We all want romantic love, no matter how old we may be. But that does not mean that every potential romantic partner we need is looking for the same love that we are.
In the new film, The Good Liar, Betty (Helen Mirren) and Roy (Ian McKellen) meet as many of us do these days: via the internet. Both single and at a certain age, their first date goes well. But Roy is much more than the lonely widower looking for love again. He is a con-man extraordinaire. Betty is his latest mark. A wealthy widow with only an adult grandson as her family, Stephen (Russell Tovey), Betty seems like a mark that is too good to be true.
But like all things that are too good to be true, this particular con is not going as planned. Roy begins to have feelings for Betty, which complicates his plans. But then Betty plays her hand and the game switches.
The Good Liar is not the best film of 2019. However, it is one of the more unique films of this year. As the film’s leads, Mirren and McKellen bring a gravitas and the obvious decades of acting experience to their roles. I appreciated that as an older woman, Mirren is given equal screen time and an equally powerful character arc as McKellen. There are not many actresses of her generation who are given these roles.
That being said, the film was a little too long. There were moments when I wanted the big reveal to drop instead of holding out a little longer.
When we talk about legendary men such as William Shakespeare, we speak of them as if they are icons, instead of human beings who have become icons over time.
In the new movie, All Is True, William Shakespeare (Kenneth Branagh, who also directed the film) is dealing with the twin troubles of the fire that destroyed the original Globe Theatre and mourning the loss of his son.
But returning home for a little r&r is not going to be so easy. Though Shakespeare receives a visit from his old friend, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (Ian McKellen), this is the easiest of the relationships with those around him. His wife, Anne Hathaway (Judi Dench) feels put upon by the years of emotional and physical distance between them. His eldest daughter, Susanna (Kathryn Wilder) is going through a rough patch in her marriage. His younger daughter Judith (Lydia Wilson) rages against the injustices that women in her era experience on a day to day basis.
Branagh is an old hand at Shakespeare. His career has been built upon the life and the work of this film’s subject. What I liked about this film is that is presents Shakespeare as a human being, warts and all. His Shakespeare is not a young man at the height of his career, but an older man whose better days are behind him. He carries the weight of his world on his shoulders and the mistakes he has made along the way.
Taking off from where X-Men ended, X-Men 2 begins several months later. A previously unknown mutant, Nightcrawler, (Alan Cumming) has attempted to assassinate the President. In retaliation, the governments puts into a place a series of anti-mutant measures. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is trying to find out where he came from while Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) is trying to break her boss, Magneto (Ian McKellen) from prison.
Complicating things is William Stryker (Brian Cox), a scientist who breaks into Professor X’s school and take hostages, Professor Xavier included. Now both teams of mutants must come together to rescue the hostages.
Up until earlier this year when I saw X-Men: Days Of Future Past, I would have said that X-Men 2 is the best comic book movie ever made. But second place is still not bad.
What I liked about this movie is the mixture of the action and the drama. While this movie has the requisite heroes vs. villain scenes, it is much more complicated. This movie blurs the lines (especially within the mutant characters) of who is a hero and and who is a villain. The scene in the movie when Bobby comes out to his family (spoiler alert), who then rejects him, breaks my heart. The final scene of the movie (which I will not spoil for those who have not seen this movie) was on the greatest movie cliffhangers I had seen up to that point.
In the future, a war has killed millions, both mutant and humans. To prevent this future from happening, Professor Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to the early 1970’s. Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) is creating Sentinels that are targeting mutants. Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is going to kill Dr. Trask, starting the war. If Wolverine can prevent Dr. Trask’s assassination, the war will not happen.
This movie is everything everyone has said and more. All of the characters from the X-Men universe are included, even those that had been killed off in previous films. It’s funny, it’s gut wrenching, it is truly the best comic book movie ever.
Hugh Jackson does the full monty (backside only) for a few moments. I’m not ashamed to say that it was a very enjoyable few moments.
Stay after the credits, there is a very interesting scene.
Words, words, words... well said Hamlet! A little blog to go off on tangents within the worlds of history and literature that interest me. From the Tudors to Tom Hardy's Tess, or from the Wars of the Roses to Wuthering Heights, feel free to browse through my musings to pick up extra ideas and points for discussion!