Paul Scheer sheds some light on The Room, lets us in on a secret in The Disaster Artist, and answers your questions. Plus, we explore the origins of midnight movies and take a look at IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.
Between world wars, the Whittaker's estate is sinking; only the iron will of Mrs. Whittaker staves off bankruptcy while she awaits her son John's return from the continent. To her dismay, he brings a bride: an American widow who races cars. The bride, Larita, thinks she and John will visit and then go to London, where he'll work and she'll race. But John is to the manor born, and mother is nothing if not a master at plans and manipulation. Soon it's all-out war between mother and bride, with John's father, a burnt out veteran of the Great War, in the bride's corner ineffectually. Mother has a plan to join with the neighboring estate; only Larita is in her way. Can't we all get along? Written by
During the end credits all of the musicians who played in the orchestra featured on the soundtrack are introduced in voice-over simulating the introductions from the bandstand of a live performance, with each musician playing a brief sample. See more »
When Larita first sees John after the race in Monte Carlo the mechanic in the bottom right of the shot takes his hat off and waves it in the air. A second or so later when she looks back at John, the same mechanic takes his hat off and waves it again indicating the shot was duplicated. See more »
I'll See You Again
Written by Noël Coward
Published by Chappell Music Ltd. (PRS)
All rights administered by Chappell & Co. Inc.
Licensed courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Ltd.
Performed by Andy Caine with The Easy Virtue Orchestra See more »
2008 has been a mixed bag thus far as far as character dramas are
concerned, with the majority either lacking in any interesting personas
and the remainder usually lacking in anything remotely fun about the
experience. Thankfully, Easy Virtue takes residence amongst the
minority of this year's examples, blending a wonderful ensemble of
characters and respective performers with plenty of humour, romance and
palpable charm. As a musical per se, which one could place the movie
given the role that music plays in its narrative, the music is catchy,
but always played in the background to what is going on with
characters. So while the numbers certainly don't ever take off, the
harmony created between the film's immediate interests always take
precedence over the aesthetics, no matter how inviting and well done
those elements are implemented. Sure enough, there isn't much in the
way of flaws present within Easy Virtue's two hour runtime outside of
the fact that it can sometimes drag on in terms of plotting.
Nevertheless, despite small pacing problems, Easy Virtue is a
wonderfully breezy, and yet hard hitting portrayal of relationships,
both temporal and unconditional.
Where each of these sources of love comes from it seems is where the
writers seem most interested in exploring; rather than sticking to the
genre's more conventional set of rules, the movie instead takes a
familiar, albeit refreshing route. Telling the story of Larita (Jessica
Biel), an American race-car driver newly wed to love of her life John
Whittaker (Ben Barnes) as she moves into her husband's inherited estate
for the holidays, Easy Virtue take the romantic comedy and heats things
up a little. The centrepiece of the story revolves around the idea that
John's English aristocratic family either immediately resents Larita's
presence or soon adheres to this mind-frame. This conflict draws most
firmly from John's mother (Kristen Scott Thomas) who takes an
especially vindictive and callous attitude towards her big-eyed, fresh
faced and glamorously intimidating daughter in law.
This relationship, although not falling far from the genre's tree of
ideas and structure, nevertheless does well to keep things grounded and
believable. Very rarely are theatrics employed to establish the
characters' obvious confliction, and as such both grow as the movie
wears on, allowing not just drama to unfold from the proceedings, but
comedy also. To say that Easy Virtue is a funny movie would be somewhat
of an exaggeration; this isn't a comedy by any means, but it's not a
straight forward drama or romance either. Instead director Stephen
Elliot manages to do what so little directors of the genre actually
succeed in implementing; a fine blend of all three ingredients whilst
at the same time keeping characterisation consistent and engaging.
Again these ingredients are most fully realised in the triangle of
mother/son and the new girl in his life, with each ingredient sharing
enough screen time to warrant interest; Easy Virtue isn't a funny movie
no it's a funny, heart-warming and delightfully engrossing movie with
plenty of intelligent drama and aesthetics.
Nevertheless, regardless of genre tagging, and the tricky balancing act
involved in handling such a mix, the real potency of heart present that
makes Easy Virtue such a joy to watch is simply through its characters
and their relationships together. Mentioned above, the centrepiece of
this endlessly amusing mix of character is the dynamic between Larita
and her new mother in law. What's most interesting about this pairing
however doesn't necessarily always reside in their obviously
conflictive facades, but within the thematic subtext that each brings
to the story regarding lover and son John. Dealing primarily with the
complexities of human relationships, and specifically love, the writers
explore the different kinds of love and how they are more often than
not wrongly interpreted or received. What's most interesting about the
central figures then is that each seems to have swapped their
traditional roles for the others; ostensibly Larita is seen a
gold-digging, naïve lover who is only out for a short jog, whilst Mrs.
Whittaker is instead presented as John's unconditional love source,
undeniably in it for the long term. This paper thin appearance however
is what Easy Virtue sets out to look past, and the results are both
rewarding and intriguing, giving ample substance to back up the laughs.
Of course all of this would go to waste if given to less than capable
performers to get across not just their own dynamic personas, but the
relations and unique chemistry that they share together. Featuring a
huge ensemble of recognisable British talents, along with the
impressive Jessica Biel, it would take far too long a paragraph to go
through each individually and analyse their performances, so I will
simply cut a farily large corner and say that the entirety of the cast
here do a wonderful job with each of their respective roles. Of notable
interest is the always compelling Colin Firth as a rather withdrawn and
bored husband, Ben Barnes who plays youthful, energetic and distinctly
naïve John to a fine point and Kristen Scott Thomas who often parallels
her sombre role in recent French production I've Loved You So Long. All
of these performances however are just the tip of what is a
surprisingly effective little treat for anyone looking for good adult
fun, with plenty of intelligent humour and romance to boot. Sure enough
there are some problems with pacing and over-emphasis on theatrical
drama at rare occasions that clash with the film's otherwise
consistently grounded tone, but these elements are far and few between
each of the much more successful moments. Fun, engaging and entirely
memorable, Easy Virtue is a rarity these days, so I cannot recommend it
A review by Jamie Robert Ward (http://www.invocus.net)
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