Film Review: Kelly + Victor

Many a film has been dubbed the anti-500 Days of Summer, but none has been so deserving as the tale of a torrid love affair that is Kelly + Victor. Based on the 2002 Naill Griffiths novel of the same name Kelly + Victor is the dark cousin of the romantic comedy, when Kelly and Victor meet in a club in Liverpool the attraction is instant but neither of them could anticipate the twisted path their relationship would take.

With a thoroughly unsentimental take on new love British director Kieran Evans is able to create a relationship that is both real and bizarrely twisted. When Kelly unlocks a sexual dark side in Victor neither of them is able to leave the other and while their relationship falters and recovers in waves throughout the 90-minute film there is never a doubt about their ultimate compatibility.

It is not only their relationship that is portrayed in a refreshingly down-to-earth way; the characters that surround the couple are instantly recognisable as real, familiar personalities. Despite the extreme actions taken by some of the supporting characters the brilliant direction and dialogue ground Kelly + Victor very much in the real world.

See more at TQS Magazine 

Out on DVD now. 

Exciting News Here At Jackanory Reviews

Well I like to keep my readers up to date with my exciting news, and so here’s my latest: I am now writing for a brilliant Canadian publication called Next Projection.

It’s a brilliant website with comprehensive film and TV reviews, as well as interesting articles. I will continue to publish small extracts of my work here along with links to the full articles (as I do with my work for TQS) so please continue reading, and take this opportunity to explore some of the other amazing work over at Next Projection!

Charlotte x

Film Review: Trance dir. Danny Boyle

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The question everyone has for Danny Boyle is HOW? How and when did he have time to make a film amidst Olympic preparations and promotion? The answer – the man is not normal!

While many critics have been unsure about his latest offering, Trance, there is no denying the sheer style and class of the film. With trademark monologue scenes, to-camera delivery and a fantastic soundtrack Trance certainly is a cut above most mobster/heist movies.

The psychological insecurity of all the characters is an overriding theme throughout the whole film, leaving the audience wondering who is in control and what is the ‘reality’ of the situation in which we find Simon (James McAvoy). While the dark undertones of the film creep through more and more as time goes on, Boyle has called Trance the dark cousin of Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. Leaving behind the redemptive features to focus more on the dark side of human nature.

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The deterioration of the film from simple art heist to psychological thriller is intense and brilliantly paced. As the plot progresses our sympathies towards Simon slowly melt away as we see all is not as it first appeared. In contrast mob boss Franck (Vincent Cassel) changes from hard criminal to a much more complex character. This change in our perceptions of the main characters gives the film a depth that differentiates it from your run-of-the-mill mob movie. The empathetic nature of all the characters confuses the audience about how we are meant to feel about the events playing out in front of us. And as actions and motives become increasingly more uncertain, your taken deeper and deeper into a maze of reality and implanted ideas.

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The performances from Cassel and McAvoy steal the show, but Rosario Dawson as Elizabeth Lamb gives an engaging performance as the catalyst of the uncertainty.

Trance is not one of Danny Boyle best films, but to compare his back catalogue is to enter a bizarre world where the normal rules of film don’t apply. From any other director this film would be a triumph, the twists and turns are reflected perfectly by the erratic, dream-like nature of the shots, but unfortunately it is likely to fall behind the likes of Trainspotting and 28 Days Later when the history of Danny Boyle is written. But as a film in it’s own right it is brilliant.

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To view trailer click here.

Currently on general release in the UK.

Film Review: The Paperboy Dir. Lee Daniels

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Glistening with sweat The Paperboy, selected for last year’s Cannes Film Festival, finally opens in UK cinemas. A reporter returns to his hometown to investigate the hasty trial of a man (John Cusack) accused of murder and sentenced to death. This dark crime investigation is the background for a portrait of an unrequited love affair and more than a few secrets, all set in the boiling summer of 1965.

The interesting mix of cast work well together. Nicole Kidman particularly shines as brilliantly trashy Charlotte Bless; she is the object of Jack’s (Zac Efron) affections even though she has pledged her heart to the incarcerated Van Wetter (Cusack).

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The grainy, documentary style accentuates the visceral elements of the plot and adds a visual nod to the time in which it is set. The time and scenery are almost characters in their own right. Just as Charlotte’s bright, tacky dresses seem alien compared with the reporter’s dreary shirts; the swamps of Florida are like another planet and the people living there seem of another world.

The casual racism of the time is quietly and effectively acknowledged; the narration by the main character’s black servant gives a certain insight into the difficulties of the era and the kindness of some in society.

The Paperboy is a strange mix of romance and thriller but it is fascinating to the end; the characters are interestingly erratic and the plot provides more than enough twists and turns to intrigue.

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The Paperboy is currently on selected release in the UK.

Click here to watch the trailer.