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State of Play: A Review

This was one of those films that I only really watched because I was tired, it was late but not too late and I wanted to curl up on the sofa with something to do. I vaguely remember hearing about it when it came out but it was not advertised quite enough to catch my attention.

I was immediately impressed with Russell Crowe being the reporter and think the longer hair actually really suited him. Before now I’ve only really seen this guy in historical movies like Gladiator and Robin Hood so seeing him playing someone modern was quite a change.

On top of that Ben Affleck was actually pretty good as the infidelious politician. I could believe all the naughty things he got up to while at the same time suspect he might be innocent, and it helped to keep me guessing throughout the film.

The pacing was a little slow but the tension was perfect. I spent most of the film really expecting someone to get shot at any moment, which is rare. Normally I feel a bit more ‘safe’ about the good guy characters when watching a film.

I was informed after watching this that it is a remake of an older film which has made me quite curious to see the origional. Although I loved this casting and think Helen Mirren especially, would be difficult to live up to (I know, technically Helen Mirren is doing the living up to, but I saw this one first).

All in all, I think I’d have been dissapointed if I’d seen this film on the big screen. It’s got a sort of gentle plod to it but I still enjoyed it and really had to keep watching.

Les Miserables: A Review

I finally got the chance to go see this film at the cinema and went with two of my girl friends on a girl date.

The film started with a very intense scene where Hugh Jackman’s character was a slave under the watchful scrutiny of Russel Crowe’s character. The animosity between these two could be felt right away and these two really knew how to stare each other down.

Right before the film started there was a lot of noise and talking going on in the cinema screen I found myself in and I have to admit I was a little concerned that we had a few of those sorts of people who like to talk their way through movies and generally fidget and be annoying, but less than two minutes in the entire cinema was silent and totally enraptured by the performance.

I’ve never seen the show in theatre and I know quite a few people have said it’s not as good but I’d like to say that although it may not be as good that doesn’t mean this film is bad. It just means that the excellence this film delivered is even more excellent in theatre.

The casting was pure perfection. Hugh Jackman’s singing was emotional and so believable and closely followed by Hathaway’s rendition of I dreamed a dream. And I really don’t understand the people who said Russell Crowe mucked it up. He did a fine job in a role that I think suited him really well.

It’s hard to say which bit I liked more, but Jackman did steal the show, by a whisker’s breadth. I can see why they gave him a golden globe for this. I’ve never sat and watched a film before where I wanted the constant tugging at my emotions to continue. I cried, laughed, cried some more, felt like my heart might break on behalf of the characters, smiled, and then sobbed and I didn’t want it to stop!

On top of all that was the amazing amount of challenging stuff in terms of being a follower of Jesus. There were some heartbreakingly difficult choices for the characters to make and many of them included some element of their belief in God. I’ve honestly never been so challenged on a personal level about the choices I make when life deals a crap hand. But I also never felt at any point like the faith side of this was being rammed down my throat. It was melded in with everything else and added to the dimensions of each character.

I’ll definitely be getting this on blu-ray when it comes out and I’m highly tempted to go see it at the cinema again while I can. The books also on my to-read list. A beautiful story, wonderfully told.