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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Nighy’

Turks & Caicos (2014)

In Action, Amazing, BBC, Crime, film, Law, new, political, Recommendation, Review, Spy on 22/03/2014 at 11:00 am

A great BBC Original spy thriller-drama with a cast so starry it’s hard to believe it’s only a telly production. Former MI5 agent Johnny/Tom Eliot (Bill Nighy) is trying to stay out of trouble on Turks & Caicos – a tropical tax haven – but fails miserably when he gets entangled in a CIA efforts lead by Curtis Pelissier (Christopher Walken) to catch some big-arse crooks. We’ve seen Nighy in many roles like this, but it’s hard to object as he does such a lovely job at being the well-mannered, understated and well-tailored Englishman.

When he fled from HM’s SS, he left behind the love of his life and also former spy Margot (Helena Bonham-Carter) – but his plight is bound to bring them back together. Meanwhile, Melanie (Winona Ryder) is in with the bad boys but the question is whether she wants to be. She’s all grown up, fragile, broken and seductive all at once. Back in the UK, Margot gets closer to Stirling Rogers (Rupert Graves, Sherlock) who is too rich and powerful not to be involved somehow, and also plays tennis with the PM, Alec Beasley (Ralph Fiennes), which gives rise to the question of his involvement in illegal financial thievery.

All the plots, schemes, power play and politics are made more interesting by the central notion of this story: humanity. Not once does this film degrade itself to plot-driven cops&robbers trickery. The island’s police force, Johnny, Margot and Johnny’s love, Melanie’s MO – they all boil down to a sense of ‘as long as there’s people like them in the world, we might be alright’.

Also, writer and director David Hare (The Reader, The Hours) made a film that blatantly says: tax havens are corrupt, dangerous, criminal snake-pits that use our tax payers’ money to enrich themselves and politicians involved. And it’s about time.

NB: No trailer available yet – here’s one for Original British Drama featuring some tasters.

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The Boat that Rocked (2009)

In feel good, film, hilarious, Recommendation, Review on 13/10/2011 at 1:50 pm

A terribly fun ride on the radio-waves of the 1960s. It’s post-war England and the stuffy conservative government won’t have anything but classical music on the radio. So they get a boat and transmit outside of territorial waters: pirate radio is born (the film has been re-labelled Pirate Radio in the US, for some funky reason).

The pirate radio DJs grow as popular as the bands they play and as the antagonists, being the government, start to gain on them things get most entertaining. And there’s Bill Nighy being as hilariously unnatural a rock-dude imaginable, Rhys Ifans being a perfect natural and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the chief-pirate. Even though this film follows the strict comedy curve and is therefore utterly predictable, it doesn’t make it less enjoyable. It is the perfect example of a feel-good movie.

 

 

 

Notes on a Scandal (2006)

In Amazing, based on novel, film, Recommendation, Review on 10/10/2011 at 8:30 pm

Two of the greatest actresses alive today do their reputations credit and then some in this superb drama. Barbara Covett (Dame Judi Dench) is a seemingly normal, rather stern and somewhat lonely school teacher. When the young and beautiful Sheba Heart (Cate Blanchett) joins the teaching team, she has trouble with some of the more cheeky pupils. Covett comes to her rescue and the two hesitantly become friends, but things aren’t how they seem.

Rarely have I seen two parts, that rely entirely on stupendous acting to make them work, so utterly and compellingly convincing. The story (based on the Zoe Heller novel) smacks you about: being charmed by a character, then despising them and perhaps finally truly understanding them, however doubtful their conduct may have been. It’s simply an amazing work of art.

Notes on a Scandal was nominated for four Academy Awards and won eleven other awards, including two British Independent Film Awards for Best Actress (Judi Dench) and Best Screenplay (Patrick Marber).

 

The trailer contains some spoilers.