The 57th BFI London Film Festival is currently underway in London, and Luke Grima from Wanna go to the Movies? has kindly agreed to share his thoughts on the films he has had the opportunity to see. After the jump check out Luke’s thoughts on Jeune & Jolie, Kill Your Darlings and All is Lost.
Young and Beautiful (Jeune & Jolie)
Jeune & Jolie (or Young and Beautiful) stars Marine Vacth as Isabelle, a seventeen-year-old on a summer holiday with her family when she loses her virginity. Upon returning home, she begins working as a prostitute, eventually developing something of a relationship with an older man who treats her better than many of her other clients.
Francois Ozon returns after the excellent In The House which also played at last year’s LFF. Unfortunately Jeune & Jolie is nowhere near that same standard in a film that’s just void of emotion and incredibly hollow.
The problem with this film is that I could never understand Isabelle’s motives from the beginning, to me in made zero sense why she would choose to go down this path. Maybe if she had a clear-cut reason.
I will say that Marine Vacth gives a great and brave performance, letting it all out there and she looks stunning. But she can’t turn this around. I’ll be honest and say that this is only my second Ozon but this is a massive step down from his last.
Kill Your Darlings
A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Dane DeHaan) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster).
This is actually the first Radcliffe film I have seen outside of Harry Potter and does a solid job playing the young Allen Ginsberg. The film is set on a short period of 1944 where Ginsberg starts at Columbia University and meets Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.
Radcliffe really shows his range in Kill Your Darlings, a very adult and expressive performance and manages a convincing American accent. The standout though is DeHaan who simply outstanding. Playing off Radcliffe and Michael C Hall (who plays David Kammerer). A truly wonderful performance. Ben Foster has a subtle but memorable role as William Burroughs, but he’s great is just about anything. The rest if the support is incredibly solid which include Elizabeth Olsen, Kyra Sedgwick and David Cross with Jennifer Jason Leigh (who play Ginsberg’s parents).
Overall I really loved Kill Your Darlings. It’s a solid story told well with great music to accompany it. Definitely one you should keep an eye for and see. This might give me the push to see Howl and On The Road.
All is Lost
After a collision with a shipping container at sea, a resourceful sailor finds himself, despite all efforts to the contrary, staring his mortality in the face.
All Is Lost is the latest film with Robert Redford, who is the sole person in it. And he barely as more than 5 lines of dialogue because, well if you were stranded on your own why would talk?
There is no denying that Redford is great in it, it’s all about reacting to the environment. It’s a good test for an experienced actor. And the film is alright but it was lacking more tension. For a film about a man being lost at sea, fighting the elements, starvation and himself, I was expecting something more gripping and thrilling.
In the end its hard to come away from seeing All Is Lost without thinking of Cast Away or even Life Of Pi which are more Hollywood, but I think simply better.
By Luke Grima