Tag Archives: Kristin Scott Thomas

Rebecca Movie Review

Rebecca is one of those books that readers come back to time and again. There is a reason that Daphne du Maurier‘s novel of love, jealousy, and secrets is considered to be a classic.

The Netflix reboot starring Lily James, Armie Hammer, and Kristin Scott Thomas premiered earlier in the week. The unnamed narrator and future Mrs. de Winter (James) is introduced as a paid companion to a wealthy woman who is eager is climb the social ladder. In Monte Carlo, she meets Maxim de Winter (Hammer). Maxim is a widower and the owner of Manderley, a sprawling estate on the English coast. Swept off her feet, she says yes to his marriage proposal.

But upon arrival at her new home, she discovers that all is not what it seems. Her husband’s deceased wife, Rebecca still haunts her former home. The housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (Scott Thomas), takes pleasure in tormenting the new Mrs. de Winter via the memory of the previous Mrs. de Winter.

I wish I could say that I loved this adaptation. The truth is that it was not what it could have been. There is a certain something in the novel that raises the hair on the back of the neck. That feeling is missing from the movie. The other issue that I had is that as good an actor that Lily James is, she is not quite right for the part.

Her performance was stronger when her character began to realize the truth. As a viewer, I couldn’t wrap my head around her youth and naivete in the beginning of the story. Among the main actors, Kristin Scott Thomas was the best part of the film. She was both creepy and charming, if that combination is ever possible.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Rebecca is available for streaming on Netflix.

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The Party Movie Review

A party should be a simple thing: drinks, food, music to add a little ambiance and good friends. But sometimes parties become a little more complicated.

In the new movie, The Party, Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) has just won a hard-fought political election. To celebrate her new role, Janet and her husband, Bill (Timothy Spall) have invited friends over to celebrate. Janet’s BFF, April (Patricia Clarkson), who is very much the realist brings her new age-y boyfriend, Gottfried (Bruno Ganz). Also invited is the married and newly pregnant lesbian couple Martha (Cherry Jones) and Jinny (Emily Mortimer). The last invited guest to arrive is Tom (Cillian Murphy),  one half of a power couple who are known for their physical appearance as much as they are known for their status.

What starts out as an evening to celebrate Janet’s success become an evening of painful reveals that may forever change the course of the character’s lives.

Directed and co-written by Sally Potter, this film looks and sounds like a stage play. I would not be surprised, if at some point, the movie was re-made into a stage play.  Filmed in black and white, the comedy is dark, satirical and hits the perfect note.

This movie is one of the best movies of 2018 so far.

I recommend it.

The Party is presently in theaters. 

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Darkest Hour Movie Review

Winston Churchill was one of the greatest politicians and orators of the 20th century. He will go down in history as one of the men who saved Europe, democracy and Western civilization from the Nazis.

The new movie, Darkest Hour, starts off as World War II is beginning to engulf Europe. Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) is being forced to resign as Prime Minister due to his inability to lead the country during wartime become obvious. His chosen successor is Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), whose reputation up to this point is not flawless. Churchill’s wife, Clemmie (Kristin Scott Thomas) convinces her husband to take the position. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) is hired as Churchill’s personal secretary. He is not the easiest man to work for.

Churchill has a choice to make. There is the possibility of making a deal with Germany and stopping the war in its tracks. Or, they could fight, knowing full well that lives will be lost in the process.

This movie is pure Oscar bait. Oldman’s performance is  truly exceptional. He is so good that I thought that at times, I was watching a documentary about Winston Churchill rather than watching a film with a fictional narrative and actor Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill. I also appreciated that instead of putting Churchill on a pedestal, he is shown as a flawed human being who is suddenly thrust into a job that requires a decision that will forever change not just the fate of Europe, but the whole world.

I absolutely recommend it.

Darkest Hour is in theaters. 

 

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Sarah’s Key Book And Movie Review

Over the years, Paris has developed a reputation for being a romantic city.

But like every city, there is a dark side.

During World War II, French Jews were forced out of their homes and rounded up in the infamous Vel D’Hiv roundup. Before the war, the Veldrome d’Hiver was an indoor cyling track. During the war, it was the first stop to the Nazi ghettos and concentration camps.

In 2008, Tatiana de Rosnay published Sarah’s Key. In July of 1942, Sarah is a 10 year old girl living in Paris. When the Nazis and their collaborators begin for force the Jews of Paris from their homes, Sarah convinces her younger brother to hide in the cupboard. She thinks that she will be returning home in a few hours.

On the eve of the anniversary of the roundup in 2002, journalist Julia Jarmond is writing an article on the Vel D’Hiv roundup. Through her research, she discovers that her family is connected to Sarah’s family and follows Sarah after her family is forced  from their home. As she goes through this process, she begins to evaluate her marriage and her life.

In 2008, Sarah’s Key was made into a movie with Kristin Scott Thomas as Julia.

I read the book a few years ago and saw the movie while it was in theaters. I’m no stranger to Holocaust movies, but this movie brought me to tears. One aspect of the book and the movie that I liked was that the brutality that the victims experienced compared to Julia’s humanity and curiosity about Sarah.

I recommend this book.

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