Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Wilson’


Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is a recently divorced, borderline alcoholic, ghostwriter of a series of young adult books. When she gets an email from an old flame, announcing the birth of his and his wife’s first baby, she gets it into her head that she and the old flame, Buddy (Patrick Wilson) are meant to be together, and goes back to the small town she left years ago in an attempt to win him back.


Year of release: 2011

Director: Jason Reitman

Writer: Diablo Cody

Main cast: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt, Elizabeth Reaser


Genre: Drama

Highlights: Excellent acting all round from Theron, Wilson and Oswalt

Lowlights: None really (except this is usually marketed as a comedy, which I would not agree with)

Overall: I really enjoyed this, although it was certainly not the comedy I was expecting. Theron is wonderful as Mavis – an unlikeable, thoughtless and sometimes downright spiteful woman with nothing going for her except her good looks. She looks down on people in the small town she came from, failing to realise that they are actually more fulfilled and happy than she can dream of. Despite this, her attempts to seduce the unwitting Buddy do elicit some sympathy because they are so transparent and pathetic (I cringed!) Wilson is also great as Buddy – the character is understated and so is his performance. Massive kudos to Patton Oswalt as Matt, Mavis’s old classmate. She doesn’t remember him at first, because she always ran with the cool crowd, while he was bullied to such an extent that one beating left him permanently disabled – it is in fact this incident which prompts her to realise who he is when she sees his walking stick – “the hate crime guy” as she calls him, and recalls that he “got to have a lot of time off school” as a result. These two very different people somehow forge a genuine friendship which is the real heart of the film. Overall, I would recommend this movie.


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This review is for the 2004, Joel Schumacher directed film version of The Phantom of the Opera (adapted from the stage show with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which in itself was adapted from Gaston Leoux’s novel).

Gerard Butler plays the Phantom, the mysterious man/creature who haunts the opera house in Paris in 1870.  The Phantom is in love with young singer Christine (Emmy Rossum), and manages to replace the usual opera singer Carlotta (Minnie Driver, in a fantastic comedic part) with Christine, in order to further the career of the woman he loves.

However, when Christine’s first love Raoul comes back to the opera house and Christine falls in love with him again, the Phantom becomes jealous and vengeful.

I enjoyed this movie very much – certainly a lot more than I thought I might.  I watched it on a whim, and I’m very glad I did.  The music is familiar to many, and it sounds fantastic here.  My three favourite songs – and probably the most famous of the show – are the title track, Music of the Night and That’s All I Ask Of You – and they all come across well.

The cast are all great – even, as mentioned earlier, Gerard Butler, who I would not normally associate with or expect to see in such a part.  Simon Callow is great and very funny in a supporting role, but the aforementioned Minnie Driver steals of her scenes and provides some terrific moments of light relief.

The story itself is quite sad, and I did actually want to cry at certain parts!  If I was determined to find something to criticise, I probably could – it’s perhaps slightly overlong, and the inclusion of Jennifer Ellison in a supporting role was something of a surprise.  But sometimes a whole film is worth more than the sum of its parts, and I think that that is the case here.  I really enjoyed this film – a modern musical with a dark theme – and I definitely recommend it.

Year of release: 2004

Director: Joel Schumacher

Writers: Gaston Leoux (book), Andrew Lloyd Webber, Joel Schumacher

Main cast: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Miranda Richardson, Patrick Wilson


Click here for my review of the 2013 stage production at Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre.


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