All posts by Emma Street

About Emma Street

Emma Street is an occasional watcher of films, reader of books and doer of things.

Diana

Don't make me pull my sad face again
Don’t make me pull my sad face again

EMMA STREET relives the heady days of 1997 with Naomi Watts.  We didn’t get an interview, but she walked out of this review as well.

I am going to assume that all the events depicted in Oliver Hirschbiegal’s Diana are shown exactly as they occurred in real life. That’s how biopics usually work, right? Particularly Royal ones. How else would Peter Morgan have got Her Majesty’s words so spot on in The Queen that they matched Tony Blair’s account of it years later?

Continue reading Diana

Violent delights have violent ends

Emma Street is swept along by a crime epic in which nothing really happens

“Doesn’t this remind you just the tiniest bit of Badlands?” Rooney Mara and Casey Afflect share a quiet moment

The poster for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints has a quote on it saying “A Grand, Doomed Love Story” in massive letters. This would be a heck of a spoiler if it wasn’t clear from the start that things were never going to work out well for our two heroes.

Bob Muldoon and Ruth Guthrie (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara) are two lawbreakers, crazy in love with one another. The film starts with a shoot-out, there’s a prison breakout, some bounty hunters and a pretty high body count. It’s nothing like as action-packed as that makes it sound, though. Director David Lowery seems more interested in what happens in the spaces between the action. People have mumbly conversations, stare out of windows and Ruth plays with her daughter’s hair a lot. Continue reading Violent delights have violent ends

Smiley’s People

Emma Street explains why Ben Wheatley’s new film is – and isn’t – like The Breakfast Club

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Michael Smiley in A Field In England

Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England was released last Friday across all platforms with the possible exception of kinetoscope. Viewers were offered the option of watching the film at the cinema, on DVD, via digital download or by tuning in to Film4 at 10:45 where the whole thing broadcast without ad breaks.

I dipped my toe in the multiple release formats experience by watching it first on television on Friday night and then seeing it on the big screen on Sunday at the ICA. This showing was followed by a question and answer session with director Ben Wheatley and actor Reece Sheersmith, who stars in the film and is better known as one of the League of Gentlemen. In this session Wheatley discussed how he chose to shoot the film chronologically in order to allow the actors the opportunity to grow with their characters. He also shared his thoughts on the cinematic advantages of shooting in black and white – how it prevents viewers becoming distracted by attractive scenery or costumes and focuses attention on character’s faces. Black and white footage, he says, also highlights dirt and grime.

In which case, he certainly achieved the look he was going for. The images that remain with you after watching A Field In England are the moods, reactions and suffering written on the protagonists’ faces  and the grubby muddiness of their surroundings. Continue reading Smiley’s People

Come As You Are

By Emma Street

come 1

Imagine a remake of The Inbetweeners Movie. In Dutch! Where the guys have never been on holiday without their parents before and decide to visit a brothel in Spain! Only – get this – Will is blind. And Simon has terminal cancer and is confined to a wheelchair. And Neil (or possibly Jay) is paralysed from the neck down. And they’re being driven around in van by Nessa from Gavin and Stacey. Who’s Belgian!

This almost certainly wasn’t the original pitch for Geoffrey Enthoven’s Come As You Are, which is released in the UK today. I did keep finding myself making comparisons between the characters in the two films while I was watching it though. It’s particularly true of Philip, the Jay/Neil character. He is gawky and belligerent and doesn’t let his quadriplegia get in the way of occasionally acting like a total wanker.

Continue reading Come As You Are