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Archive for the ‘Imelda Staunton’ Category

Paddington 2

03 Feb

Paddington 2 – directed by Paul King. Children’s/Grownups/live/animation. 103 minutes Color 2017.
★★★★★
The Story: A young bear, adopted by a London family, has adventures and misadventures as he seeks to stop a wicked theft.
~
Paddington, came after my time and came after my daughter’s time, so I missed Paddington 1, and if you count the book, I also missed Paddington 0.

What sin of omission I have committed to be omitted from the treat of this personable orso I cannot imagine, but I must be a good boy now, because now I am given him, and I take him to me and everything that brings him to me.

These include the greats Joanna Lumley, Julie Walters, Sally Hawkins, Brian Geeson, Imelda Staunton, Eileen Atkins, Tom Conti, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Bonneville – and, as the villain of the piece as a divo actor, that scalawag Hugh Grant.

They delight me, and they all know how to act with a little bear who, of course, is added after or before or at some other time – a little bear who looks not like a bearbear and not like a teddybear but a movie bear – and in so looking looks like all those actors aforementioned look. What a charming miracle!

What delighted me was the wit of the problems set and the wit of the solutions offered for Paddington’s predicaments. The wicked actor Grant plays is broke and looking to replenish his purse with swag whose whereabouts were coded in an old popup book. He fails, naturally, but the contortions offered in his wickedness and Paddington’s escape from them are fun and more fun.

If this all seems dated and preposterous, well, just watch the jests as they unravel — and how they all knit together as things move on. The message of the picture is that there is no plight that people, if they have big hearts, cannot get one another out of, provided they pull together and have a seaplane.

What a delight are the sets and places and the power of animation to outrival Special Effects or spectacle in engaging me, and out of the preposterous create in me the believable! I smile as I write this. It’s a film to love watching. Watch it.

 
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Posted in ACTING STYLE: ENGLISH COMEDIC, COMEDY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, Imelda Staunton

 

Maleficent

22 Jun

Maleficent – directed by Robert Stromberg. Fractured Fairy Tale. 97 minutes Color 2014.

★★★★

The Story: A fairy queen jilted, takes out her resentment on the jilter’s daughter, giving rise to unforeseen circumstances.

~ ~ ~

The Disney Imagination that has gone into this can be seen by looking into one big Keane painting child’s eye. It is exaggerated in its content, yet it is too big even for its content. Sentimentality with bling.

But we must set that aside if we are to remain in our seats. Even though, as usual with Disney films, we see the details become lost in the speed, we are at least afforded one thing to gaze upon steadily and with reverence, and that is the visage of Angelina Jolie.

Once again she is one of her PowerBeauty roles. Not too many actresses have the fortification to manage such parts. Our Liz, of course, and Garbo, who did it without exerting any power. But Jolie brings forth the blaze of her beauty as a weapon fit to crush all who dare to look upon it impiously. Ah, the Jujitsu of her eyes! It is a treat which movies alone afford us.

Angelina Jolie is an actress much limited to such roles, and when you see her in a part such as in Changling, it is clear she does not have the technique to manage it. But here, as Maleficent, she is on her home field, and, boy, is she good. She gets to be hot under her many collars but brings touches of wit and reserves of humor to the role, which often consists of her standing still in a huge cape and horns and being gazed upon. A little “hm” of commentary now and again brings all the fun we need.

The rest is spectacular displays of special effects and animation, with a dragon emitting more fire from its mouth than Bette Davis, and a flying scene that’s a humdinger.

The story is just like that of The Rover with Guy Pearce – in a field of hell, someone who hates someone else comes to love that person. Children may be frightened by the hell, but so what? If Disney had been afraid of that, he would never have made Snow White.

Janet McTeer does the narration. And Imelda Staunton flapdoodles about as a maladroit  fairy. And as to the rest – well, it’s all Tinkerbell tosh – but still, a little of that is good thing sometimes, especially when Angelina Jolie is just the medicine that helps the sugar go down.

Everyone is seeing it, and, although I didn’t, I should think it’s better to do so in 3-D than not.

 
 
 
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