‘Ordinary People’ – (Director Robert Redford)

(Even before the sad death of Mary Tyler Moore I was going to write this post.)

Movie: Ordinary People.      8/10 IMDb      93% Rotten Tomatoes (pretty good ratings 🙂 )

Director: (the) Robert Redford.

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Mother and son, Beth and Conrad

This isn’t a movie revue as such, call this personal observations ‘blank’, I nearly set private but this is wordpress, a place where you can say as you wish so all’s well. Some will disagree with my mental health tag, 🙂 but no matter.

I’m bored watching footie tonight hence this began a lengthy reply WHICH later became a post and no I haven’t seen or read Girl Interrupted but I’m going to Google and find out more straight after this, 🙂 I have a good feeling.

Blank,  I was secretly rather hoping you hadn’t watched ‘Ordinary People’ so I could write 😀 , remember how I previously said sad films are a magnate to unhappy people well this film fits into that catagory perfectly, basically it’s perfecr for (blank) lol, not that I’m hinting but you get the gist!!!  Briefly in this family drama there’s a hospitalised failed suicide attempt, a suicide which triggers a vulnerable young man who but for his amazing therapist would have perhaps did (omitted spoiler)……… but hold on ‘OP‘ is full of positives and certainly not a movie that’ll upset and like all great movies is based on an original novel by Judith Guest.

Difficult themes yet rewarding.

You’re possibly tooo young to have heard of Mary Tyler Moore and to answer your question her character Beth is BPD in some traits but as I said the death of her son brought a type of psychosis to the fore, some readers may disagree, whichever, grief bound she’s in need of therapy WHICH the film suggests would could have helped! Either way Beth is mentally unstable, on the cusp of a nervous breakdown and emotionally repressed but her only sin is trying to keep her ‘sh#t together’…….. sound familiar? Like all of Us!

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Berger (Therapist) and Conrad

Basically this could be a movie right up our Streets so to speak! Only joking, well me anyway, but seriously I have a guess the sessions between Beth’s son Conrad and his therapist appeal because Berger manages to help Conrad understand why he feels so guilty for his part in his brother’s tragic death several years earlier.

Recommending a movie to someone is deeply problematic because for so many reasons favourites are personal to oneself, I have no idea as to your tastes but you being younger than I……..I’d guess…….. well I’m not going to sumise for fear of making a fool of myself. Yes ‘OP’ is a little dated now but I would say give it a go, the tale although harrowing is intelligent, difficult but at the same time rewarding. Spoiler alert, thankfully no sex!

And Elizabeth is adorable as the sweet girlfriend and important to Conrad’s story.

© Andrew 🙂

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40 – Secrets and Lies (1996), one of my favourite Movies

Note. The 1996 British Movie ‘Secrets and Lies’ is NOT to be confused with the present day ABC Television Series of the same name the Movie being a family drama and the US TV  investigated mystery Series, they’re totally different in every respect.

  • Director: Mike Leigh.
  • Writer: Mike Leigh.
  • Actors: A Cast of virtually unknown actors which soon changed after release.

Awards and nominations of which there are many many more!

  • Nominated for 6 Oscars.
  • Winner of 3 BAFTA’s.
  • Winner of Palme d’Or at Cannes.

One of many memorable scenes (below) filmed moments before the big family secret is revealed to a watching audience.

‘Secrets and Lies’ official movie trailer (below)

Movie reviews are intrinsically difficult to write, just watch a selection on the internet or written by professional critics in newspapers and you see they can’t agree, their accounts will all be different simply because we all like different genres, all our likes are deeply personal, for example I enjoy ensemble family drama’s whereas your personal favourites might be James Bond or Musicals, makes life more interesting don’t you think!

However we’d all agree a movie has to be both watchable enjoyable and written around a great story, humans since the dawn of time have loved reading and telling stories to each other, film is no different and that applies to every culture around the Globe.

rrrrrrrr Totten tomatoes rated would you believe 94% positive! Yes true!

I’m going to ask you a question, Rotten Tomatoes is probably the most respected movie review website on the planet, so with that in mind would you call me lazy for sharing their own plot description rather than my own? I only say this because I’d love you to watch Secrets and Lies but would hate to ruin any chance of that happening just because I wrote a crap review, is that fair?

‘Mike Leigh’s Palme D’Or-winning tale of love caring and deep longings is introduced by the director. Hortense is a young Black optometrist. Both her adoptive parents have died and she decides to find her birth mother, who turns out to be Cynthia, an unmarried woman who lives in a terraced house with her daughter Roxanne. Hortense tracks Cynthia down and, after a fraught first meeting, a warm mother-daughter relationship begins to develop. Meanwhile, Cynthia’s brother Maurice and his childless wife Monica decide to throw a party for Roxanne’s 21st. Cynthia asks if she can bring a friend and invites a reluctant Hortense. In a traumatic moment Cynthia reveals the truth, and all hell breaks loose.’ (Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes).

So there you are, perhaps sharing RT’s excellent description instead of writing my own is lazy of me but at least I informed you and didn’t copy, oh how I hate plagiarism, stealing other peoples thoughts and then attributing them as ones own is a wicked crime.

In conclusion

So rather than try and explain the reasons why I love Secrets and Lies so dearly, perhaps judge my opinion and recommendation completely by the replies and comments I write in response to your posts, I reveal an awful lot of myself here lol! Perhaps many of you understand more about me than I fully appreciate and I might add vice versa, but if you do wish to know a little more, have critics give the plot away, then go to the internet and read the many excellent professional critics opinions out there, because I can tell you critics universally love Secrets and Lies 1996.

Please watch, trust me you will enjoy a very warm sweet and caring film and keep in mind all families, including my own, possess deep dark secrets which perhaps if they were more openly discussed then life would be so much more fulfilling enjoyable and a f#cking darn sight easier!!

(By the way contains no sex or violence, no guns, no car chases, mild swearing and you may quite possibly cry so have tissues at hand!)

Andrew

27 – ‘The Child Catcher’ – Halloween

A movie question for you, is ‘The Child Catcher’ the creepiest character to appear in children’s cinema? I would say the definition of a horror movie character is one that gives you nightmares!! Well ‘The Child Catcher’ from ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ is written for children and often remembered into adulthood as giving them nightmares!!!

So this is my Halloween movie revue written for those who hadn’t heard of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and what better way to explain the film than write a Post through the eyes of only one character, one which hopefully others will enjoy.

What have…………………

  • Hannibal Lecter
  • Jigsaw Killer
  • Darth Vader
  • The T1000
  • The Joker
  • Crueller de Vil
  • Wicked Witch of the North
  • and The Child Catcher

………………. all have in common? Answer, they have all been voted the most Evil Characters in film, quite a chilling list and in my opinion ‘The Child Catcher’ adds an extra dimension……. yes he’s VERY creepy’ but he also resonates in todays big bad world, there’s an honesty about him which the others don’t have, in real life there are creepy men out there, men who abduct children and I think he taps into childrens and parents psyche. It’s said The Child Catcher gave children nightmares, I’m unsure if that’s actually true but clearly I remember age 10 going to Hull Regal Cinema with my Grandma and experiencing a fright with his creepy face seared across my imagination ever since. But perhaps today’s children playing computer games are less innocent than children of the 1970s and perhaps ‘shock scares’ don’t work as well.

Whilst researching this post I came across a Social Media Poll which voted The Child Catcher as one of the most terrifying characters in kids’ Films……with his skipping dance and jingly black cape actor Robert Helpmann is both sinister and spine chillingly creepy, take a look at his picture and tell me what you see? I would say he has the look of a modern day child ******** so feared by parents! I’ll say no more.

But don’t panic ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ isn’t a horror film, believe it or not you’ll be watching a fairy tale family musical movie with catchy tunes which perhaps juxtaposes this evil man even more! And hey this is Halloween so I’m obliged to give you a movie many adults rate as their earliest screen fright memory.

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The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

I’m going to refrain from writing my own movie review of this 1968 children’s musical, firstly because film favourites are deeply personal subjective and near impossible to recommend, and secondly professional film critics are far more skilled than I (so they say! 😀 )

rrrrrrrr  Rotten Tomatoes rated CCBB a healthy 7/10

Brief Synopsis, a children’s musical, lots of catchy tunes, funny, happy, with a flying car, adorable family, castle, and an all round ‘evil baddie’ and all from a book written by Ian Fleming with a screenplay from Roald Dahl……….. pretty impressive hey?

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Robert Helpmann both ballet dancer and actor

I hope at this point readers are still with me! I’ve kept the first part easy to follow, a short description seems more fun than writing a film review incidentally the stage version is still very popular with British audiences

‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ wasn’t an all happy experience for Robert Helpmann because his face became synonymous with that of a child catcher! I guess some people blur fiction and reality and become confused between a film personification and the real man, which is sad because afterwards Robert often felt he had to reinforce the fact he loved children which must have been upsetting.

Perhaps I’m overplaying the film a little, ‘The Child Catcher’ is not the main character in the film, in fact he doesn’t appear until an hour and forty minutes in and then only for ten minutes or so but what a quite memorable ten minutes! Incidentally he doesn’t appear in the book either having being dreamt up from Roald Dahl’s imagination which probably explains why adults remember him so vividly, it’s been a while since I’ve read a Roald Dahl novel, probably I should visit mums go in the attic and re read our old childrens books.

As I’ve explained err several times I’ll refrain from a full review and I hope I haven’t built the film up tooo greatly for modern sophisticated audiences? But on reflection I think a creepy man with giant net enticing children into his cage with promises of free candy and ice cream has a resonance today.

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Movie still

Robert’s portrayal is evil through and through, he’s a villain, he’s the creature under the bed he’s a boogieman of childrens silver screen, he’s designed to be a nightmare, carrying a pole with metal hook attached trying to catch children and although he’s only in a couple of short scenes he is able to create a chilling monster……….. but I’d say in a healthy way?

Finally The Child Catcher has made a number of lists for the most frightening villain/characters of all time:

  1. He made Entertainment Weekly’s list of “50 Most Vile Movie Villains,”
  2. Several Empire Magazine lists, a Digital Spy list.
  3. Total Film’s “Greatest Movie Villains” list.
  4. CBBC (Children’s British Broadcasting Corporation) poll voted him the scariest villain from a children’s book.

Andrew