Director: Sam Mendes
Writers: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan, and Ian Fleming (characters)
Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris
From the opening moments of this James Bond film you know it will be filled with everything that makes a Bond film great. There are the typical cheesy Bond moments of the classy casino, the car/motorbike chase, the Bond girl, and Bond kicking arse all around and surviving against the odds, and his one-liner wit. But you also see another side of Bond. The scriptwriters and Daniel Craig have given us better version of the rough-edged Bond you see in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. He isn’t the slick, nothing-ruffles-my-hair Bond of the Bronson or Connery age. He is a rugged and beaten up Bond. And in a lot of ways Daniel Craig has given James Bond a humanity that you don’t really see in the older films. The producers were on the right track when they convinced him to take the part. Daniel Craig looks sexy even as a beaten up alcoholic who comes back to life to save the woman he truly loves. I mean you can’t beat that.
The one thing that shouldn’t have surprised me but did was that Skyfall is a beautiful film. Sam Mendes has made an absolutely stunning film to watch. Every shot is gorgeous, and not just because Daniel Craig is in the shot. You can watch the music video for Adele’s Skyfall and see how visually brilliant they have made this film, but you don’t get the full effect unless you are sitting in a dark cinema with the full scale picture. I have no words for how delightful this film is to watch. It goes without saying that Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and the rest of the cast are brilliant but they have really stepped up the quality of this franchise all around.
I have to admit, I did take a moment during one of the slower parts of the film to work out whether my incredibly high expectations were making me love the film, or if it was just that I loved all Bond films – I even love Moonraker – or whether Skyfall was just a really good film. What was the conclusion I came to? It is an excellent film. From everything from the story to the actors to the justification for the fight scenes, everything fits together to make Skyfall a great film on its own. Even if you didn’t know anything about Bond you could still enjoy this film and appreciate it for a good action film. I don’t want to give anything away but there are some great hark backs to old Bond films that make this film a Bond fans delight.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Official Poster – from IMDB.com
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
Director: John Madden
Writers: Ol Parker (screenplay), Deborah Moggach (novel)
Stars: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith
There is something wonderful about seeing a film about old people coming of age with people who have been through a lot of life already. I saw this film with my mum and grandmother. Three generations laughing and crying at all the same moments. This film got mixed reviews when it came out and was said to be a coming of age story for old people but I think it’s so much more than that in a lot of ways. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a film about a group of retired people who have come to a point in their life where a trip to India seems like a good lifestyle choice. For all different reasons from financial trouble to long lost love to wanting to find love to having medical issues treated, these people are thrown together in an odd old hotel run by a young Indian man whose life dream is to see this hotel reestablished to it’s former glory and to provide a place for westerners to come and see the richness of Indian life.
This film is very “British” in it’s humour, it’s subject matter, and it’s conclusion I think, but it is so appealing to my young self as well because of the inspiration it provides to its viewer. It teaches us not to settle for second best in this life, to go after the dreams we have, to trust our instincts, to fall in love with the people we want to fall in love with, to say sorry before it’s too late, to know that whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, you can still restart your life at 80 if you want, and don’t be afraid to take risks.
The cast of this film is absolutely stellar and there isn’t a performance that isn’t perfection in my mind. From the exquisite Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith to the young Dev Patel (Skins and Slumdog Millionaire) they are all lovable and heartwarming characters and I’m so glad they all came together for this film. It’s one of those rare films where I come out wanting to grow old and explore the world in all it’s exoticness, even at 70.