Directed by Justin Kurzel, Macbeth is based on the Shakespearean play of the same name, and follows the title character, the Thane of Glamis (Michael Fassbender), who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife (Marion Cotillard), Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, Macbeth becomes a tyrannical ruler, forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from suspicion, a bloodbath which swiftly takes Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and death.
Directed by Jacques Audiard, Rust and Bone is based on Craig Davidson‘s short story collection of the same name. The film follows killer whale trainer Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) who, after suffering a horrible accident that has left her with a life-changing disability, finds friendship in Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a street fighter who has been put in charge of his young son after leaving Belgium to live with his sister and her family.
(Published in Issue 12 of my publication In Retrospect)
The final instalment to Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises picks up eight years after the attacks of The Joker and Two-Face from 2008’s The Dark Knight when a new terrorist leader, Bane (Tom Hardy), overwhelms Gotham’s finest, including Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Detective Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). When jewel thief Selina aka Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) threatens that a storm is coming, Bruce Wayne a.k.a the caped crusader that is Batman (Christian Bale) must resurface from his years of solitude to protect a city that has branded him an enemy. With Bane intending to destroy everything that Bruce has his name to, he must enlist the help of his butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and his business manager Fox (Morgan Freeman), and put his trust in a new colleague Miranda (Marion Cotillard) to rise again.
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.
Midnight In Paris premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and has since been a global box office success. Written and directed by Woody Allen, the romantic comedy-fantasy explores the theme of nostalgia, reflecting back on the Golden era of the 1920s which leads one man to question whether these illusions of the past are better than the present one he is facing.
Gil (Owen Wilson), a writer struggling to finish his first novel, travels to Paris for a break away from his Hollywood life with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her parents, John (Kurt Fuller) and Helen (Mimi Kennedy). After arguing with his fiancée one night, Gil begins to roam the streets of Paris when an old-fashioned car pulls up and the passengers inside ask him to join them. Gil finds himself at what seems to be a 1920’s themed party, but he soon begins to recognise that the company around him consists of his literary and artistic idols, including that of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston), Zelda Fitzgerald (Alison Pill), Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) and Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates). Gil has been transported to the 1920s, an era which he admires and decides to return to at midnight every night in order to find inspiration for his novel, and maybe something a little more from the stunning Adriana (Marion Cotillard).