stupid and obsequieous Wessex. Martin Clues, Geoffrey Rush and Simon Callow also lend great support (Rush was nominated for an Oscar), and Ben Affleck also popped up unexpectedly. It might seem as though he was out of place in a British historical comedy, but he was clearly happy to send himself up, and fitted right in.

It does have plenty of laughs, and also a couple of genuinely touching moments, and it is certainly a film I am glad I watched. However, I’m not sure that it’s one I would bother watching again; I think I prefer to see adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, rather than a film based on him writing them. All in all though, it’s a pleasant way to pass a couple of hours, and there is certainly no weak link in the cast. I would rate it at 7.5/10, as I think it would have been more enjoyable if it had been perhaps 30 minutes shorter.

Year of release: 1998

Director: John Madden

Producers: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Julie Goldstein, Linda Bruce, Mark Cooper, Donna Gigliotti, Marc Norman, David Parfitt, Edward Zwick

Writers: Tom Stoppard, Marc Norman

Main cast: Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Judi Dench, Martin Clunes, Ben Affleck, Tom Wilkinson

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Lantana is an Australian movie, made in 2001.  Its a psychological thriller, but lacks the tension of most films in this genre.

It is about four marriages, which are all connected in some way, even though not all the members of the respective marriages realise this. It seems that each marriage has it’s secrets and problems, and when a woman goes missing, everyone involved is affected in one way or another. Anthony LaPaglia is the main character in the movie; he plays a police officer named Leon Zat, who is tasked with finding the missing woman. I found him to be an entirely unsympathetic and unlikeable character, although that is not to say that I didn’t think the character was well drawn.

This movie is actually less about finding out what happened to the missing woman, and more about exploring the relationships, and what is really going on within them.

The first 45 minutes or so of this film did drag somewhat and I thought I might get bored by it (it seemed little more than a mediocre made-for-television movie), but it did pick up and I found myself really interested in the second half of the movie.

The acting was very good all round.  Anthony LaPaglia breathed life into his role as Leon – I didn’t like the character, and it was clear that Leon didn’t always like himself either.  Geoffrey Rush and Barbara Hershey were also both extremely good in their respective roles.

I believe that the title of the movie is a reference to the plant of the same name. There is a hedge of this plant growing outside some of the characters houses – it is a very tangled plant, and my belief is that it represents the tangled relationships of the characters, although I could be entirely wrong about this.

Overall, I would give this film 3 out of 5 – slow start, but did pick up.

Year of release: 2001

Director: Ray Lawrene

Writer: Andrew Bovell

Main cast: Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush, Barbara Hershey, Rachael Blake, Kerry Armstrong

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