Phew, where to start, with possibly the most discussed and commented on film of the year? Ok, so the facts - Phyllida Lloyd, she of Mamma Mia directorial fame, takes on a biopic of Margaret Thatcher. Which is written by Abi Morgan, most recently known for the Shame, the tale of a New York sex addict (coming to Roxy in May btw...). And grand dame of Hollywood Meryl Streep is to play Thatcher.
And if all that's not enough to raise an eyebrow we haven't even started on the whys and wherefores - should the film have been made whilst Thatcher is still alive? Should it be portraying her dementia? What about the politics?
Well, as we all know Streep is brilliant and has picked up pretty much every award going. As for the film, it does focus much more on the woman rather than her politics, whether that's a good or right thing or not. Regardless, it's certainly a fascinating portrayal of a powerful woman, particularly in her latter years. Obviously worth seeing for Streep, but worth seeing too regardless of your political stance if only to form your own opinion.
After all the hype, acclaim and debate about The Tree of Life last year, Terence Malick's follow up, To The Wonder, has received relatively little attention. Maybe it's the lack of dinosaurs, or Brad Pitt, but this is another excellent movie from one of the master directors currently working.
Like Tree of Life, To The Wonder has split critics, so it would be safe to say that if you were a fan of The Tree of Life, then you'll probably get along with this. It's certainly another gorgeously shot, meandering tale, with little exposition or strong narrative as we follow a troubled relationship. After his disappointing performance in Argo, Ben Affleck is hard at work here with a sensitive performance, as an American in a troubled romance here with the french-speaking Olga Kurylenko. Rachel McAdams is excellent as is Javier Bardem leaving the bad-guy roles behind as a troubled priest.
Not Malick's best film, but still a rich, sensitive arthouse movie from one of the modern era's finest directors. Recommended.