Changeling

It is 1920’s Los Angeles and single mother Christine Collins is trying to raise her boy. One Sat she is called in to work and when she returns home little Walter Collins is nowhere to be found. The police set about looking and eventually, after 5 months they bring him back. Only the boy they return to Christine is different; she is, however, informed that those changes are the result of her shock and the boys trauma. Why it is quite the done thing for a boy to shrink 4 inches as a result of such a horrifying encounter. And circumcised now you say? Well it is healthy, and who knows what that drifter may have been thinking. Ms. Collins is not about to rest however. She wants her boy back.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [based on the book]

I loved this film.

I loved everything about it. The acting was brilliant. The way the story unfolded. The narration. The casting. The scenery. The cinematography. The soundtrack. Everything was just great. Best film I’ve seen this year. Which’d be a higher compliment if this wasn’t the first film I’ve been to see so far this year. But I’m guessing it’ll be up on the top ten list by the end of 2008.

Read more about The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [based on the book]

Hotel Rwanda

This is a film with impact.

The opening voice-over is a speech on the radio, an anti-tutsi speech, broadcast on Hutu Power radio, over a black screen so as to really let us hear the words. It describes the flaws, reveals the prejudices in Rwanda, tells the viewer of the cockroach infestation the Hutu people will have to wipe out. This is then contrasted by the opening scenes; In Kigali airport we see Paul (Cheadle) collecting fresh lobsters to serve in the hotel where he works as house manager. It shows a bustling, growing, on the up city. But on the way back to the hotel we are introduced to the undercurrent of tension that is played out so well throughout this film.

Zodiac [based on the book]

This is based on the true story of a serial killer in the 1970’s in California who highlighted his murders with cryptic letters to newspapers. He killed at random, and called himself The Zodiac, and wrote his letters in a code. He also often sent bloodstained items of clothes along with these letters as a sort of proof. He was never caught. Robert Graysmith was working as a cartoonist at one of the newspapers where the letters arrived, and became caught up in the case. The film is based on his book of the events of the time.

Alpha Dog

You know this film isn’t half bad. I went to see it expecting a somewhat mindless popcorn film. But is actually a fairly watchable, half way decent flick.

Johnny Truelove and his pals are half-arsed weed-dealer-kids, hanging out and doing drugs, making money through dealing. But when real bad-boy Jake Mazursky owes money to Truelove things begin to escalate, leading to Truelove and “his boys” kidnapping Jake’s half brother. But the 15 year old Zack doesn’t seem like much of a victim. He gets to live the life of drugs, drink and parties; he is having a good time. But the kidnapping was a spur of the moment thing, and when he consults his lawyer Truelove realises that the implications may be quite serious.

Alias Grace

Based on the true story of Grace Marks, an infamous murderer in Canada in the 1840’s, Atwood’s book uses different narrators to tell the story, as well as interspersing the story with extracts from other works. From poems, fiction, newspapers of the time, and other sources. Although this is based on the real story, Atwood has, of course, fictionalised a great deal of the novel.

The two narrators are Grace herself, who tells her story in the first person, past tense, and Simon Jordan, the doctor investigating her claims of insanity or innocence. His parts are told by a third person narrator, and are in the present tense.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Based on a true story The Exorcism of Emily Rose deals with the death of Emily Rose. Doctors said she was suffering from psychotic-epilepsy, her priest said it was possession. And because of Father Moore’s role in Emily’s refusal to take her medication, and her lack of medical attention he is put on trial for […]

Veronica Guerin

Went to see Veronica Guerin last week. It a film based on the true story of Veronica Guerin, a journalist with the Irish Independent who was murdered in 1996 because of her investigations into organised crime in Dublin.

In the film Cate Blanchett plays Veronica and from what I could see the rest of the cast as played by Irish actors (including a wonderful cameo from Colin Farrell). Its a good film, but watching it I couldn’t help but try and compare it to what I would see as real, and obviously as a film it isn’t/wasn’t real. Still overall it was a good film, that doesn’t really take too many liberties with the truth (or at least what I think of as the truth). Read more about Veronica Guerin