Film Review: Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Based on The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Giles New, Mary and the Witch’s Flower follows the bored youngster, Mary (voiced by Ruby Barnhill) who is staying with her great-aunt before starting school. But when she ventures into the woods, she discovers a mysterious, glowing blue flower and an old broomstick. She is suddenly whisked off to a city in the sky, where Madam Mumblechook (Kate Winslet) presides over the Endor College of Magic along with the mysterious Doctor Dee (Jim Broadbent). But are they as benign as they appear?

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Book v Film: The Mountain Between Us

“Maybe each of us was once a complete whole. A clear picture. A single piece. Then something happened to crack and shatter us. Leaving us disconnected, torn and splintered. Some of us lie in a hundred pieces. Some ten thousand. Some are edged with sharp contrast. Some dim shades of grey. Some find they are missing pieces. Some find they have too many. In any case, we are left shaking our heads. It can’t be done. Then someone comes along who mends a tattered edge or returns a lost piece. The process is tedious, painful, and there are no shortcuts.”

Based on the 2011 romance novel by Charles Martin and directed by Hany Abu-Assad, The Mountain Between Us follows Dr Ben Payne (Idris Elba) and writer Ashley Knox (Kate Winslet) – known in the film as Ben Bass and Alex Martin – who are stranded in the High Uintas Wilderness after their charter plane crashes when the pilot has a heart attack mid-flight. Knowing that nobody is coming to their rescue, the couple must trek through the snow-capped mountains against the harsh conditions to find safety. The ordeal leads them to rely on each other to stay alive and, ultimately, brings them closer together.

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Film Review: The Mountain Between Us

Based on the 2011 romance novel by Charles Martin and directed by Hany Abu-Assad, The Mountain Between Us follows Dr Ben Bass (Idris Elba) and journalist Alex Martin (Kate Winslet) who are stranded in the High Uintas Wilderness after their charter plane crashes when the pilot has a heart attack mid-flight. Knowing that nobody is coming to their rescue, the couple must trek through the snow-capped mountains against the harsh conditions to find safety. The ordeal leads them to rely on each other to stay alive and, ultimately, brings them closer together.

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You Should Be Reading: The Divergent Series – Allegiant (Part 1)

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now.”

Based on the final book in Veronica Roth‘s young adult dystopian Divergent trilogy, originally published in 2013, The Divergent Series: Allegiant is the third instalment in The Divergent Series of films and is the first in a two-part adaptation of the final book.

Set in the aftermath of Insurgent, Allegiant sees Tris and Four venture outside of the walls that enclose the only world they know, a futuristic Chicago in ruins, for the first time ever. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Taken into protective custody by a mysterious agency known as the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust, as a ruthless battle ignites. In order to survive, Tris is forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, and sacrifice.

Again directed by Robert Schwentke, and with Shailene Woodley and Theo James in the leads, the film adaptation is set to be released on 10th March.

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Book v Film: The Divergent Series – Insurgent

“Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.”

Based on the second novel in Veronica Roth‘s young adult dystopian Divergent series, Insurgent, directed by Robert Schwentke, picks up as Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James), now fugitives on the run, are hunted by the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite, Jeanine (Kate Winslet). In a search for allies and answers and racing against time, the fearless duo must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices, Tris faces one impossible challenge after another, as they unlock the truth about the past, and ultimately the future, of their world.

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Film Review: Insurgent

Based on the second novel in Veronica Roth‘s young adult dystopian Divergent series, Insurgent, directed by Robert Schwentke, picks up as Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James), now fugitives on the run, are hunted by the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite, Jeanine (Kate Winslet). In a search for allies and answers and racing against time, the fearless duo must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices, Tris faces one impossible challenge after another, as they unlock the truth about the past, and ultimately the future, of their world.

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You Should Be Reading: The Divergent Series – Insurgent

“Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind.”

The second book in Veronica Roth‘s young adult dystopian Divergent series, Insurgent picks up as Tris and Four, now fugitives, are on the run, hunted by the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite, Jeanine. In a search for allies and answers in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago and racing against time, the fearless duo must find out what Tris’ family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices Tris faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world.

Directed by Robert Schwentke and once again led by Shailene Woodley, the film adaptation is set to be released on 20th March.

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Book v Film: The Divergent Series – Divergent

“I feel more like myself. That is all I need: to remember who I am. And I am someone who does not let inconsequential things like boys and near-death experiences stop her.”

Based on Veronica Roth‘s young adult dystopian novel and directed by Neil Burger, Divergent is set in a world divided by factions that are based on virtues. Daughter of a family in the selfless Abnegation faction, Tris (Shailene Woodley) is faced with the decision of remaining with her family or transferring to a new faction, in an annual event where all sixteen years old’s must take an aptitude test and choose their future. But when Tris learns that she is a Divergent, meaning that she will never fit into a single group, she is forced to change the way her mind works and attempt to fit in with the rest of her new faction, the ruthless Dauntless, and to hide her secret from her leaders who see being Divergent as a threat.

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Film Review: Divergent

Based on Veronica Roth‘s young adult dystopian novel and directed by Neil Burger, Divergent is set in a world divided by factions that are based on virtues. Daughter of a family in the selfless Abnegation faction, Tris (Shailene Woodley) is faced with the decision of remaining with her family or transferring to a new faction, in an annual event where all sixteen-year-olds must take an aptitude test and choose their future. But when Tris learns that she is a Divergent, meaning that she will never fit into a single group, she is forced to change the way her mind works and attempt to fit in with the rest of her new faction, the ruthless Dauntless, and to hide her secret from her leaders who see being Divergent as a threat.

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Film Review: Carnage

(Published in Issue 7 of my publication In Retrospect)

Rating:

Co-written and directed by Roman Polanski, Carnage is a black comedy that follows two sets of parents, Penelope and Michael Longstreet (Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly) and Nancy and Alan Cowan (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz), who meet to discuss their sons’ behaviour after having been in a fight at school. But what was intended to be a five-minute apology turns into over an hours worth of arguments, drinking and judgments from all corners of the room, as it soon becomes apparent that their sons’ childish behaviour is something they all have in common.

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Kate and Catherine Rejoin Charlie In ‘Frank Or Francis’

(Written for Lost In The Multiplex)

Charlie Kaufman‘s latest project Frank or Francis already has an impressive case including Steve Carell, Jack Black, Nicolas Cage, and Kevin Kline, but this week it has been reported that Kaufman has found his two leading ladies as Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener rejoin with the director in this musical comedy set for a 2013 release.

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Kate Winslet to Reunite With Director Kenneth Branagh

(Written for BritScene)

British actress Kate Winslet is set to star in Kenneth Branagh‘s latest project The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, it has been reported this week.

Winslet, who previously played Ophelia in Branagh’s Hamlet in 1996, is set to play the role of Juliet Ashton in adaptation of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows‘ 2008 novel of the same name.

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Brits At The Box Office: Michael Fassbender, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, Kate Winslet & More!

(Weekly feature written for BritScene)

This week has seen the overall box office suffer its worst weekend since 2008, but one British movie has enjoyed robust numbers whilst another two are continuing their successful theatrical runs. There’s also some great new films set to be released over the next week that feature a number of Brits in their cast, including the Sherlock Holmes sequel, Roman Polanski’s Carnage, Mission Impossible 4 and David Fincher’s English adaptation of The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo.

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Film Review: Contagion

(Read this in my publication In Retrospect – Issue 3 and in my student newspaper, Flex)

Rating:

Linking to my previous review for British thriller Retreat, starring Cillian Murphy, Thandie Newton and Jamie Bell which you can read here, Contagion is the second film to be released this month that explores the widespread of a killer virus. As an American take on the genre, Contagion tackles the situation in a completely different way, concluding in a seemingly more optimistic outcome and looking at the effects of a virus globally.

Contagion, directed by Steven Soderbergh, follows the rapid spread of a lethal virus caught through indirect contact. As the fast-moving pandemic grows, we see how a variety of people deal with the situation, including worldwide medical team members, Dr Leonora Orantes (Marion Cotillard), Dr Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) and Dr Erin Mears (Kate Winslet), journalist Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law), and parents Mitch (Matt Damon) and Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow). With a race to find a cure and to control the panic as the world turns to mayhem, we see the lengths these people go to in order to save the world whilst having to maintain their own reputations at the same time.

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