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Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

Dorian Gray (2009)

In Amazing, based on novel, Classic Story, Crime, film, Giggles, Horror, period drama, Recommendation, Review, romantic, supernatural on 30/12/2011 at 9:19 pm

This amazingly seductive production is quite a tribute to The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), that classic bit of praiseworthy cultural heritage from the hand and genius mind of Oscar Wilde.

Ben Barnes is a convincing Dorian: naive in the beginning, arrogant and attractive in the middle and a tormented wolf in sheep’s clothes towards the ending. Colin Firth, as to be expected, is a nothing less than excellent Lord Henry Wotton in this horrific tale about eternal youth, about the glorification of youth and its effect on 19th century London society.

While most films that attempt to tell classic stories like this tend to emphasise only the least interesting bits (the general plot), this one somehow made enough room for the good stuff to shine through (the meaning of the general plot) without being annoyingly explanatory. Plus it is a real treat for the eyes. Not only because Dorian is (necessarily) pretty – all of it is: London, the gentry and their attire, the dark blue skies and… some special effects that do give this surreal tale just that extra bit of oomph.

Lost Christmas (2011)

In feel good, film, Giggles, new, out of this world, Recommendation, Review, supernatural on 29/12/2011 at 1:09 am

This is a very charming little Christmas film you simply must see. Not only because it is small and charming; it also stars one of my all time favourite people: Eddie Izzard.

Izzard’s character has lost all recollection of his life and identity, but he gained something of a superpower: he gets visions of things lost to people when he touches them. He meets a thieving little boy called Goose (Larry Mills) who lost his dog and he embarks on an adventure that seems to unite people and repair relationships. Meanwhile, Anthony (Izzard) hasn’t a clue if that’s his actual name and still needs to solve his own mystery.

The plot is clever and the story is very entertaining, mainly thanks to the young and talented Mills and a perfect display of underacting by Izzard, which creates good suspense. I wouldn’t wait till next year to watch it.

Just Henry (2011)

In based on novel, film, new, period drama, Recommendation, Review, war on 19/12/2011 at 9:58 pm

This brand new ITV Christmas drama makes for a very charming winter watch. Just Henry is a coming-of-age tale based on the Michelle Magorian YA novel, which in the end is about what Henry (Josh Bolt) finds out truly matters in life. You can probably guess the answer, which is also why it’s perfect for snuggling up beside the fire. Mind you, it’s in no way soppy. It’s a beautiful story played by an extremely able cast.

Henry, a teenage boy in a confounded post WWII Britain, tries to find his identity amidst his torn family. His mother (the charming and talented Elaine Cassidy) remarried a kind man because Henry’s father (Stephen Campbell Moore) supposedly died a war hero. His grandmother (Sheila Hancock) pours vermin onto the fragile new family relationship by attempting to turn the young lad against his mother and stepfather (Dean Andrews). The plot really takes off when young Henry receives his father’s war medal in the post and Henry begins asking questions about what really happened.

If you’re outside of the UK and can’t catch up on ITV: the DVD is released on Amazon. For lack of a trailer, watch the whole film directly here on ITV: http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/video/?Filter=296265

Happy midwinter festivities from The Bella Review.