I’ve moved my movie reviews to Letterboxd under Chunks. They are very short there. My son, Jason Romilly, has reviews there as well – his are very funny.
The Eagle Huntress is a documentary about a 12 year old girl in Mongolia who wants to be able to train and hunt with eagles like her father. All the old eagle hunters in the area are disdainful but her father agrees to train her. He sees how determined she is and their relationship is wonderful to watch. The eagles soaring and countryside are beautiful to watch and her achievement is uplifting. I liked it very much.
Another Amy Adams movie only this time she wears a lot of makeup so you know she’s a modern woman. It’s a Tom Ford movie so it’s very designed and beautiful to look at – great looking clothes, order houses, visit people but basically it’s a revenge movie. After Amy leaves Jake Gyllenhaal, an aspiring writer, for a richer man, he writes a novel/screenplay which he gives her to read and she imagines it as a movie with she and Jake as the main characters. In it he does to her what he might have wanted to do in life and gets his revenge in other smaller ways as well. Nocturnal Animals is interesting enough, disturbing and hollow at the core.
Arrival is about aliens landing on earth simultaneously in several different locations. No one can understand their squiggles which look like wreaths with knobs on them except Amy Adams, more about an academic linguist. We know this because she doesn’t wear much makeup and looks plain. The army gets her to meet these aliens who look like giant octopuses and eventually she figures out that they are trying to tell her that Americans should work with these other countries to figure out their problems and then in 3000 years they will be able to help the aliens. There is a bit of a subplot told in flashbacks and flashforwards with Jeremy Renner being a scientist she meets on the job and with whom she has a child who dies of cancer. With a cumulative rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes you’d think it would be better than this. It’s more like the B alien movies of the 1950s.
Based on a John Le Carre novel, Our Kind of Traitor, is a good British spy movie with multiple betrayals. Ewan McGregor is a professor of poetry who is asked by a Russian mafia finance guy, Stellan Skarsgard, to help him while he is on holiday in Marrakech and gets him involved in international dirty politics and business. Damien Lewis plays a frustrated MI6 agent who goes ahead with a mission to get the Russian and his family to London in exchange for information on British politicians and business people who have been paid off to allow a new bank to start a business in London. The beautiful opening ballet sequence does not reflect the content of the movie although it is shot in some beautiful locations. It’s not an action thriller, more of a mind game. Skarsgard is magnificent – whenever he’s on screen the movie comes to life – worth seeing though.