Gone too far (2014)

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With themes of identity and finding your place in the world, Gone too Far is a hilarious window into the young ethnic diversity of London.

When his brother arrives from Nigeria it threatens to upset Yemi’s comfortable existence. Events force him to assess his heritage and struggle with local bullies and the girl of his dreams in the midst of racial prejudice between Africans, Jamaicans and second generation residents of Peckham.

Very witty with sharp dialogue and very very funny.

Paddington (2014)

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I’ve not heard of director Paul King before, but what he’s done with Paddington is craft a clever, witty and heart-warming film.  With a plot which contains a couple of stories from the first of Michael Bond’s book about the bear from Darkest Peru, the main theme is that of wanting to belong and finding one’s place in the world as Paddington comes to London to find somewhere to live.

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The Third Man (1949)

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The Third Man is perhaps the best known film from British director Carol Reed.  Set in an atmospheric, tired and cynical post-war Vienna, the film tells the tale of an American novelist who arrives to meet a friend, only to find that he has recently died; hit by a car.  He stays to investigate his death which soon becomes a search for a “Third Man” who was present at his death. Continue reading

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

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“She’s trying to intimidate me with quarter hours! 

So says Maggie Smith’s Jean Brodie, a teacher in an Edinburgh girls’ school in the 1930s.  Miss Brodie isn’t really a loose cannon, but she doesn’t really stick to the curriculum either.  As such, Maggie Smith is perfect.

Oh dear. I watched this back in March (when I wrote the above intro); pretty shocking that I didn’t get round to reviewing this film at the time.  I do remember that Maggie Smith’s performance was tremendous; as the dynamic, romantic young teacher who could influence her girls, she is mesmerising.  As a support, Gordon Jackson’s music teacher managed to hold his own against Smith’s vivacious character, but it is the girls who are the focus rather than the potential love interest.

The girls in Miss Brodie’s class, particularly the main four who make up the “Brodie set”, are all very good.  Pamela Franklin who plays Sandy gives a very measured performance, and arguably has more of a story arc than anyone else, as her impressionable school girl matures and sees Miss Brodie for who she really is.

A grand little film with a towering performance from Maggie Smith.  I just wish I could remember more of it without plagiarising IMDb or Wikipedia!  But, you know, that’s just, like, my opinion man.