Tough Women, Tough Watch- 20th Century Women Film Review

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20th Century Women Courtesy CubeCinema

20th Century Women Courtesy CubeCinema

There comes a film once in a while that makes you get up and think about what if? That is how 20th Century Women is. Mike Mills who has directed the film last made The Beginners with a star cast including Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer who ended up winning both the Golden Globe and Academy Awards for his role.

20th Century Women is semi-autobiographical and Mike has shown his life through the protagonist, young Jamie.

The story is set in a vintage house owned by Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening) and her son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) with their tenants Abbie (Greta Gerwig), William (Billy Crudup) and neighbor Julie (Elle Fanning). Each character is going through their personal struggles and in the backdrop of the 70s in Santa Barbara.

Dorothea is in her 50s and Jamie came late in her life, so she is contemplating whether he is missing a father figure and puts Abbie and Julie to help in life. The two girls are working around the rising feminism, while William is struggling with his cult-marriage demons.

This slow paced conversation style film is not a cup of tea for many but does provoke many thoughts.

The performances by Lucas and Annette are excellent, while Elle Fanning will easily be selected for many more mega-budget movies. Greta Garwig made her breakthrough in the film Maggie’s Plan and will continue to get more arty roles still. Billy Crudup will always be remembered for being Elizabeth’s mean husband from Eat Pray Love.

20th Century Women is a tough watch.


An Unforgettable First Lady, Jackie Film Review

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Jackie Film Courtesy From The Gap.jpg

The most famous woman in the world, the most famous assassination and the most famous couple, this is the film Jackie.

Natalie Portman won the Academy Award for the film Black Swan and since then has returned to the big screen with the film Jackie.

Director Pablo Larrain and writer Noah Oppenheim have woven a personal biographical story of the woman behind the funeral arrangements. Otherwise how else do create history and linger on the minds of the world.

Jackie is a conversation between herself and journalist Billy Crudup as she sips over a drink and takes a smoke. She has a distinct way of speaking, it is almost as if she is controlling a lisp and he stares through her, by the time they are done he has a new idea of who Jackie is then when he stepped through the front door.

We are taken through the assassination, behind the hospital doors, bedrooms and funeral car over what happened till the burial. Her frank conversations with her brother-in-law and opinions about what is and could be, against the backdrop of her interview on the public viewing of the White House through television is a smart way to bring out “The Royal Presidential Couple’s” life to the screen.

Natalie is excellent but so bony and sickly in appearance. The film is of course all about her and she delivers.